Nanotechnology has been around for a while. The term was first coined in the 1980s, but the new school of technology has much more to offer in terms of nano-tech than its traditional counterparts. Nanotechnology essentially refers to the science of infinitesimally small materials and is poised to have a big impact on food and beverages packing. Globally, the demand for nanotechnology is exhibiting an upward trend owing to the increasing demand for stable packaging. Nanomaterials have widespread application across numerous market sectors. The food and beverages industry is one of the sectors that benefits from nano-enabled packaging. Rapid development of food sectors around the world coupled with the expansion of food exports have fuelled the growth of the global market for nano-enabled packaging for food and beverages.
Nano-materials with an external dimension of less than 100 nanometers (nm) are used in nano-enabled packaging. The most commonly used nanomaterials in the food and beverages industry are silver, nanoclay, and titanium nitride. The primary benefit offered by nano-enabled packaging is that it extends the shelf-life of food and beverages to longer than the shelf life offered by plastic packaging.
Trends Observed in Global Nano-enabled Packaging for Food and Beverages Market
The global market for nano-enabled packaging for food and beverages is segmented into active packaging and intelligent packaging on the basis of technology. In terms of application, the market can be segmented into beverages, bakery, vegetables and fruits, meat products, prepared food, and others. Demand generated across these segments plays a crucial role in tailoring the market trends, enumerated as below:
Trend #1– Rising Demand for Packaging Materials for Meat Export: The packaging market in the food and beverage industry has significantly benefited from the rising demand for meat. As a direct consequence to the high demand for meat around the world, meat exports in leading meat exporters are expected to increase, resulting in a considerable increase in the demand for nano-enabled packaging.
Trend #2– Increase in Consumption of Prepared Foods: A significant portion of the population across leading economies consumes prepared foods. Rising income of individuals and increasing female workforce are fuelling the demand for prepared food across developed and emerging economies. As a consequence, the demand for nano-enabled packaging in the industry will further rise.
Trend #3– Demand for Intelligent Packaging Rising at Rapid Pace: Consumers nowadays have become more informed about the products they buy. When it comes to purchasing packaged food or beverages, they like to ascertain its quality in every way possible. The rising preference of traceable packaging that displays information such as the best-use period, present age, and expiry date of the products, will boost the demand for intelligent packaging. Some of these packages also come with radio frequency identification tags, which keep the customer informed about the present state of the packaged food.
Trend#4– Strict Regulations Limit Use of Nano-Enabled Packaging: Stringent regulations imposed by regulatory bodies inhibit market growth in many regions. The U.S. FDA has recently passed a regulation mandating prior safety assessments of products using nano-enabled packaging. Some nanomaterials can have adverse effects on both humans and animals owing to which these stringent norms are formulated. Such factors will hamper the growth of the market for nano-enabled food packaging.