World demand for food containers will increase 4.5 percent per annum to $139 billion in 2017. The market for food containers will steadily return from a global recession that led to some stagnation in 2012. Key observations in this study: the rise of the middle class and twoincome households in developing regions will trigger a sharp upturn in food container consumption; while plastic packaging (both flexible and rigid) continues to lead growth, paperboard containers will present stronger competition to plastic substrates in the near future; the Westernization of food products globally will fuel demand for food packaging and lead to changes in consumption patterns; food packaging penetration will be stimulated by a shift to chilled, processed food and instant ingredients and meals.
Bags, pouches remain strong but paperboard gains tractionThe ongoing global growth in food bags and pouches - in some cases replacing metal and glass containers - will continue to be a driver for food packaging through 2017, advancing more than five percent annually. While rigid plastic containers will show sharp gains, paperboard containers will increase penetration levels after some market flatness. Paperboard's inherent light weight and the utilization of recyclable, natural materials, aligning closely with consumer and regulatory trends, will play a vital factor in growth.
"The New Consumer" connects with the food packageRapid urbanization in many developing regions has created a new consumer class that seeks career and income growth and is willing to sacrifice time spent in meal preparation. This will spur a double-digit boost in food container demand in China and more than six percent demand growth in many areas of Asia/Pacific, Central & South America, and Africa/Mideast. A shift from purchasing unpackaged food for daily cooking to buying packaged, prepared items will be significant.
Westernization brings new focus on food packagingAdvances in smaller-sized packages of flour, grain, edible cooking oils, butter and margarine, shredded cheese, aseptic soups and stocks, and ready meals are meeting the needs of global consumers demanding a Westernized sense of convenience and time savings. The growth of large supermarket chains in many developing countries will heighten these purchases and spur food container demand. Dietary staples such as bulk packaged rice and other grains, raw meat and produce, and unpackaged food purchased at neighborhood markets are declining in use.
Recessionary issues remain a short-term concernA lingering recession, especially in Western Europe, could dampen prospects slightly. Due to the recession, priceconscious consumers are purchasing lower-value packaging, thereby restricting demand. An economic rebound will lead to advances in premium packaging and further fuel prospects for container formats with sophisticated graphics and performance features.
Study coverageDetails on these and other key findings are contained in this Freedonia industry study, World Food Containers. It presents historical demand data for 2002, 2007 and 2012, as well as forecasts for 2017 and 2022 by product, market, world region and for 22 major countries. The study also considers market environment factors, examines the industry structure, evaluates company market share and profiles 41 industry participants worldwide including Ardagh Group, Bemis, Crown Holdings, Graphic Packaging and Silgan Holdings.