This study analyzes the market for frozen specialty food packaging. Historical (2009, 2014 and 2019) data and forecasts to 2024 are presented in current dollars
For the purposes of this study, entrées are distinguished from dinners in that they do not generally contain a complete meal. Excluded from this segment are hand-held entrées, which are included in the Other Frozen Specialties segment.
Corrugated boxes used as primary packaging are included; however, corrugated boxes for secondary packaging with case quantities are excluded, as are shipping containers and retail-ready packaging.
Also excluded are separately sold lids, caps, and closures.
Demand for frozen specialty food packaging is projected to expand 4.0% annually to $3.1 billion in 2024. Advances will be driven by:
Folding cartons and trays are the leading packaging products for frozen specialties, accounting for a combined 59% of demand in 2019. Other significant packaging types include tubs, cups, bowls, paperboard sleeves, bags, corrugated boxes, wrap, lidding, and pouches.
While efforts to reduce packaging weight will drive further shifts away from folding cartons and trays to flexible alternatives such as bags and pouches, rising production of frozen items that typically employ rigid packaging – such as dinners, entrées, and side dishes – will fuel ongoing demand.
The fastest annual increases are projected for tubs, cups, and bowls, supported by favorable prospects for single-serving entrées and bowl meals, including products using steam generated during microwaving for enhanced flavor and texture. Such products typically use two bowls, one for holding a sauce and a perforated bowl that allows steam to pass through during heating.
Even stronger gains for tubs, cups, and bowls will be prevented by competition from pouches, which benefit from cost and source reduction advantages over rigid packaging, as well as from expanding applications for self-venting pouches that enable steam cooking of foods in microwave ovens.
Given the highly competitive nature of the food packaging industry, pricing plays a crucial role in the success or failure of a given container type as a packaging choice: