According to recent news reports, the demand for U.S. produce packaging is forecast to increase to $6 billion in 2019, following annual increases of 3.2% over the next four years. This expected growth in produce packaging outpaces the growth for production of fresh produce, as demands for fresh-cut or ready-to-eat healthy foods and packaging that provides improved traceability and protection becomes a high priority for consumers and manufacturers.
The most popular produce packaging formats include corrugated boxes, bags and liners, plastic containers, and trays, with corrugated boxes being the leader due to its low cost, light weight, recycling infrastructure, and graphics capabilities according to analyst Katie Weiser of The Freedonia Group. As flexible packaging formats and reusable plastic containers gain market share, the demand for corrugated boxes is expected to grow at a pace slightly below average through 2019. However, this type of packaging is valued by both the foodservice and retail industries, and is the preferred shipping format for bulk items in many commodity applications because of ease of stacking and shipping, particularly given the development of box formats that are modular.
Stand-up pouches and plastic containers are rapidly growing package formats due to their aesthetic appeal and other factors. Manufacturers are choosing to package berries, tomatoes, and other delicate produce in plastic containers that provide increased protection such as cups, tubs, and bowls, while producers of specialty varieties of apples, grapes, cucumbers, and other produce are increasingly using pouches and plastic containers for packaging due to their convenience and distinction among consumers in the grocery aisle.
At REA JET, one thing we know is that packaging is constantly evolving. Whether you package your goods in stand-up pouches, plastic containers, trays, corrugated boxes, bags, or other packaging, count on us for unsurpassed industrial coding and marking solutions.