Foodservice Disposables Study

CLEVELAND, OH | World demand for foodservice disposables is forecast to increase 4.8%/yr to $48.6 billion in 2013, according to “World Foodservice Disposables,” a new study from the Freedonia Group. Although the US will remain the largest user of foodservice disposables by a wide margin, the most rapid increases will continue to occur in China and the world's other developing regions.

Contributing to rising demand will be growth in foodservice revenues and trends toward convenience-oriented food options as a result of fast-paced lifestyles and increasing personal income levels.

Products made from biodegradable materials are expected to see big advances as a result of increased pressure on foodservice operators to reduce their environmental footprint and growing bans on PS-based disposables.

Gains in Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe, and the Africa/Mideast region will outpace the global average, the study says. Some of the best growth rates are expected in China, India, and Russia. Between 2008 and 2013, China is projected to account for more than one-quarter of world value gains in foodservice disposables demand and will surpass Japan to become the second largest market worldwide.

Throughout the developing regions, strong growth will be attributable not only to increases in the number of fast food and coffee chains, but also to the popularity of takeaway from independent restaurants and street vendors.

In North America and Western Europe, advances should be below average, though still favorable, with market value supported by the increasing use of biodegradable and compostable disposables, which tend to be more expensive.

The fastest gains are anticipated for disposable foodservice packaging, and packaging gains will be supported by the increasing popularity of takeout food from full-service restaurants along with expanded prepared food offerings in supermarkets and other retail stores.

Market value growth for serviceware is projected to decline due to more moderate raw materials price increases. Serviceware will continue to account for the majority of foodservice disposables.

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Foodservice Disposables Demand
(Million Dollars) % Annual Growth
Item 2003 2008 2013 2003-2008 2008-2013
Total 29,240 38,450 48,550 5.6 4.8
North America 12,850 16,740 19,980 5.4 3.6
Western Europe 6,800 8,170 9,560 3.7 3.2
Asia/Pacific 7,920 10,910 15,260 6.6 6.9
Other Regions 1,670 2,630 3,750 9.5 7.4

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