The thermoforming plastic market size is estimated to be USD 34.8 billion in 2019 to USD 45.9 billion by 2024, at a CAGR of 5.7% during the forecast period. The food industry represents the largest consumption group for thermoforming plastics. The key classifications found in the food & agriculture packaging industry include fresh produce, processed food, and non-perishables. As thermoforming plastic provides better protection from moisture, bacteria, and odor, it is ideal for packaging food for a more extended period. Blister packaging is the predominantly used type of thermoforming plastic in the medical sector, as it is easy to peel and convenient to handle. Moreover, pharmaceutical products require protection from moisture, leakage, microorganisms, and other environmental conditions, which is provided by blister packaging.
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In-mold labeling (IML) technology in the thermoforming market is has made the manufacturing process cost-effective. Now, companies are introducing new products with IML, especially in the European market. IML has enormous potential to penetrate in other regions as well. IML allows the manufacturers to save time and money by integrating the labeling process directly into the thermoforming process. This new technology of IML enables the thermoformers to save up to 20% in resin cost by light-weighting containers with IML. IML technology is a huge opportunity for thermoformers in the thermoforming plastic market.
Rising demand from emerging economies such as China, India, and Brazil is the potential opportunity in the market. The increase in per capita income, double-income families, industrialization, and technological advancements in manufacturing could lead to tremendous growth in the thermoforming plastic market in these countries. The rise in living standards and changes in lifestyles in developing countries contribute to the development of the convenience packaging market and consequently impact the thermoforming plastic market. According to the India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF), the Indian healthcare sector is projected to progress at a 15% CAGR to reach USD 158.2 billion by 2017. However, the biggest challenge for market growth is compliance with stringent regulations for thermoforming plastic.
The top players in the thermoforming plastic market have implemented various strategies in the market. For instance, in April 2018, Sonoco Products Company (US) acquired Highland Packaging Solutions (US), a leading manufacturer of thermoformed packaging for fresh fruits, vegetables, and eggs. This helped the company to expand its thermoforming packaging capabilities for fresh products. In September 2018, D&W Fine Pack LLC expanded its line of TamperSmart brand packaging. This was done to provide even more products with tamper-evident features. This helped the company to fulfill the growing demand for the grab-and-go sector of food packaging.