Flexible packaging made out of and containing plastic is in particular high demand on the US packaging market. Photo: Flexible Packaging Europe (FPE)
The US packaging market: Trends and effects
From 8 to 11 October 2019, the interpack alliance ‘process expo’ trade fair opened its doors once again in Chicago and thousands of experts from around the world came together to exchange innovations and trends in the fields of food, beverage and pharmaceutical packaging. In this context, we take a look at today’s US packaging market and provide an outlook on future trends.
CONSTANT GROWTH ON THE US PACKAGING MARKET Between 2019 and 2023, sales on the packaging market are expected to increase by 278.59 billion US dollars worldwide. Of these, a total increase of 315 billion dollars has been forecast for the US packaging industry by 2025. In the field of flexible packaging alone, the United States’ share makes up around a third of global sales – with a further average annual increase of 3.8 percent forecast for the future. Packaging made of plastic is used particularly frequently.
PACKAGING FOR FOOD AND BEVERAGES
The global market volume for food packaging was listed at 277.9 billion dollars in 2017; an average annual growth of 5.1 percent by 2025 has been forecast.
In 2018, sales in North America reached around 18.6 million US dollars. By 2027, these are expected to increase to 31.69 US dollars. This equates to an annual average of six percent.
In 2016, 514.55 million tonnes were consumed; this is expected to increase slightly to 551.32 million tonnes by 2022. This is the equivalent of around 100 Burj Khalifa hotels in Dubai with 200 storeys each.
In 2016, the market size for packaged foods in the USA was estimated at 806.3 billion US dollars. Changing lifestyles and the increasing consumption of convenience foods are thought to be two key factors that influence the whole market.
US sales in the ready meals segment have been estimated at around 65.56 million US dollars for 2019. By 2023, the market is expected to grow by 2.6 percent per year. In global comparison, packaging for ready meals generates the largest share of sales in the USA. This corresponds to a per capita revenue of approximately 200 US dollars that will be achieved by ready meals in the USA in 2019.
Packaged beverages are particularly popular among Americans. Photo: Photo by junjie xu / Pexels
According to the Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies, the beverage industry in the USA is expected to generate sales of 45.5 billion US dollars by 2028. Here, plastic is a material that is in particularly high demand. Its share is expected to increase from 45 percent in 2018 to 55 percent in 2019. A growth of 100 percent by 2028 has been forecast for wine in plastic containers alone. Nevertheless: With regard to design and graphics, beverage packaging companies view aluminium cans and glass bottles as future trends.
Customers are increasingly demanding resealable beverage packaging – which is also expected to be as leak-proof and unbreakable as possible, in keeping with the to-go trend.
Confectionery packaging in the USA
The global market for confectionery packaging was estimated at 19.4 billion US dollars in 2018. In North America, an average annual growth of 4.34 percent is expected for the confectionery market in the period between 2019 and 2024.
The increasing demand for higher-quality cocoa products has accelerated confectionery sales in North America. The volume of North American chocolate confectionery exceeded the prior threshold of 1,604 million kilograms in 2017. Chocolate bars to snack on the go are particularly popular.
North America’s confectionery market is growing. Photo: Pixabay
US manufacturers develop sustainable packaging
Sustainability is an item on the global agenda of society, economics and politics. The USA is no exception. Here, the packaging industry increasingly and continuously develops more sustainable solutions for their products, with an increase in reusable solutions. Take the Strauss Family Creamery, for example. For twenty-five years, the US company has been packaging their organic milk in reusable bottles made of 30 percent recycled glass. Customers can clean their bottles and get two US dollars back when they return their empty bottles. Each of these bottles can be reused up to five times before they are finally recycled. According to the company, they have a return rate of a little over 80 percent.