Special food-grade inks are increasingly used in printing for food packaging to ensure there is no contamination of the product


Food-safe inks will grow at a fast rate in the coming years, as pressure from brand owners and regulators sees them adopted in larger amounts of food packaging, according to Smithers Pira

The new report, The Future of Printing for Food Packaging to 2021, also forecasts that food packaging will grow at a faster rate than the overall packaging market from 2016 to 2021, at 3.0% CAGR in real value and print area.

Convertors who previously eschewed food-safe inks due to cost are under increasing pressure from brands, and growing regulation of food safety from regional and national governments. Encouragingly, the general food packaging market is growing by 6.0% annually in volume terms to 2021 as the use of food-safe inks is adopted

Report author and Whitmar’s technical editor, Sean Smyth, stated, ‘Food packaging developments are driven by consumer preferences, which are making brands and retailers change and refresh their offerings. Safety concerns override these trends, and have to fit in with pressures to make supply chains increasingly sustainable. This may work against safety, as work to minimise packaging materials may downgauge a barrier film, for example, making it less effective at protecting the contents.’

The study is based on extensive primary research including a comprehensive round of interviews and conversations with industry experts and participants around the world in order to gauge the most up-to-date views on the industry from the inside. This report also draws upon a wide range of sources including printing and packaging reports, forecasts, websites and government sources and has been compiled using Smithers Pira’s expanded database of magazine and journal abstracts, reviews of previous Smithers Pira reports and conference papers.

The report is available for £4,500.