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Brand protection, track and trace, and other anti-counterfeiting technologies in packaging are increasing in use, as economies across the globe adjust to a new post-Covid world, according to the latest data from Smithers.

The Future of Anti-Counterfeting, Brand Protection & Security Packaging to 2025 report shows that demand for these components will reach $3.25 billion in 2021.

The report points to the pandemic as the contributing factor to the accelerated forecast compound annual growth of 5.6 per cent for 2021-26, which will yield a total market value of $4.26 billion in that year. 

Geographically, the report finds that demand for anti-theft, product authentication, tamper-evidence, and track and trace components will continue to grow, even in Europe and North America, which are “largely static markets for standard packaging”. 

“In 2020, the global pandemic and the rise of e-commerce selling led to a rise in fake goods,” according to the report. 

“For example, in cosmetics and personal care there are reports of a 56 per cent increase in counterfeit products sold via online channels.

“More seriously, fears over shortages of medicines, pharmaceuticals, and now vaccines, in many regions have led to a greater availability of counterfeit goods, against which consumers need protection. 

“This is increasing the use of anti-counterfeiting solutions, including more interest in mandated track and trace schemes from governments.” 

Smithers’ analysis tracks the value of individual components within those changing and increasingly digitised supply chains. It forecasts over the next five years:

  • A surge in demand for printed coding (such as QR codes), RFID circuitry, and covert taggants used in traceability systems.
  • This will be joined by further use of specialty inks and diffractive optically variable image devices (DOVIDs) in product authentication.
  • For tamper-evident features, the fastest growing components will be blister packaging, film wrap, and security-grade high-strength adhesives, but overall this segment will grow at below the market mean,
  • The slowest growth will be seen in anti-theft technologies, reflecting the reduced use of physical retail over the forecast period, and a transition to more digital technologies.
  • While consumer segments are a focus for legislators, the business threat of counterfeit parts will make industrial goods – already the second largest segment – the fastest growing application through to 2026.

“To be effective, security packaging will rely increasingly on integrating new technologies to optimise traceability and usability, and the market survey has identified multiple emergent software and hardware solutions that are poised to deliver this,” says Smithers. 

“This includes blockchain distributed ledger platforms, 5G and NFC connectivity, the wider use of the Internet of Things, and digital identities and automated verification.” 

Exclusive market data for this segment is presented in over 50 data tables and figures, segmenting the market by component type, packaging function, end-use application, and geographic region. This business strategy guide is now available to purchase now, priced at $6500, from the Smithers website.

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