With new investments, thermoform packaging is set to boom

New product launches, acquisitions, and partnerships to give new dimension to thermoform packaging, Pratik Kirve of Allied Market Research writes to WhatPackaging?

13 Nov 2021 | By Aultrin Vijay

Thermoform packaging solutions have been utilised widely in pharmaceutical, food, and healthcare sectors. Manufacturers have been adopting new technologies and innovative approaches to create packaging as per the industry specifications and regulations along with taking environmental concerns into consideration.

Development of recyclable packaging solutions is a major agenda of most of the manufacturers operating in the industry. Moreover, they have been trying to expand their reach and consolidate their position in the global market. Following are the findings made by Pratik Kirve of Allied Market Research in his latest report on thermoform packaging industry’s current scenario and post Covid-19 impact:

Manufacturers adopted various strategies to achieve their objectives and these strategies would give a new dimension to the global industry. These strategies include new product launches, acquisitions, and partnerships.

With the new product launches, the market players aim to bring recyclable solutions into the picture and bring transformation. In addition, acquisition and partnership strategies are aimed at combining expertise and achieving the respective goals of the companies involved. Moreover, the focus on sustainability remains the major factor in each of the strategies. The demand for sustainable solutions in thermoform packaging is expected to increase in the coming years.

According to the report published by Allied Market Research, the global thermoform packaging market is expected to reach USD 60.5 billion by 2027. Along with the global market, the Indian market for thermoform packaging is booming as investments from major players are increasing to explore the untapped potential.

Allied Market Research highlighted that the India thermoform packaging market generated USD 1.66 billion in 2019, and is expected to reach USD 2.58 billion by 2027, witnessing a CAGR of 5.5% from 2020 to 2027. The plastic segment constituted for more than four-fifths of the Indian market share and is estimated to register a CAGR of 5.7% from 2020 to 2027.

Moreover, the aluminium segment would witness a CAGR of 5.2% during the period. There are major factors that are responsible for the growth in the Indian market. The demand for thermoform packaging increased for personal care, food, and electronics products as investments in these sectors rose considerably in 2018.

India is also a chief exporter of key pharmaceutical products. In addition, low cost of manufacturing and surge in R&D activities led to surge of the pharmaceutical sector and the demand for thermoform packaging. The smartphone manufacturing sector in India is also booming, which in turn, raised the demand for thermoform blister packs. The market for thermoform packaging is expected to grow significantly in the coming years.  

Leading market players such as Amcor and BMG, who also have a presence in India, have been trying to strengthen their foothold in the global market. They adopted various strategies to gain international presence and serve their customers.

Development of new packaging materials would help market players in serving the customers in a better manner than before. Market players have been instrumental in offering sustainable alternatives to their packaging products and serving various industries such as pharmaceuticals.

Amcor, a Switzerland-based packaging firm designed AmSky recyclable polyethylene-based thermoform packaging material. This new material has been designed for meeting the requirements of regulated and specialised pharmaceutical applications. The product eliminates polyvinyl chloride (PVC) in packaging material and replaces it with mono material polyethylene (PE) thermoform film and blister. The elimination of PVC makes this a recyclable solution.

Peter Konieczny, chief commercial officer at Amcor, highlighted that the company deploys its innovation capabilities to solve the issues of the packaging industry. With its commitment to bring innovation in the healthcare sector, it strives to help brands in the healthcare and pharmaceutical space in keeping sustainability at the heart of their businesses. Such sustainable solutions would bring transformation in the thermoform packaging industry.

Along with the launch of new products, the trend of acquisition is gaining momentum in the thermoform packaging space. The acquisition is aimed at expanding offerings of the company and increasing market share.

Brown Machine Group (BMG) carried out the acquisition of GN Thermoforming Equipment. GN is a provider of thermoforming equipment to the food packaging sector. This acquisition would help BMG in gaining huge customer access worldwide along with extending its product offerings. GN machines have an ability to adapt as per the changes in requirements and provide excellent return on investments.

Greg Wolf, chief executive officer at BMG, outlined that GN’s unique technology and expertise would raise the scope of offerings and reach small and medium enterprises that require thermoforming packaging. BMG has a service footprint across the North American region; however, GN has a customer base throughout the world.

This acquisition is expected to help BMG expand its market reach and achieve growth for both parties. Jerome Romkey, president at GN Thermoforming Equipment, outlined that combining the expertise and service offerings along with expanding the customer base seemed a logical step for both companies.

The acquisition strategy would help both involved companies in achieving their respective targets. Graham Partners carried out the acquisition of the manufacturer of thermoformed packaging Nuconic Packaging.

Nuconic is a manufacturer of thermoformed PET packaging for the food sector. It offers lids and containers of various shapes and sizes for the sector. Adam Piatkowski, managing principal at Philadelphia-based Graham Partners, highlighted that Nuconic achieved significant growth through a strategic focus in the market and excellent customer relationships.

Through the acquisition, the company would be able to expand its geographic coverage and capabilities. The combined capabilities will offer an extensive range of solutions for the market. The company stated that its new investment and Nuconic’s innovation and customer focus would help in building mid-sized and nationwide packaging providers.

In addition to acquisitions, partnership is another trend that looks forward to combining the capabilities of both companies and achieving their respective goals.

rPlanet Earth joined hands with Green Impact Plastic to develop and manage the postconsumer thermoform packaging materials. Green Impact outlined that it is the first recycling postconsumer PET thermoform packaging manufacturer in the North American and South American regions. The company plans to open a second plant in Vernon. The site is near rPlanet Earth’s site. While addressing the concerns related to recycling PET thermoforms, the opening of the new plant is expected to process nearly three million pounds of materials each month.  

rPlanet Earth highlighted that investment and machine time in assessing the recycled material at Green Impact under the industrial conditions. Utilizing the capabilities of solid-state polycondensation (SSP) and extrusion, Green Impact manufactured PET sheets from recycled thermoformed containers. Moreover, these sheets were manufactured as per the specifications companies operating in the food-grade packaging need. Robert Daviduk, co-CEO of rPlanet Earth, outlined that it looks forward to serving the brands by incorporating thermoform PCR PET into containers. With the partnership with Green impact, both companies will be able to create a closed loop for postconsumer PET plastic thermoformed containers.