Thermoformable Films to Post 5.7 Percent CAGR to 2031

Rigid packaging like these PET Mono food trays produced by Klockner Pentaplast will drive growth in thermoformable films. Courtesy of Klockner Pentaplast
Rigid packaging like these PET Mono food trays produced by Klockner Pentaplast will drive growth in thermoformable films. Courtesy of Klockner Pentaplast

Food packaging, electronics and aerospace will drive much of the global demand for thermoformable films from 2023 to 2031.

Report credits demand in food packaging, aerospace and electronics for growth

This is a great time to invest in thermoforming, especially thermoformable films. Consegic Business Intelligence, of Pune, India, says global demand for thermoformable films will reach almost $933 million in 2031 compared with $597 million in 2023, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.7 percent during the forecast period (

In a report titled “Thermoformable Film Market Forecast 2023-2031,” the consultant credits growing demand in food packaging, as well as electronics and aerospace, as accelerating growth for thermoformable films. (An extract is available at

Major films the report covers are polyethylene, polyethylene terephthalate, polypropylene and polyvinyl chloride, along with ABS, ethylene vinyl alcohol and polyamide. These films provide product-relevant oxygen transmission rates and high barrier against moisture and gas. They offer an array of sealing properties, shape retention, mechanical properties, adhesion for printing and lamination, and lightweighting among other properties and come in varying thicknesses, widths and sealing layers.

Polyethylene Films See Major Market Growth in 2022

PE films accounted for the largest market growth in 2022, the last year for which figures are available. This is due to the reduction in packaging weight they offer. Growing demand for low-cost packaging options coupled with good shelf appeal is also increasing the use of thermoformable PE films.

Vacuum thermoforming posted the largest market growth in 2022. In all, three segments were analyzed: vacuum, pressurized and mechanical. The vacuum process removes air from a package and ensures the package nestles around a product. Benefits include longer shelf life and durability. The removal of microbial spoilage by this process, moreover, enhances taste and freshness. Additional benefits such as moisture protection, anti-corrosion properties, resistance to mechanical damage, scratches and other contamination also power use of the process.

Rigid and flexible packaging were also analyzed. The rigid segment accounted for the largest share of film growth in 2022. Rigid films are used mostly for mechanical benefits such as product protection.

Films Meet Demanding Needs of Perishable Foods

Food packaging accounted for the largest market share in 2022—34.15 percent. These films are widely used for refrigerated and frozen foods. The increasing preference for dairy and other perishable health products by consumers is leading to demand for packaging that protects food from spoilage, which PE does.

In 2022, Asia-Pacific accounted for the largest share of regional growth, partly due to high demand for ready-to-eat foods. The region generated 38.55 percent of global market share valued at almost $219.4 million in 2022 and $230.4 million in 2023. Demand is expected to reach $361.2 million in 2031. China had the highest market share, 23 percent, in 2022.

The thermoformable film market is also expected to grow steadily due to application opportunities in aerospace, especially in Asia-Pacific and North America, as well as from demand in electronics and pharmaceuticals.

North America is forecast to boost market demand for thermoformable films due to the U.S. food and beverage industry coupled with increasing sales of electronic goods. North America is growing at the fastest CAGR over the forecast period in the thermoformable film market.

By Pat Toensmeier | September 25, 2023

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