The global retort pouch market size was valued at USD 4,652.7 million in 2021 and will grow to a value of USD 7,832.6 million in 2030, with a CAGR of 7.9%. A retort pouch or retortable pouch is a type of food packaging manufactured from a laminate of flexible plastics or metal foils. It allows the packaged product to be sterile and is often considered a viable alternative to traditional industrial canning methods. Retort pouches are often used for transporting and storing fully cooked meals, thermo-stabilized high-caloric meals, and ready-to-eat (RTE) meals. They are often utilized in field rations, fish-based products, instant noodles, and space foods.
The global retort pouch market can be categorized into material, packaging type, closure type, application, and regions.
Convenience meals have witnessed a surge in consumption in developing and emerging economies during the forecast period. This trend is observed due to notable factors such as changing lifestyle of working individuals that work on a hectic schedule. A majority of these individuals are aiming for ready-to-eat meals. The demand for convenience meals will increase due to the integration of additive-free and minimally processed products that are often made available in retort pouches. These products often have an extended shelf life for better efficiency.
Manufacturers target rising consumer awareness regarding healthy and nutritional benefits by adding informative labels. The increasing frequency of consumers opting to eat at restaurants will further add to the growth of the global retort pouch market. Attractive packaging made in the ready-to-eat meals segment promising consumers a fine dining experience will further contribute to the growing market. The lack of functional kitchens in China and the US will add to the rising ready meals segment, thereby increasing the pathway for the global retort pouch market growth during the forecast.
Most canned foods and staple food products have a relatively higher shelf life. However, products used after their suitable shelf life can change flavor, taste, and smell. Refrigerators often come equipped with temperature limits to keep the food from going bad. Heavy dependence is often regulated when packaged food needs to be transported to faraway locations from the manufacturing hubs. Hence, extended shelf life is a major priority that packaged food manufacturers consider.
Packaged food items in metal cans are becoming highly sustainable due to retort pouches. Since the retort packaging does not require freezing or refrigeration by consumers, retailers, and packers, the packaged food items often have a longer shelf life. Additionally, these products can be stored in a compact space. The benefits of extended shelf life exceed low product returns and lower wastages. They also allow for stockpiling of essential products during emergencies. Integrating the extended shelf life granted by canned products will allow the global retort pouch market share to flourish.
Single-use plastics are considered to be harmful as they often lead to landfills. Rising consumer awareness coupled with various government initiatives often highlight the issues faced by the non-degradability of plastics. Many manufacturers opt for adopting recyclable plastics or recyclable plastic packaging solutions that can resolve the issue to some extent. Retort pouches cannot be recycled easily as they lack specific layers of laminate materials that cannot be easily broken down on a mass scale. Lack of accessibility to recycling facilities and lower penetration of recycling infrastructure further add to the factors that drive the value of the global retort pouch market towards a downward trend.
Additionally, retort packaging also consumes more energy and resources than traditional packaging solutions when it comes to manufacturing in large capital investment for machinery. This is due to additional steps such as thermal processes needed to be incorporated during the manufacturing cycle. The overall cost of plastic materials used for transporting retort pouches further adds to the unsustainability. These will further decrease the chance of adopting retort pouches during the forecast period.
Based on material, the market can be divided into polypropylene, polyethylene, polyamide, PET, aluminum foil, and others. Polypropylene will account for the largest segmental growth, with an estimated market value of USD 1,690.8 million in 2021. It will grow to a market value of approximately USD 3,015.8 million in 2030, registering a CAGR of 8.01%. Factors such as extreme resistance against temperature and chemicals coupled with rising utilization in automotive, packaging, healthcare, electronics, and building and construction will contribute to the market growth. Properties such as higher tensile strength, superior barrier, and lower cost will add to the value of the segment. The PET segment will account for the second-largest market share with an estimated value of USD 1,453.8 million in 2030.
Based on packaging type, the market can be divided into stand-up pouches and flat pouches. Stand-up pouches will account for the largest market share, with an estimated value of USD 2,482.2 million in 2021. It will grow to a value of approximately USD 4,573.9 million in 2030, with a CAGR of 7.9% during the forecast period. Factors such as sustainability, lightweight, and rising availability in terms of printability and sealability will contribute to the segmental growth. The flat pouches market will have an estimated value of USD 3,693.4 million in 2030, owing to its simplicity and availability in a wide range of materials and seals.
Based on closure type, the market can be segmented across tear notch, zipper, and spout. The zipper segment will hold the largest market share during the forecast period, with a market value of USD 1,828 million in 2021. It will grow to a market value of USD 3,245.1 million in 2030. The CAGR growth is estimated to be at 7.3%, owing to the ability to be accessed multiple times due to its usability and increasing utilization of e-commerce and on-the-go applications. The tear notch segment will account for the second-largest market share with an estimated market value of USD 3,137.9 million in 2030.
Based on application, the market can be broken down into food, beverages, pet food, and others. Food will account for the largest market share during the forecast period, with a value of USD 2,499.6 million in 2021. It will grow at a CAGR of 7.1%. In 2030, the market will be at an estimated value of USD 4,123.2 million in 2030. Factors such as higher temperature resistance and the ability to be integrated as a ready-to-eat packaging will contribute to the segment’s growth. The pet food segment will account for the second-largest market share with an estimated value of USD 1,701.3 million in 2030.
The ongoing pandemic significantly affected the global packaging market due to regular shutdowns and a disrupted supply chain. China, which emerged as the epicenter of the pandemic, is regarded as the pivotal supplier of raw materials. Shortage in raw materials such as plastics, aluminum, and steel from the Chinese manufacturers resulted in a huge demand-supply chain. Plastic producers from the region of China are expected to move their operational bases to nearby regions. This move is expected to bridge the gap between manufacturing capabilities and reduce the concentration of manufacturers in one single region. This will increase the efficiency of the supply chain drastically.
The closure of physical stores during the initial stages of the pandemic negatively harmed the market as sales figures dropped drastically. However, manufacturers quickly diverted their distribution channels towards e-commerce, which helped retain some of the lost market value. Additionally, rising activities for better hygiene rocketed during the pandemic, which triggered the demand for packaged fruits and vegetables over loose ones. These factors will increase the market volume for the global retort pouch market share during the forecast period.
The retort pouches market in Asia-Pacific was estimated to be at USD 1,511.6 million in 2021 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 8.9% during the forecast period. In 2030, the market will be estimated at USD 3,047.8 million in 2030, owing to the rising penetration of ready-to-eat meals in the region. Changing lifestyles of the consumer population will give rise to convenience meals. Rising disposable income among consumers will further create the groundwork for alternative food and beverages. These factors are expected to increase the footprint of the retort pouch market as shifting inclination over traditional packaging will rise. China is the largest contributor to the Asia-Pacific market volume, with a market value of approximately USD 1,534.7 million in 2030.
Europe will account for the second-largest market, with a market value of USD 1,197.7 million in 2021. It will extend to a value of USD 2,174.8 million in 2030, registering a CAGR growth of 7.2% during the forecast period. A majority of the dominant players in the food and beverage industry are present in the region. The region also exports some of the largest food products. Hence, dependability on packaged food items is high. The rising adoption of flexible packaging activities in Europe aims to reduce plastic consumption, which will trigger higher market growth. Germany will contribute a significant market share to the global European market with an estimated market value of USD 698.4 million in 2030, growing with a CAGR of 7.0%.
List of Top Retort Pouch Market Manufacturers
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