Metal packaging denotes packaging containers (cans for food & beverages and aerosols and closures) that are made up of metallic materials such as aluminum and steel. It is one of the rapidly growing segments of the packaging industry. However, the segment is expected to lose its market share to plastics in the beverage market. Metal packaging is broadly used for institutional and consumer products and in industrial applications to market, protect, and distribute a wide variety of products. Demand for metal packaging has increased led by various innovations and changing trends in the packaging industry.
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Metal packaging is extensively used in food & beverages, retail non-food products, pharmaceuticals, and other products. The utility of metal packaging arises from the properties of sealing, aroma retention, barrier, and strength. Over the past decade, metal packaging has accounted for a major share in the healthcare sector. Metal packaging is used in the packaging of foods, beverages, and pharmaceuticals. The metal packaging value chain comprises raw material suppliers, manufacturers, distribution and supply channels, and applications.
Metal packaging provides an impermeable barrier to protect food, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and other products. It is widely used to store diabetic and other pharmaceutical tablets and capsules in the pharmaceutical industry, as it is chemically neutral and highly resistant to corrosion. Metal packaging provides excellent barrier properties. It is used to protect food for long periods, thus minimizing wastage. Aluminum foil is used to package products such as snack foods, chocolates, yoghurt, and soups. Thus, demand for lightweight yet sturdy metal packaging, which has an intrinsic value for recycling and recovery, is anticipated to rise exponentially in the next few years. Changing consumer lifestyle in developing countries such as India and China is projected to drive the demand for metal packaging in the next few years.
Growth of the healthcare industry is expected to drive the demand for metal packaging in the near future. Additionally, focused research on metallic materials has led to the development of metal packaging that offers superior characteristics such as inert nature, chemical stability, excellent barrier properties, high sterility, and reduced weight. These factors help improve the shelf life of drugs and other equipment and maintain their chemical properties. However, fluctuation in prices of raw materials, increase in competition by plastic packaging, and bisphenol A (BPA) related issues are estimated to hamper market growth in the near future.
The healthcare industry is expanding in North America due to high awareness of general well-being among consumers. Rising usage of metal packaging for pharmaceutical tablets and capsules coupled with significant properties of aluminum foil such as high level of corrosion resistance, impermeable metal barrier to light oils and UV are anticipated to drive the demand for metal packaging in North America. Presence of stringent governmental regulations in Europe and an established healthcare industry are projected to increase the use of metal packaging for pharmaceutical applications in the region during the forecast period.
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Some of the key players in the metal packaging market include Alcoa Inc, Ardagh Group, Rexam plc, Sonoco Products Company, Tata Steel Packaging, Reynolds Group Holdings, Crown Holdings.
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