USA: food container demand to grow 3% per year to 2009

Demand for food containers in the USA is seen as growing at 3% per annum to USD 20.7 billion in 2009, representing 249 billion units. Propelling demand will be a growing population, rising levels of d…

Demand for food containers in the USA is seen as growing at 3% per annum to USD 20.7 billion in 2009, representing 249 billion units. Propelling demand will be a growing population, rising levels of disposable personal income, smaller household sizes, demand for more convenient prepared foods, and trends toward value-added packaging, accentuated by attractive graphics and increased barrier properties. Unit expansion will be helped by the growing popularity of single-serving packaging, with these formats increasingly meeting consumer demand for food offering convenience and portability. These and other trends are presented in “Food Containers: Rigid & Flexible,” a new study from The Freedonia Group, Inc., a Cleveland, Ohio-based industrial market research firm. The fastest growth in major food container types will be seen among plastic containers, and bags and pouches, often taking over from paperboard, metal and glass containers. Advances will be attributable to performance advantages over competitive materials, as well as improved resin and processing technologies. Plastic container demand will be driven by better heat resistance and barrier properties as well as advances in panel-less PET hot-fill bottle construction, which enhances container aesthetics and achieves an appearance more like glass bottles. Demand for bags and pouches will be pushed by continued rapid growth for stand-up pouches, based on the advantages of visual appeal, product differentiation, convenience, portability, recloseability and freshness protection. Bag demand will rise more slowly due to maturity in many applications as well as rivalry from pouches. Paperboard food container demand will grow at a slower rate, with further increases threatened by competition from plastic alternatives and the maturity of a number of applications. At the same time, non-traditional food containers such as aseptic and retort cartons will gain a wider presence, often at the expense of metal cans. While metal cans will see marginal value growth, the greater use of convenience features such as easy-opening and/or resealable tops will provide opportunities. Demand for glass food containers will continue to decline as plastic bottles and jars continue to invade traditional glass markets.