The packaging industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven around increasing the shelf life of the product, automation, and recyclability, and the growing importance of technologies, such as biodegradable packaging, Internet of Things, and active packaging. In the last three years alone, there have been over 427,000 patents filed and granted in the packaging industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Environmental sustainability in packaging: biodegradeable food packaging.
According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which uses over 77,000 patents to analyze innovation intensity for the packaging industry, there are 30+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.
Biodegradable food packaging is a key innovation area in environmental sustainability
Biodegradable packaging is easier to recycle, as it is made from eco-friendly materials. They cause less carbon emission thereby reducing climate change. Moreover, they are produced using less energy and are non-toxic in nature. Despite having its own advantages over plastic, biodegradable packaging has some limitations too.
GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 160+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established packaging companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of biodegradable food packaging.
Key players in biodegradable food packaging – a disruptive innovation in the packaging industry
‘Application diversity’ measures the number of applications identified for each patent. It broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.
‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of countries each patent is registered in. It reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.
Patent volumes related to biodegradable food packaging
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
Huhtamaki is the leading patent filer in biodegradable food packaging. Huhtamaki launched ICON packaging, an innovative technology, which was initially used for ice cream containers and lids. This technology facilitates recycling in communities across the US that have a paper product recycling program.
Some of the other key patent filers in the biodegradable food packaging space include Zume, Polymateria, and Gruppo illy.
In terms of application diversity, Kuraray leads the pack, while A&R Carton and Better Life Pharmaceuticals stand in second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Polymateria Limited holds the top position, followed by Gruppo illy and Better Life Pharmaceuticals.
With rising consumer awareness pertaining to environmental protection and the impact of packaging materials, biodegradable packaging will potentially become an important aspect in the packaging industry.
To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the packaging industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) in Packaging.