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November 11, 2022

According to a report by Global Market Insights Inc., the global food packaging market is estimated to be over USD 118 billion in 2021 and will exceed revenue of USD 186 billion by 2028 at a CAGR of five percent from 2022 to 2030.

The value of the foodservice packaging industry will increase significantly as the processed food sector experiences significant expansion. The demand for processed and packaged food is growing rapidly among the younger generation due to their busy lifestyles that leave them no time to prepare home-cooked meals.

The trend of take-out and home delivery has accelerated significantly, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. As restaurants were closed when the epidemic was at its peak, people turned to online food delivery platforms. Hygienic packaging also took center stage during this period.

In March 2021, nearly 47 percent of US citizens used a food delivery app during the pandemic period. What’s more, 53 percent of respondents to a 2021 survey by the US National Restaurant Association said that food delivery and takeout is an important part of their lifestyle. These factors have positively influenced the use of food packaging products to ensure safer and more hygienic food delivery.

Here is a detailed list of global factors that will accelerate product adoption:

Ready-made food is becoming more and more popular among young people because it is easy to carry and does not require much effort in preparation. The chain of stores is also growing at a high speed due to the increasing demand for this food. Instant noodles, canned soups, frozen fruit & vegetables, processed meat & cheeses are consumed on a large scale throughout the world.

The COVID-19 pandemic was instrumental in increasing sales of these food items because they were prepared, readily available and cheaper. According to South Korea’s Rural Development Administration (RDA), total national consumption of processed or ready-to-eat foods increased by 18.4 percent during the period of the COVID-19 outbreak. Food packaging items are a key part of this food as they keep it warm and hygienic. They also facilitate easier and longer-term storage.

The food packaging sector is constantly evolving to adapt to the unique preferences of its customers. Plastic and glass are some of the most preferred materials for food and beverage packaging.

However, over the years, customers have become more aware of the harmful effects of disposing of single-use plastic and glass cups & cutlery in the environment. This prompted them to look for food products packaged from sustainable raw materials, such as cardboard.

Because cardboard food packaging is highly recyclable, it can be reused for longer periods of time, reducing waste. Food packed in cardboard prevents it from being crushed or thrown out, making it safe to transport over long distances.

Rigid food packaging materials are important for products that have a high risk of spillage during transport. These materials provide greater stability and support to ready-to-eat food items such as cereals, canned soups and alcoholic beverages.

Plastic is one of the most common materials used in rigid packaging because it offers heat protection, prevents the growth of harmful microorganisms in food, and prevents spillage. According to the UN, about 36 percent of all plastic produced is used for packaging, which is evidence of its widespread use in the food packaging industry.

Europe is becoming an attractive market for foodservice packaging manufacturers as demand for takeaway and food delivery has soared in the region. The total number of food app installs reached around 170 million in Europe during the first nine months of 2021.

Also, a growing percentage of customers are willing to pay more for food delivery that uses sustainable packaging and comes with eco-friendly cutlery. Companies are also meeting this demand by introducing innovative food packaging solutions.

Sustainability is the future of the food packaging market as more and more companies around the world become more environmentally conscious about the raw materials they use to package their food products. With constant innovation taking place to improve the reliability and performance of these products, the future of the industry looks quite promising. Developing countries across the Asia-Pacific region and Africa could be some of the fastest-growing markets for food service providers and online food delivery apps, indicating great potential for packaging manufacturers.

Vinisha Joshi

A qualified engineering graduate, Vinisha Joshi writes insightful articles on business, basic industry, technology and the like.