The global fresh meat packaging market is expected to grow at 2.30% CAGR during 2016-2026 to reach $2.47 billion by 2026, according to a study released by Transparency Market Research, Albany, N.Y. Vacuum skin packaging is expected to drive this growth, and lead the market with a 32% share of the total revenues by 2026.

The market players are witnessing a rise in revenues as in-store promotions and consumer awareness play a bigger role.

The fresh meat packaging market in North America region, for instance, is expected to continue its leading position in the global market. The region is expected to hold 36% of the total revenue share during the forecast period. Rising demand for chicken products, product innovations and widespread standardization in packaging are likely to drive the market in the near future.

Falling beef sales a challenge

The last few years have registered a steady decline in beef sales in emerging markets. This trend is unlikely to reverse, and promises to become a headache for players in the fresh meat packaging market. 

Growing trends toward convenience options such as ready-to-cook meals are likely to result in higher beef sales. Additionally, beef products are on average slightly more expensive compared to its main alternative—chicken. Moreover, health concerns such as red meat's association with increased risk of stroke are fueling growing concerns among consumers.

On the other hand, ready-to-cook chicken products are growing in sales. Advancements in packaging are expected to drive more promotional options for meat manufacturers, as well as help educate consumers to choose a healthier and relatively more expensive option to drive growth.

Vacuum skin packaging emerges as key growth factor               

Vacuum skin packaging is driven by increasing sales of chicken and fresh sea products. Additionally, this packaging type ideal for grocery stores and butcher shops due to its low price enabled by widespread penetration of the technology.

Moreover, the innovations in vacuum skin packaging also offers more opportunities for meat manufacturers to differentiate their products from competing brands.

In developed regions, consumers are increasingly spending more on eating outdoors, which is expected to support revenue growth and innovation in vacuum packaging. The rise of ready-to-eat chicken and sea products are expected to result in a major boost to this segment and drive growth of the fresh meat packaging market during the forecast period.

Additionally, increased meat sales in developing regions such as Asia Pacific due to growing disposable incomes and changing consumer preferences are expected to drive considerable growth for the fresh meat packaging market during 2018-2026.