The aseptic packaging has been adopted in high volume in dairy product packaging. Since aseptic packaging does not require any refrigeration or preservation, milk wastage has significantly reduced. Although carton is the major packaging product for aseptic packaging, rigid plastic and glass can also be used with certain modifications in the processing and FFS techniques. Tetra Pak dominated the aseptic packaging market. Evolving customers’ preferences and increased demand for dairy products differentiation are pushing the packaging industry to smart packaging. Advances in technology offered rigid, flexible, and liquid cartons as thy are major packaging materials that can be aseptically and non-aseptically packaged.

Flexible Plastic Packaging

Non-renewable resources are the major sources for the manufacturing of flexible plastic packaging. High-quality dairy products are predominantly packaged in flexible plastic pouches. These pouches offer extended shelf life to dairy products. The demand for plastic pouches is increasing as they are lightweight, offer efficient single-serve opportunities, and provide widespread marketing capabilities. The APAC flexible plastic market is witnessing an increase in the procurement of processing technology, which is likely to generate a high demand for flexible plastic packaging. In Europe, Germany, the UK, and France control over 60% of the milk production, and the region is a major hub for dairy processing.

Liquid Cartons

The application of liquid cartons is expected to grow rapidly as aseptic packaging is gaining prominence. Aseptically packaging extends the shelf life of dairy products from six months to one year without refrigeration or added preservatives. Multi-layer liquid cartons are made up of liquid packaging board (LPB), polyethylene, and aluminum foil. The separation of foil and PE during recycling is a complex process and is one of the major drawbacks of mass adoption in regions. The premiumization of dairy products has bolstered the sale of liquid cartons. APAC is expected to drive the demand for liquid cartons as premium dairy products is growing in the region due to the growth in the middle-class segment. The demand for milk packaging with such cartons is high in Europe and North America as the consumption of premium dairy products is high in the region.

Rigid Plastic Packaging

Rigid plastic holds on its original shape and does not change form with variations in temperatures. The demand for rigid plastic is increasing as it is lightweight, which reduces logistics costs. Moreover, the easy availability of raw materials required to manufacture such packaging products is further expected to increase the demand for rigid plastics. However, the increasing demand for environmental-friendly packaging is pushing rigid plastic manufacturers to introduce recyclable alternatives. The demand for such packaging material is likely to be driven from the APAC region as the production cost of rigid plastic such as PET and HDPE is low due to ease of availability of resins and polymer materials. In Europe, yogurt, desserts, and butter are the major products that predominantly use rigid plastic packaging.

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