Fresh Vegetable & Salad Packaging

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This study analyzes the US market for fresh vegetable and salad packaging. This encompasses fresh, minimally processed vegetables, as well as salad mixes and fresh-cut vegetables.

Demand may be broadly discussed by two product types – rigid and flexible packaging – and by four material categories – plastic, paper and paperboard, molded pulp, and other materials (e.g., cotton mesh, foil wrap, plastic mesh, wood, textiles)

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)
  • bags, including bag liners (e.g., plastic mesh, paper, textile)
  • plastic containers (clamshells, tubs, cups, bowls, square &and rectangular two-piece containers, and pails, domed containers, lidded buckets)
  • pouches (pillow and stand-up)
  • trays and platters (including molded pulp, rigid plastic, expanded polystyrene foam, and paperboard types)
  • other packaging, including:
    • baskets, punnets, and tills
    • reusable plastic containers (RPCs)
    • plastic film
    • foam boxes
    • wood crates
    • folding cartons
    • sleeves
    • dividers
    • tissue paper
    • 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.

Fresh vegetable and salad packaging demand is also discussed by application:

  • salad
  • tomatoes
  • potatoes
  • onions
  • lettuce
  • carrots
  • mushrooms
  • celery
  • cabbage
  • peppers
  • other vegetables (e.g., asparagus, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cucumbers, eggplant, garlic, kale, spinach, squash, sweet corn, sweet potatoes, yams, zucchini)

Furthermore, demand is examined by format: ready-to-eat and all other formats

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 handing displays designed to hold packaged goods)

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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