USA – With the rising demand for biodegradable packaging worldwide, the global edible food packaging market is projected to reach US$721.99 million by 2026, according to a recent report published by Fior Markets.

An edible packaging is a thin film used to wrap or coat food products to extend the product’s shelf life and can be eaten together or removed prior to use.

As the edible packaging continues to witness increased adoption across the world, Fior’s report, ‘the global Edible Packaging market’ forecasts that the sector will register a 4.6% CAGR during the forecast period 2019-2026.

Major growth drivers in the edible packaging were identified as the ballooning processed food markets, increasing global innovation in food packaging and rising demand for biodegradable packaging worldwide.

The report also attributes the increase in popularity of edible packaging solutions to government initiatives, developments in packaging technology, and the development of new sources for edible packaging solutions.

While the global market appears to be wide and diverse, China, Indonesia and India are among the key markets targeted by manufacturers and distributors of edible packaging.

Fior highlights government policies favoring the edible packaging solutions and established base for raw materials in terms of plant-based sources as the major factors supporting the growth of edible packaging solutions in the region.

As a regulation governing the food industry, any packaging material needs to adhere to the properties of safe-food ingredients and attain Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) status as per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulation.

Edible packaging is not an exemption. Going forward, the rise in hygiene concerns among consumers is therefore expected to shape the future of this industry.

However, the edible layers are more prone to attracting dirt and microbes and other harmful particles, which can contaminate the food product.

Consequently, to protect those layers from absorbing foreign matter, edible packaging manufacturers have to invest significantly to prevent this from happening, which may hamper the growth of the market, the report says.

Recent strategic investments

Key players operating in the global Edible Packaging market include Amtrex Nature Care, Apeel Sciences, Coolhaus, Devro, Do Eat, JRF Technology, Lactips, Mantrose UK, Monosol, Nagase America, Notpla and Regeno Bio-Bags among others.

To enhance their market position in the global bakery premixes market, the key players are now focusing on adopting the strategies such as product innovations, mergers & acquisitions, recent developments, joint venture, collaborations, and partnership.

For instance, in May 2017, Lactips developed an edible plastic made from milk protein (casein), claiming it has enormous potential for intelligent packaging in the food and beverage industry.

In May last year 2019, BASF and Lactips announced that both companies have signed an exclusive contract to market Lactips’ water-soluble, 100% biobased and fully biodegradable material prepared from natural ingredients.

Kuraray’s MonoSol Division has also announced plans to further expand its operations with the construction of a new manufacturing facility in Poland to meet rapidly increasing demand for its water-soluble and biodegradable films.

Additionally, the company confirmed plans to increase manufacturing capacity at its recently completed plant near Indianapolis in Lebanon, Indiana.

Due to the growing concerns about single-use plastics and their possible prohibition, edible packaging has gained popularity among both manufacturers and consumers.

Edible packaging has been seen as an opportunity to helps to reduce waste from single-use plastics while also providing a sustainable alternative for container applications in foodservice and delivery applications.

By market, North America region represents a large consumer base in edible packaging solutions and led the global edible packaging market with a revenue of US$162.94 million in 2018.

The Asia Pacific market is expected to grow at the highest rate over the forecast period driven by increasing awareness among consumers about the drawbacks of excessive use of plastics for food packaging.

It is also expected that the growth of the food & beverage and pharmaceutical industries will further strengthen product demand over the next few years.