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  • Published In : Dec 2023
  • Code : CMI6317
  • Pages :140
  • Formats :
      Excel and PDF
  • Industry : Packaging

The clamshell packaging market size is expected to reach US$ 11.10 Billion by 2030, from US$ 8.61 Billion in 2023, at a CAGR of 3.7% during the forecast period.

Clamshell packaging refers to containers consisting of two halves joined by hinges and latches. It is used to securely enclose and protect a wide variety of products. The key advantages of clamshell packaging are tamper evidence, easy accessibility to the product, visibility of the contents, and protection during shipping and handling. The growth of the clamshell packaging market is driven by the rising demand from the food and electronics industries.

The clamshell packaging market is segmented based on material, type  end-use industry, and region. By material, the market is segmented into PVC, PET, PP, PE, PS, paper, and others. PVC is expected to be the largest material segment owing to its durability, moisture resistance, and cost-effectiveness.

Clamshell Packaging Market Regional Insights

  • North America is the largest market for clamshell packaging, accounting for 31% of the global market in 2023. The growth of the market in this region is driven by the increasing demand for clamshell packaging from the food, electronics, and pharmaceutical industries.
  • Asia Pacific is the second largest market for clamshell packaging, accounting for 27% of the global market in 2023. The growth of the market in this region is driven by the growing economies of China and India, which are major consumers of clamshell packaging.
  • Europe is the third largest market for clamshell packaging, accounting for 20% of the global market in 2023. The growth of the market in this region is driven by the increasing demand for clamshell packaging from the food and pharmaceutical industries.

Figure 1. Global Clamshell Packaging Market Share (%), by Region, 2023


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Clamshell Packaging Market Drivers

  • Rising Demand for On-the-Go Food Products: The changing lifestyle and busy work schedules have led to an increase in the demand for on-the-go food products that are easy to carry and consume. Clamshell packaging provides a convenient solution for packaging baked goods, fruits, salads, sandwiches, and other ready-to-eat foods. The tamper-evident and spill-proof design keeps the food secure while maintaining visibility. Clamshells have emerged as a preferred packaging choice for grocery stores, cafes, and quick-service restaurants targeting takeaway audiences. This rising demand from the food industry is driving the growth of the clamshell packaging market. For instance, according to recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' 2020 Consumer Expenditure Survey, Americans on average spent over 47% more on food consumed away from home in 2020 compared to 2010.
  • Growth of the Electronics Industry: Clamshell packaging provides secure transit and retail-ready packaging for consumer electronics like headphones, webcams, gaming accessories, and mobile phone accessories. The see-through design allows customers to view the product clearly. The tamper-evidence also deters theft and fraudulent returns. With the rising shipment of electronic products bought online, brands are opting for clamshells over cardboard boxes. Market reports suggest that the electronics industry accounts for over 20% of the global demand for clamshell packaging. For instance, as per statistics published by the UN COMTRADE database in 2021, the global exports of mobile phones grew by over 25% from 2020 levels, topping US$450 billion. With more innovations, such as 5G connectivity and foldable designs, smartphones have become ubiquitous.

Clamshell Packaging Market Opportunities

  • Sustainable Packaging Solutions: Sustainability has emerged as a priority for packaging manufacturers. Consumers also prefer eco-friendly packaging. Several players are offering recyclable PET clamshells to reduce plastic waste. For instance, producers have launched clamshells made using ocean-bound plastic. Bio-based materials like Poly Lactic Acid are also being used. Further opportunities exist in improving the recyclability of clamshell packaging.
  • Rising Demand from Healthcare Industry: Clamshell packaging provides secure and sterile packaging for medical devices, test kits, syringes, vials, surgical instruments and implants. The transparent design allows easy product identification and instructions to be enclosed. Tamper-evidence also helps deter theft of medicines and healthcare products. Clamshells keep medical products protected during shipping and handling. For instance, according to World Health Organization reports, the global pandemic-related medical supply procurement by governments and aid organizations jumped by an average 25% in 2020 and 2021 compared to 2019.

Clamshell Packaging Market Trends

  • Use of Automation in Production: Clamshell production involves thermoforming and die cutting, which can be effectively automated to reduce labor costs and improve efficiency. Robotic systems for handling, loading, and unloading enable faster production. The use of workflow software also allows remote monitoring and control over the process parameters. For instances, the 2021 survey of 100 U.S. manufacturers conducted by the International Federation of Robotics found that companies currently using over 50 robots on factory floors experienced up to 30% higher production output compared to those without extensive automation.
  • Growing Adoption of Modified Atmosphere Packaging: Modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) involves altering the gases inside packaging to prolong the shelf life of products. Several manufacturers provide MAP clamshell packaging with protective gas blends and breathable membranes. This helps extend the freshness of produce and baked goods packaged in clamshell containers. Companies like Sealed Air and Linpac offer MAP capabilities for clamshell packaging used in the food industry. Technological advances in gas scavengers, intelligent sensors, and multilayer membranes will support the adoption of MAP technologies in clamshell packaging. For instance, according to data from the USDA Economic Research Service, MAP usage for fresh fruits and vegetables increased by 30% between 2020 and 2022, with clamshells accounting for over 60% of MAP-packaged produce. Retailers reported stocking shelves with 15-20% more MAP clamshell items compared to 2020, in an effort to offer consumers fresher, longer-lasting options.

Clamshell Packaging Market Report Coverage

Report Coverage Details
Base Year: 2022 Market Size in 2023: US$ 8.61 Bn
Historical Data for: 2018 to 2021 Forecast Period: 2023 - 2030
Forecast Period 2023 to 2030 CAGR: 3.7% 2030 Value Projection: US$ 11.10 Bn
Geographies covered:
  • North America: U.S. and Canada
  • Latin America: Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, and Rest of Latin America
  • Europe: Germany, U.K., Spain, France, Italy, Russia, and Rest of Europe
  • Asia Pacific: China, India, Japan, Australia, South Korea, ASEAN, and Rest of Asia Pacific
  • Middle East & Africa: GCC Countries, Israel, South Africa, North Africa, and Central Africa and Rest of Middle East
Segments covered:
  • By Material: PVC, PET, PP, PE, PS, Paper, and Others
  • By End-use Industry: Food, Consumer Electronics, Cosmetics, Household Goods, Toys, Medical Devices, and Others
  • By Packaging Type: Mock Clamshell, Full Clamshell, Quad-fold Clamshell, Tri-fold Clamshell, Two-fold Clamshell, and Others
Companies covered:

Berry Global, Dow Chemical Company, Amcor, Sonoco Products Company, Constantia Flexibles, Blisterpak, Uflex, Placon, Dordan Manufacturing, Pactiv, Fabri-Kal, Lacerta Group, Nelipak Healthcare Packaging, sG Packaging, Display Pack, Aikpak Plastic Forming, Universal Plastics Corporation, VisiPak, and Walter Drake

Growth Drivers:
  • Rising Demand for On-the-Go Food Products
  • Growth of the Electronics Industry 
Restraints & Challenges:
  • Limitation in usable materials
  • Presence of substitutes like skin packaging

Clamshell Packaging Market Restraints

  • Limitation in Usable Materials: Clamshell packaging applications require good clarity, thermoformability, and stability. However, some commonly used materials like PVC and polystyrene face environmental concerns. The use of materials like PET and rPET is limited by relatively higher costs. Recyclability also remains a challenge with existing clamshell packaging materials. For instance, in 2020, the government of India announced plans to eliminate identified single-use plastic items weighing under 100 microns by 2022. This is restraining packaging manufacturers from using conventional petroleum-based plastics for clamshell packaging.
  • Presence of Alternative Packaging Solutions: Clamshell packaging faces competition from alternative solutions like skin packaging, blister packs, boxes, and pouches. Skin packaging offers better product visibility and recyclability. Blisters provide cost benefits and accessibility. Boxes are more sustainable and can hold heavier products. For instance, as per data published by the United States Environmental Protection Agency in 2022, the production and utilization of bio-plastics in the packaging sector grew at an annual rate of over 10% between 2020 and 2022. This increasing preference for bio-based flexible plastics reflects the prioritization of sustainability amongst brands and shoppers when selecting different types of consumer packaging.

Analyst’s Views

The clamshell packaging market is poised to grow steadily over the next five years. The ability of clamshell packaging to provide tamper-proof protection to products makes it an ideal choice for the electronics, consumer goods, and food industries. The growing e-commerce sector will further drive demand as clamshells provide robust protection against damage during shipping. Moreover, burgeoning pharmaceutical industry needs reliable and durable packaging for over-the-counter drugs which clamshell fulfills well. However, high raw material costs remain a concern. Plastic resins used in making clamshells have witnessed price inflation last year. Availability of sustainable packaging alternatives can also restrain the clamshell packaging adoption. The switch to biodegradable materials may provide new opportunities. North America currently dominates global clamshell packaging sales but Asia Pacific is expected to witness the fastest growth. This is owing to rising disposable incomes, growing middle class population, and expanding retail industry in China and India. Customization potential of clamshells regarding sizes, substrates, and printing possibilities allows companies to create unique designs catering to specific products. Innovation in tamper evident features can further augment product protection and prevent counterfeiting. Co-packing services may emerge as a promising avenue as more companies outsource secondary packaging. To capitalize on opportunities, providers must focus on developing recyclable resins and collaborate with brand owners to offer sustainable packaging solutions.

Recent Developments

New product launches

  • In March 2021, Berry Global launched the Versalite Tamper Evident Clamshell Container, a new clamshell designed for use in the food industry. It provides tamper evidence and can be used for produce, baked goods, and prepared foods. Berry Global serves the foodservice, healthcare, personal care, household, hygiene, industrial and transportation, and food and beverage sectors. The company has operations in the U.S., Canada, Europe, and the Rest of the World.
  • In January 2022, Placon launched the EcoStar Recycle Ready PET Clamshells, made from post-consumer recycled PET. It helps brands showcase sustainability efforts. Placon was founded in 1966, and it has been a family-owned business for over 57 years, with headquarters located in Madison, Wisconsin. It is a leading designer, manufacturer of stock and custom designed plastic thermoforming, and injection molded packaging.
  • In September 2020, Fabri-Kal introduced Kal-Clear anti-fog clamshells, featuring an anti-fog additive that prevents condensation from forming inside the container. It improves product visibility. Fabri-Kal is a U.S.-based company. It is a provider of plastic foodservice and custom thermoformed packaging. Its products include consumer and foodservice products including plastic cups, containers, and lids. It is privately owned & headquartered in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Acquisition and partnerships

  • In October 2022, Pressix acquired Packaging Products, a leading clamshell manufacturer, to expand its capabilities in the space. Pressix is a company that produces mechanical eccentric presses. It offers a wide range of gap frame presses and straight side eccentric presses with one or two connecting rods that are CE certified by the French APAVE. The company is based in Italy and has a North American importer and support in Sterling Heights, Michigan called Pressix North America.
  • In August 2021, Lacerta Group partnered with a Sweden-based company, Stena Recycling to improve recycling of plastic clamshells using chemical recycling. Lacerta Group, Inc. manufactures plastic packaging products. The company offers specialty and bakery trays, party platters, cups, clamshells, blisters, and containers, as well as provides custom plastic food packaging services. Lacerta Group serves customers in the U.S
  • In November 2020, Nelipak Healthcare Packaging acquired Rose Plastic's medical clamshell business to expand its presence in the European healthcare market. Nelipak Corporation is a global technology provider to the life sciences industry, specializing in healthcare packaging solutions. The company was founded in 1953 by Mr. Loek Nelissen and his family in Venray, the Netherlands. Nelipak has 10 production facilities worldwide, including three in North America, five in Europe, and two in Latin America.

Figure 2. Global Clamshell Packaging Market Share (%), by Packaging Type, 2023


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Top Companies in the Clamshell Packaging Market

  • Berry Global
  • Dow Chemical Company
  • Amcor
  • Sonoco Products Company
  • Constantia Flexibles
  • Blisterpak
  • Uflex
  • Placon
  • Dordan Manufacturing
  • Pactiv
  • Fabri-Kal
  • Lacerta Group
  • Nelipak Healthcare Packaging
  • sG Packaging
  • Display Pack
  • Aikpak Plastic Forming
  • Universal Plastics Corporation
  • Valise Packaging
  • VisiPak
  • Walter Drake

Definition: Clamshell packaging refers to preformed typically transparent containers made of plastic or other materials. It consists of a bottom tray and a top cover connected with a hinge. When closed, the container resembles a clamshell, providing a secure enclosure for a wide variety of products. Key features of clamshell packaging include tamper evidence, easy accessibility to contents, visibility of packaged items, and protection during shipping and handling. Clamshell packaging is used extensively across industries such as food, consumer electronics, cosmetics, toys, and medical devices. The global clamshell packaging market covers the revenue generated by manufacturers engaged in the production of clamshell containers and related packaging products.

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Frequently Asked Questions

The key factors hampering the growth of the clamshell packaging market are  Environmental concerns and increasing regulations on single-use plastics.

The major factors driving the market growth are product visibility, convenience, and protection.

The leading component segment in the market is the mock clamshell.

The major players operating in the market are Berry Global, Dow Chemical Company, Amcor, Sonoco Products Company, Constantia Flexibles, Blisterpak, Uflex, Placon, Dordan Manufacturing, and Pactiv.

North America is expected to continue leading the market.

The CAGR of the market is estimated to be 3.7% from 2023-2030.

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