This industry study analyzes the $7.4 billion US specialty film market.
It presents historical demand data (2008, 2013, and 2018) and forecasts for 2023 by product (barrier films, microporous films, safety and security films, conductive and insulative films, light control films, water soluble films, biodegradable films), polymer (polyolefin, polyester, nylon, EVOH, polyvinyl butyral, fluoropolymer, PVDC), and market (food packaging, nonfood packaging, personal care product, electronics, transportation equipment, construction).
The study also evaluates company market share and analyzes industry competitors including Bemis, Berry Plastics, Charter NEX, DowDuPont, Eastman Chemical, Kloeckner Pentaplast, Kuraray, Mitsubishi Chemical, Printpack, Sealed Air, 3M, Toray, and Winpak.
High-Value, Technologically Advanced Products Drive Growth
US demand for specialty films is forecast to rise 4% per year to $9 billion in 2023. Gains will be fueled by demand for high-value, technologically advanced materials with good barrier properties, controlled permeability, light control, and/or electrical conductivity or resistivity.
A healthy outlook for food shipments, where the majority of specialty films are used in packaging applications, will boost demand, as will growth in other packaging applications and construction expenditures. Additionally, advances will result from the development of new applications in degradable packaging, and ongoing growth in laundry and dishwasher detergent “pods” demand, despite well-publicized stories regarding their safety.
Water Soluble Films Will See the Fastest Growth Through 2023
Water soluble films are forecast to post the fastest growth through 2023, albeit a slowdown from the double digit pace seen in the previous decade. Consumer trends for convenience will drive ongoing growth in demand for laundry and dishwasher detergent unit dose packaging, or “pods.” The introduction of similar packaging for food ingredients, beverage mixes, and soaps and shampoos will also buoy demand. Consumer calls for more environmentally friendly packaging will drive demand for both water soluble and biodegradable films, forecast to post above average gains through 2023.
Barrier Films to Remain Leading Market Segment
The food packaging market accounted for 52% of overall demand in 2018; nearly 95% of those films were barrier films. The development of new technologies, including modified atmosphere packaging and vacuum skin packaging for demanding applications such as meat packaging, will boost growth for barrier films in food packaging. Ethylene vinyl alcohol, nylon, and polyvinylidene chloride films will benefit in particular. Demand will also benefit from the increased use of specialty barrier films in pharmaceutical blister packaging application, particularly fluoropolymer and nylon films in multilayer constructions.
Demand for Specialty Films in Electronics Will Rebound
Demand for specialty films in electronics fell in the decade between 2008 and 2018, as the production of photovoltaic modules was negatively impacted by imports from Asian producers. However, demand is expected to rebound through 2023, particularly in conductive and insulative films, as domestic manufacturers expand production capacity. Growth in advanced battery output, due primarily to the onset of production at Tesla’s lithium ion “Gigafactory” in 2017, will lift demand for microporous films used as battery separators. However, the continued dominance of Asian manufacturers in printed circuits and electronic displays will limit stronger gains.
Key Topics Covered
1. Executive Summary
6. Industry Structure
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