Kuraray acquires Plantic and expands into bio-based barrier materials

European headquarter of Kuraray in Germany

Kuraray expands into bio-based barrier materials through the acquisition of Plantic.

The Japanese chemical company was the first to commercialize the high-performance barrier resin, EVAL (ethylene vinyl alcohol copolymer), which it launched in 1972. EVAL boasts the highest level of gas barrier properties of all plastics and is the market leading barrier resin used in food packaging and industrial barrier applications. In addition Kuraray has developed and launched KURARISTER a transparent barrier film for retort applications.

The acquisition of Plantic enables Kuraray to provide barrier materials which meets the increasing global demand of bio-based food packaging materials. This is in line with Kuraray’s corporate mission “we in the Kuraray Group are committed to opening new fields of business using pioneering technology and contributing to an improved natural environment and quality of life”. As a world leading producer of barrier materials, Kuraray will further develop its business through the addition of Plantic’s best in class bio-based barrier material.

Plantic is a global leader in bio-based barrier materials. PLANTIC film is used in a broad range of products in the barrier packaging sector and is supplying major supermarkets and brand owners on three continents (Australia, North America and Europe) in applications such as fresh case ready beef, pork, lamb and veal, smoked and processed meats, chicken, and fresh seafood and pasta applications. Kuraray expects that its global sales network will assist to develop the bio-based barrier business in Europe, USA and Asia, responding to the global demand of improved freshness, reduced food loss and waste with the use of environmentally friendly material, PLANTIC film.

In the Australian market PLANTIC film is well known and is being used by a major supermarket. In the United States, the largest meat consumer country, Plantic has commenced supply to a number of brand owners and retailers and Kuraray will further develop Plantic’s business including the potential establishment of a production base or an alliance with third parties. In Japan where the demand for extension of shelf life for fresh meat and other fresh food is increasing, Kuraray can assist its customers to reduce food loss and waste with the environmentally friendly material, PLANTIC film. These market developments are expected to expand the bio-based barrier material business and the company expects to achieve revenue of JPY 10 billion globally over the next 3 years.

In addition there are significant synergies between Kuraray’s existing barrier business and Plantic’s bio-based barrier technology which will drive new applications. Further, Kuraray’s market leading technology and global sales network is expected to accelerate the development and expansion of a barrier material business including Plantic’s technology.

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