Meat packaging is often used to deliver protected, fresh and hygienic meat products to consumers or businesses. Fresh meat requires the presence of oxygen for mass supply as well as consumer consumption to preserve its colour for customer appeal. Although fresh meat is likely to have a shorter shelf life, opting for the right packaging as well as packaging substances is very necessary to keep the meat for a longer time in a hygienic condition. Processed food products need more advanced packaging because, compared to refrigerated products, they are likely to be kept at a much higher temperature for a longer period. The most important function of meat packaging is to avoid chemical and physical changes, to appealingly present the product to the consumer and to protect it from microbes.
The global fresh meat packaging market valued USD XX million in 2020 and is forecasted to reach USD XX million by 2029, growing at a CAGR of XX% during the forecast period (2022-2029)
The rise in inter-country trade of fresh meat is resulting in increased demand for packaging
The growing need to increase the shelf-life of meat products is mainly driving the growth of the global fresh meat packaging market. Advanced packaging and barrier films such as MAP and vacuum technology have made it possible to increase the shelf life of fresh meat products by approximately 12X. In addition, these packaging innovations also enhance the visual appearance of meat products, which is expected to further fuel the growth of the global fresh meat packaging market. In addition, the increasing demand for flexible packaging solutions is projected to foster the market growth of fresh meat packaging due to increasing concern about sustainability and the need to reduce the carbon footprint. Flexible packaging solutions reduce the consumption of raw materials, energy and waste generation, thereby promoting environmental sustainability as compared to rigid packaging.
The market growth of fresh meat packaging, however, is highly challenging owing to transforming meat consumption habits among certain population groups. Veganism and vegetarianism are growing owing to factors such as the benefits of plant-based diets and animal love. In addition, modest consumption of red meat has been reported to raise the risk of ischemic stroke, type 2 diabetes and other illnesses that cause health problems. Therefore, the market growth of fresh meat packaging is expected to be hampered by these challenges associated with meat consumption. Moreover, the rising prices of some fresh meat products, such as, are beef and pork expected to restrict the adoption of fresh meat.
Innovations in modified atmosphere technology form the basis of smart packaging for seafood
The global fresh meat packaging market has been segmented by packaging technology into modified atmosphere packaging, vacuum skin packaging, vacuum thermoformed packaging, others. The modified atmosphere packaging segment is expected to grow at a CAGR of XX% during the forecast period. Modified atmosphere technology has helped meet market demand for fresh and refrigerated seafood with an extended shelf life in the seafood packaging landscape. Innovations in the landscape of modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) also helped stakeholders create case-ready packaging where the meat is cut and packed for shipment, which offers supermarkets and retail stores an aesthetic display of seafood. Modified techniques for packaging the atmosphere in fresh meat packaging increase the shelf life of meat by 400%.
North America is the largest market for fresh meat packaging with a share of nearly XX% in global sales value in 2020
By geography, North America is expected to dominate the global fresh meat packaging market. Rising consumption of meat products boosts demand from nations such as the United States. There is a strong demand for items like processed meat, primarily because the convenience of ready-to-serve foods is favoured by most consumers around the world. According to USDA, in 2020, the most consumed type of meat in the United States was broiler chicken, at about 96.4 pounds per capita. By 2028, this is anticipated to rise to 94.3 pounds per capita. As per the American Institute for Packaging and the Environment, about 68% of the country's meat was packaged. Moreover, this region is expected to showcase substantial growth during the forecast period owing to the steady rise in R&D investment to provide innovative packaging techniques.
The increased consumption of meat is contributing to the growth of the fresh meat packaging market in other regions such as the Asia Pacific and Europe. According to estimates from a study by the Australia Department of Agriculture Water and the Environment, meat consumption for 20 years to 2018 grew by 58% crossing 360 million tons. In 2019, the per capita meat consumption in Spain was 46.2 kilograms, of which chicken was the most consumed fresh meat. The increase in consumption of meat contributed to the growth of the market.
The global fresh meat packaging market is highly fragmented and dominated by several small players. The most active companies across the globe are Amcor Ltd, Berry Global Inc., and Crown Holdings Inc. among others. They have been expanding their geographical presence by acquiring or merging with the manufacturers in the foreign market. For instance, in January 2020, Amcor announced its partnership with Moda vacuum packaging systems in North America and Latin America. With this partnership, combining Amcor’s shrink bag and roll stock film for meat barrier films and its polyvinyl chloride (“PVC”) films, which include a broad array of PVC meat films that are used primarily to wrap fresh meats, especially poultry. In September 2020, Mondi launched an 80% paper-based packaging solution for cold meats and cheese. The new packaging will reduce plastic usage for Austrian dairy producer SalzburgMilch by approximately 40 tons per year, compared to its previously used rigid plastic trays. In May 2019, Sealed Air Corporation a packaging company acquired Automated Packaging Systems for a deal amount of $510 million on a cash and debt-free basis. The deal will expand its protective packaging business with complementary solutions and services in the US. Automated packaging systems provide full flexible packaging systems, including industry-leading equipment, sustainable materials, and technical services.
COVID-19 Impact Supply chain disruptions with respect to the food industry to have a negative impact on the market
With the recent COVID 19 outbreak, active packaging manufacturers have been flooded with a variety of problems that are expected to remain for the short term only. Some of the consequences of the lockdown include disturbances in the supply chain, lack of availability of raw materials used in the manufacturing process, labour shortages, fluctuating costs that could inflate and go beyond the budget for the manufacturing of the finished product, shipping issues, and others. According to an exclusive Industry Insider analysis, a series of COVID-19 outbreaks at dozens of meat packaging plants across the United States is much more widespread than previously thought. Based on the media outlets' review of slaughterhouse locations and county-level COVID-19 infection rates, more than 150 of America's major meat processing plants operate in counties where the rate of coronavirus infection is already among the nation's highest.
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