Rising Consumer Demand for Fresh and High-quality Seafood Products to Aid Market Growth
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), fish production is set to grow by around 18% in the next 10 years. Investments in the seafood production sector continue to pour in to strengthen fisheries management regimes, minimizing waste, and mitigate losses during transportation. As seafood production is set for inevitable growth in the coming years, stakeholders in the seafood packaging market are continually finding new ways to preserve the freshness of fresh products and minimize exposure to external factors that hinder the same. Seafood packaging has thus, gained a significant amount of traction in recent years, wherein new technologies are being deployed to improve the quality and durability of new packaging solutions.
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At present, modified atmosphere packaging and vacuum packaging technology are increasingly being used for seafood packaging. In the current scenario, the growing demand for fresh seafood, particularly in the Asia Pacific region has compelled stakeholders in the seafood packaging market landscape to deploy different types of seafood packaging products, including food cans, shrink films, boxes, and bags & pouches. Stakeholders in the current market landscape are also focused on offering effective seafood packaging solutions that are ideal for shipments across large distances. These factors coupled with a significant rise in consumer demand for high-quality seafood products is expected to drive the global seafood packaging market past ~US$ 6.5 Bn by the end of 2027.
Innovations in Packaging Technologies to Trigger Market Growth
Over the past decade, technological advancements in the packaging sector have opened the gates for new packaging solutions that are cost-effective and highly reliable. The development of new packaging alternatives in the seafood space, primarily aim to curb enzymatic reactions and improve the perishability of seafood products. At present, key participants of the seafood packaging market predominantly favor modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) and vacuum skin packaging. However, shortcomings of both these packaging technologies continue to pose a major challenge for seafood packaging companies. Moreover, due to the progress in vacuum packaging and modified atmosphere packaging, consumers can physically inspect the quality of the product-a direct influence on the purchase decisions of consumers.
While seafood products packaged using modified atmosphere packaging tend to soil after 15-20 days; on the other hand, vacuum skin packaging continues to incur heavy costs and is not ideal for long-distance transportation. Although the vacuum packaging technology will continue to dominate the seafood packaging market during the forecast period, alternative packaging technologies are gaining popularity.
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Companies are largely focused on developing innovative seafood packaging solutions that align with regulations laid down by the food and drug administration (FDA). Due to the drawbacks of modified atmosphere packaging and vacuum packaging, the quest for new and innovative techniques as well as improving the current state of seafood packaging continues to gain momentum. Research and development activities have gradually paved the way for improved active packaging and intelligent packaging systems that are increasingly finding a place in the seafood packaging market worldwide. Sustainability is another key area of interest that has drawn the attention of the players in the seafood packaging market. Due to the mounting consumer demand for environmental sustainability, seafood packaging companies are increasingly using environment-friendly recyclable packaging materials. While plastic is expected to lead the material segment of the seafood packaging market during the forecast period, packaging solutions made from alternative materials, including paper & paperboard and metal are set to experience fast-paced adoption in the second half of the assessment period.
Stakeholders Align Operations with Consumer Demands
Due to the significant progress in the seafood packaging market, consumers across the world have access to an array of seafood products. Consumer requirements continue to witness waves of transition, and seafood packaging companies are expected to align their operations with these demands. The blend of sensory appeal and offering a convenient packaging solution without hindering the quality will continue to drive innovations in the seafood packaging market during the forecast period. In the coming years, seafood packaging companies are likely to focus on developing new packaging solutions that are cost-efficient and at the same time do not harm the environment. While the protein content of seafood will remain a vital factor, consumers are also expected to focus on innovative packaging designs and overall purchasing experience.
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The global seafood packaging market is expected to grow at a modest CAGR of ~5% during the forecast period. The market growth can be largely attributed to an array of factors out of which, advancements in MAP and vacuum packaging will remain pivotal. In addition, stakeholders in the global seafood packaging market should take interest in the development of sustainable packaging alternatives due to the rising demand for sustainability in the packaging sector. Consumer preferences, particularly in North America and Europe will lean toward sustainable packaging solutions due to which, seafood packaging companies should focus on other materials, including paper, metal, and glass.
Seafood Packaging Market: Overview
- According to Transparency Market Research’s latest market report on the seafood packaging market for the historical period of 2014-2018 and forecast period of 2019-2027, rise in adoption of high-quality packaging that extends shelf life of seafood products is anticipated to bolster market growth. Globally, the seafood packaging market is estimated at ~US$ 4.4 Bn in 2019 and is projected to register a CAGR of 5% during the forecast period of 2019-2027.
Rising Consumption of Ready-to-eat Meals to Boost Demand for Trays in Seafood Packaging Market
- The increase in consumption of ready-to-eat meals boosts the demand for seafood packaging solutions worldwide. Ready-to-eat meals are hassle-free to eat, and make it easier to clean the microwave after the cooking process, which is an added advantage. The widespread popularity of ready-to-eat meals, especially seafood-based meals, boosts the need for further innovation in seafood packaging solutions such as trays, pouches, and bags.
- Trays offer convenience to consumers, enabling them to directly cook food by putting it in an oven or microwave without affecting the integrity and taste of the food. Today, the most commonly used packaging format for seafood packaging is trays as use of such packaging keeps the oven clean. On the back of these factors, consumers are readily attracted to products that are packaged in trays & pouches suitable for microwave ovens. This contributes to the growth of the seafood packaging market.
Modified Atmospheric Technology Gaining Traction in Seafood Packaging Market
- MAP is a promising technology from a commercial and economic perspective, as use of such packaging solutions protects the product from external contamination and safeguards it against the release of exudations or smells. This has fueled the demand for MAP technology packaging in the seafood packaging market.
- Major advancements in the application of modified atmospheric packaging and vacuum technology in the conservation of fresh and cooked shell fish have taken place when combined with other conservation treatments or technologies
- However, vacuum packaging technology is anticipated to outdo other technologies in the seafood packaging market during the forecast period. Packaging converters are using vacuum packaging technology to preserve integrity & freshness of their product. Cost-effectiveness offered by use of this technology is anticipated to further boost the growth of the seafood packaging market.
Packaging Converters to Focus on Offering Multi-layer Pouches & Bags
- Use of multi-layer pouches enhances the shelf life of perishable products such as fish and scallops. To preserve its quality, seafood must be quickly processed and packed using appropriate formats. Seafood packaging converters are focusing on retort-processed seafood, either packaged in metal cans or newer packing formats such as retort pouches. This is attributable to the fact that such formats are preferred by end-users due to the extended shelf life of the products. Moreover, consumers also prefer such convenient packaging for ready-to-eat food products.
- Multi-layer packs can be resealed so that the contents of a pack need not be consumed immediately after opening. The increasing trend in the consumption of such retort products and their applications for packaging a wide range of products indicates a bright future for the seafood packaging market.
- Oven safe bags & pouches offer tremendous growth prospects to players in the seafood packaging market. The value-added concept helps seafood marketers to increase their revenues significantly. The use of such bags minimizes the spread of the distinct fishy smell in the kitchen during the cooking process of fish. It also reduces the risk of various seafood-borne diseases. These attributes attract end-users and enable players in the seafood packaging to present their products in a more distinguished manner.
Preference for High Barrier Material to Offer Numerous Options for Seafood Packaging Converters
- Use of nylon material is anticipated to provide remunerative opportunities for seafood packaging converters over the forecast period, as nylon has been accepted as best material for manufacturing ovenable roasting bags & pouches
- Multilayer packaging films can be used as shrink films in primary seafood packaging. The film used in this application is a polyvinylidene chloride (PVDC) barrier film, with the sealant layer designed to provide toughness and puncture resistance, and oriented to provide acceptable shrink properties. Technologies such as vacuum packaging is combined with good sealant polymers such as EVA or LLDPE, where moisture barrier properties are more essential, especially for packaging high protein seafood products.
Product Developments Play Crucial Role in Seafood Packaging Market
- Seafood Packaging manufacturers such as Sirane Ltd. have introduced nylon bags or films that are considered ideal for cooking seafood in ovens, as these packaging solutions can be heat-sealed on flow wrappers
- Seafood packaging converters are also incorporating use of smart packaging, which goes beyond conventional design & functionality. Few examples include use of time-temperature indicators, IRC labels, and oxygen indicators in seafood packaging to improve tractability.
- Self-heating products in pouches or trays, which are available in the United States, are yet to be adopted worldwide. Standing retort pouches offer an additional advantage over ordinary retort pouches, not only from the point of usage, but also in terms of retail stacking, product promotion and advertising in the seafood packaging market.
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