Meat, poultry and seafood packaging to hit $9.7bn in 2017

Wednesday, 29 January, 2014

The US packaging market for meat, poultry and seafood is on the rise, with demand forecast to hit US$9.7 billion in 2017, according to the Freedonia Group. Increased meat, poultry and seafood production, along with accelerated food service revenues, are expected to propel the industry forward.

A significant shift to case-ready packaging among grocery retailers, as well as the growing share of smaller-sized and convenience items, will increase prospects for packaging, Freedonia says. Heightened demand for single-portion and smaller-sized products will reflect the growing number of one- and two-person households in the US, as well as efforts among processors and retailers to hold down selling prices, particularly for beef.

Freedonia has identified poultry packaging applications as the sector likely to experience the fastest growth through 2017. This will be driven by poultry’s low cost and favourable nutritional profile. While meat packaging will remain the largest application, its growth will trail the overall average. Seafood applications will grow from the 2007-2012 figures, but growth will lag behind the overall average due to the growing share of seafood demand being met by imports.

US meat, poultry and seafood packaging demand. Source: the Freedonia Group.

US meat, poultry and seafood packaging demand. Source: the Freedonia Group.

The ready-to-eat market will boom, Freedonia predicts, driven by an expanded variety of prepared food from grocery stores and other retailers as time-poor consumers seek out economical, convenient meals. Options that eliminate or reduce preparation time will be popular with consumers.

The growing use of case-ready packaging and MAP (modified atmosphere packaging) to extend the shelf life of fresh meat, poultry and seafood will lead to gains in the fresh and frozen market, Freedonia says. In the processed market, advances will reflect an increased emphasis on higher-margin convenience items.

Flexible packaging demand growth will outstrip rigid packaging growth as interest in pouches and high barrier films grows. Rigid packaging growth is likely to be limited by maturity and/or competitive drawbacks in corrugated boxes, metal cans, folding cartons and paperboard sleeves, Freedonia predicts.

These trends, and others, are discussed in Freedonia’s study ‘Meat, Poultry, & Seafood Packaging’.

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