Folding Carton Outlook Favorable: Study Says US Will Want More Non-Flexible Food Containers

CLEVELAND, OH, USA—Demand for food containers is the US is forecast to increase more than three percent per year until 2005—to $12.6 billion (US) in 2005. According to "Food Containers," a new study conducted and composed by The Freedonia Group, a Cleveland-based market research firm, this three percent annual growth will be "constrained by competition from flexible packaging, increased food consumption away from home, and saturated food markets."

According to the study, the growth will be fostered by the country's expanding population base, increased use of high-value packaging, and consumer demands for convenient, prepared foods. Says The Freedonia Group, "The packaging product mix will be influenced by trends [calling for] value-added packaging, accentuated by high-impact graphics and greater barrier properties.

The Freedonia Group's study, "Food Containers," surveys this market and specifically cites:

Plastic food containers offer the best opportunity, expanding 5.5 percent [per year] to $3.6 billion (US) in 2005. This will create a market for 2.7 billions pounds of resin. Stimulating factors include plastic's clarity and its lightweight and shatter-resistant [composition]. New hot-fill applications (such as jams and jellies) are being penetrated due to improvements in heat resistance and barrier properties.

Newest plastic inroads are being made in the baby food markets, where glass jars hold an entrenched position.

Paperboard food container demand will expand 2.6 percent yearly to more than $4 billion in 2005. Paperboard will remain dominant in many traditional applications, due to its strength, stiffness, and competitive-pricing structure as well as its favorable environmental profile. Improved graphic capabilities and stronger moisture barriers also will aid growth. However, further advances will be threatened by competition from flexible packaging. Folding cartons will provide the best opportunity, although more rapid growth is expected for aseptic and gabletop cartons.…
Good growth is also expected for baked goods and grain-mill products (such as pet food). Fruit and vegetable markets will exhibit the slowest growth as a result of competition from fresh and frozen produce packaged in flexible packaging.

For more information, visit The Freedonia Group online at

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