Study shows cost and efficiency driving clamshell demand

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags High visibility packaging Polyethylene Polypropylene

Demand for high visibility packaging in the US is expected to expand four per cent yearly to $8.5bn in 2012 reflecting the influence of mass market retailers and the performance efficiency of this type of food container, claims US analysts, Freedonia.

High visibility packaging includes clamshells, skin packaging and bowls, cups and tubs.

According to a study from the Cleveland-based industry research firm, factors such as low cost, market aesthetics and consumer convenience will remain the main drivers of demand for this packaging category.

Freedonia maintains that food will continue to account for more than half of the high visibility packaging market in 2012 due to opportunities in fresh produce, meat, poultry and seafood as well as in the prepared and frozen food sectors.

Clamshell packaging

Clamshells, said the market analysts, are set to expand five per cent annually over the next three years due to ebullient gains in the fresh produce and prepared food segment, and the fact the there is a continued focus on making clamshell packages easier to open.

“Clamshell demand will also benefit from their upscale appearance; thick, rigid construction; clarity; and ability to deter theft and tampering,”​ states the report.

The group is more cautious about demand for windowed packaging, predicting an increase of around two per cent annually to $2bn in 2012. They argue that the anticipated below average growth is a result of subdued demand in major markets such as baked goods, coupled with intense competition from imported goods.

However, strong growth is forecast for the niche segment of high visibility tubs, cups and bowls due to opportunities in the packaging of baked goods, produce, snacks, sweets, and other foods, claims the study.

Down gauging trends

Meanwhile, UK analysts, Applied Market Information (AMI), recently told this publication that trends such as material reduction, production line efficiency, and enhanced recyclability will inform plastic packaging for food and drink developments in 2009.

Carole Kluth, plastic packaging analyst with AMI, argues that environmental concerns of packaging suppliers, in the current economic slump, will be played out in terms of innovations that enable lightweighting and mono material packaging rather than an increase in the use of renewable materials.

In terms of the closures segment, Kluth predicts that cost cutting measures will also influence developments, and she expects beverage manufacturers to shift from two piece polypropylene (PP) lids to one piece high density polyethylene (HDPE) closures in the months ahead.

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