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Research forecast demand for food and drink packaging in North America to continue to expand

Research by Smithers Pira has revealed that sustainability will be key market driver in North American packaging market over next five years.

The reserach said demand for food and drink packaging in North America will continue to expand and add new functionalities across the next 5 years.

The Future of North American Food and Drink Packaging to 2022 tracks how the market consumed 514.55million tonnes in 2016, having seen sluggish (1.3%) annual growth since 2012.

Smithers Pira says that between 2017 and 2022, the volume consumption will continue to reach 551.32 million tonnes per annum in 2022.

Food and drink packaging is expected to be more recyclable and light weight and are anticipated to be manufactured with little material as possible.

Due to lack of recyclability, several municipalities in the US are moving to ban products such as expanded polystyrene/Styrofoam food packaging, with brand owners switching to more environmentally friendly materials, like paperboard.

A parallel trend is to use materials sourced in a sustainable manner. Particularly, plastic packaging is expected to be affected, thanks to the greater availability of commercial packaging grade bioplastics and enthusiasm for brands to make use of them.

Packaged food and drink sales in North American retail channels has grown by an annual consumption trends average of 2.3% between 2012 and 2016 and reaching to 549.57 billion packs. By 2022, consumption is forecast to reach up to 659.34 billion packs, with an annual growth of 3.1% from present levels.

Report author, Jonathan Thomas said: “Likely market drivers include a greater focus upon food and drinks geared towards time-pressed consumers, as well as the continued spread of convenience and discount retailers throughout the region.

“Although the US remains the region’s largest market, recent growth has been higher in Mexico – this is mainly because the country’s grocery retail industry is less developed, and more people are now starting to shop at modern, Western-style outlets.”