Meat consumption is on the rise worldwide, and with it has come an increased demand for better and more environmentally friendly forms of packaging.

And that trend will only accelerate over the next decade. 

Those are among the highlights of a new long-term study of meat packaging, Meat Packaging Market Global Industry Analysis 2016–2022 and Opportunity Assessment 2023–2033, conducted by London-based Future Market Insights.

“In recent years, there has been a dramatic rise in the production and consumption of meat and poultry products worldwide due to their high nutritional content, and this trend is expected to further escalate during the projection period,” according to the report, which cites Institute of Food Technologies data projecting meat consumption to rise 1.4% annually.

Future Market Insights predicts the global meat packaging industry, meanwhile, to generate incremental growth opportunity of $5.1 billion between 2023 and 2033.

“Increased consumption of packaged food, growing concern towards hygiene, and the quality of packaging that help extend the shelf life without altering the properties of meat products drive the fresh meat packaging market growth,” according to the report.

Per capita consumer spending on packaged food is increasing in emerging markets, according to FMI. Rising income levels and changing consumer spending pattern propel the demand for innovative food packaging solutions in emerging markets.

In North America, rising demand for suitable packaging that extends the maximum shelf life of meat products due to the busy lifestyles of consumers has resulted in increased application of meat packaging.

In the meat type segment, poultry dominates all types of meat by market share of above 35% during the forecast period, while the seafood segment is expected to boost at a CAGR of 5.1%.

The modified atmosphere packaging technology segment is estimated to dominate the global meat packaging market by value and volume, according to the report.

Modified-atmosphere packaging currently makes up 38.4% of the meat packaging market, followed by vacuum skin (30.3%) and vacuum thermoformed (22.4%). 

By 2033, modified-atmosphere’s share of all meat packaging is projected to top 40%.

“Modified-atmosphere has easy-open film with a firm and consistent peel, improving customer convenience and enabling products to be more visible on the shelf.”

When it comes to materials, polyethylene (PE), the industry leader, is expected to expand to 1.7 times of its current market value by the end of 2033, according to the materials.

“The PE segment is expected to dominate the overall market by value and volume throughout the forecast period,” according to FMI. “The chemical properties of polyethylene give excellent transparency, gloss and barrier from moisture, added with durable and tight packaging.”

Properties such as excellent chemical and tear resistance, highly economic, and transparent packaging will continue to drive demand for PE, according to the report.

This article is an excerpt from the September 2023 issue of Supermarket Perimeter. You can read the entire Meat Packaging feature and more in the digital edition here.