The packaging industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by recyclability, durability, transparency, and extended shelf life, and growing importance of technologies such as shrink wrapping, smart packaging, 3D printing, and computer aided design. 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 Innovation in packaging: biodegradable packaging films. Buy the report here.
However, not all innovations are equal and nor do they follow a constant upward trend. Instead, their evolution takes the form of an S-shaped curve that reflects their typical lifecycle from early emergence to accelerating adoption, before finally stabilizing and reaching maturity.
Identifying where a particular innovation is on this journey, especially those that are in the emerging and accelerating stages, is essential for understanding their current level of adoption and the likely future trajectory and impact they will have.
30+ innovations will shape the packaging industry
According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which plots the S-curve for the packaging industry using innovation intensity models built on over 77,000 patents, there are 30+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.
Within the emerging innovation stage, cellulose fiber 3D printing, biodegradable packaging films, and multilayer barrier films are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. RFID packaging, anti-counterfeiting bottle caps, and clamshell-type packaging are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are resealable medication vials and synthetic resin containers, which are now well established in the industry.
Innovation S-curve for the packaging industry
Biodegradable packaging films is a key innovation area in packaging
Biodegradable packaging films refer to the films or materials used for packaging that can break down and decompose into natural components in the environment without causing harm. These films are typically made from natural materials such as starch, cellulose, and various biodegradable polymers and can be used for various packaging applications, including food packaging and consumer goods.
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 60+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established packaging companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of biodegradable packaging films.
Key players in biodegradable packaging films – 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 packaging films
|Company||Total patents (2010 - 2022)||Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies|
|Novamont||70||Unlock Company Profile|
|Polymateria||36||Unlock Company Profile|
|TIPA||29||Unlock Company Profile|
|CCL Industries||18||Unlock Company Profile|
|Corbion||16||Unlock Company Profile|
|Huhtamaki||16||Unlock Company Profile|
|SPC Sunflower Plastic Compound||16||Unlock Company Profile|
|Danimer Scientific||13||Unlock Company Profile|
|Finlav||10||Unlock Company Profile|
|Tongling Founder Plastics Technology||9||Unlock Company Profile|
|Biotec Biologische Naturverpackungen||9||Unlock Company Profile|
|Illinois Tool Works||8||Unlock Company Profile|
|Toyo Seikan Group||7||Unlock Company Profile|
|SoluBlue||7||Unlock Company Profile|
|Idemitsu Kosan||6||Unlock Company Profile|
|Biome Technologies||6||Unlock Company Profile|
|Biofiba||5||Unlock Company Profile|
|Stora Enso||5||Unlock Company Profile|
|3M||5||Unlock Company Profile|
|Kaneka||5||Unlock Company Profile|
|Dissolve||4||Unlock Company Profile|
|Canon||4||Unlock Company Profile|
|S K C||3||Unlock Company Profile|
|Daiwa Securities Group||3||Unlock Company Profile|
|U.S. Department of Agriculture||3||Unlock Company Profile|
|Government of South Korea||3||Unlock Company Profile|
|Youlchon Chemical||3||Unlock Company Profile|
|Uni-President China||2||Unlock Company Profile|
|China Tobacco International HK||2||Unlock Company Profile|
|Suzhou Dingli Packaging||2||Unlock Company Profile|
|Biofiba Innovations||2||Unlock Company Profile|
|Double Double D||2||Unlock Company Profile|
|The Green||2||Unlock Company Profile|
|Anhui Mengniu Color Printing Packaging||2||Unlock Company Profile|
|M2i Life Sciences||2||Unlock Company Profile|
|Kwik Lok||2||Unlock Company Profile|
|Univerzita Tomase Bati ve Zline||2||Unlock Company Profile|
|Hefei Zhenxun Low Temperature Technology||1||Unlock Company Profile|
|Hefei Puerfei Wire Technology||1||Unlock Company Profile|
|Hefei Fengteng Energy Saving Technology||1||Unlock Company Profile|
|Hefei Rende Electronic Technology||1||Unlock Company Profile|
|Kingfa Science and Technology||1||Unlock Company Profile|
|Jieshou Huasheng Plastic Machinery||1||Unlock Company Profile|
|Suzhou Vivotide Biotechnologies||1||Unlock Company Profile|
|Advanced Throughput||1||Unlock Company Profile|
|TOS||1||Unlock Company Profile|
|Anhui Chaohu South Membrane Industry||1||Unlock Company Profile|
|Daohe Biotechnology||1||Unlock Company Profile|
|Anhui Yueerwei Plastic Machinery||1||Unlock Company Profile|
|Anhui Songtai Packaging Materials||1||Unlock Company Profile|
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
Novamont is one of the leading patent filers in biodegradable packaging films. Some other key patent filers in the space include Polymateria, TIPA, CCL Industries, Corbion, and Huhtamaki. CCL Industries, a leading patent filer, announced the investment of $70m to expand its films capacity in Germany. With this investment, the company plans to produce sustainable films with low resin content.
In terms of application diversity, TIPA leads the pack, while CCL Industries and 3M stood in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, TIPA held the top position, followed by CCL Industries and Polymateria.
The demand for biodegradable packaging films will be stimulated by their ability to provide effective, sustainable, and environmentally friendly packaging solutions that meet the evolving needs of consumers, businesses, and regulatory bodies concerned about the planet's well-being. To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the packaging industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Packaging.