LEATHERHEAD UK - The global market for functional additives and barrier coatings for plastic packaging is set to grow by 4.3 percent in the 2009-2014 period, according to a new study by Pira International. In 2014, the sector will be worth $752 million compared to $609 million in 2009. The largest users of functional additives and barrier coatings for plastic packaging are electronics, electricals and the snack-foods market.

The study, The Future of Functional Additives and Barrier Coatings for Plastic Packaging to 2014, draws on extensive primary research and desk research, including interviews with key players along the supply chain, information from the Pira International database, company internet sites, market reports and company reports. The report analyses the market as a whole and by type of coating and additive, end-use sector and geographic region. Key market drivers, trends and technological developments are also covered in detail.

From 2009 to 2014, Pira predicts barrier coatings will grow 4.6 percent annually on average, while functional additives are expected to expand at a slightly more modest 3.9 percent. The resulting 4.3 percent CAGR of the combined additives and coatings market is much higher than the predicted growth of the packaging market. The market segments with the best development prospects are epoxy, SiOx, carbon and PVOH coatings, and anti-fog and antimicrobial additives.

Pira identifies a range of factors expected to drive the predicted growth in the additives and coatings market.

Pira reports that the global recession will impact the structure of end-user demand. Sales of basic products such as essential food and beverages have remained largely unchanged, but a number of products requiring more sophisticated packaging, such as cosmetics, snack foods, confectionery and ready meals, have suffered a drop in sales. This has had a negative impact on the demand for functional additives and barrier coatings.

Growing demand for barrier-coated PET bottles, which will be generated by markets such as the beer-brewing industry, will also impact the industry. The activity of large retail chains in developing markets is expected to stimulate the sales of packaged food.

Mounting pressure on brand owners and retailers to reduce the environmental impact of their packaging is another factor influencing the industry. Reducing packaging weight by switching to thinner materials is one likely response, which will drive demand for functional additives. The use of barrier coatings is also expected to increase thanks to its relative ease of recycling as opposed to older technologies such as multilayer bottles.

The changing lifestyles of consumers will also impact the industry. Busier lifestyles, longer working hours and the increasing number of single-person and single-parent households will drive demand for smaller packs, ready meals and frozen food. In turn, this will spur demand for barrier coatings and functional additives.

According to Pira the largest current user of functional additives and barrier coatings for plastic packaging is the non-food market, mainly electricals and electronics. In second place is the snack-foods industry. Both industries are poised to remain in the lead in the coming five years.

The Future of Functional Additives and Barrier Coatings for Plastic Packaging to 2014 is available now. For additional information, visit www.pira-international.com.