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.

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 compound annual growth rate 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.

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 have suffered a drop in sales.

Growing demand for barrier-coated PET bottles 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 is one likely response, which will drive demand for functional additives.