US food container demand to reach $25bn by 2013

By Mike Stones

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Packaging Us

US demand for food containers is forecast to rise by 2.5 per cent a year to reach more than 300bn units valued at $25bn within four years, according to a new study from the Cleveland-based research firm The Freedonia Group.

The report Food Containers: Rigid & Flexible ​predicts that​the growth in demand will be fueled by the growing popularity of single-serving packaging, such as plastic cups and pouches, in a wider range of applications.

Plastic containers, and bags and pouches are forecast to experience the fastest growth among food container types, often replacing paperboard, metal and glass containers.

The popularity of plastic containers will reflect performance advantages over glass, metal and paperboard alternatives, as well as improved resin and processing technologies, according to the report’s authors.

Rigid packaging

A growing preference for bags and pouches will stem from cost and performance advantages that will allow these products to increasing supplant rigid packaging applications. Also bags and pouches will gain added impetus as brand-owners focus on promoting the environmental friendliness of their packaging materials.

The outlook is less encouraging for more mature paperboard, metal and glass food packaging. But there is likely to be growth in niche sectors, such as demand for paperboard food containers, which will be driven by more demand from the increasing promotion of paper as a renewable resource.

Also, glass will remain important in certain markets due to its relatively stable pricing, long shelf life and its potential to deliver high quality images.

Other packaging trends identified by the report include: The greater use of cans with differentiating features such as easy-opening and resealable tops and aseptic cartons for soups, sauces and condiments.

Dairy products

Last year, the report said the largest markets for food containers were fruits and vegetables, grain mill products, dairy products and baked goods which accounted for up to half of total demand.

The study based its conclusions on the US’s growing population, real but reduced growth in disposable personal income and smaller household sizes. Other factors influencing the results were consumer demand for foods offering a combination of convenience and value and trends toward value-added packaging which improve freshness and convenience.

Related topics Processing & Packaging

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