The Proliferation of Individual Condiments Packages in the Coronavirus Era

Single-use condiments are making a resurgence. In the packaging world, that means we're mostly talking about

  • four-side seal flat pouches (e.g., for ketchup, soy sauce, and other such prepackaged sauces and condiments)
  • portion cups, which are primarily used when a restaurant either creates its own sauces or condiments or serves from bulk containers of the product

Combined, these two condiment packaging options were a $500 million market in 2019. Both are seeing fast gains so far in 2020 in light of rapidly expanding delivery and carryout activity as well as the removal of community-use condiment bottles from restaurant tables as they reopen dine-in operations.

Jennifer Mapes-Christ, consumer and commercial group leader for the Freedonia Group, “This is part of the ongoing battle between waste and sustainability concerns and the need for improved hygiene as the foodservice industry figures out operations in a pandemic. Restaurants want to limit waste, but right now, the most important this is that the food is clean – and perceived by the consumer as such – and that it arrives to the customer without spilling all over the order.”

Of course, these single-use condiments are the only options as food carryout and delivery expands. According to Packaged Facts (The Freedonia Group’s sister publisher) analyst Cara Rasch, “Growth prospects for food carryout and delivery were strong even before the coronavirus outbreak, but the outlook is even brighter for these applications following mandated social distancing guidelines that have shuttered dine-in service or forced restaurants to greatly limit their dine-in capacity.”

According to The Freedonia Group & Packaged Facts’ National Online Consumer Survey conducted in May 2020, 30% of adults note that they are using restaurant delivery more because of the coronavirus pandemic and 51% note that they are using restaurant curb-side pick-up options more.

For more information, see the following data-rich market analysis reports from The Freedonia Group, including US Foodservice Single-Use Products and Pouches. Related reports include Global Foodservice Single-Use Products, Global Foodservice, Retail Bags, and Global Single-Use Packaging Regulations.

Additional analysis of the food delivery industry can be found in reports from Freedonia Group sister company Packaged Facts.

Food Carryout & Delivery

Food Carryout and Delivery: Special COVID-19 Consumer Insights

Food Market Outlook 2020: Home Cooking, Grocery Shopping, & Food Trends in the Coronavirus Age

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