Food Service Packaging Market Size Projected to Reach USD 160.44 Bn by 2032

The global food service packaging market size surpassed 99.09 billion in 2023 and is projected to reach around USD 160.44 billion by 2032, growing at a CAGR of 5.5% between 2023 and 2032.

Ottawa, March 07, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The global food service packaging market size is presumed to grow from USD 104.15 billion in 2024 to secure a forecasted USD 143.19 billion by 2030, a study published by Towards Packaging a sister firm of Precedence Research.

Report Highlights: Important Revelations

  • Packaging’s surge in Asia Pacific’s food service domain.
  • Adapting food service packaging to North America’s changing culinary landscape.
  • Sustainability frontiers in corrugated food service packaging challenges.
  • Exploring the eco-evolution of quick-service restaurant packaging.
  • Exploring the dynamic technological trends transforming the food service landscape.

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The production and distribution of packaging solutions designed for the storage, transportation, and presentation of food and beverages within the hospitality and catering industry is called food service packaging market. The food service packaging market is a vibrant and significant food industry segment commited to offering cutting-edge and environmentally friendly packaging solutions to various food service outlets. This market meets the packaging requirements of fast-food chains, restaurants, catering companies, and other companies that handle the production and delivery of food. Ensuring food products’ freshness, safety and integrity during storage, transportation, and delivery is one of the main goals of food service packaging. Packaging materials are made to fulfill certain specifications, like controlling temperature, withstanding moisture, and shielding against outside impurities. Nonetheless, the sector has experienced a radical upheaval recently, with a growing focus on sustainability.

Sustainability has gained prominence as a result of increased awareness of environmental challenges. The market for food service packaging has investigated and implemented environmentally friendly substitutes in response to this need. The increasing prevalence of biodegradable materials, recyclable content and inventive designs aligns with consumer expectations for eco-friendly products. This change reflects the industry’s more significant commitment to lessening packaging’s environmental impact. The market for food service packaging is quite sensitive to changes in laws and technology. Companies are reevaluating their packaging strategy due to strict limitations on non-biodegradable materials and single-use plastics. Concurrently, technical advancements like sophisticated materials and intelligent packaging are changing the market while offering chances for increased sustainability and utility.

The food service packaging market is a dynamic and ever-changing arena where businesses must negotiate a challenging terrain of changing consumer preferences, shifting regulatory requirements and advancing technology. This industry is positioned to play a significant role in determining the direction of food packaging methods due to its continuous dedication to sustainability and flexibility in response to shifting market conditions.

Food Service Packaging Market Trends

Unveiling the Expansion of Compostable Packaging in Asia Pacific’s Food Service Market

The Asia Pacific (APAC) region commands the global food service packaging market, boasting 45% of the total market share. This significant share underscores the region’s dominance and potential for investors in the food service packaging market. Experiencing a robust expansion, the compostable food service packaging market in the Asia-Pacific area is on an exciting growth trajectory. Projections indicate further substantial growth in the coming years, fueled by factors such as the proliferation of food service establishments, unique architectural designs, enticing new cuisines, and the industry’s commitment to visually appealing and sustainable packaging solutions.

Cafés and restaurants are increasingly using food service packaging, which includes trays made from PET material, cups and plates crafted from PE material, cutlery designed from PP material, clamshells, bowls and pouches and sachets. The compostability and sustainability of this type of packaging, which coincide with consumers’ increasing desire for eco-friendly habits, are the main forces supporting this acceptance. It is projected that this trend, which reflects a larger cultural movement towards eco-conscious choices in the food service industry, will drive the market ahead significantly throughout the forecast period.

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The proactive involvement of numerous regional governments is one of the elements that has contributed to the Asia Pacific region’s rapid expansion. Acknowledging the packaging industry’s critical role in economic growth and environmental sustainability, several governments are launching programs to promote its achievements. Government assistance not only fosters packaging innovation but also helps the overall resiliency and evolution of the Asia Pacific food service packaging sector. Regarding food service packaging, the Asia Pacific area is leading the world, and compostable packaging is expanding at an impressive rate. The region is positioned for significant market expansion due to the convergence of variables such as a rise in food service establishments, aesthetically pleasing building designs, a diversity of cuisines, and a dedication to sustainable packaging. The region’s commitment to promoting developments in the packaging business is further demonstrated by government efforts, which bolster the region’s standing as a significant participant in the global food service packaging scene.

For Instance,

  • In July 2023, Comexi, a packaging machinery company, broadened its footprint in Asia-Pacific by constructing a new factory in Bangkok, Thailand.

North America’s food service packaging market is growing significantly, with the Full-Service Restaurant model holding a 41% share. With a chain penetration rate of 55%, this area stands out as having the highest. To address environmental issues, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set an ambitious aim of reducing food waste by 30% by 2030. The growing use of composting techniques, such as compostable packaging, is one way to help achieve this aim. This packaging can be composted with food waste in various contexts, such as homes, grocery stores, and food service establishments. Food service packaging techniques have changed significantly due to the shifting lifestyles of consumers, the impact of big retail chains, and the food service sector.

The layout of food service packaging is frequently customized to improve operational efficiency and productivity in distribution centers and kitchens, especially for vertically integrated chain restaurants. A key component of supply chain optimization is how packaging complements the activities of suppliers, such as [facilitating easy storage and transportation and ensuring product safety and quality].

For Instance,

  • In January 2024, U.S. Genpak, a food service packaging developer, announced introducing a new molded fiber packaging line. According to the manufacturer, the line was created without intentionally adding PFAS.

A trend toward sustainability is also seen in the Full-Service Restaurant format, which dominates the market growth in North America and has a high chain penetration rate. With compostable packaging emerging as a workable solution, composting methods have gained attention in response to the EPA’s aim of decreasing food waste by 2030. A strategic commitment to enhancing overall operations, distribution, and kitchen productivity is also shown in chain restaurants’ adaption of food service packaging, which aligns with evolving customer expectations and industry standards.

For Instance,

  • In April 2023, Dart Container, which makes food service packaging, started a new program to employ its branded packaging in a new recycling program.
  • In April 2022, Sabert, a global food packaging company, launched a new line of recyclable cutlery made from FSC-certified paper.

Packaging Strategies Reshaping the Quick-Service Restaurant Industry

Quick-service restaurants (QSRs) emerge as the largest segment in the food service industry, with an estimated $119.2 billion in growth by 2025. This growth is diven by changing consumer tastes for dining out, brand loyalty, and the increased availability of new restaurants and various cuisines in the quick-service arena. As the quick-service industry generates many packaging materials, stakeholders such as manufacturers, food service providers, and customers must consider packaging choices’ cost, form, function, and environmental impact. The convenience and safety of food for consumers are greatly enhanced by packaging. Proper packaging and labelling allow food preparers to identify the food source, the appropriate holding temperature, and the cooking requirements.

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Quick-service Restaurants face an added issue in factoring travel times for their meals, especially with the rise of delivery services such as Grubhub and Uber Eats. The fact that food may sit in its packaging for more than 30 minutes before reaching the consumer highlights the importance of packaging that is not only long-lasting but also capable of maintaining the proper temperature, keeping hot food hot and cold food cool. Recognizing the importance of aligning with consumer preferences and addressing environmental issues, major participants in the quick-service restaurant sector, such as McDonald’s, Wendy’s, and Burger King, are aggressively promoting sustainability. This transition indicates a broader commitment throughout the industry to adapt to consumers’ cultural and environmental demands in the current scenario 2023. Upgrading packaging procedures is both a response to consumer demands and a strategic step to remain competitive and environmentally responsible in the rapidly changing quick-service restaurant sector.

For Instance,

  • In March 2023, Quick Service Restaurants (QSR) may now enhance their product development and optimization efforts at any point in the life cycle by utilizing Ipsos’s innovative end-to-end solutions.

The global food service market demonstrates varying performance across consumption types, with delivery emerging as the frontrunner. Among the key metrics—delivery, takeaways, and on-site dining—delivery consumption takes the lead, asserting its dominance in the global market. This trend underscores the evolving consumer preferences, where convenience and accessibility play pivotal roles. The surge in delivery services reflects a shift in how people access and enjoy food, emphasizing the importance of efficient and streamlined delivery options in the overall food service industry. As a result, businesses within the sector are strategically adapting to meet the growing demand for convenient, at-home dining experiences.

Navigating Sustainability Challenges in Corrugated Food Service Packaging

Corrugated boxes and cartons are the most common materials used in food service packaging, owing to the rapid rise of takeaways, food delivery systems, and quick-service restaurants. Cardboard and paper, the critical components of these packaging materials, have outstanding recycling rates of over 80% and can assist sustainable forestry practices when acquired from certified sources. However, it is essential to note that their recyclability is limited, and they may be rejected and sent to incineration or landfill if contaminated. The Confederation of Paper Industries advises that surface staining of paper is OK, but the presence of free-moving food or ‘3D residue’ adhering to the surface is considered unsuitable.

Browse More Insights of Towards Packaging:

  • The global antimicrobial packaging market size was at USD 10.77 billion in 2022 to hit around USD 18.81 billion by 2032, at 5.7% CAGR between 2023 to 2032.
  • The global automotive packaging market size is estimated to grow from USD 8.18 billion in 2022 to reach an estimated USD 13.87 billion by 2032, at 5.4 % CAGR between 2023 and 2032.
  • The global frozen food packaging market size is predicted to grow from USD 43.36 billion in 2022 to reach USD 71.67 billion by 2032, at a 5.2% CAGR from 2023 to 2032.
  • The global flexible packaging market size is estimated to grow from USD 283 billion in 2022 to reach an expected USD 445.82 billion by 2032, at 4.7% CAGR during the forecast period 2023 to 2032.
  • The global smart packaging market size was estimated at USD 36.04 billion in 2022 to set foot on USD 68.99 billion by 2032 with a registered CAGR of 6.8% from 2023 to 2032.
  • The global plastic packaging market size reached USD 381.57 billion in 2022 and is projected to hit around USD 584.09 billion by 2032, growing at a CAGR of 4.4% from 2023 to 2032.
  • The global reusable packaging market size was estimated at USD 113.77 billion in 2022 and is projected to reach a revised size of USD 197.11 billion by 2032, growing at a CAGR of 5.7% from 2023 to 2032.
  • The global pharmaceutical packaging market size is estimated to grow from USD 117.23 billion to reach an estimated USD 322.50 billion by 2032, growing at a CAGR of 10.7% from 2023-2032.
  • The e-commerce packaging market size is estimated to grow from USD 51,248 million in 2022 to reach an estimated USD 2,42,061 million by 2032, at a growing CAGR of 16.8% from 2023 to 2032.
  • The global pharmaceutical temperature-controlled packaging solutions market size was valued at USD 578.9 million in 2022 and is predicted to reach around USD 945.2 million by 2030, growing at a 6.30% CAGR from 2022 to 2030.

For Instance,

  • In March 2023, Hinojosa Packaging Group introduced the food service line on an industrial scale, a trailblazing primary packaging variety for prepared foods and beverages completely biodegradable and environmentally neutral after its life cycle.

Companies like Domino’s promote their attempts to utilize 100% recyclable cardboard for pizza boxes as part of their environmental initiatives. However, practical issues occur since not all recycling facilities can handle food-marked products. This constraint emphasizes the need for improved infrastructure and solutions to meet the complexities of recycling packaging with food residue. The complexity of sustainable packaging options is highlighted by examples such as McDonald’s decision to replace plastic straws with paper ones. Despite its environmental intentions, the change drew criticism when it was discovered that the paper straws were not being recycled adequately. This sparked widespread outrage, with over 50,000 customers joining a petition to return to plastic straws, citing problems with the functionality of paper substitutes.

While corrugated boxes and cartons dominate food service packaging due to their versatility and convenience, the challenge lies in ensuring these materials are recycled correctly, significantly when contaminated with food waste. The incident at McDonald’s underscores the importance of choosing sustainable materials and implementing effective recycling processes to reap the environmental benefits.

Unveiling the Technological Trends Reshaping the Food service Experience

The food service sector is experiencing a significant shift propelled by technological advancements such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT). In this evolving landscape, these innovations are gaining increasing importance, prompting industry operators to actively pursue innovative solutions that boost efficiency and competitiveness while upholding high service standards and profitability. Particularly noteworthy is the rising adoption of self-service kiosks and the expansion of online reservation systems by food service providers. This strategic move not only streamlines operations but also enables the collection of valuable consumer data, offering insights into preferences and needs, further enhancing the overall dining experience.

Competitive Landscape

The competitive landscape of the food service packaging market is characterized by established industry leaders such as Amcor PLC, Berry Global Inc, Huhtamaki Oyj, Sonoco Products Compan, Novolex Holdings LLC, Pactiv Evergreen Inc., B&R Plastics Inc., Genpak LLC, Amhil North America and Dopla S.P.A. These giants face competition from emerging direct-to-consumer brands, leveraging digital platforms for market entry. Key factors influencing competition include innovation in product offerings, sustainable practices, and the ability to adapt to changing consumer preferences. Additionally, the sector sees dynamic collaborations, acquisitions, and strategic partnerships as companies strive to capture market share in this highly competitive and evolving industry.

Food Service Packaging Market Players

Amcor PLC, Berry Global Inc, Huhtamaki Oyj, Sonoco Products Compan, Novolex Holdings LLC, Pactiv Evergreen Inc., B&R Plastics Inc., Genpak LLC, Amhil North America and Dopla S.P.

Recent Developments

  • In January 2021, Gaining a dominant position in the US, UK, and European markets, SCGP purchased all of Go-Pak’s shares to leverage that position and grow its product line to include products from its other packaging plants.
  • In August 2021, Graphic Packaging Holding Company stated that its subsidiary, Graphic Packaging International, LLC, had purchased all of Letica Corporation’s food service business assets, part of RPC Group PLC.
  • In February 2023, The wholesale group and Australian food service packaging distribution company Huhtamaki Tailored Packaging Pty Ltd (HTP) was bought by Huhtamaki.
  • In April 2023, Coca-Cola purchased a 15% ownership stake in the food delivery platform, which aims to bring good disruption to the food-tech market.
  • In November 2023, Inno-Pak, LLC—an Emerald Lake Capital Management portfolio company—announced the acquisition of Albany Packaging Inc. as a leading innovator, producer, importer, and supplier of cutting-edge, environmentally friendly food packaging for prepared and takeout foods.

Market Segments

By Product

  • Corrugated Boxes and Cartons
  • Cups And Lids
  • Food Containers
  • Plates
  • Trays
  • Others

By End-User

  • Quick Service Restaurants (QSR)
  • Online Food Ordering
  • Institutional Services

By Region

  • Asia Pacific
  • North America
  • Europe

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Towards Packaging is a leading global consulting firm specializing in providing comprehensive and strategic research solutions. With a highly skilled and experienced consultant team, we offer a wide range of services designed to empower businesses with valuable insights and actionable recommendations. We stay abreast of the latest industry trends and emerging markets to provide our clients with an unrivalled understanding of their respective sectors. We adhere to rigorous research methodologies, combining primary and secondary research to ensure accuracy and reliability. Our data-driven approach and advanced analytics enable us to unearth actionable insights and make informed recommendations. We are committed to delivering excellence in all our endeavours. Our dedication to quality and continuous improvement has earned us the trust and loyalty of clients worldwide.

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