US & Global Economic Impact Analysis and Forecasts

Freedonia analysts and economists are sharing their insights on how major events are impacting different parts of the US and global economies.

Shortage of Foams Spurs Search for Alternatives & Efforts to Boost Production

The US continues to face a shortage of polyurethane foams, affecting the manufacture of a wide range of products, including:

  • furniture
  • mattresses
  • insulation
  • insulated metal panels and other building materials
  • automotive seating and other components

This shortage of foams has left manufacturers with a number of unpleasant options – temporarily ceasing or limiting production, paying more for raw materials (and hoping customers will pay more for their products), or looking for suitable alternatives. For instance, one company is offering such products as fiber and fiber-and-coil components that can be used in place of foam in mattresses and upholstered furniture. These components can provide many of the properties of foam, such as softness and light weight, while also being readily available.

However, in the expectation that this shortage of foam will be long-lasting, other firms are looking to expand their own networks of foam production sites, thus ensuring a ready supply of this key raw material. For instance, Tempur Sealy International announced plans to construct an additional form manufacturing center to provide materials for its mattresses and other products. While this site will not be completed until 2023, the plant will provide more long-term stability for Tempure Sealy’s foam needs.

For more information and discussion of opportunities, see The Freedonia Group’s extensive collection of off-the-shelf research, particularly in the Construction and Building Products and Consumer Goods areas, including Outdoor Furniture & Grills, and Freedonia Focus Reports such as Household Furniture: United States,Office Furniture: United States,Furniture: United States, and Furniture & Furnishings: United States. Freedonia Custom Research is also available for questions requiring tailored market intelligence.

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