U.S. Food Packaging Market Forecast to Grow Through 2022


The U.S. food packaging market is forecast to grow at a steady rate of 2.9 percent CAGR through 2022, according to the just released 2016 Food Packaging Trends and Advances report from PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies.

Based on interviews from 70 professionals across the food processing and packaging industry in the U.S. and overseas, the study forecasts that meat and related products and snack foods will outperform the market with over 3 percent growth. The growth in these two segments is attributed to consumer demand for portion control and convenience options.

Global Market Growth

The U.S. food industry trails the global market and, while North America is the largest global market across all food segments, the overall growth of the food industry, which includes food packaging, is being driven by emerging markets like Argentina, Brazil, China and India.

Global growth rates for most segments are double U.S. growth rates, except for meat and related products (8.5 percent), and candy and confections (8 percent), which have higher rates of global growth compared to those of the United States.

Innovation in the U.S. Food Industry

U.S. food packaging innovations are often concepts that are already in use in other segments and innovations from other countries are beginning to enter the U.S. food packaging market. One trend that meat manufacturers find exciting is a product with a film that opens during cooking which allows the meat to brown after a pre-determined period of time.

The most innovative food industry segments are:

  • Snack Foods: Recycled and biodegradable materials for salty snacks; stylish, vivid graphics and shapes for single-serve packs
  • Meat and Related Products: New films to keep meat fresher longer; active labels to sense when meat is past its expiration
  • Fruits and Vegetables: Clear, tactile films to make consumers pause and consider the product; more single-serve packaging
  • Pet Food: More recycled materials in packaging; single-serve containers to differentiate niche or premium products

Consumer demand continues to drive the industry, as noted in the current major packaging trends: convenience, flexibility, safety, sustainability and technology.

To learn more, an infographic illustrating key findings is now available on or visit to download the Executive Summary or full Food Packaging Trends and Advances report ($500 for non-members).

PMMI owns and produces the PACK EXPO portfolio of trade shows, including PACK EXPO International 2016 and Pharma EXPO (McCormick Place, Chicago; Nov. 6–9). With over 2,300 exhibitors in more than 1.2 million net square feet of exhibit space, the co-located shows are welcoming 50,000 attendees to McCormick Place in the fall.

Register for PACK EXPO International and Pharma EXPO 2016 online at Registration for PACK EXPO and Pharma EXPO is $30 through Oct. 14, when it increases to the on-site fee of $100.

About PMMI
PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies, represents the voice of more than 700 North American manufacturers of equipment, components and materials for processing and packaging. We work to advance a variety of industries by connecting consumer goods companies with manufacturing solutions through the world class PACK EXPO portfolio of trade shows, leading trade media and a wide range of resources to empower our members. The PACK EXPO trade shows unite the world of processing and packaging to advance the industries they serve: PACK EXPO International, PACK EXPO Las Vegas, Pharma EXPO, PACK EXPO East, EXPO PACK México, EXPO PACK Guadalajara and ProFood Tech, launching in April 2017. PMMI Media Group connects manufacturers to the latest solutions, trends and innovations in processing and packaging year-round through brands including Packaging World, Automation World, Healthcare Packaging, Contract Packaging and Packaging + Processing OEM. PMMI Business Drivers assist members in pursuing operational excellence through workforce development initiatives, deliver actionable business intelligence on economic, market and industry trends to support members' growth strategies, and actively connect the supply chain throughout the year.

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Sean Riley
Senior Director, Media and Industry Communications