High Barrier Rigid Packaging - The Global Market

High Barrier Rigid Packaging - The Global Market

Published: April 2018


The ambient long-life food sector development is challenged with its ‘dated’ market positioning and consumer concerns about quality in comparison with the chilled variants. Canned foods are perceived as inferior quality, less fresh and less authentic products. Their efficient supply chain, and consequently - lower price point, has enabled their vast market magnitude to date. The segment needs modernisation and innovation.  

Growing consumer demand for convenience foods as well as suppliers’ search for market differentiation are main drivers for packaging innovation in the ambient segment. Plastic high barrier packaging offers superior functionality and aesthetics versus traditional packaging media (metal, glass). The key points of differentiation for plastic variants include: portability, microwaveability, re-sealability, ease of opening, portioned servings, in-pack serving, light-weight and shatter-proofing.

With improved process technology and new technical solutions, high barrier rigid plastics can now deliver higher quality long-life food products. High barrier plastics have the potential to re-vitalise mature markets such as soup, canned fruit, vegetables and fish, by introducing convenient, added value containers suited to modern day living. 

With steel prices climbing, major users of cans are committed to finding value-for-money, light-weight and convenient alternatives to traditional packaging media. On the other hand, filling speed vs. cans, cost and disposal of high barrier rigid packaging are aspects that have so far prevented mainstream adoption of the new formats.

The demand for high barrier plastics is not only driven by metal/glass replacement initiatives. The development of new applications, such as single-serve capsules, have significantly contributed to the increase of plastics market penetration.

Having established a leading position in thin wall packaging market research, AMI has focussed its efforts to analyse the global supply chain of high barrier rigid thin wall packaging. The study is a detailed review of demand and supply trends within the high barrier rigid plastics segment. AMI Consulting is uniquely positioned to interrogate existing industry data, and source detailed volumetrics on packaging production and supply due to its competence within the global plastics industry. 

The study gathered production details on a site-by-site basis and from these building blocks an analysis of existing and future demand were derived. The interview programme questioned producers and users on demand drivers within their specific application areas. 


Product scope

High barrier rigid plastic packaging in this study is understood as thin wall packaging containers (pots, tubs, trays, capsules, etc.) produced by extrusion/thermoforming or injection moulding technologies, with the incorporation of EVOH (ethylene-vinyl alcohol copolymer) as the key functional barrier. High barrier bottles are excluded from the analysis. 

For the purposes of this study, the market is divided into these major end-use applications:

  • Extended shelf life products
  • Processed fruit and vegetables
  • Processed meat and fish
  • Ready meals and meal components
  • Pet food
  • Baby food
  • Single serve capsules
  • Spreads/portion packs
  • Other

Polymer scope

The report focuses on the following polymer groups:

  • PP
  • PS
  • PET
  • EVOH
  • Other

Technology scope

The report reviews and quantifies (where relevant) the following barrier technologies:

  • Co-extrusion (in-house thermoforming vs. rollstock sheet)
  • Barrier co-injection
  • Barrier in-mould-label
  • Insert over-moulding
  • Barrier coating
  • Active packaging (scavengers, desiccants)
  • Mono-material medium barrier options 



The study is concerned with the global market. The regional breakdown of this market is as follows:

  • Europe
  • North America
  • South America
  • East Asia (including ASEAN countries, Australasia and Indian Sub-continent)
  • North Asia (including Japan, Taiwan, China)
  • Africa and Middle East (including Turkey)


The report will be supplied as a downloadable PDF with an enterprise-wide license agreement. One printed hard copy of the report will also be provided.


Further information:

To receive a proposal or for further information please click the Enquire/Order button above or contact martyna.fong@ami.international


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Publication Year: 2018
Edition: 7.0
Sites Listed: 789
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