Fresh Fruit Packaging

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This study analyzes the US market for fresh fruit packaging, defined as fresh, minimally processed fruits, and for the purposes of this report includes fresh-cut fruits.

Fruit packaging can be segmented broadly by rigid and flexible. Specific products covered include the following:

  • retail-ready and other corrugated boxes (regular slotted containers, full telescoping boxes, boxes with cut-outs for display purposes, open-top tray-style boxes, fold-over gift boxes, bulk bins)
  • plastic containers (clamshells, tubs, cups, bowls, square and rectangular two-piece containers, pails, domed containers, lidded buckets)
  • bags, including bag liners (e.g., plastic mesh, paper, textile)
  • trays and platters (including molded pulp, rigid plastic, expanded polystyrene foam, and paperboard types)
  • pouches (pillow and stand-up)
  • baskets, punnets, and tills
  • other products, including rigid plastic containers (RPCs), plastic film, foam boxes, wood crates, folding cartons, sleeves, paperboard partitions, tissue paper, and absorption and ventilation pads

For products packaged in combination-type formats – such as a tray of peppers enclosed in a pillow pouch – the value of each type of packaging is counted separately and included within each respective product segment.

Excluded from the scope of this study are:

  • canned and frozen fruits and vegetables
  • packaging for nuts, herbs, seeds, spices, and other items commonly sold in produce departments other than fresh fruits and vegetables
  • plastic and paper retail bags
  • plastic bags provided in produce departments for customer self-service
  • bag closures and separately sold lids
  • rubber bands and twist ties
  • restaurant and foodservice carryout containers, including those used for in-store prepared foods
  • packaging used for canned, frozen, and dried fruits and vegetables
  • pallet wrap
  • corrugated displays other than bulk bins (i.e., freestanding or hanging displays designed to hold packaged goods)

Demand is also discussed by fruit applications.

In addition, demand is segmented by packaging material:

  • plastic
  • paper and paperboard
  • other materials (e.g., molded pulp, cotton and plastic mesh, wood, textiles)

Finally, demand is analyzed by packaging formats

  • ready-to-eat (e.g., pre-cut, pre-peeled, pre-washed)
  • other formats (unprepared fruit sold in bulk or prepackaged)

Historical data (2009, 2014, and 2019) and forecasts for 2024 are presented for produce packaging demand in current US dollars (including inflation) by product and application. The terms “shipments”, “production”, and “output” are used interchangeably in the study, as are the terms “demand”, “sales”, and “market”, which are defined as domestic shipments, plus imports, minus exports.

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