Retort will remain the largest type of thermal food processing used due to the low cost and long shelf life afforded by cans for use with soups, processed fruits and vegetables, and dinners, as well as the established nature of retort processing lines.

Through 2026, aseptic packaging will continue to see strong demand growth in the packaging of milk and milk alternatives, soups, tomato products, and other foods.

Demand for hot fill packaging for food is forecast to increase 1.2% annually to $2.6 billion in 2026, sustained by the ongoing popularity of hot fill packaging for sauces and condiments.

A new Freedonia Group analysis finds that demand for folding cartons in the beverage market will benefit from the popularity of smaller, regional runs of beverages.

Demand for folding cartons is expected to grow 1.8% per year through 2026 to $12.8 billion.

Global demand for I&I cleaning chemicals is projected to increase 3.9% annually to $53.7 billion in 2026.

Vehicle care products will also see above average gains, buoyed by increasing shipping and distribution activities, as well as increasing patronization of commercial car washes as average vehicle miles traveled returns to pre-pandemic levels.

While some companies are exploring ways to fulfill such pledges by making plastic more eco-friendly – such as by improving recyclability or increasing use of recycled content – others are looking to shift away from conventional plastics altogether.

The return of international tourism, which suffered significantly in 2020 and continued to be affected in 2021, will also spur cleaning chemical demand for hotels.

Demand for wipes is expected to advance 2.3% per year off a relatively high base to $4.3 billion in 2026.