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A Look at Protective Packaging

CLEVELAND, OH | According to a report from the Freedonia Group, US demand for protective packaging is expected to climb 6.25%/yr to $5.2 billion in 2014, reflecting an upswing in manufacturing output as the US economy recovers from the recession.

It is expected that advances also will be aided by the continued proliferation of Internet shopping as well as by increasing interest in environmentally friendly products that tend to be more costly than their conventional counterparts.

Through 2014, the fastest growth is expected for air pillows, foamed plastics, and bubble packaging, with rapid advances also anticipated in the smaller molded pulp segment. Demand for bubble packaging will be aided by favorable outlooks for manufacturing activity and electronic shopping.

More moderate gains are anticipated for paperboard protectors, paper fill, dunnage bags, and loose-fill, the result of mature applications and/or competition from faster growing product types. However, prospects for paper fill and biodegradable loose-fill will be helped by growing interest in environmentally friendly packaging.

For more information visit

US Protective Packaging Demand
(million dollars)
% Annual Growth
Item 2004 2009 2014 04-09 09-14
Total 3,390 3,815 5,150 2.4 6.2
Foamed Plastic: 846 825 1190 -0.5 7.6
Molded Foam 551 500 725 -1.9 7.7
Foam-in-Place Polyurethane 170 185 260 1.7 7.0
Polyolefin Rolls 125 140 205 2.3 7.9
Other Protective Packaging 2,544 2,990 3,960 3.3 5.8

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