In developing countries, demand will be supported by the continued emergence of a strong middle class, the rise of two-income households, and the shift to larger urban centers.
World demand for food containers is forecast to increase 4.5 percent annually to $139.1 billion in 2017. Demand increases will be especially noteworthy in the emerging markets of Central and South America, Eastern Europe, the Africa/Mideast region, and the Asia/Pacific region.
Greater sophistication, including interest in Western-style packaged food, will be supported by an overarching population shift to larger urban centers worldwide, where large supermarkets selling packaged food items are replacing the traditional rural vendor or market stall selling raw, minimally packaged items. Within the more mature, developed regions such as North America and Western Europe, the continued conversion to premium packaging (i.e., containers offering high barrier and convenience features) will fuel moderate growth.
Overall, bags and pouches will remain the largest package type by a wide margin. Bags and pouches are lightweight, portable, and convenient. Their use will be bolstered by a continued global rise in the popularity of chilled and processed food, ready-to-eat meals, snack foods, grain mill and bakery items, and other products presented in flexible packaging. Plastic-based packaging generally will offer the fastest global growth prospects, continuing to supplant metal and glass containers for many food items. The continued emergence of quick-prepared meals and packaged cooking ingredients (e.g., cooking fats and oils, packaged spices, seeds and nuts, and single-serve noodles and rice) favors plastics over less portable types.
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