High Value Films and New Applications Will Drive Barrier Film Demand

The US barrier film market will be fueled by increased demand for high performance films, as barrier requirements intensify across multiple markets. Improvements to processing technologies will support low-cost production and expand the range of suitable applications for barrier films. Robust growth in emerging markets such as flexible electronics and agricultural films will also boost demand.

Flexible Food Packaging Continues to Offer Best Growth Opportunities

Food packaging accounted for 71% of total demand for barrier films in 2016. Growth will be driven by the ongoing shift from rigid to flexible food packaging. Strong incentives for producers, retailers, and consumers to extend shelf life and reduce food waste will continue to support demand for higher performing films, as will a growing preference for fresher foods that use less preservatives.

Flexible packaging formats such as stand-up pouches that accommodate consumers’ busy lifestyles will offer the best opportunities going forward.

Small but Rapidly Growing Markets Will Diversify Barrier Film Usage

Pharmaceutical and medical products, the second largest market after food packaging, accounted for 17% of total demand in 2016. This outlet is expected to grow at a strong pace due to increased healthcare spending and new drug formulations that require higher barrier packaging.

Going forward, barrier films will also carve out space in particularly promising outlets such as flexible electronics. Flexible photovoltaic modules are growing in popularity as lightweight alternatives to traditional glass panels, and flexible OLED displays are increasingly used in smartphone and smartwatches. These applications require some of the most expensive and highest performing resins on the market.

EVOH and PET to Post Fastest Growth of Major Resin Types

The fastest growing resins through 2021 will strike a balance between cost and high performance. Above average gains are expected for PET due to its versatility as a commodity resin that features moderately good barrier properties. EVOH will grow faster than any other major resin type due to its excellent gas barrier properties. Although it is expensive, a thin layer can achieve maximum barrier properties. Moreover, EVOH can be coextruded with commodity resins on traditional processing equipment, eliminating the need for expensive technology updates.

Study Coverage

This presents historical demand data (2006, 2011, 2016) and forecasts (2021) by barrier film type (oxygen and other gas, moisture, corrosion), market (food packaging, pharmaceutical and medical products, construction, primary metal products, electronics, agriculture), and resin (polyethylene, polypropylene, polyester, PVC, nylon, PVDC, EVOH). The study also evaluates company market share and competitive analysis on industry competitors including Bemis, Berry Global, Charter NEX, DuPont, Printpack, Sealed Air and Toray.

Published:  April 2017

Format:  PDF emailed by publisher

Number of Pages:  165

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The Freedonia Group, Inc. is a leading international industry market research company that provides information and analysis needed to make informed strategic decisions for your business. Freedonia’s industry market research on Packaging covers a broad range of packaging materials (e.g., paper, plastic, metal) and applications (e.g., protective packaging, food containers). In each case various factors affecting demand are considered such as renewability, life style, distribution, end use product demand and other related issues. All studies include market size, forecasts, product and market segmentations, related economic indicator and regulatory analysis, market share estimates, a discussion of industry structure, and profiles of the leading companies.