UHT Processed Products Trigger Demand for Aseptic Packaging During COVID-19 Crisis

The widespread impact of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic is becoming evident in the packaging industry. Apart from plastic, even paper is under scrutiny for harboring coronavirus pathogens. This has triggered the demand for heat-treated aseptic packaging. Since people are becoming conscious about their health against the backdrop of the pandemic, the demand for ultra-high temperature (UHT) processed products is surging. This trend is anticipated to benefit companies in the aseptic paper packaging market.

The aseptic paper packaging market is interdependent on the food & beverages (F&B) industry, where the latter is deemed essential by international healthcare organizations. However, trade restrictions and slowdown in production activities are affecting market growth. Hence, stakeholders in the packaging and F&B industries are tapping into incremental opportunities via e-Commerce to keep economies running amidst the unprecedented demand and supply due to the pandemic.

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Indian Manufacturers Collaborate with European Suppliers for On-the-go Dairy Products

Companies in the aseptic paper packaging market are unlocking growth opportunities in the on-the-go beverage sector. For instance, ASEPTO— a packaging company based in Noida, India, has innovated in a six-layered packaging material, which involves paperboard, polyethylene, and aluminum in order to expand their business in aseptic liquid packaging. Manufacturers in the in the aseptic paper packaging market are increasing efforts to offer optimal shelf life, convenience, and ease of opening in on-the-go dairy products, juices, and distilled beverages.

Preventing beverages from bacterial load and microorganisms are the key focus point for manufacturers. In order to offer product delight, manufacturers are increasing the availability of packaging options that minimize the need for refrigeration and cold chain arrangements. Manufacturers in India are teaming up with European suppliers who provide best-in-class raw materials for high-specification liquid packaging.

Stringent Recycling Regulations and High Production Costs Restrict Market Growth

The aseptic paper packaging market is estimated to reach an output of ~4,599,638 tons by the end of 2025. In order to bolster their credibility credentials, manufacturers sterilize, form, fill, and seal the paper packaging materials in a continuous operation until the end of the processing line. However, manufacturers are challenged with stringent regulations for recycling of the gable-top and aseptic containers. Hence, companies in the aseptic paper packaging market are adhering to the ISRI (Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries) specifications that recommend the judicial use of polyethylene (PE) materials and minimize the use of prohibitive materials.

Dairy products are expected to hold a lion’s share of the market for aseptic paper packaging. However, disadvantages of aseptically packaged milk involves high production cost and alterations of sensory characteristics of the milk with a more cooked flavor to it. Advantages such as increased shelf life and easy storage tend to offset its disadvantages.

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Recyclable Packaging Materials Contribute toward Environment and Economic Development

Ecologically aware consumers are contributing toward the expansion of the aseptic paper packaging market since paper is a renewable resource. The sustainability trend is helping packaging companies to reduce the use of plastic by a great proportion. Sustainability initiatives are bolstering the growth of the aseptic paper packaging market. As such, manufacturers are using eco-friendly packaging materials that are carbon neutral and 100% recyclable.

Creating a corporate forest is an important step forward to deploy sustainable innovations in the market landscape. IPI— a supplier of aseptic carton packaging solutions for the beverage and liquid food industries, is contributing toward environment and economic development by manufacturing renewable and recyclable packaging options. As such, companies are investing in mechanical as well as mechatronic machines to boost production efficiencies.

Smart Packaging and Tamper Protection Norms Hold Lucrative Business Opportunities in India

Companies in the aseptic paper packaging market are gaining proficiency in material innovations to make products desirable. Asia Pacific is expected to hold the highest revenue among all regions in the market, where the market is anticipated to clock a healthy CAGR of 5.6% during the assessment period. India, being one of the key economies with a dense population in Asia Pacific, is offering lucrative business opportunities for packaging companies, since paper and cardboard are popular materials after plastic for beverages and liquid foods.

The tetra packaging technology is being highly publicized in India. Moreover, India is one of the major importers of aseptic packaging paper from European and other suppliers. Key market trends such as smart packaging for product management and tamper protection are expected to become a common norm in the upcoming years.

Natural Brown Color in Gable-top Cartons Increase Product Uptake and Visibility

Keeping in mind emerging consumer trends and global environmental challenges, manufacturers in the aseptic paper packaging market are innovating in sustainable packaging options. For instance, Elopak— a global supplier of carton packaging and filling equipment for liquid food is utilizing recyclable paperboard from legal and acceptable sources by taking responsibility about forest management. In order to increase visibility and product uptake at supermarkets, companies in the aseptic paper packaging market are deploying design innovations in materials by retaining the natural brown color and texture of wood fibers.

Manufacturers are designing new shapes and features in packaging solutions to meet changing consumer demands. In order to gain market recognition, manufacturers are focusing on operational excellence, leading to improved product performance and client cooperation. Companies are using Pure-Pak® carton systems to increase product uptake. They are utilizing gable-top cartons that help reduce the carbon footprint.

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Aseptic Paper Packaging Market: Overview

  • According to Transparency Market Research’s latest report on the global aseptic paper packaging market for the forecast period of 2020-2025, the market is estimated to be propelled by growing demand of aseptic cartons in the food & beverage industries, which has paved by robust use of sustainable packaging products
  • The global aseptic paper packaging market is expected to clock a CAGR of 5.6% during the forecast period. Most of the liquid food products packaging manufacturers prefer aseptic paper packaging, owing to its high barrier properties and flawless print finish on the cartons further lifting up the growth of aseptic paper packaging market across the globe.

Consumer Preference toward Hygienically Packed Convenience Food Creating Exponential Demand for Aseptic Paper Packaging

  • Aseptic paper packaging is one of the advanced technologies embraced in the Americas, Europe, and Asia. Due to limited cold storage facilities for dairy products and challenges in shipping cold products in these regions, aseptic paper packaging is gaining significant popularity in these markets. This packaging solution offers more convenience, which results in gaining instant popularity almost in all regions.
  • Aseptic packaging helps to ensure quality and taste of ready-to-drink products and prevents bacterial growth. Besides this, spill proof design of aseptic paper carton for child-friendly drinks, juices, and nutraceuticals luring busy parents due to ease of use and convenient storage option.
  • Furthermore, during COVID-19 pandemic, consumers are more conscious about health and hygiene maintenance. Therefore, more preference for aseptic and hygienic packaging among consumers is witnessed this year.
  • Aseptic paper packaging reduces chances of contamination and ensures maximum shelf life of the product. Attributing to this benefit, end users, especially food & beverages and pharmaceutical industries are having more traction for aseptic paper packaging.
  • Additionally, online food retail is expected to expand during the forecast period at a healthy CAGR of above 7%. Demand for packaged food affects customer desire to move to convenience food choices, which drives demand for packaging formats such as liquid packaging cartons. This, in turn, is estimated to drive the aseptic paper packaging market during the forecast period.

Large Millennial Population Emphasizing on More Customized Packaging Cartons

  • Millennial is a generation, which guide trends. Brands in the food & beverages industry must prepare for millennial behavior and attitude regarding the way they research and consume before making purchase decisions. They like to interact with brands that are open and maintain transparency by addressing environmental and socioeconomic issues. Brands not aligning to these values are likely to be quickly replaced, owing to competition in the market.
  • For instance, shaped carton is considered as a prominent tool for advertising and promoting the product. The differentiating factor of shaped cartons is considered as a tool to stand apart from their competitors and create brand awareness. Tetra Pak launched the Tetra Evero Aseptic—the world’s first aseptic carton bottle for milk. The package intended for white milk combines the easy handling and pouring of a bottle with environmental and cost advantages of a carton.
  • Besides this, companies are also focusing toward the development of twist cap by adopting a strategy of modifying the shape of the carton to provide easy handling and a closure option in order to maintain freshness of the product
  • This provides brand owners a lucrative opportunity to adopt new packaging solutions, especially customized for millennial population. This will help the brand create sustainable businesses taking them a long way by enhancing brand value, customer loyalty, and growing market share.

Aseptic Paper Packaging Market: Key Findings

  • Most manufacturers prefer to use coated unbleached paper to manufacture aseptic paper packaging products due to sturdy nature. The segment is estimated to capture more than 3/5th of the market share by the end of 2025.
  • Based on packaging structure type, 6 layers aseptic paper packaging is largely preferred by packaging providers due to highly promising barrier properties compared to others
  • Among packaging types, flat top segment is anticipated to dominate the market during the forecast period. The segment is projected to hold around half of the global aseptic paper packaging market share by the end of forecast period.
  • As per TMR analysis, dairy products end usage are expected to dominate the aseptic paper packaging market. Therefore, by the end of 2025, the segment is anticipated to account for nearly 56% market share.
  • In terms of market share, Asia Pacific is a prominent region in the global aseptic paper packaging market. Expansion of food & beverage industry is the key factor for the rapid growth of the aseptic paper packaging market in the region.

Aseptic Paper Packaging Market: Competition Landscape

  • TMR analysed that the global aseptic paper packaging market is slightly competitive, owing to existing big players and entry of some local players. This completion among key players is carefully studied based on developments, strategies, and segmental revenue of the company over the past five years.
  • TMR group includes outlines of key players in the latest aseptic paper packaging market study, which includes
    • Tetra Pak International S.A.
    • Refresco Gerber N.V.
    • Nippon Paper Industries Co., Ltd.
    • Nampak Ltd.
    • SIG Combibloc Obeikan Ltd.
    • Mondi Plc
    • Polyoak Packaging Group (Pty) Ltd.
    • Amcor Plc
    • Elopak SA
    • IPI s.r.l.
    • Uflex Ltd.
    • Ducart Group
    • Weyerhaeuser Company
    • Evergreen Packaging Inc.
    • Clearwater Paper Corporation
    • TidePak Aseptic Packaging Material Co. Ltd.
    • Greatview Aseptic Packaging Co., Ltd
    • Gammagroup Industriegüter Handelsges. mbH
    •  Lami Packaging Co. Ltd.
  • TMR distinguished these aseptic paper packaging market players as per their segmental earnings into different tier slabs. Among these players, Tetra Pak International S.A., SIG Combibloc Obeikan Ltd., and Refresco Gerber N.V. are identified as Tier 1 companies. The Tier 2 players includes Amcor Plc, Mondi Plc, Nampak Ltd. and Elopak SA. Tier 3 players are Uflex Ltd., Ducart Group, Weyerhaeuser Company, Evergreen Packaging Inc., Clearwater Paper Corporation, etc.

COVID–19 to Avail New Opportunities for Aseptic Paper Packaging Market

  • FMCG packaging sector shines out differently during the latest coronavirus pandemic, as individuals are selecting more packaged goods such as milk, fruit juices, and other drinks that have shown good impact on the global packaged food industry
  • This is primarily due to individuals learning the benefits, such as negligible manhandling of the items inside the packages. Even at home, packets could easily be sanitised. This could yield new openings for manufacturers of aseptic paper packaging.
  • The global uncertainty of COVID–19 has also impacted the aseptic paper packaging market to certain extent. This is mainly due to the ongoing challenges such as unavailability enough employees, frequent changes in consumer spending habits, idle stock, and inventory in the expansion of key end users, including food & beverages industry, which are the biggest customers of aseptic paper packaging.
  • Besides this, disturbances in delivery network, product management, changing global fiscal situations, and China’s unfair commercial practices at global levels are also impacting the demand and supply of aseptic paper packaging

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