Demand for food and drink packaging in North America will continue to expand and add new functionalities across the next five years, according to the latest exclusive market research from Smithers Pira.

“The Future of North American Food and Drink Packaging to 2022” tracks how this market consumed 514.55 million tons in 2016, having seen sluggish (1.3%) annual growth since 2012. Smithers’ analysis shows that across 2017-2022, volume consumption will continue and reach 551.32 million tons per annum by 2022.

Increasingly, food and drink packaging is expected to be recyclable and  lightweight, manufactured with as  little material as possible. Lack of recyclability is one of the key reasons U.S. municipalities are increasingly moving to ban products such as  expanded polystyrene/Styrofoam food packaging, with brand  owners switching to more environmentally friendly materials, like paperboard. A parallel trend extending into the future will be greater use of materials sourced in a sustainable manner. Plastic packaging in particular will be affected by the greater availability of commercial  packaging  grade bioplastics and enthusiasm for brands to make use of them.

Packaged food and drink sales via North American retail  channels grew by an annual consumption trends average of 2.3% between 2012 and 2016, reaching 549.57 billion packs. By 2022, consumption is forecast to reach 659.34 billion packs, representing yearly growth of 3.1% from present levels.

Between 2016 and 2022, Mexican sales of packaged  food and drink rose 3.5%, outpacing both the US and  Canada. Across 2017-2022, annual growth is expected to increase to 4.8% in Mexico, meaning its  share of total regional  consumption will grow  to 22.6%, up from 20.5% at present. Much of  this will occur  at the expense of the US, whose share of the regional total is set to fall from 73% in 2016 to 71.2% in 2022.

Growth is  likely to be most  apparent within the foil trays sector, averaging at more than 6% per annum. Demand for paperboard lids and trays is also expected to grow steadily, largely due to environmental concerns as these products take share from plastic containers in both retail and food service sales.  Future growth is expected to be very marginal  in  mature sectors,  such  as glass bottles and jars.

The report highlights trends and dynamics  within the North American  market  for  food  and drink packaging. The  market data is segmented by pack type, end use and  country. The report analyses the dynamics of each market, as well as reviewing the key trends driving consumer demand.