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The modified atmosphere packaging market was valued at USD 12.97 billion in 2019, and it is expected to reach USD 18.28 billion by 2025, at a CAGR of 5% during the forecast period (2020 - 2025). As packaging’s primary purpose is to protect its content and as 30% of all the food produced across the world gets lost and wasted along the supply chain, enhanced and optimized packaging solutions are expected to grow to decrease this staggering amount.

  • Moreover, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), around 1.3 billion metric ton or nearly one-third of all food produced for humans is wasted worldwide each year, world’s food waste could be as high as 44% of the dry mass of agricultural crops since 795 million or around 11% of the world’s population suffer from hunger, there is already a great deal of stress on food availability and thus the urgency to diminish food waste, highlighting the need to focus on packaging solutions.
  • In the MAP process, the product is packaged in an atmosphere dissimilar from that of air. MAP helps in delaying the process of product degradation, typically by decreasing the oxygen content available to the product during its shelf life. Shelf life is also one of the most significant factors that drive the profitability of retailers and distributors.
  • The longer shelf life of products gives a larger sales window for retailers to trade the product. This helps them to decrease the wastage of products and increase profits. Additionally, MAP is a technology that enables increased shelf life of products and can be transported to distant locations without adding chemicals.
  • The MAP also plays an important role in enhancing the quality and decreasing the waste of products in the retail sector. For instance, the waste reduction from 5% to 1% in winter and 15% to 2% in summer was reported due to the use of retail MAP packaging for bananas.
  • However, the application of MAP has stretched to maturity in certain categories, such as snacks, coffee, and processed meats. It is increasingly utilized in refrigerated, prepared convenience foods that meet consumer requirements for convenience, quality, variety, and health.

Key Market Trends

Poultry, Seafood, and Meat Products are Expected to Hold a Major Position in the Market

  • Meat and sausage products, especially raw meat, are most likely to spoil due to microbial growth, on account of their increased moisture and nutrient content. No matter whether, pork or poultry, decay initiates from the moment of slaughter and especially after slaughtering. Besides the extraordinary hygiene standards and permanent cooling, modified atmospheres can considerably extend the shelf life of meat and sausage products. CO2 is the most significant or essential among the protective gases.
  • At concentrations above 20%, CO2 can considerably decrease microbial growth. In the case of red meat, there is the possibility of oxidation of the red color pigments. The meat loses its red color, getting grey and unappetizing in appearance. This oxidation is particularly prominent with beef. Increased oxygen content in protective gas packaging can prevent oxidation. A decreased carbon monoxide content (approx. 0.5 %) can also hold and retain the red meat’s red color.
  • Poultry is principally sensitive to rapid spoilage and is, therefore, subject to higher requirements for permanent cooling. Here, MAP with CO2 content will prolong the shelf life. High oxygen content is used for poultry without skin to keep the color of the meat. The foods can partially absorb the CO2. Nitrogen is used as a supporting gas to avoid the packaging from collapsing.
  • Moreover, fish and seafood are some of the most delicate foods. They are at risk of quickly lessening in quality and spoiling even shortly after the catch. Modified atmospheres Packaging with a minimum of 20 % CO2 can delay and slow down bacteria growth.

North America is Expected to Witness Significant Growth

  • The US modified atmosphere packaging industry is undergoing a push toward e-commerce platforms. Meals and snack bars are still relatively minor as a sales segment when online purchases are taken into consideration, although it is a growing segment. With subscription boxes and grocery pickups existing and available from online shopping, their augmented access may result in the growth of the market.
  • The primary reasons driving the growth of the North American market are the increasing demand for fresh and quality packaged food, hygienic packaging of food, manufacturers’ demand for extended shelf life, and on-the-go lifestyle. The advancements in food packaging technology and equipment, coupled with the swing towards easy-to-handle and convenient packaging, are also factors that drive the market growth.
  • However, the increased cost of development and stringent government legislation are the factors that are hindering the growth of the market. On the other hand, to gain consumers’ confidence in food safety, advanced packaging technology may act as a tool for product differentiation and can present multiple opportunities for the vendors in the market.

Competitive Landscape

The market is reasonably competitive and consists of several major players. The market appears to be moderately concentrated. The market is prominently expanding with important technological advancements in multiple industrial sectors. Therefore, existing players are concentrating on maintaining their market presence by investing large amounts in research and development. Companies present in the market are focusing on strengthening their foothold in the MAP market through strategic alliances and investments in research and development.

  • Feb 2019 - Praxair Inc. authorized the construction of a world-scale hydrogen plant in Louisiana to supply products under a long-term contract with a major refinery in the area. The new plant will be integrated with Praxair’s already extensive Louisiana production network via its Mississippi River Corridor hydrogen pipeline system.
  • May 2019 - Sealed Air announced the signing of a definitive agreement to acquire Automated Packaging Systems for USD 510 million. This acquisition stands in line with the company’s goal of reinventing SEE by doubling its innovation rate over the next five years. The acquisition will provide additive capabilities to the company, including expertise in engineering, automation technology, and sustainability, which will strengthen the company’s protective packaging solutions.

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