Barrier materials are on the rise as they have been widely accepted in various applications owing to their unique properties such as their high performance levels, long shelf life, and the thermal stability they provide to food products by reducing the passage of aroma, radiation, gases, and water vapor. These materials are transparent, flexible, and employed in the production of thin films and sheets for food packaging to obstruct atmospheric air and preserve the quality of food for longer durations. Barrier materials help wet foods retain moisture and dry foods absorb it. These factors are likely to propel the barrier materials market over the forecast period, apart from the growth of manufacturing sectors due to the rising industrialization around the world. Concerns over health care and social security have led to improvements in high-end barrier materials. The burgeoning food & beverages industry in Asia Pacific is expected to create more opportunities for the market over the next few years.
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Barrier materials finds its maximum usage in food and beverages industry due to increasing demand for packaged food. For instance, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have made it mandatory to use barrier materials in packaging of food and beverages to increase the shelf life of the consumables. Barrier materials are also being increasingly used for packaging pharmaceuticals ingredients to prevent them from sensitive atmospheric temperature. Therefore increasing adoption of barrier materials in food and beverages and pharmaceutical industry will play a key role in driving the growth of this market. As food and beverage industry has increasing share worldwide, this will boost the market demand overtime.
The barrier materials market has been classified by type into the following categories: PVDC, EVOH, PEN, and others. PVDC was the leading segment in 2016 and is anticipated to retain its dominance over the forecast period. PVD is an efficient polymer formed via the polymerization of vinylidene chloride monomer with a range of monomers such as unsaturated carboxyl groups and acrylic esters. It is extensively used in high-performance packaging applications in the medical, cosmetics, and food & beverages sectors. PVDCs are transparent, glossy, recyclable, scratch-proof, and printable – and thereby increasingly preferred over other types. Based on end-user industry, the barrier materials market is segregated into the following groups: pharmaceuticals, food & beverages, agriculture, cosmetics, and others. Food & beverages was a rapidly expanding sector in 2016 and is estimated to remain dominant over the forecast period, driving the barrier materials market. Rising demand for convenience food products is likely to motivate this industry and thereby the barrier materials market over the predicted period.
Geographically, the barrier materials market is distributed over North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, and Latin America. Asia Pacific constituted the dominant share of the market in 2016 and is likely to retain its position over the forecast period. Rising demand for barrier materials such as EVOH, PVDC, and PEN has been a crucial factor responsible for the surge in industrialization and manufacturing activities. Increasing focus on health care and social security has led to the evolution of the barrier materials market in Asia Pacific. China is a key country in this region. North America accounted for a considerable market share due to its well-established end-user industries. Middle East & Africa is an emerging region for the barrier materials market as they are widely used for food & beverages and pharmaceuticals.
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Key players operating in the barrier materials market include Solvay SA, Dow Chemicals, Teijin, Kuraray Co. Ltd., and E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company. Other major companies include Chang Chun Petrochemical, Kureha Corporation, and The Nippon Synthetic Chemical Industry.