Plastic retort cans are a niche offering in retort packaging segment, wherein pre-cooked or raw food products are placed into the plastic retort cans for achieving commercial sterility. Plastic retort cans are characterized by robustness due to the strength derived from rigid plastics. Plastic retort cans are also gradually occupying the shelves in modern retail formats, as it can be stacked on pallets without the need for cartooning. Attributed to this property, plastic retort cans offer higher storage capacity while saving costs of cartooning, as well as gaining preference of product manufacturers and brand owners.
The retort packaging market comprises of various multilayered packaging products that are used in packaging of food and beverages. Retort packaging improves the shelf life of food products which can be preserved in rigid or flexible packaging forms. Polyphenylene Ether (PPE), Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) and Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) are predominantly used in manufacturing of retort packaging products, including plastic retort cans. The retort packaging market is estimated to be over US$ 30 billion in 2016 and is poised to grow at 7 % CAGR to surpass US$ 58 billion in 2026.
Plastic retort cans have evolved by making use of the retort packaging process. The retort process requires heat for a specific period of time to pre-cooked or raw food products which are packed in retort packages to achieve commercial sterility. Commercial sterility ensures that the food products are free from microbial / organic contaminants. Food products packaged using retort packaging cans have relatively longer shelf life and are largely used for packaging products such as seafood, soups and sauces, baby food, ready-to-eat meals, etc. Plastic retort cans are multilayered packaging products with three to four layers of lamination that comprises of material such as Ethylene vinyl alcohol (EVOH), nylon, aluminum, and food-grade cast polypropylene or CPP.
Plastic Retort Cans market - Market Dynamics:
Plastic retort cans market is gaining momentum from increased demand for packed food in geographies that are characterized by increasing per capita spending, rising middle income population and emerging economies. Furthermore, the above benchmark performance of food and beverage industry across developed as well as developing markets is another catalytic factor for global retort cans market. Nevertheless, players engaged in plastic retort cans manufacturing are constantly challenged by the increasing penetration of retort pouches which offer flexible packaging form, over plastic retort cans. Retort pouches also offer printing capabilities for brands and logos and have applications in organic food packaging, frozen food packaging, pet food packaging, soup packaging and fresh food produce.
Along with the need to improve shelf life of food products, advancement in technology can create opportunities in plastic retort cans market.
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Plastic Retort Cans Market - Market Segmentation:
Retort packaging forms such as cartons, cans, trays, and pouches can be segmented industry wise into food, beverage, healthcare, and pharmaceutical, in which food and beverage have prominent relevance. Plastic retort cans have end usage application in Baby foods, Pet Foods, Seafood, Meat products, and ready to eat meals.
Plastic Retort Cans Market – Regional Analysis
Geographically plastic retort cans market can be segmented into North America, Latin America, Eastern Europe, Western Europe, Asia Pacific, excluding Japan (APEJ), Japan, and Middle East and Africa. The market for retort packaging in Asia Pacific is a major regional market as demand from emerging counties are witnessing upward trend.
Plastic Retort Cans Market - Key Players
Sonoco and Kortec (now part of Milacron Co-Injection Systems) have introduced clear plastic retort cans as an alternative to tin cans with capabilities to handle temperature and pressure conditions.
South Carolina based McCall Farms have introduced see through plastic retort cans that be used for packaging of slow-cooked vegetables. These cans are sold in over 400 stores in the U.S. These see through plastic retort cans developed by packaging products manufacturer Sonoco also have application in the pet food segments.
Klear Can, a plastic retort can manufactured by Kortec Inc. (now part of Milacron Co-Injection Systems), was an outcome of investment in market research by the company to understand customer preference and food safety with respect to PET usage. The company manufactures the Klear Can plastic retort can by 3 layer design that consist of Polypropylene (PP) and Ethylene vinyl alcohol (EVOH).
Key players that manufacture and supply plastic retort cans are Sonoco, RPC, Milacron Co-Injection Systems, Winpack, Amcor, SOPAKCO, and Bemis.
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