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Smithers Pira Reports on Functional & Barrier Coatings

LEATHERHEAD, SURREY, UK | According to a new report from Smithers Pira, global demand for functional and barrier coatings in paper and paperboard applications is forecast to grow by 4.9% year-on-year to $5.18 billion by 2022. The report, entitled The Future of Functional and Barrier Coatings for Paper and Board to 2022, determines that future growth will be driven by a resurgent global outlook and the greater penetration of into transition economies.

The Asia-Pacific market will represent more than 54% of worldwide functional and barrier coatings use by 2022, up from 46% in 2012, with Japan the only major economy in the region expected to have a reduced demand. China leads the way with 34.2% of world consumption.

Peter A. Signoretti, author of the report, says, “There are many demands from the market that require a growing number of substantial advances in technology, leading to greater innovation at numerous levels. Market demands for more sustainable packaging are increasing, as are regulatory requirements that are forcing companies to consider new alternatives. The rate of technology change continues to challenge the industry, and the packaging industry continues to demand new solutions from functional and barrier coating suppliers. When implementing new and innovative technologies suppliers will be required to stay relevant to the market.”

According to the study, the food and beverage market will continue to dominate demand for paper and paperboard packaging, and the need for functional and barrier properties. Aseptic packaging continues to expand the use of aluminum foil as a barrier coating for paperboard packaging, while water-based, other high-barrier coatings and biopolymers are expected to make inroads into more traditional petroleum-based wax and plastic laminate paperboard products for fresh food bakery, frozen food, and takeaway applications. Novel water-based alternative solutions to silicone in baked goods markets and safer solutions to replace fluorochemicals will continue to be active.

Reportedly, cost will continue to drive the market to search for innovative approaches to replace fiber content. The use of micro-fibrillated cellulose and functional coatings will reduce the amount of fiber needed, while maintaining package strength and integrity. Paper and paperboard laminations will be looked at harder for these types of applications. Paper converters are under pressure from consumer brands to reduce waste, emissions, volatile chemicals, and any hazardous processes. This is putting pressure on packaging companies to provide products with safer and more sustainable functional and barrier coating options.

The ever-growing e-commerce market will also play a role in future growth, says the study, and functional and barrier coating technology will be expected to provide the properties needed to ship more products directly to shoppers worldwide. Food products in particular will need insulating, and lower cost and sustainable products are being sought to replace non-sustainable materials like expanded polystyrene, wax, polyethylene, and polyvinylidene chloride (PVdC). The potentially expanded use of drone delivery will also require tougher and innovative packaging alternatives.

The new study is based on a combination of in-depth primary and secondary research. Primary research included refinement of Smithers Pira’s databases on paper and board packaging throughout the world and interviews targeting key decision makers. This exclusive content was contextualized and integrated with secondary research drawn from third-party databases and historical data—including official statistics, trade associations, trade directories, market reports, journals, websites, and industry contacts—as well as detailed analyses of economic data.

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