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    Report: Smaller Single-Serve Packages Lead Growth

    Unique snack food packaging to boost marketing efforts also on tap.

    U.S. demand for snack food packaging is projected to advance 3.7 percent per year to $5.6 billion in 2010, reflecting changes in consumption patterns and the way snacks are packaged, according to a report by Amonline.com citing a new study by The Freedonia Group Inc.

    Gains will slightly outpace expected growth in snack product shipments, reflecting changes in food consumption patterns and trends that are changing the way snack food is packaged.

    One such trend is the downsizing of package sizes. Although the growth of club stores will boost demand for larger containers, this will be more than offset by the growth in single-serving snacks. Demand will also be driven by greater use of higher-value packaging or unique packaging chosen for increased marketing appeal, according to "Snack Food Packaging," the report by The Freedonia Group Inc., a Cleveland, Ohio-based industry market research firm.

    Packaging advances are especially anticipated for nutrition bars. Packaging demand growth is also expected to be favorable in savory snacks and nuts and dried fruit. Savory snack packaging will be aided by a rebound in snack shipments as well as expanded offerings of single-serving size products and a healthy outlook for quick casual sandwich restaurants, which tend to sell small bags of chips as side items, the report said.

    Health and wellness trends and increased demand for single-serving items will also aid prospects for related packaging in candy and confection and bakery snack applications.

    Flexible packaging will present above-average opportunities, with demand expected to rise 4.3 percent annually through 2010. Best advances are anticipated for pouches, including stand-up and side-seal types, the result of cost, performance, convenience and differentiation advantages.

    Flexible packaging, while continuing to expand its overall share of snack packaging, will face growing competition from smaller rigid containers such as cups, canisters and smaller rigid containers such as cups, canisters as these latter types can differentiate products and their compatibility with car cup holders provides greater on-the-go convenience.

    Plastic containers will log the fastest growth among rigid snack packaging products, driven by conversions from glass, metal and paperboard containers as well as some inroads into flexible packaging.

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