US demand for produce packaging to increase

Related tags Corrugated fiberboard

US demand for produce packaging is projected to increase 5.1 per
cent per annum (including price increases) to $3.6 billion in 2008,
claims a new report.

According to the Freedonia Group'sProduce Packaging​ report, growth will be fueled by trends toward healthier eating and rising demand for fresh-cut, ready-to-eat produce.

Demographic trends, such as smaller household sizes, the aging of the population, higher incomes, and rising numbers of households where all adults work, will have a positive impact on produce consumption, especially ready-to-eat products offering increased convenience.

Above-average advances are anticipated for plastic containers, bags and liners, and reusable plastic containers (RPCs), with plastic containers and bags benefiting from rapid growth for fresh-cut, ready-to-eat produce. Plastic container use, says Freedonia, will be driven by growing demand for clear tubs, cups and bowls for salads and precut fruit.

Clamshells will benefit from a favorable outlook for berry and speciality tomato demand and the further development of smaller applications such as salads and grapes. Corrugated boxes, the dominant produce packaging type, will post slower advances, although opportunities will be driven by favorable acceptance of modular systems like Corrugated Common Footprint (CCF) products, which compete strongly with RPCs.

RPCs were essentially negligible in produce applications in 1998, but have since gained a significant presence as a result of a push for their use by Wal-Mart. While growth for these containers will level off due to competition from CCF containers, the compatibility of RPCs and CCF systems will lead to additional usage of RPCs for specific applications where reusable containers can be advantageous.

Salad, which accounted for eleven per cent of produce packaging demand in 2003, will remain the fastest -growing segment of the market. Through 2008, salad packaging is projected to expand at a 9.5 percent annual pace to $495 million.

Robust growth will be based on healthy sales increases for bagged salads, both in retail and foodservice channels. Fruit and vegetable packaging applications will benefit from growing demand for ready-to-eat items, which offer increased consumer convenience and require more packaging than most bulk products.

Both the US and European ready meals markets encompassing fresh, frozen and chilled have been major growth sectors. In Europe, the sector now accounts for an annual consumption in excess of 480,000 tonnes. The market has grown by 20 per cent in the UK over the past five years, and the trend shows no sign of having peaked.

The predicted growth in US produce packaging mirrors the anticipated increase in sales of protective packaging. The Freedonia Group estimated earlier this year that demand in the US is likely to grow 5.2 per cent annually through 2008.

In this particular study, entitled Protective Packaging to 2008,​ the firm predicts that inflatable bags, insulated shipping containers, polyolefin rolls and moulded foam will see the best rates of growth. Altogether, the protective packaging sector in the US is already worth $2.7 billion.

Freedonia presents its predictions with historical demand data (1993, 1998 and 2003) and forecasts to 2008 and 2013 by product e.g. moulded foams, foamed-in-place, foam rolls, protective mailers, insulated shipping containers, paperboard protectors, loose-fill, inflatable bags); by material, function (e.g., cushioning, blocking and bracing, void-fill, insulation); and by market.

Related topics Processing & Packaging

Related news

Follow us


View more