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Plastic packaging penetrates global food container market set to grow by 3.8% pa uptil 2013

Plastic packaging penetrates global food container market set to grow by 3.8% pa uptil 2013

Global demand for food containers is expected to increase by 3.8% annually from 2011 to 2013, reaching US$124 bln in 2013. As per a report by Freedonia, factors causing the increase in the demand for packaging include the growth in global food production as a result of rapid lifestyle change in which consumers tend to choose prepackaged food. In addition, the change in population structure will continue to have considerable influence on the demand for food containesr. For example, the percentage of urban population growth and rise in the number of working women will lead to an incresae in consumption of prepackaged processed foods because of limited meal preparation time and the benefits together with the convenience. Packaging made from biodegradable materials will be developed quickly and strongly, but from a low level, due to the huge pressure on container manufacturers to reduce the affects of their products on the environment. In general, packaging bags and small bags will remain to be the products with the largest volume due to common level, support for this product is the continuous development of plastics with the particularity of air obstruction and functions increasing the value such as bags used in microwaves and resealable vertical bags. Demand for types of handbags and small bags will benefit from the image of environment-friendly products, they are often combined with efforts to decrease the number of containers. In addition, the cost advantage of the packaging bags and small bags compared to rigid containers, particularly in terms of its lighter weight (shipping costs saved), their smaller size (storage space reduced) and the demand for lower energy during production will help manufacturers increase profitability. Experts can predict plastic container will gain profit most quickly, based on performance improvements as well as cost advantage compared to metal and glass packing. However, metal packaging remains an important part in the food container segment due to the economic advantages of canned food items in the control of expenditure for food. Meanwhile, traditional glass materials have an advantage in small containers with wide mouth commonly used for children's food; however, plastic packaging are penetrating in this field because of the improvements and bettering of the air barrier property, capability and structure in packing hot food in containers. Furthermore, heavier weight of glass packaging compared to plastic packaging will continue to limit the application of this package, especially for the export market due to transportation costs increased. While so far the U.S. has been a nation with the largest number of consumers using canned food in the world; fastest benefits will occur in the developing world. In Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe, Africa and Middle East regions, the development level will exceed the global average. The growth in population and urbanization is higher (except Eastern Europe); the trend of industrialization, the expansion of international trade will help improve the packaging field of the underdeveloped areas in general. The increase in income level of consumers and expansion of middle class will also create strong internal demand for packaged consumer goods such as processed foods and promote the consumption of food containers. The best income for the food packaging industry is expected to be from a number of countries with remarkable large markets such as Brazil, Russia, India and China. In particular, China alone is expected to account for more than one fifth of the global value of demand for food containers from 2008 to 2013.

As per another report by Freedonia, food container demand in the US is projected to reach US$27 bln in 2015, forecast to increase 3% pa. Advances will be driven by growth in population and disposable income, new product introductions of convenience-oriented foods, and technological advances related to barrier properties, aesthetics and consumer convenience. Demographic trends, such as smaller household sizes, the ageing of the population and high numbers of households where all adults work, will boost consumption of convenience-type foods, which tend to use more packaging relative to their volume. Unit expansion will be aided by the popularity of single serving packaging, such as plastic cups and pouches, in an increasing range of applications, with such formats increasingly chosen to meet consumer demand for food products offering convenience and portability. Plastic containers, and bags and pouches will experience the fastest growth among food container types, often supplanting paperboard, metal and glass containers. Gains for plastic containers will be attributable to advantages over glass, metal and paperboard alternatives, as well as improved resin and processing technologies. Continued opportunities are anticipated for polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles and jars in hot-fill uses such as sauces and condiments, processed fruits and vegetables, and jams and jellies. Additionally, advances in the area of panel-less PET hot-fill bottle construction will continue to increase the design flexibility of PET food bottles, enabling improved aesthetics and the achievement of an appearance more like that of glass bottles. Advances for bags and pouches will be the result of cost and performance advantages that will enable continued inroads into rigid packaging applications. Moreover, advantages of bags and pouches in terms of source reduction, space savings and lower production and shipping costs will fuel continued opportunities as procurement decisions by major retailers and packaged goods firms increasingly take into account factors that improve sustainability. Though growth for paperboard containers will lag the overall food container market due to the presence of mature applications and losses to bags and pouches, prospects will be helped by favorable graphics qualities; enhancements such as higher wet strength and moisture resistance; and the capability to improve microwave oven performance in certain uses. Additionally, industry initiatives promoting paper as a renewable resource will raise awareness of paper�s environmentally friendly qualities. Aseptic cartons will log robust gains as a result of expanding use in soups and canned specialties, and sauces and condiments, often at the expense of metal cans. Metal can demand is expected to experience further unit declines as a result of supplantation by alternative container types. Nonetheless, cans will remain an important segment of the food container mix due to their long shelf life, efficiency of production and the economic advantages of canned items in controlling food expenditures. Increased demand is anticipated for cans with convenience factors such as easy-open and reseals able tops, as well as nontraditional can types such as retort able aluminum bowls and shaped cans. Aseptic cartons will gain ground against metal cans in uses such as soups and canned specialties, and sauces and condiments.
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