Edible packaging market to reach USD 5.26-billion by 2032
A report by Towards Packaging unveils the growth trajectory of the edible packaging market, from USD 1.4-billion in 2022 to a striking 14.2% CAGR.
21 Nov 2023 | By Abhay Avadhani
In terms of packaging innovations, the global edible packaging market is poised to surge from its 2022 valuation of USD 1.4-billion, to a CAGR of 14.2% from 2023 to 2032.
These edible packaging materials are derived from sustainable sources and are designed to be safe for consumption. They are often made from seaweed, plant starches, or edible films. The use of such materials not only reduces waste but also minimises the environmental impact associated with conventional packaging materials.
Edible packaging provides convenience for consumers as it eliminates the need to dispose of packaging separately, making it an appealing option for eco-conscious individuals. Additionally, using natural and plant-based materials aligns with the growing demand for sustainable and environmentally friendly packaging solutions.
The global production of plastic packaging amounts to approximately 78-million metric tons per year. Only a small portion, around 14% gets recycled. Due to its lightweight nature, plastic that needs to be properly collected can easily find its way into our oceans. Annually, approximately nine million metric tons of plastic flow into the oceans, with a significant portion originating from developing nations that lack the infrastructure to manage it effectively.
The circular design emphasises long-lasting product design, remanufacturing, and reuse. It seeks to create closed-loop systems where old materials are repurposed or recycled into new products, reducing the need for virgin resources.
In this circular economy, material goods follow two distinct loops:
Technical loop: This loop focuses on recovering technical nutrients such as metals, minerals, and polymers, which can be recycled or reused in manufacturing processes. The circular economy aims to reduce resource consumption and minimise waste generation by efficiently reclaiming and reintegrating these materials.
Biological loop: In this loop, biological materials like fibres and wood are returned to nature through composting programs or converted through anaerobic digestion into carbon-neutral energy. This approach ensures that organic materials are effectively managed by returning them to the environment as nutrients or utilising them to generate renewable energy.
Mapping sustainable packaging trends across geographies
North America holds a dominant position in the global edible packaging market. The region's largest market share can be attributed to several factors. Firstly, the higher disposable income levels among consumers in North America drive demand for efficient packaging solutions, particularly for meat, poultry, and seafood products. As consumers have more disposable income, they are willing to invest in premium packaging that ensures the quality and freshness of their food.
Edible food packages redefining sustainable packaging practices
Food packaging plays a crucial role in packaged food items' overall quality and safety. It serves as a protective barrier that ensures the preservation of food attributes such as safety, freshness, hygiene, colour, odour, and other characteristics over an extended time.
For example: JRF Technology specialises in the development and production of thin, edible films that have the potential to revolutionise packaging in the food industry. These films can be utilised to package various food ingredients, offering convenience and unique possibilities for both commercial and consumer applications. In the commercial sector, JRF's edible films have found utility in the baking industry. Packages weighing up to one kilogram containing vitamin blends are incorporated directly into bread dough, providing a convenient and efficient way to enhance the nutritional content of bread during the production process. This application showcases the ability of JRF's films to dissolve seamlessly and safely within the food matrix, eliminating the need for separate packaging disposal.
Comparative landscape of the edible packaging industry
The edible packaging market has experienced growth in recent years, driven by rising consumer demand for sustainable and eco-friendly packaging solutions. This market landscape can be characterised by intense competition and various innovative products and technologies. Key players, including major multinational corporations and startups, dominate the edible packaging market. These companies have invested heavily in research and development to create packaging materials that are safe for consumption and have desirable properties such as extended shelf life, moisture resistance, and flavour retention.
Key players in the edible packaging market include: Monosol LLC (US), JRF Technology (US), Evoware (US), Tipa Corp (Israel), Nagase America (US), Notpla (UK), Avani (Indonesia), Wikicell Designs (US), Amtrex Nature Care (India), EnviGreen Biotech (India), Regeno Bio-Bags (India), Devro Plc (UK), Apeel Sciences (US), Coolhaus (US), Do Eat (Belgium), Ecoactive (US), Mantrose UK (UK), Tomorrow Machine (Sweden), and Lactips (France).
Notpla is dedicated to maximising the substitution of plastic materials with eco-friendly alternatives derived from natural seaweed. By doing so, the company promotes the flourishing seaweed industry while addressing the pressing issue of climate change. Notpla must enlighten both the packaging industry and consumers about the actual ramifications of plastic usage within the realm of Notpla. The goal is to collaborate with lawmakers to establish stricter regulations on materials that threaten the natural environment, thereby paving the way for a sustainable future.
Apeel Sciences has introduced a plastic-free and edible coating for fruits and vegetables. This coating developed by Apeel Sciences aims to enhance the healthiness and convenience of fresh produce. Traditionally, plastic packaging has been used to extend the shelf life of fruits and vegetables, but it often leads to environmental concerns due to its non-biodegradable nature. Apeel Sciences' solution addresses this issue by providing an edible coating that can replace the need for plastic packaging.