Demand for active and intelligent packaging in the U.S. is forecast to expand 8% annually to $3.5 billion in 2017, well above total packaging demand growth. Active packaging provides functions such as moisture control, while intelligent packaging incorporates features that indicate status or communicate product changes and other information. Some active and intelligent packaging products have a well-established presence; however, a number of newer, more affordable types are emerging, especially in intelligent packaging. These and other trends are presented in “Active & Intelligent Packaging,” a recent study from The Freedonia Group Inc.

“Ongoing innovations will likely result in the commercialization of new products and usage in applications that are currently unforeseen,” said Esther Palevsky, analyst. Food and beverages were the two largest markets for active and intelligent packaging in 2012. Pharmaceuticals will be the fastest growing active and intelligent packaging market through 2017, with opportunities driven by the health care needs of the aging U.S. population, an increased prevalence of chronic diseases, and the expanding presence of high value, temperature-sensitive biotechnology drugs in the product mix.

Intelligent packaging demand is expected to record double-digit annual gains, reaching $1.3 billion in 2017. In addition to growing product protection and food safety requirements, increases will be propelled by rapid advances for newer and emerging technologies such as quick response and other mobile marketing codes and printed electronics on packaging. Strong gains are anticipated for time-temperature indicator (TTI) labels, based on growing cost competitiveness coupled with the heightened presence of temperature-sensitive drugs and the significance of food safety during supply chain distribution.

Active packaging demand is expected to increase 5.7% per year to $2.2 billion in 2017. Gas scavenger demand will climb at a faster pace as a result of expanded applications for oxygen scavengers in food, beverage, and pharmaceutical packaging. In addition, growth will be propelled by solid prospects for susceptor packaging in uses other than microwave popcorn and by robust increases for self-venting packaging. Rapid growth from a small base is anticipated for antimicrobial packaging. However, cost and performance factors will tend to inhibit broad usage.

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