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Ultra-high Barrier Films: Breaking Barriers in Flexible Packaging

With every aspect of human life becoming smarter and more intelligent, packaging is not too far behind. The perpetual rise in consumer expectations has been influencing a wide-range of industries to prioritize the upgrading process of their products as well as systems to offer an exceptional consumer experience, and the packaging sphere is no exception. As the adoption of flexible packaging is constantly on an upward swing, manufacturers of packaging films are emphasizing on developing new structures and composition to fulfil the increasingly demanding requirements of brand owners and consumers.

In view of this evolutionary landscape, new developments in the packaging industry in general, and the ultra-high barrier films market in particular, Transparency Market Research, in its new study, explores the tailwinds and headwinds of the ultra-high barrier films market, and brings to fore actionable insights to assist market stakeholders in critical decision-making.

Ultra-high Barrier Films Market Evolves with Changing Consumer Behavior

No major advancements were made in the packaging industry until the introduction of plastic in the 1900s, which has brought a sea change to the industry. Rapid expansion of end-use industries, especially food & beverages, has been working in tandem with continuous developments of new packaging materials and barrier films, including those with high moisture barrier (HMB), high speed barrier (HSB), and ultra-high barrier (UHB). The demand for ultra-high barrier films thrived with the growing need for preserving, protecting, and extending the shelf life of processed food and sensitive products. In 2018, the global sales of ultra-high barrier films closed in on US$ 1.2 billion, and the number of manufacturers vying for a share of this lucrative market has been growing over the years.

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Manufacturers Shifting Focus Away from Plastics

As flexible packaging takes over traditionally-preferred rigid packaging of food and other products, manufacturers remain inclined towards the production of flexible and barrier films. While the industry-wide prevalence of different forms of plastics continues to work well with product development strategies in the ultra-high barrier films market, key manufacturers are shifting focus on the use of recyclable materials such as aluminum and aluminum oxide to address the rising concerns regarding the harmful impacts of plastic-filled oceans and surroundings.

The adoption of ultra-high barrier films continues to remain robust across different sectors of the food industry, and is further driven by the penetration of ready-to-eat meals in tune with a surge in the number of working individuals across the globe. With a notable rise in the number of quick service restaurants (QSRs) and their great efforts to deliver an on-the-go experience, manufacturers of ultra-high barrier films are focusing on leveraging the opportunities created across the spectrum of the food industry. Enhancing the barrier properties while minimizing the weight of the films also remains key focus areas of manufacturers.