Edible packaging materials are made from proteins, polysaccharides, and lipids which are transformed into thin films. These films are converted into bags and pouches, which are then used for wrapping food. They are commonly termed as food wrapped in food. Food packaged in edible packaging material is safe for human consumption. The main purpose of edible packaging is to create a strong barrier between the food and the external environment, to increase its shelf life and quality and also reduces waste generation. A large amount of food packaging material is found in landfills. Usage of edible packaging is expected to reduce the amount of waste generated by the food packaging industry. For instance, products such as, yogurt are double packaged where each serving is packaged in container and many such containers are packed in a large container, however, this packaging requires only one layer of packaging reducing extra costs.
Edible packaging provides advantages such as improvement in mechanical properties such as migration and permeation, minimization of respiration in vegetables and fruits, limitation in movement of moisture and other gases, enhancement of sensory properties such as sheen, extension of shelf life and provide antioxidant or antimicrobial properties. They also provide health benefits by incorporating minerals, vitamins, and bioflavonoids. The aforementioned advantages of edible packaging and reduction of packaging wastage are the major growth drivers for edible packaging market. Furthermore, increasing demand for processed food is fueling the market growth. However, the costs of these products as compared to synthetic packaging as well as regulatory requirements expected to be met by such packaging pose as restrains to growth of the edible packaging market.
Edible Packaging -Market Taxonomy
On the basis of material type, the global edible packaging market is segmented into
- Corn Zein
- Wheat Gluten
- Soy Proteins
- Waxes and Paraffin
- Shellac Resins
- Cellulose and Derivatives
- Chitin and Chitosan
- Composite Films
On the basis of end user, the global edible packaging market is segmented into
- Food and Beverages
Among material type, lipid-based edible packaging accounts for the largest segment in 2016, as this type of material provides protection from moisture and offers sheen, which enhances aesthetics of the products. Proteins provides desirable mechanical and optical properties, which prevents contamination by foreign substances. Due to this property, the demand for edible packaging is increasing in the food and beverages industry. Growing global population, in turn, is increasing the demand for food supply, due to which the demand for such packaging is also expected to increase. These factors in turn, boost growth of the edible packaging market.
North America is the highest producer and consumer of edible packaging. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), estimated that 30.2% of household waste is from food packaging. Edible packaging is an excellent solution to reduce this waste. This creates a lucrative environment for growth of the edible packaging market in the region.
Asia Pacific is a fastest-growing market for edible packaging, owing to increasing awareness about its benefits. The increasing disposable income of the consumers, which is influencing the standard of living among the populace in the region, is boosting market growth here.
Key Players in the Edible Packaging Market
Major companies are adopting various inorganic growth strategies to retain their market position. Some players operating in the edible packaging market are BluWrap, Devro PLC, JRF Technology LLC, MonoSol LLC, Safetraces Inc., Skipping Rocks Lab, Tate & Lyle Plc, Tipa Corp, Watson, Inc, and WikiCell Designs Inc.
Edible Packaging Market: Key Developments
- In 2018, WikiCell Designs secured USD 10 million in investment capital from flagship ventures and polaris venture partners. The company aims at making an impact on the world by replacing the plastic and other forms of packaging with delicious natural edible packaging.
- In Jan 2017, BluWrap introduced a new business model that allows customers to license its technology to ship seafood, pork and other proteins globally. There is an increase in demand from global protein suppliers, owing to which it uses a licensing model for its technology used in edible packaging of protein products.
- In June 2016, MonoSol has partnered with food grade film customer Dicosia for packaging of the food and beverage ingredients in pouches which can dissolve and release its contents whenever exposed to water. These films can be used in variety of ingredients such as food colors, spices, sweeteners, flavors, oils and enzymes.