Retort packaging market to witness 5% growth

According to a study conducted by Transparency Market Research (TMR), retort packaging market is set to grow at a CAGR of 5% by 2027.

12 Mar 2020 | By Aultrin Vijay

In terms of revenue, the retort packaging market is projected to expand at a CAGR of 5% by 2027, due to consumer demand for convenience and better flavour in edible products.

Currently, pouches account for 53% of the retort packaging market share, with an estimate of 4.3 million tonnes of production in 2027. “Due to high incremental and volume opportunity in the retort pouches landscape, market players are innovating on packaging films that can be recycled and withstand ambient medium- and high-barrier retort applications,” the report shared with PrintWeek mentioned.

Packaged food products need to get oxidised for longer shelf life by removing preservatives. Food products are packed in special carrier film that can withstand temperatures of around 130-degrees Celsius, so that all microorganisms are killed. Retort packaging is used for this purpose.

Retort packaging kills all microorganisms when sterilised. According to the TMR report, the shelf life of products in retort packages is nearly 18 months. Advantages of retort packaging over conventional packaging drive its usage in the market. The introduction of microwave-compatible packages that need no refrigeration allow products to withstand processing and storage conditions without losing their natural odours, which also permits rapid microwave heating. Retort packaging is said to protect products from oxygen and moisture, and cost-effective.

The report stated that the retort packaging market in Asia Pacific is estimated to have a market share of 38% globally. In the APAC region, India and China are said to be the emerging markets for extensive growth of retort packaging, which accounted for 54% share of the APAC retort packaging market in 2019. The need for convenience packaging is said to be the ongoing trend in the Asia Pacific region. The report mentioned that this is a type of packaging that can increase the barrier property.

In North America, the US represents 80% of the retort packaging market, while Canada is likely to expand at a very impressive CAGR of 6% during the forecast period.

Matured markets in North America and Europe are expected to represent combined incremental opportunity of USD 3.5 billion by 2027. The North American region holds nearly one-fourth of the global retort packaging market share.

Increased emphasis on eco-friendly packaging

According to the TMR report, the need for safe, hygienic, aesthetically appealing, comparatively lightweight, and extended shelf life packaging is emphasised in retort packaging. As a result, manufacturers are focusing on developing solutions that can help food in retaining its natural odour and colour after long storage durations.

The negative impact of plastics on the environment has led companies and governments to restrict the usage of plastics and market eco-friendly packaging products, which will result in reduced waste production and fossil fuel consumption.


Increased demand for ready-to-eat meals

The prevalence of convenience food among consumers in developing countries is driving the growth of the retort packaging market, the TMR report mentioned. Retort packaging is widely preferred because of its ability to increase the shelf life of products – approximately 18 months – as compared to conventional packaging methods. Changing eating habits and increasing number of workforce are factors that lead to the increased consumption of ready-to-eat meals that require minimal effort and less preparation. This factor has positively affected the demand for retort packaging formats such as pouches, trays and cans.


TMR research findings

The global retort packaging market is primarily dominated by manufacturers based in Europe and APAC, in terms of market share. MEA and APAC are anticipated to experience a very healthy CAGR of 6% during the period of 2019-2027. ASEAN, India and China are dominating the APAC region.

Manufacturing companies of retort packaging formats are focusing on innovations to improve the material used in the packaging of food products, so as to prevent undesirable changes in flavour. The introduction of safe, fully-recyclable, and high-barrier flexible packaging for consumer convenience is in progress.

There are innovations in retort packaging solutions that reduce carbon footprint and overcome handling challenges. For instance, a company launched a unique recyclable packaging that can reduce carbon footprint up to 64%.