The world’s industrial smart packaging sector will be worth £21 billion by 2024. That’s the verdict of a new report by American market research company, Grand View Research. The report indicates that the increase in demand will be led by the automotive and electronics industries.

Smart packaging is a particular type of industrial packaging which has grown hugely in recent years. Divided into two particular submarkets, active packaging and intelligent packaging, it enables industries to keep a closer control on their products. The new technology means goods can be tracked and recorded more easily, and delicate or perishable products can be monitored more closely.

The Grand View Research report found that 70% of the existing market lies in the active packaging sector, which provides functional packaging operations such as moisture and corrosion control.

This type of industrial packaging is being increasingly used by car manufacturers, who are set to drive demand in the near future. It is estimated the industry will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of about 12%, between 2016 and 2024.

Also increasingly being used by the automotive industry, Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) tags are another sector which looks set for impressive growth. RFID tags are identifying tags which use radio waves to record information stored on the product. They can be read even when out of direct sight of the information reader, so are an efficient way of tracking products.

Impressive as these innovations are, however, the fastest-growing segment within the intelligent packaging sector is expected to be near field communication (NFC), with a CAGR of more than 12% projected before 2024.

NFC, increasingly being used within the telecom industries, is a form of contactless communication setup between devices such as smartphones and tablets. It means a user can send information from special tags or even stickers on industrial packaging, without the need for touching or establishing a connection.

Another industry likely to fuel the growth of smart packaging is the personal care sector, which the report estimates will show a CAGR of more than 10% from 2016-2024. More demand for the different types of personal care products, especially organic products, due to a rising awareness of their perceived health benefits over other, more synthetic products, is likely to fuel a rise in demand, says the report.

The report also focused on the rise in industrialisation in emerging economies through the Middle East and Asia, particularly China and India, where an increase in recent investment has seen improvements in the logistics industry of those regions. This, in turn, has led to higher demand for smart packaging, which can only increase further as the years go on.

Asia Pacific alone accounted for a share of more than 11% last year, and the availability in the region of certain raw materials, added to relatively cheap costs in manufacturing, is likely to lead to significant growth in the near future.

In conclusion, it is evident that smart packaging is not only here to stay, but also set to expand as its benefits become more widely known.

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