The barrier film market was valued at USD 32.0 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach USD 46.6 billion by 2027, registering a CAGR of 6.5% from 2021 to 2027. An increase in the barrier film market is by the huge demand for high-performance films, owing to the rising barrier requirements in multiple end-user industries. Improvements, particularly in processing technologies, are anticipated to support the increasing use of barrier films for low-cost production.

Packaging applications for food are anticipated to account for a major share of the barrier film market. This can be attributed to the growing trend of down-gauging, which has supported the shift from rigid to flexible packaging. Strong incentives from producers, consumers, and retailers to increase product shelf life and reduce wastage of packaging material and the increasing preference for fresh foods, such as meat, fruits, vegetables, and seafood, have increased the demand for barrier films. Flexible packaging formats, such as bags, trays with wraps, and retort pouches, are helping customers with single-households and busy lifestyles and meeting their need for convenient packaging.

Moreover, the rent security incidents that have left several oil and gas production units in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates non-functional have affected the oil and gas trade at a global scale. This dip in supply is anticipated to significantly drive up the raw material prices for the barrier film producers, narrowing down their profit margins in the current market scenario.

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Global Barrier Films Market Dynamics

Drivers: Replacement of Rigid Packaging Formats

Flexible packaging is used over rigid packaging to attain high barrier properties. Flexible materials maintain freshness, offer durability, exceptional printability, take the shape of the item being packed, and are easy to handle. They can be used for merchandising various applications, ranging from food products to kids’ toys.

Flexible packaging solutions have been experiencing a positive demand across the end-user industry sectors, such as food, retail, consumer goods, pharmaceuticals, etc. The market has been catalyzed by the continued rise in urbanization, a large expatriate population, and changing dietary habits of the resident citizens. Increasing penetration of organized retail formats, such as supermarkets and e-commerce, the processed and packaged food market is currently exhibiting strong growth.

Restraints: Environmental Legislations for Recycling

Barrier materials have an essential role in various packaging applications, especially considering the protection and shelf-life requirements. Most barrier materials used in today’s industry are either manufactured from oil resources or metals. Owing to factors such as an increase in environmental awareness, access to oil resources, and legislation, new and environmentally benign alternatives are at the center stage of scientific and industrial interest.

Plastic materials allow reducing the weight of packaging, leading to reducing the environmental and economic costs from transport. Light packaging enables the reduction of the amount of waste generated, thus minimizing the environmental impacts of waste management and treatment. Some states and local jurisdictions in the United States have adopted laws and regulations to manage packaging production, use, and disposal. These provisions include minimum requirements for recycled content, environmentally acceptable packaging, restrictions on the use of certain substances in packaging, and even outright bans on certain types of plastics.

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Scope of the Report

The study categorizes the barrier films market based on packaging product, material, and end-use at the regional and global levels.

By Packaging Product Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2017-2027)

  • Bags
  • Pouches
  • Tray Lidding Films
  • Blister Base Films
  • Wrapping Films and Forming Webs

By Material Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2017-2027)

  • Polyethylene
    • HDPE
    • LDPE
    • LLDPE
  • Biaxially Oriented Polyethylene Terephthalate
  • Polypropylene
    • CPP
    • BOPP
  • Polyvinyl Chloride
  • Others
    • EVOH
    • Polystyrene
    • Nylon

By End-Use Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2017-2027)

  • Food
  • Beverages
  • Pharmaceutical and Medical
  • Personal Care and Home Care
  • Other End-user Industries
    • Construction
    • Pet Food
    • Other Non-food Industries

By Region Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2017-2027)

  • North America (US, Canada, Mexico)
  • South America (Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Peru, Rest of Latin America)
  • Europe (Germany, Italy, France, UK, Spain, Poland, Russia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Hungary, Czech Republic, Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Rest of Europe)
  • Asia Pacific (China, Japan, India, South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, the Philippines, Singapore, Australia & New Zealand, Rest of Asia Pacific)
  • The Middle East & Africa (Saudi Arabia, UAE, South Africa, Northern Africa, Rest of MEA)

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The polyethylene segment is projected to account for the largest market share by material

Based on material, the global barrier films market is divided into polyethylene, biaxially oriented polyethylene terephthalate, polypropylene, polyvinyl chloride, and others. In 2020, the polyethylene segment accounted for the largest market share of 39.0% in the global barrier films market. Polyethylene is the cheapest packaging film. The polyethylene materials that are being used for barrier film include LDPE, LLDPE, and HDPE. Polyethylene is easy to process and is combined with aroma barriers, such as EVOH and PA, in various applications. The most important grade of material among these is the linear low-density polyethylene. It is a high-clarity film that is widely used for food packaging. It is, at times, combined with high-density polyethylene that is stiffer, harder, and has higher tensile and bursting strength but has a lower impact and tears strength than LLDPE. A combination of LLDPE and HDPE ensures superior properties and allows for thinner films. For this reason, the majority of barrier packaging films have more than one layer. For instance, cereal bags consist of multiple layers of HDPE, LDPE, and LLDPE, in addition to an aroma barrier to preserve the quality and fragrance of the product.

Asia Pacific accounts for the highest CAGR during the forecast period

The global barrier films market has been segmented across North America, Asia-Pacific, Europe, South America, and the Middle East & Africa based on the regions. Asia Pacific is the fastest-growing region worldwide, with a CAGR of 7.7% in the global barrier films market during the forecast period. The Aisa Pacific region includes China, India, Japan, South Korea, Australia, Southeast Asia, and the Rest of Asia-Pacific. The region’s growth is primarily due to strong economic growth in the domestic emerging countries such as China, Indonesia, Malaysia, and India.

After the Asia Pacific, North America is the fastest-growing region with a CAGR of 6.0% during the forecast period 2021-2027. Many vendors of barrier films in North America are adjusting their product portfolios to address the increasing requirement for consumer-friendly packaging solutions in the region. Barrier films that help transparency in product packaging the customers quickly examine the product, increasing the demand for several PE- and PVC-based barrier films in the region. Furthermore, the rising demand for packaged food in the region is likely to drive the market’s growth, owing to the increasing shelf-life of food products. However, the demand for biodegradable and soluble films is predicted to convey more opportunities to this market.

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Key Market Players

Berry Global Inc., Amcor Plc, Raven Industries, Toppan Printing Co., Ltd., Jindal Poly Films Ltd., Dupont Teijin Films, Cosmo Films Ltd., Uflex Ltd., and Sumitomo Chemical Co., Ltd., are some of the major players operating in the barrier films market. These companies have adopted several strategies to strengthen their position in the market. New product development, Expansion, collaboration, and merger & acquisition are the key strategies adopted by major players to enhance their product offering & regional presence to meet the growing demand for barrier films from emerging economies.

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