In the age where people have lost time to eat due to busy schedules, the demand for processed food has sky-rocketed. This is simply because processed food are easily available, they last longer, and do not require time to cook. Some of them are instantly available for eating as well. Hence, the demand for processed food is growing by the day. While companies manufacturing processed food are happy about this trend, those who produce packaging material for processed food are also riding high. Transparency Market Research has recently published a report on the global retort packaging market. Further, the report states that the global retort packaging market will grow at 5% CAGR during the forecast period from 2019-2027.
Retort Pouches to Lead the Way
According to the report, retort pouches alone account for 53% sales in the global retort packaging market. This is a prominent trend for players as they will have to devise strategies to capitalize on the products in this segment. Retort pouches find more usage as they have several advantages. They are easy to manufacture and come for a lesser cost when compared to other products in the global retort packaging market. Further, consumers are able to print easily on them and hence the possibility of promotions and branding is easier with retort pouches. At the end of the day, the cost of marketing and branding is also lesser with retort pouches. Hence, the demand for products in this segment of the global retort packaging market is expected to remain high in the coming years.
Besides this, the possibility of innovation is also higher with retort pouches as they are flexible and malleable. Hence, manufacturers in the global retort packaging market find it easy to produce new products and lure consumers. At the same time, consumers are also keen only having their own idea incorporated in the packaging of their products. Hence, the possibility of customizing demands from consumers is easy with retort pouches. This trend will also influence growth on the global retort packaging market in the coming years.
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Plastic is Still the Go-to Material
While there are enough measures taken to stop use of plastic due to the harmful environmental impacts the material has, it remains the go-to material in the global retort packaging market. This is because it comes at a lower price and offer flexibility in creating different products. As a result, it has a direct impact on the consumer too. This trend is expected to support growth in the global retort packaging market.
At the same time, there is realization among manufacturers in the global retort packaging market about the adverse effects of plastic and hence they are working on producing products that can be recycled. This way, it will not impact the consumer sentiment and at the same time, they will be able to take care of regulations imposed by authorities on plastic.
Plastic Packaging Increases Cost-efficiency and Convenience of Pouches
Market players in the retort packaging landscape are capitalizing on the efficiency and convenience of retort processing over canned packaging. From a consumer point of view, cans are heavy and bulky to handle, and have limited mobility, especially for children and elderly individuals. From a manufacturer point of view, cans require high-budget investments to get the resources in place for production, and add increased costs for shipping across countries.
Plastic retort packaging accounts for a market share as high as ~76%, and offers as a cost-efficient packaging solution. Market players are innovating to develop thin-film profiles and better thermal conductivity in plastic packaging. Also, the shorter heating time in plastic packaging saves energy resources for manufacturers, and helps retain the authentic flavor and aroma of pouched food, as compared to canned food. Positive consumer attitude towards pouched food being ‘more fresh’ and ‘tastes better’ than canned food is catalyzing the increased demand for plastic retort packaging for brands associated with soups, sauces, desserts, and the like. However, plastic packaging does not comply with the strict regulations in many countries. Hence, market players are innovating on sustainable packaging solutions with the development of recyclable pouches, paper and paperboard packaging solutions.
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Remedial Measures Overcome Limitations in Food and Dairy Product Packaging
The retort packaging landscape is highly fragmented, and is creating opportunities for emerging manufacturers to enter the market. Due to the high competition in this market, it is crucial for manufacturers to understand the needs of consumers as well as those of stakeholders in the food and dairy products landscape.
Though retort pouches are well known for their durability, many a times, they burst open when exposed to high-heat temperatures during the sterilization process. Manufacturers are overcoming this obstacle with the help of autoclaving sealed flasks in air ballast systems.
The packaging of dairy products also demands the need for specialized processes. Even a slight change in the heat exchange integrity of retort processes can change the quality of dairy products. Thus, manufacturers need to implement frequent inspection programs and provide remedial measures during retort processes of dairy products.
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