The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic had widespread economic, social, and political effects on Latin America. According to the Congressional Research Service (CRS), as of April 14, 2021, there were about 26.7 million confirmed illnesses and over 846,000 deaths in the region. With an increase in the number of COVID patients in LATAM, there is an increasing demand for healthcare products, such as syringes, vials, and cartridges during the epidemic in LATAM owing to the proper treatment of covid patients in Latin America. Thus, the COVID-19 pandemic has increased not only smart packaging demand but its prominence also in the LATAM. Furthermore, food & beverages were required on a large scale amidst this pandemic to fulfill the increasing global demand, owing to which the retail sales were operating normally in 2020. And since retail stores and healthcare products are often packaged, there was an increasing demand for packaging materials in LATAM during the pandemic, which accelerated the demand for smart packaging market growth in 2020 amid coronavirus. However, the COVID-19 caused severe economic impacts in Latin America, as the Latin American government restricted the import-export trade which adversely affected the smart packaging industry in Latin America. For instance, according to the Food Export Association of the Midwest USA and Food Export USA, in 2020, overall consumer food exports from the United States to Brazil fell 3% to US$217.3 million. In 2020, Brazil imported US$190.6 million in processed foods from the US, down 11% from the previous year.
LATAM Smart Packaging Market Segment Analysis By Type
The intelligent packaging segment held the largest share in the LATAM smart packaging market in 2020 and is growing at a CAGR of 6.4% during 2021-2026, owing to the benefits that it offers such as indicators or sensors to monitor the condition of the product and provide information on tightness, storage time, temperature, or freshness of products. Alternatively, intelligent packaging such as indicators or sensors can be integrated with the packaging, placed on the outside or inside the packaging. Owing to this integrated freshness and/or time/temperature indicators, retailers and consumers can see whether a critical limit value has been exceeded. In addition, intelligent packaging also fulfills information, automation, marketing, or protective functions through barcodes, LEDs, near field communication, radio frequency identification, smart labels, augmented reality, NFC, loudspeakers, radio chips, or displays. All these advantages associated with intelligent packaging are driving its demand for the applications of smart packaging.
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LATAM Smart Packaging Market Segment Analysis By Substrate
The plastic segment held the largest share of more than 35% in the LATAM smart packaging market in 2020. Plastics such as polystyrene, polyethylene, are often a more efficient material to choose from than other alternatives such as metals and glass. This is due to the fact that plastics are extremely energy efficient to produce and are much lighter than alternative materials such as metals and glasses. Plastics packaging is ideal for the packaging of foodstuffs, medicines, and pharmaceuticals owing to advantages associated with it such as durability, hygiene, lightweight, and more. Thus, since plastics possess such extensive characteristics it is often preferred over metals and glass as a substrate for smart packaging materials.
LATAM Smart Packaging Market Segment Analysis By End-Use Industry
The food & beverages segment held the largest share in the LATAM smart packaging market in 2020 and is growing at a CAGR of 7.2% during 2021-2026. In all disciplines of life sciences, the trend toward sustainability, enhanced product safety, and high-quality standards is critical. Intelligent packaging, such as near field communication, radio frequency identification, smart labels, and other technologies, are utilized in the food industry to meet these standards. These systems can continuously check a product’s quality and share that information with the consumer. Food waste can be decreased and customer satisfaction can be improved in this way. Smart packaging is often used in the food & beverages industry to extend shelf life, monitor freshness, display quality information, and improve product and customer safety. Because of the rising demand for diagnostic packaging in response to customer demand for more information on the freshness of goods, as well as the necessity for track and trace systems, it has a lot of potential for use in food and beverage items. Thus, owing to this extensive utilization and need of smart packaging in the food & beverages logistic and sales services, they are being extensively utilized in the food & beverage sector.
LATAM Smart Packaging Market Segment Analysis By Geography
Brazil held the largest share in the LATAM smart packaging market in 2020 and up to 6.7% during 2021-2026. This growth can be attributed to the growing food and beverages industry in the country. Smart packaging materials are often a material of choice for packaging as it extends shelf life, improves quality, enhances safety, provides information, and more using technologies such as near field communication, radio frequency identification, smart labels, and more. According to the Brazilian Association of Food Industries, the food and beverage industry is Brazil’s largest manufacturing sector, accounting for approximately a quarter of the country’s value-added and 2.4 percent of GDP in 2018. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), in 2019, Brazilian food industry sales amounted to R$699 billion (US$177 billion), an increase of seven percent compared to the previous year. According to Brazilian Association for Restaurants and Bars (Abrasel), the market of home delivery reached R$18 billion in 2020 (US$5 billion), with a two-digit growth rate for the upcoming year. Thus, the increasing demand and supply of food and beverages in the country are accelerating the demand for smart packaging materials in the country.
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LATAM Smart Packaging Market Drivers
Increasing Retail Sale Bolstering the Growth of Smart Packaging Industry
Smart packaging is often embedded with sensor technology such as near field communication, radio frequency identification, bar code, smart labels, and more and they are extensively used in retail stores in products such as foods, pharmaceuticals, and many more. Barcodes are widely used in retailers and stores for inventory check and stock tracking due to their low cost and ease of use. The Brazilian Market Association (ABRAS) reported supermarket revenues at R$355.7 billion in 2018, an increase of 0.7 percent in nominal terms. With the rise in medical device production, demand for smart packaging is expected to rise significantly, propelling the industry growth in the USA. According to the Food Export Association of the Midwest USA and Food Export USA, the retail sector sales in Brazil amounted to US$84 billion (R$433.4 billion) and the foodservice purchases from the local food processing industry accounted for US$26 billion (R$139.9 billion), an increase of 12.7% and a contraction of 24.3%, respectively. Thus, the increasing retail store in the region is driving the demand for barcode packaging of products, which is driving the smart packaging market in Latin America.
Increasing Demand from the Medical & Healthcare Sector
Smart packaging solutions such as radio frequency identification, bar code, smart labels, Wi-Fi-enabled devices, and smart automatic dispensers are being extensively utilized in the medical & healthcare sector to better detect potential theft, counterfeiting, or contamination of medications and medical devices. Many medical medications, are to be stored at a certain temperature, otherwise, they might not only become unusable but also dangerous for the patients health. Because intelligent packaging is widely used in the medical and healthcare industries, labels informing about a product’s temperature during shipment and storage can be created, allowing doctors, pharmacists, and patients to evaluate if the pharmaceuticals are safe to use or not. According to the International Trade Administration (ITA), Brazil is one of the top seven largest medication and pharmaceutical markets in the world, with a market growth rate of 10.74 percent in 2019. According to PROCOLOMBIA, Colombia’s pharmaceutical business was worth USD 4.795 billion in 2019. In the same year, production totaled US$2.9 billion, with digestive and metabolic health products leading the way. This market is expected to increase at a rate of 3% until 2022, according to forecasts. According to the Pharmaceuticals Export Promotion Council of India, Brazil has traditionally been Latin Americas largest pharmaceutical market. By 2022, the Brazilian Pharma market is expected to touch US$31 bn. With the rise in pharma production, demand for smart packaging is expected to rise significantly, propelling the industry growth in Latin America.
LATAM Smart Packaging Market Challenges
Gaining Interest in Antimicrobial Packaging
Researchers and industry are both interested in antimicrobial packaging because of its potential to improve quality and safety. Future microbial active packaging research should place a greater emphasis on naturally generated antimicrobial agents, bio-preservatives, and biodegradable solutions. Bio-degradable packaging technology with better quality and safety, for example, has already spawned a slew of packaging innovations and contributed to the improvement of food quality and safety, demonstrating the viability of bio-active functional components. Furthermore, developing thin-film electronics for integration into packaging technologies is a difficult task. Temperature tracking and monitoring of perishable commodities can be accomplished by integrating thin-film electronics into printed and flexible sensor systems. However, there is still a performance issue to be addressed. All these factors will pose a challenge for the smart packaging market growth.
LATAM Smart Packaging Market Landscape
Technology launches, acquisitions, and R&D activities are key strategies adopted by players in the LATAM smart packaging market. LATAM smart packaging market top companies are:
Aptar Group Inc.
In March 2020, Aptar Launched InvisiShield – a active packaging solution for pathogen mitigation.
Brazil dominates the LATAM smart packaging market. In May 2020, the first Latin America Smart Packaging Centre of Excellence (CoE-SmPa) was opened in Brazil. Such initiatives are aiding in smart packaging market growth in the country.
Smart packaging uses technologies such as near field communication, radio frequency identification, smart labels, and more is about clever ways to package a product, providing quick, cheap, and efficient ways to monitor the environmental conditions of food in the supply chain.
People’s interest in the freshness of food in real-time, such as fruits, vegetables, fish, and meat, has necessitated research and development in the field of smart packaging, which is expected to boost the market growth.
The research of nanotechnology into various food and beverage applications, desire for shelf-stable and sustainable packaging solutions among food and beverage merchants and producers, and increased packaged food product usage are all contributing to the market’s growth.
This industry has also been fueled by advancements in printing techniques in many industries. Printed technologies have demonstrated their usefulness in the processing and presentation of data on paper and other substrates.
However, excessive price of capital for installment, security issues, new techniques for fabricating such sensors and indicators that are compatible with current packaging standards, and awareness among consumers are major roadblocks and difficulties to the market’s expansion.
A. Sustainable Packaging Market
B. Smart Packaging Market
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