Edible Packaging Market Size Anticipated to Attain USD 5.26 Billion by 2032

Edible Packaging Market Size Anticipated to Attain USD 5.26 Billion by 2032

Status: Published Category: Food Packaging Insight Code: 5062 Format: PDF / PPT / Excel

Edible Packaging Market Size, Share and Growth 2023-2032

The global edible packaging market size is estimated to grow from USD 1.4 billion in 2022 at 14.2% CAGR (2023-2032) to reach an estimated USD 5.26 billion by 2032.

Edible Packaging Market Statistics 2023 To 2032

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Edible packaging made from natural, biodegradable, and plant-based materials offers a unique solution for on-the-go consumption. Unlike traditional packaging, edible packaging can be consumed along with its product, eliminating the need for waste collection, processing, recycling, or disposal.

These edible packaging materials are derived from sustainable sources and are designed to be safe for consumption. They are often made from seaweed, plant starches, or edible films. The use of such materials not only reduces waste but also minimizes the environmental impact associated with conventional packaging materials.

Edible packaging provides convenience for consumers as it eliminates the need to dispose of packaging separately, making it an appealing option for eco-conscious individuals. Additionally, using natural and plant-based materials aligns with the growing demand for sustainable and environmentally friendly packaging solutions.

While edible packaging offers promising advantages regarding waste reduction and sustainability, it is important to ensure that it meets safety and regulatory requirements. Companies and researchers continue to explore and develop edible packaging solutions that balance functionality, taste, and safety to provide a seamless and enjoyable on-the-go experience.

The global production of plastic packaging amounts to approximately 78 million metric tons per year. Shockingly, only a small portion, roughly 14 percent, is recycled. This means that a significant amount of plastic packaging ends up as waste. Due to its lightweight nature, plastic that needs to be properly collected can easily find its way into our oceans. Annually, approximately nine million metric tons of plastic flow into the oceans, with a significant portion originating from developing nations that lack the infrastructure to manage it effectively.

The problem is expected to exacerbate as these developing nations experience economic growth and an increase in their consumption of packaged foods. Additionally, in a world increasingly driven by convenience, the demand for meal kits, grocery services, and take-out foods continues to rise. Unfortunately, these practices generate substantial amounts of packaging waste.

Addressing this issue requires concerted efforts on multiple fronts. It involves implementing efficient waste management infrastructure in developing nations, promoting recycling and sustainable practices, and encouraging the adoption of more environmentally friendly packaging materials and methods by both consumers and businesses. Collaboration between governments, organizations, and individuals is necessary to reduce plastic waste, protect our oceans, and create a more sustainable future.

A paradigm shift is underway as designers, engineers, biologists, investors, and recyclers collaborate to develop packaging that aligns with the principles of a circular economy. This approach contrasts with the traditional linear "take, make, waste" model by implementing supply chains that continuously cycle materials, aiming to create high-value products while minimizing waste.

The circular design emphasizes long-lasting product design, remanufacturing, and reuse. It seeks to create closed-loop systems where old materials are repurposed or recycled into new products, reducing the need for virgin resources. In this circular economy, material goods follow two distinct loops:

  • Technical Loop: This loop focuses on recovering technical nutrients such as metals, minerals, and polymers, which can be recycled or reused in manufacturing processes. The circular economy aims to reduce resource consumption and minimize waste generation by efficiently reclaiming and reintegrating these materials.
  • Biological Loop: In this loop, biological materials like fibers and wood are returned to nature through composting programs or converted through anaerobic digestion into carbon-neutral energy. This approach ensures that organic materials are effectively managed by returning them to the environment as nutrients or utilizing them to generate renewable energy.

By embracing the principles of a circular economy, the packaging industry can transition towards sustainable practices that prioritize resource conservation, waste reduction, and creating more environmentally friendly packaging solutions. Collaborating with various stakeholders across disciplines is essential to drive innovation and foster the adoption of circular design principles in packaging.

Edible packaging represents an innovative solution that harnesses renewable and biodegradable materials to address the challenges of conventional plastic food packaging. By using materials like seaweed and other natural biodegradable substances, edible packaging offers a sustainable and effective alternative.

One of the key advantages of edible packaging is its inherent biodegradability. Since it is composed of natural materials, it can break down naturally and return to the environment without causing long-term harm. Unlike traditional plastic packaging, edible packaging does not require complex waste collection, processing, recycling, or disposal systems. Instead, it can be consumed along with the food it contains, eliminating the need for separate waste management.

Edible packaging aligns with the principles of a circular economy by utilizing renewable resources and minimizing waste. It offers consumers an eco-friendly option that reduces reliance on non-renewable materials and contributes to a more sustainable food packaging system.

It is important to note that edible packaging must meet safety and regulatory standards to ensure its suitability for consumption. Extensive research and development efforts are underway to refine and improve the taste, texture, and functional properties of edible packaging to enhance the consumer experience.

Overall, edible packaging presents an exciting opportunity to address the environmental impact of traditional plastic packaging by providing a renewable, biodegradable, and convenient solution that can simply be eaten after use.

North America holds a dominant position in the global edible packaging market. The region's largest market share can be attributed to several factors. Firstly, the higher disposable income levels among consumers in North America drive significant demand for efficient packaging solutions, particularly for meat, poultry, and seafood products. As consumers have more disposable income, they are willing to invest in premium packaging that ensures the quality and freshness of their food.

Additionally, the burgeoning e-commerce industry in North America plays a significant role in boosting the edible packaging market. The increasing cross-border trade and the substantial demand for online shopping have created a need for packaging solutions that effectively protect and preserve products during transit. Edible packaging offers an attractive option, providing convenience and reducing waste associated with traditional packaging materials.

The combination of higher disposable income and the growth of the e-commerce sector has led to a substantial increase in the demand for efficient and sustainable packaging solutions in North America. This, in turn, has contributed to the dominant market position of the region in the global edible packaging market.

Europe presents promising opportunities in the edible packaging market. Changing lifestyles and rising demand for bioactive packaging materials for meat, poultry, and seafood packaging are significant trends driving the market in the region. European consumers increasingly seek sustainable packaging solutions that align with their environmentally conscious preferences. The emergence of affordable and eco-friendly packaging technologies further supports the growth of the edible packaging market in Europe.

The Asia Pacific region also holds a substantial share of the edible packaging market. The rapid spread of awareness about environmental concerns and the adverse effects of plastic packaging has propelled the demand for sustainable packaging solutions in the region. This growing awareness has led to a shift towards edible packaging alternatives. Moreover, the significant exports of pharmaceuticals, food, and beverages from countries like China and India contribute to the market share of edible packaging in the Asia Pacific region.

Europe and the Asia Pacific region showcase favourable market conditions for edible packaging, driven by changing consumer preferences, increasing environmental awareness, and the need for sustainable packaging solutions. These factors create opportunities for the growth and adoption of edible packaging technologies in these regions.

From Waste to Nutrition: Edible Food Packages Redefining Sustainable Packaging Practices

Food packaging plays a crucial role in packaged food items' overall quality and safety. It serves as a protective barrier that ensures the preservation of food attributes such as safety, freshness, hygiene, colour, odour, and other characteristics over an extended time.

The primary purpose of food packaging is to safeguard the food from external factors that could degrade its quality. Packaging materials act as a barrier against physical damage, moisture, oxygen, light, and microorganisms, which can all contribute to food spoilage and deterioration.

  • Instance, JRF Technology specializes in the development and production of thin, edible films that have the potential to revolutionize packaging in the food industry. These films can be utilized to package various food ingredients, offering convenience and unique possibilities for both commercial and consumer applications. In the commercial sector, JRF's edible films have found utility in the baking industry. Packages weighing up to one kilogram containing vitamin blends are incorporated directly into bread dough, providing a convenient and efficient way to enhance the nutritional content of bread during the production process. This application showcases the ability of JRF's films to dissolve seamlessly and safely within the food matrix, eliminating the need for separate packaging disposal.

By effectively sealing the food and maintaining a controlled environment, packaging helps to extend the shelf life of products. This allows consumers to enjoy food items longer while maintaining quality and safety standards. Furthermore, packaging provides information about the manufacturing details, nutritional values, ingredients, allergens, and proper storage instructions, ensuring transparency and aiding consumer decision-making.

Additionally, food packaging facilitates convenience in handling, transportation, and storage, making it easier for consumers to access and use food products. It also enables portion control and reduces food waste by providing appropriate packaging sizes and formats.

Edible food packages are classified based on the production method and the materials used, including polysaccharides, proteins, and lipids. These edible packaging materials are typically prepared by dissolving edible food materials in water, alcohol, or a mixture of solvents. Plasticizers are often added to enhance the flexibility and elasticity of the resulting material.

Edible films, a common edible packaging, are produced using various processes. These processes include continuous film casting, mold casting, and the drawdown method. Continuous film casting involves spreading the dissolved edible material onto a moving conveyor belt or rotating drum, allowing it to dry and form a continuous film. Mold casting utilizes molds to shape the edible material into specific shapes, which are then dried to create the desired film. The drawdown method involves pouring the dissolved edible material onto a flat surface and using a blade or roller to spread it into a thin, uniform film.

  • Instance, Evo & Co., a pioneering company in sustainable packaging solutions, initially made its mark in the industry through its innovative product, the Ello Jello edible cup, which was developed using seaweed. This groundbreaking invention was introduced under their first brand, Evoware, and quickly gained recognition, winning several prestigious awards and garnering significant market demand. Building upon the success of the Ello Jello edible cup, Evo & Co. recognized the potential for further expansion and diversification of their business. In order to offer a broader range of sustainable packaging solutions, they established their second brand, Evoworld. Under the Evoworld brand, Evo & Co. introduced an extended portfolio of innovative and environmentally friendly packaging options.

These production methods enable the creation of edible packaging materials with different properties, such as thickness, texture, and flexibility, depending on the desired application and requirements. Edible packaging materials offer the advantage of being biodegradable, renewable, and environmentally friendly alternatives to conventional packaging materials, reducing the environmental impact of traditional packaging waste.

By utilizing edible films and other edible packaging materials, the industry can explore innovative solutions for packaging food products that align with sustainable practices and contribute to reducing plastic waste.

Recent studies have highlighted the significant impact of various factors on the digestibility and digestion rates of edible packaging materials. These factors include the preparation methods, types of additives, and the materials' nature, such as their composition, molecular properties, and crystallinity index. While edible packages are often consumed along with the food they contain, there needs to be more research on the biodegradability and edibility of these packaging materials.

The acceptability of edible food packages by customers depends on various factors. These factors include the film's appearance, organoleptic properties (sensory characteristics like taste, texture, and smell), marketing costs, and overall customer perception. To attract customer attention, it is essential to implement effective marketing strategies, such as conducting awareness programs, offering price discounts, and employing attractive advertisements. Additionally, special attention should be given to labelling strategies, ensuring clear information regarding allergens and the presence of animal-derived materials. All ingredients used in the production of edible films must comply with the Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) status, per regulations set by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), to enhance customer acceptability.

Addressing customer acceptance issues can be further improved through cost-benefit analyses and developing edible films or cost-competitive packages with petroleum-derived plastics. Ensuring that edible packaging costs are either lower or equivalent to traditional plastics can encourage wider adoption and customer preference for sustainable alternatives.

Overall, enhancing the acceptability of edible food packages requires a comprehensive approach that considers factors such as digestibility, sensory attributes, marketing strategies, labelling compliance, and cost competitiveness. By addressing these aspects, edible packaging can become more appealing to customers and contribute to reducing the environmental impact associated with traditional plastic packaging.

SWOT Analysis

The SWOT analysis, as defined by the American Marketing Association (AMA), is a framework that evaluates both internal and external factors affecting a business. It examines the strengths and weaknesses, internal factors, and opportunities and threats, which are external factors. This analysis helps in identifying trends and conditions that may impact the business and aids in determining the appropriate strategies to be implemented. The SWOT analysis includes:

  • Strength;
  • Weaknesses;
  • Opportunities and;
  • Threats

Strength: Edible film possesses several strengths that make it a significant change in the packaging industry. Firstly, its eco-friendly nature sets it apart as a sustainable packaging solution. Being fully biodegradable and not harmful to the environment, edible film reduces the waste generated by food packaging in both businesses and households.

Additionally, the processing method of edible film is relatively simple and efficient. It offers advantages such as lower processing costs, shorter processing times, and increased precision of operation. These benefits contribute to improved productivity and cost-effectiveness in comparison to traditional packaging methods.

From a consumer perspective, edible film provides convenience. Once in contact with saliva, the thin film dissolves, eliminating the need for disposal. This ease of use enhances the consumer experience.

Furthermore, the versatility of edible film allows for customization according to market demands. The films can be tailored to be tasteless, colourless, and odourless or can be infused with various flavours, colours, and even sweetness. This customization adds diversity and appeal to the packaged products, catering to consumer preferences.

Importantly, edible film not only acts as a protective layer for food but also adds nutritional value. As it is composed of natural ingredients, it contributes to the overall nutritional profile of the packaged food, further enhancing its appeal to health-conscious consumers.

Overall, the strengths of edible film lie in its eco-friendliness, simplified processing method, convenience, customization options, and its potential to provide nutritional value to food products. These attributes position edible film as an innovative and sustainable solution that brings positive changes to the packaging industry.

Weakness: One of the areas for improvement of edible packaging is its relatively new and unfamiliar image in the market. As a novel technology, many consumers may not have heard of or be familiar with edible packaging. This lack of awareness can lead to a lack of confidence or a perception that there is no immediate need for this technology in the current market.

The newness of the technology can create skepticism or hesitation among consumers who may be accustomed to traditional packaging methods. They may question the safety, effectiveness, and reliability of edible packaging, which can hinder its adoption.

Furthermore, the perception of edible packaging as a novelty may limit its market acceptance. Consumers may not perceive it as a mainstream or necessary packaging solution, as they may already be satisfied with existing packaging options.

To overcome this weakness, educating consumers about the benefits, safety, and environmental advantages of edible packaging is crucial. Raising awareness through effective marketing and communication strategies can help build trust and enhance the perceived value of edible packaging among consumers. Collaborating with industry stakeholders, regulatory bodies, and experts can also contribute to the establishment of standards, certifications, and guidelines that instill confidence in the technology.

Over time, as more consumers become aware of and understand the benefits of edible packaging, its acceptance and market demand are likely to grow. Continued efforts to educate and create awareness will play a vital role in overcoming the initial weakness of unfamiliarity in the market.

Opportunity: Edible film technology presents several opportunities and potentials in the food packaging industry. One significant opportunity arises from the industry's substantial size, which is expected to continue growing. As the demand for packaged food products increases, a corresponding need for sustainable and environmentally friendly packaging solutions like edible film exists.

Consumer awareness of environmental concerns provides another opportunity for edible film technology. Consumers become more conscious of the ecological impact of packaging waste, so they are increasingly motivated to choose green products and technologies. The edible film, being fully biodegradable and reducing waste, aligns with their sustainability preferences.

The growing trend of sustainable consumption and eco-friendly practices further supports the potential for edible film technology. Consumers actively seek products that minimize their environmental footprint, and edible film offers a promising solution in food packaging.

In addition, the customizable nature of edible film presents opportunities for product differentiation and market appeal. By offering various flavours, colours, and customization options, edible film can cater to diverse consumer preferences and create unique selling points for packaged food products.

Furthermore, partnerships and collaborations between edible film manufacturers, food producers, and retailers can lead to innovative packaging solutions and market expansion. By working together, stakeholders can leverage the benefits of edible film technology and drive its adoption across a broader range of food products.

Threats: Edible films in the food packaging industry may face certain threats and challenges, including the entry of new competitors. As edible packaging is popular, competitors may emerge and attempt to replicate or develop similar solutions using different compositions derived from vegetables or fruits. This could create increased competition and challenge established edible film manufacturers.

Another challenge lies in changing the perception and behaviour of consumers. Many consumers are accustomed to the traditional practice of unwrapping and discarding packaging before consuming food. Shifting this cultural norm and encouraging consumers to embrace the edible packaging feature may require time and effort. Overcoming this challenge would involve educating consumers about the benefits of edible packaging, its environmental advantages, and the importance of minimizing waste.

To mitigate these threats and challenges, edible film manufacturers should focus on establishing a strong brand reputation and differentiation. They can achieve this through continuous innovation, product development, and intellectual property protection. By investing in research and development, manufacturers can maintain a competitive edge and offer unique value propositions that new entrants cannot easily replicate.

Additionally, strategic partnerships with key stakeholders, such as food producers, retailers, and industry associations, can help raise awareness and promote the adoption of edible packaging. Collaborative efforts can address consumer perception and cultural habits by implementing comprehensive marketing campaigns and educational initiatives.

Driving Forces and Market Challenges: Comparative Landscape of the Edible Packaging Industry

The edible packaging market has experienced significant growth in recent years, driven by rising consumer demand for sustainable and eco-friendly packaging solutions. This market landscape can be characterized by intense competition and various innovative products and technologies. Key players, including major multinational corporations and startups, dominate the edible packaging market. These companies have invested heavily in research and development to create packaging materials that are safe for consumption and have desirable properties such as extended shelf life, moisture resistance, and flavor retention. 

The market is witnessing the emergence of various types of edible packaging solutions, including films, coatings, and pouches, each catering to specific product requirements. These solutions are primarily made from natural ingredients such as proteins, polysaccharides, and lipids sourced from plants, seaweed, or fruit extracts. These materials ensure that the packaging is biodegradable, compostable, and non-toxic.

Regional market dynamics also play a crucial role in shaping the edible packaging landscape. Developed economies, such as North America and Europe, have witnessed a higher adoption of edible packaging due to greater awareness of environmental issues and stringent regulations regarding single-use plastics. However, emerging economies in the Asia Pacific, such as China and India, are also witnessing rapid growth in the market, driven by changing consumer preferences and government initiatives to reduce plastic waste.

To maintain a competitive edge, edible packaging companies focus on partnerships, collaborations, and strategic acquisitions to expand their product portfolios and technological capabilities. Additionally, they are investing in marketing and awareness campaigns to educate consumers about the benefits of edible packaging and foster widespread adoption.

Overall, the edible packaging market is a dynamic and highly competitive landscape characterized by continuous innovation, increasing consumer awareness, and evolving regulatory frameworks. Companies that can effectively balance sustainability, functionality, and cost-effectiveness in their edible packaging solutions will likely gain a significant market share.

Major key players in the edible packaging market include: Monosol LLC (U.S.), JRF Technology (U.S.), Evoware (U.S.), Tipa Corp. (Israel), Nagase America (U.S.), Notpla Ltd. (U.K.), Avani (Indonesia), Wikicell Designs (U.S.), Amtrex Nature Care Pvt. Ltd. (India), EnviGreen Biotech Pvt. Ltd. (India), Regeno Bio-Bags (India), Devro Plc (U.K.), Apeel Sciences (U.S.), Coolhaus (U.S.), Do Eat (Belgium), Ecoactive (U.S.), Mantrose UK Ltd. (U.K.), Tomorrow Machine (Sweden), and Lactips (France).

Recent Development:

  • 2022, Notpla Ltd. is dedicated to maximizing the substitution of plastic materials with eco-friendly alternatives derived from natural seaweed. By doing so, we actively promote the flourishing seaweed industry while addressing the pressing issue of climate change. Notpla Ltd. must enlighten both the packaging industry and consumers about the actual ramifications of plastic usage within the realm of Notpla Ltd. goal is to collaborate with lawmakers to establish stricter regulations on materials that threaten the natural environment, thereby paving the way for a sustainable future.
  • April 3, 2023, Apeel Sciences is revolutionizing the produce industry by introducing a plastic-free and edible coating for fruits and vegetables. This innovative coating developed by Apeel Sciences aims to enhance the healthiness and convenience of fresh produce. Traditionally, plastic packaging has been used to extend the shelf life of fruits and vegetables, but it often leads to environmental concerns due to its non-biodegradable nature. Apeel Sciences' solution addresses this issue by providing an edible coating that can replace the need for plastic packaging.

Segments Covered in the Report:

By Material

  • Protein
  • Polysaccharides
  • Lipid
  • Others

By Source

  • Plant
  • Animal

By Packaging Process

  • Antimicrobial
  • Nanotechnology
  • Electrohydrodynamic
  • Coatings
  • Microorganism

By End-User

  • Food & Beverages
  • Pharmaceuticals

By Geography

  • North America
  • Europe
  • Asia-Pacific
  • Latin America
  • Middle East & Africa (MEA)

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About The Author

Asmita Singh is a renowned author and consultant in the packaging industry, known for her deep passion for knowledge discovery and commitment to delivering actionable insights. With extensive experience in implementing advanced research methodologies, Asmita generates high-quality data and meaningful results that drive innovation and efficiency in packaging solutions. Her expertise spans the globe, offering valuable consulting services to businesses aiming to enhance their packaging strategies. Asmitas work is characterized by a dedication to excellence and a keen understanding of the latest trends and technologies shaping the future of packaging.

FAQ's

Market players differentiate themselves by offering innovative and sustainable edible packaging solutions. They focus on developing materials with enhanced properties, such as improved shelf life, taste, and texture, while also ensuring compliance with food safety standards.

The cost of edible packaging materials can vary depending on the ingredients used, manufacturing processes, and scale of production. While some edible packaging solutions may currently be more expensive than traditional packaging, advancements in technology and economies of scale are expected to drive down costs in the future.

The edible packaging market is expected to witness significant growth in the coming years as consumers and industries increasingly seek sustainable packaging alternatives. The market is likely to expand in various sectors, with continuous research and development efforts aimed at improving the performance and safety of edible packaging materials.

Edible packaging materials can be made from a variety of sources, including seaweed, starches, proteins, fruits, and vegetables. These materials can be formed into films, coatings, or containers to package different products.

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