Packaging refers to the outer covering used for the products to protect them from any kind of damage and deliver them in good condition. The sole purpose of the packaging is to provide safety to the product. The meat packaging is required for covering the meat to avoid contamination, ensuring freshness and longer shelf-life. Since meat is a perishable product, its packaging has to perform several functions, which include providing product visibility, display label information, high barrier to protect the food from moisture and oxygen, microbiological and physio-chemical alterations, and resisting grease, odor, and tearing in order to keep it fresh.
The benefits provided by meat packaging and increasing demand for processed and small portion food items have led to an increase in demand for good meat packaging. Along with this, initiatives are taken by various governments to ensure food safety, and a rise in the number of meat-eaters are expected to augment the demand for meat packaging. However, the preference for freshly cooked meat is a threat to this market. Apart from this, no proper logistical solutions for efficient preservation and quality control of the raw chilled fresh meat may restrict the growth of the meat packaging market.
Increasing Demand and Consumption of Meat Products to Drive the Market Growth
As per the OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook 2019, the world meat production was increased by 1.0% to 327 Mt in 2018. This clearly shows the increasing rate of meat production taking place due to the rise in demand and popularity for various meat products, such as pork, seafood, beef, poultry, and others. The surge in the production of meat products has led to heavy consumption of meat, along with the growing demand for convenience products, which has further increased the demand for fresh or good quality meat. This demand has also increased the awareness about the benefits related to meat packagings, such as the extension of shelf-life, improved inventory, and freshness, and hygiene of the meat, further driving the market growth.
Small Portion Meat Items to Propel the Demand for Meat Packaging
The increase in the demand for a small portion of meat items that are generally frozen meat products and minimally-processed dried meat snacks has increased the demand for the meat packaging formats, such as pouches. Furthermore, the growing health awareness regarding proper diet and portions of different meal consumed is also expected to fuel the market growth. As per the Food & Health Survey conducted by Food Insights in 2018, about 77% of people are trying to limit and/or avoid sugars to maintain their health, which is making them consume smaller portions of every kind of food, including meats.
Decelerating Prices of Meat to Accelerate the Market Growth
The decline in the prices of meat products is projected to increase the demand for meat packaging. The ample supply and imports of these products from countries, such as Brazil, the U.S., and Argentina, have led to a decrease in the prices and an increase in the consumption of meat, which is expected to drive the overall market growth. As per the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the annual average value of world meat prices in 2018, measured by the FAO Meat Price Index, was 2.2% lower than in 2017, reflecting the declines in prices of meat prices.
Meat Packaging Market: Segmentation
Poultry Meat Packaging Segment to Hold the Largest Market Share
The poultry meat packaging segment is projected to hold the largest market share during the forecast period. The growth can be attributed to the availability of the stretch film packing, case-ready, thermoforming, and horizontal flow pack meat packaging, which helps in retaining the color of the meat, along with keeping it fresh. Apart from this, efficient refrigeration techniques, which help in extending the shelf-life of poultry, are also expected to boost the growth of this segment.
The beef meat packaging segment is anticipated to be the second-largest segment to generate demand for the meat packaging due to the increasing awareness about the health benefits of consuming beef as a rich source of protein. In addition to this, the rising awareness about the diseases that are associated with raw and fresh pork consumption is also expected to drive the consumption of beef and promote the growth of the beef segment. The below figure shows the production by different meat products.
Figure 1: Growth of Meat Production by Type, 2003–2017
Low Cost of Production of Polyethylene to Drive the Segment Growth
The polyethylene (PE) segment holds the maximum share, owing to the advantages such as elasticity and low cost of production when compared to other materials. A surge in demand and consumption of plastic containers in household and industrial applications boosts the segment growth. On the other hand, the biaxially oriented polypropylene (BOPP) film is anticipated to be the second-largest segment during the forecast period due to its good heat and chemical resistance, along with excellent optical clarity and low moisture vapor transmission properties, which helps in keeping the food items fresh for a longer period.
Modified Atmosphere Packaging Ability to Increase the Shelf-Life of Meat Drives the Segment Growth
The modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) segment is anticipated to hold the largest share due to its ability to increase the shelf-life of meat from 3 to 21 days by negating the use of chemicals and eliminating the risk of degrading the quality of the meat. The vacuum skin packaging, on the other hand, is expected to be the second-largest segment, owing to its popularity among customers due to its product presentation ability. This technology offers better product visibility, making the overall packaging appealing.
Increasing Demand and Consumption of Meat Products in North America to Drive the Market Growth
North America’s meat packaging market is expected to expand at a rapid pace during the forecast period on account of the increasing demand and consumption of meat products. As per the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES), the meat consumption in this region is high due to its low prices and higher poultry consumption. Another factor that is likely to boost the growth of meat packaging is the demand for small portion meat items and inclination towards convenience products due to the busy lifestyles. The below figure shows the meat consumption by region.
Figure: Per Capita Meat Consumption by Region
Meat Packaging Market: Segmentation
By Material Types
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