Intelligent packaging

Demand for active and intelligent packaging set to boom

Demand for active and intelligent packaging is expected to outstrip total packaging demand growth, according to a new study from Freedonia Group. Active and intelligent packaging demand is forecast to expand 8% annually to $3.5 billion in 2017 in the US alone, the research predicts.

Active packaging provides functions such as moisture control, while intelligent packaging has features that show the product’s status or communicate product changes and other information.

While some active and intelligent packaging products have a well-established presence, a number of newer, more affordable types are emerging, especially in intelligent packaging, Freedonia says.

“Ongoing innovations will likely result in the commercialisation of new products and usage in applications that are currently unforeseen,” said Freedonia analyst Esther Palevsky.

The Freedonia report, Active & Intelligent Packaging, shows that food and beverages were the two largest markets for active and intelligent packaging in 2012.

Intelligent packaging alone is forecast to reach $1.3 billion in 2017, recording double-digit annual gains, Freedonia says. 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% annually to $2.2 billion in 2017, Freedonia’s research shows. Gas scavenger demand will climb at a faster pace as a result of expanded applications for oxygen scavengers in food, beverage and pharmaceutical packaging.

Additionally, 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, spurred by technological developments. However, cost and performance factors will tend to inhibit broad usage.

The Freedonia report is available at