Baked Goods Packaging

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Through 2025, demand for baked goods packaging is forecast to rise 2.9% per year to $4.4 billion. After an above average increase in demand in 2020 due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, sales growth moderated in 2021 and demand going forward is expected to be in line with historical rates. While market maturity in key applications will limit gains in packaging demand, a number of factors will promote usage, including:

  • the importance of bread as a staple in most households
  • rising interest in more packaging-intensive single-serving options, such as cake and pie slices, individual muffins, and cookie and cracker snack packs
  • increasing sales of frozen baked goods, which typically have greater packaging requirements than non-frozen products
  • growing use of value-added packaging formats such as stand-up pouches rather than traditional folding cartons
  • packaging redesigns and expanding introductions of new baked goods options aimed at drawing the attention of consumers

Despite Home Baking Surge, COVID-19 Pandemic Boosted Baked Goods Sales in 2020 & 2021

Despite a steep drop in foodservice baked goods demand and a surge in interest in home baking, baked goods packaging sales overall still rose nearly 6% in 2020 from 2019 levels, boosted by elevated retail purchases of comfort foods such as cakes, pies, pastries, and cookies during the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2021, interest in home baking started to wain as consumers resumed more of their usual routines, boosting sales of convenient baked goods options (e.g., bakery-fresh breads, ready-to-bake frozen pies) and demand for related packaging.

Pouches & Containers Benefit from Consumer Demand for More Convenient Baked Goods

The best growth opportunities in the baked goods packaging market are expected for pouches and rigid containers such as cups, clamshells, and two-piece containers, supported by increasing consumer preference for convenience-oriented products that offer portability, resealability, or portion control. In addition, the ongoing popularity of in-store bakeries will bolster demand for plastic containers, which are favored for their ability to clearly showcase their contents. Two-piece containers will register above average gains based on their widespread use with cakes, pies, and other large baked goods.

Cake, Pie, & Pastry Applications to Experience Above Average Growth

Among applications, cakes, pies, and pastries will continue to gain share of baked goods packaging demand from the more mature bread, cookie, and cracker segments. Cakes, pies, and pastries typically employ larger volumes of packaging than other baked goods because they are more delicate and require greater protection. However, even in more mature applications a shift toward higher value packaging will boost gains in market value.

Above average growth is also expected for packaging used with ethnic baked goods such as tortillas, pita bread, naan, and other flatbreads.

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