The global insulated packaging market size is anticipated to expand at a substantial rate over 2021-2027, driven by the increasing need for cold chain management of perishable products, alongside the mounting application scope of insulated packaging materials in food, pharmaceuticals, and other end-use industries. Thermal insulated boxes, for instance, are capable of transporting biological and medical products for up to 24 hours at strictly controlled temperatures.
Insulated or thermal containers are shipping storage containers designed to store and ship temperature-sensitive items. This type of packaging allows the transported material to have a long shelf life without being damaged due to constant exposure to high-temperature environments. They are highly suitable for long-distance product transportation owing to their regulated temperature control.
Escalating e-grocery sales, especially during the coronavirus pandemic, and the subsequent increase in demand for insulated packaging solutions to safeguard fresh and frozen foods from spoilage are the prominent trends bolstering the overall insulated packaging market growth. In addition, key manufacturers are rapidly indulging in R&D activities to cater to the rising demand for eco-friendly products. Insulated Products Corporation, for instance, introduced SustainaLinerTM, its 100% mono-material plastic film with high recyclable value, which comes in various forms including insulated roll to ensure cost-effective and environment-friendly product shipping.
In terms of segmentation by material, the corrugated cardboard segment is projected to account for a significant market share by 2027, considering the rapid adoption of corrugated boxes as a preferred shipping solution in countries such as the U.S. The segmental expansion will further be boosted by its myriad usage benefits such as sustainability, seamless customization, cost-effectiveness, and biodegradable nature.
Regionally, the Asia Pacific is set to emerge as a lucrative revenue pocket for the insulated packaging industry over the estimated timeline. This is a result of the robust demand for frozen foods due to a considerable rise in the number of millennials and gen-Z consumers in emerging economies such as India. Chinese food delivery company, Meituan Waimai, revealed that searches for ‘Lunar New Year meals’ surged by 200% in February 2021 as compared to the same period in 2021. This anticipated rise in food orders will further contribute to the rising popularity of insulated packaging products in years ahead.
The competitive landscape of the global insulated packaging market comprises of companies such as Huhtamäki Oyj, TemperPack Technologies, Providence Packaging, Innovative Energy, Sonoco, TP Solutions, American Aerogel, and Deutsche Post AG, among others. These firms are implementing various strategies like new product launches and business expansions to maintain a strong market position and boost their product portfolio.
Rapid Export of COVID-19 Vaccines & its Impact on Insulated Packaging Market Trends:
The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has adversely affected a multitude of industrial sectors worldwide, especially the packaging industry. Over the past years, companies in this sector emphasized the development of environment-friendly, biodegradable, and reusable solutions. However, high concerns regarding the safety and hygiene of reusable packaging have led to a temporary halt in the industry’s progress towards a circular and sustainable supply chain, which likely created challenges for the insulated packaging industry growth.
However, rapid increase in the export of COVID vaccines is likely to stimulate the use of insulated boxes, as they are equipped with a cold source to compensate for thermal exchanges at the external surface and ship temperature-sensitive vaccines and other healthcare products. For instance, the mRNA vaccine for COVID-19, co-developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, underlined the importance of packaging and insulated pallet shippers as the vaccine needs to be stored at minus 70 degrees Celsius, hence serving as a major factor in the development of insulated packaging materials even during the pandemic.