The global food service packaging market size was valued at USD 118.75 billion in 2022. It is estimated to reach USD 174.05 billion by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 4.34% during the forecast period (2023–2031).
Due to people's busy and hectic schedules worldwide, there is a rising need for convenience foods like fast food and RTE food products. This is expected to augment the global food service packaging market. In addition, people have been transitioning towards sustainability in recent years, which has urged the key vendors in the market to support recycled plastic momentum, thus fueling market expansion. Food service packaging facilitates the packaging of processed or partially processed foods. The packaging contains food receptacles made of foam, bowls, cups, glasses, tray papers, plates, silverware, and other items. The packaging service provides a barrier against contamination by diminishing heat resistance and microbiological growth.
Modern food packaging is intended to fulfill a variety of needs. It should provide a barrier against external factors such as moisture, air, light, and microorganisms that could degrade the food's quality. It must ensure that the product remains intact during transportation and storage, thereby minimizing the possibility of damage. Therefore, it finds widespread application in packaging beverages, fruits and vegetables, baked goods, and desserts. It also satisfies the demand for service in fast-food restaurants, catering services, and restaurants.
|Market Size||USD 174.05 billion by 2031|
|Fastest Growing Market||Europe|
|Largest Market||Asia Pacific|
|Report Coverage||Revenue Forecast, Competitive Landscape, Growth Factors, Environment & Regulatory Landscape and Trends|
The lifestyle of consumers has undergone accelerated change over time. This includes dietary habits. Consumer preferences have shifted toward fast food and ready-to-eat foods, which is expected to be the primary factor driving the food service packaging market. Over the years, developed and developing nations have experienced increased demand for packaging from the food industry. The online food delivery system that is safe, nutritious, and identical in flavor is garnering consumer interest.
In 2022, the global online food delivery market was worth more than USD 180 billion and is expected to sustain its dominance over the forecast period. Grab-and-go systems are gaining popularity because they offer the consumer more convenience. In addition, consumer demand for packaged foods with nutritional value and convenience is a significant factor in market expansion. The surging demand for dairy products also necessitates semi-cold packaging, which is anticipated to drive the food service packaging market.
In the past couple of years, the interest (particularly at a consumer level) in sustainability has surged. The concept of circular economics gained significant momentum, focusing considerable attention on sustainable packaging. Governments across the globe are enacting regulatory measures to mitigate environmental pollution and enhance waste management procedures.
Moreover, several activities are being observed that have positively affected the market. For instance, in February 2022, Amcor announced its support of the United Nations convention promoting a circular economy based on recycled materials. The joint statement and worldwide appeal to action come ahead of the United Nations Environment Assembly's fifth session, which will occur at the end of February 2022 in Nairobi. The company believes in acting at the micro and macro levels to decrease environmental waste as the prominent provider of responsible packaging and partner of choice for many businesses committed to producing more sustainable packaging solutions. Thus, the increasing focus of market players on sustainability is expected to boost market growth.
Government regulations governing the packaging of food and beverages are likely to impede the food service packaging market. To ensure food safety, particularly from coated packaging that emits VOCs and negatively influences the health of food consumers. In addition, food authorities' licensing and approvals are necessary for registering and establishing a commercial enterprise. These factors inhibit the entry of new market participants. E-commerce sites also offer counterfeit packaging solutions at reduced prices, negatively impacting brand value and consumer confidence.
The market players are making strategic collaborations to invest significantly in the food service packaging market. For instance, in May 2021, paper and board packaging manufacturer Detpak partnered with US-based Eco-Products to provide solutions in New Zealand and Australia with advanced sustainable packaging for compostable food service products. Moreover, in February 2022, Quick Commerce company Blinkit partnered with compostable foodservice ware brand Chuk. The partnership will offer a disposable range, including plates, trays, and bowls, made of plant-based sustainable materials instead of stocking paper and styrofoam products. Such collaborations are expected to create opportunities for market growth.
Asia-Pacific food service packaging industry is anticipated to exhibit a CAGR of 5.15% during the forecast period. The Asia-Pacific region consists of densely populated nations and developing economies like China and India. The demand for food services is increasing rapidly, and the adoption of sustainable packaging is gaining momentum and is anticipated to peak during the forecast period. The packaging industry in China is heavily influenced by variables like rising per capita income, a shifting social climate, and shifting demographics. This change necessitates new packaging materials, processes, and shapes.
For instance, in May 2022, Jooma launched a new coconut range and color-coded packaging designs to enhance consumer appeal. The company changed the packaging design of its yogurt cups to distinguish its products from other dairy products. Moreover, the company aims to enable its customers to identify its products and flavors via the colors of its products. Such enhanced packaging initiatives provide customers with aesthetic reasons to associate and identify products via trendy packaging, thereby boosting market expansion.
Europe is estimated to exhibit a CAGR of 3.76% over the forecast period. Growing urbanization, changing food habits due to lack of leisure hours, and increasing disposable income are some factors driving the growth of the food service industry and, thus, the demand for packaging solutions for the European market. According to a report by OECD in May 2022, France's per capita real household income increased by 0.7% in Q4 2021. The growing focus on digital sales channels encourages packaging market players to ideate new solutions for the industry.
For instance, in December 2021, Syntegon developed paper-based trays and cups for sensitive food products. It partnered with Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging in Dresden, Strauss Group, Colruyt Group, and the University of Reading to implement its EIT project "PACK4SENSE" (Paper packaging for paper packaging) (SENSitive foods) to develop a sustainable packaging concept. The European Union organization, the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), supports EIT Food, the world's largest and most dynamic innovation community. All these factors boost the regional market growth.
In North America, the importance of sustainability and environmental issues will continue to be prioritized, leading to numerous innovations in the market for corrugated boxes, cartons, and plastic packaging. Many consumers in the United States and Canada are increasingly moving toward environment-friendly packaging materials. California plans to ban single-use plastic bottles in hotels and shared home bathrooms. In hotels with more than 50 rooms, it will be prohibited to use little plastic bottles for lotion, shampoo, conditioner, or any other one-time usage starting in 2023.
In addition, many companies focus on product innovations to hold a significant position in the market studied. For instance, in November 2021, Tupperware designed a custom-made reusable packaging container for Tim Hortons. The container will be trailed in five Tim Hortons locations in Burlington, Canada. The goal is to create a simple system for restaurants and guests, letting them benefit from reusables while maintaining single-use convenience. The containers are Tupperware's first collaboration with TerraCycle's Loop reuse platform. Such initiatives are expected to boost the regional market growth.
In recent years, consumption of sugar drinks in Brazil, Ecuador, Colombia, Argentina, and Guyana decreased. However, natural juices such as coconut water and directly pressed fruits are rising as consumers prefer products ready to take any day. Chilean fish is active in more than 80 markets in Latin America and is the foremost supplier of fresh and frozen fish for Argentinian consumers. Brazilian consumers consume 99% of Chile's fresh salmon, and mussels and other products have an increasing demand due to their properties, easy preparation logistics, and product variety innovation. Therefore, the demand for diverse food service packaging has arisen throughout the region.
Based on product type, the global food service packaging market is divided into corrugated boxes and cartons, plastic bottles, trays, plates, food containers, bowls, cups and lids, clamshells, and other product types.
The cups and lids segment is the largest revenue contributor to the market and is predicted to exhibit a CAGR of 4.18% throughout the forecast period. The paper-based disposable cups are primarily classified as hot and cold cups. Paper cups gained wide acceptance because of their significant properties, like safety, ease of use, hygiene, and functionality. They meet the requirements of modern life cost-effectively. According to Ecoffee Cup, more than half-trillion disposable cups are manufactured annually worldwide. According to the Paper Cup Alliance, the yearly sales of cups in the high streets of the United Kingdom amount to 2.5 billion.
Market players are also introducing new paper-based lids to hold the beverages intact and avoid spilling the products. For instance, in October 2021, Metsa Board and The Paper Lid company signed a long-term collaboration to introduce 100% recyclable paperboard lids. Both companies aim to eliminate plastic lids and establish a circular economy. Such developments and collaborations are driving disposable paper cups and lids products in the global market and are expected to boost the expansion of the market during the forecast period.
Producers of plastic food packaging are attempting to provide products using sustainable and environmentally friendly raw materials in response to the government's growing interference in the plastic bottle manufacturing industry. Plastic bottles and containers are comprised of different plastic resins. Some of these include high-density polyethylene (HDPE) milk and water jugs, polyethylene terephthalate (PET) soft drink and water bottles, and other containers made up of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polypropylene (PP), polystyrene (PS), and other resins. PET is lightweight, shatterproof, reclosable, resealable, reusable, and infinitely recyclable.
PET bottles also have the lowest carbon footprint of any packaging material, resulting in up to 70% fewer greenhouse gas emissions than conventional packaging materials, making them a popular choice for food packing. In addition, capped and sealed PET bottles protect liquids from diseases such as viruses and bacteria. They are also resealable for long-term protection and sealed to prevent contamination. As a result of these developments, the market for plastic bottles is likely to grow.
Based on the end-user, the global food service packaging market is segmented into QSR, full-service restaurants, institutional, hospitality, and other end-users.
The QSR segment owns the highest market share and is estimated to exhibit a CAGR of 4.94% during the forecast period. Quick-service restaurants (QSRs) offer inexpensive food options emphasizing speedy service. The emphasis on self-service and limited table service distinguishes this group from traditional restaurants. The majority of QSR menu items are consumed directly from containers or packages. Fast food is chosen by consumers because it is convenient, quickly prepared, a good value, and inexpensive. Therefore, packaging plays a critical role in the context of food products, and it must align with the consumer's motives and expectations around fast food consumption.
Single-use food service packaging in quick-service restaurants has become integral to a globally fast-paced lifestyle. With less time to prepare meals at home, more people are eating fast food. Single-use packaging enables food service establishments to package meals in a sensible, secure, and cost-effective manner while offering customers a convenient and efficient means of transporting meals.
Offices, educational institutions, and hotels are considered part of the institutional segment. Massive consumption of coffee in educational institutions is expected to drive the usage of cups in the market studied. For example, over 1.3 million coffee cups are used on the University of Saskatchewan campus during the school year. Various food service providers are producing innovative business ideas to attract more customers. For instance, Glendale Dining Services, a brand of Food Service company that provides restaurant-style dining for institutions, is recognized as a significant provider of family-style dining and hospitality for several types of healthcare facilities, assisted living facilities, seniority care communities, and individual residential schools. Moreover, with a trend toward biodegradable packaging, many businesses are adopting an alternative to single-use plastic packaging, restraining the growth of the market studied.