The produce packaging market is growing promisingly. Fresh produce packaging demand is increasing continually, mainly due to growth in the overall domestic produce output gains. Besides, the more intensive use of higher value packaging types that can offer convenience and ease-of-use features, superior performance, and shelf life drive the market growth. 

Increasing sales of ready-to-eat (RTE) salads and pre-cut produce such as melon spears, apple slices, and carrot sticks, typically sold in cups, tubs, or other rigid plastic containers, substantiate the market demand. Due to the increased environmental footprints, sustainability remains a primary goal for fresh produce packaging suppliers. 

The market witnesses a rising demand for biodegradable and recyclable packaging made of bio-based or recycled materials. Additionally, vast technological upgrades and developments in packaging materials, alongside the introduction of new produce packaging, especially for organic produce, influence the market share.

The size of the produce packaging market is expected to stimulate further, heading with growing uses of produce packaging that can preserve the cold chain for shipping temperature-sensitive food & beverage products. According to Market Research Future (MRFR), the global produce packaging market is expected to register a 5.1% CAGR during the review period (2022-2030). 

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COVID-19 Impact:

The COVID-19 outbreak severely hit the produce packaging market industry, causing huge revenue loss to end-users like growers/shippers, re-packers and retail stores. The coronavirus-driven lockdown also halted the production of several key raw materials in the global market, resulting in spiked prices and lowered demand for produce packaging. 

Though the demand for fresh food & beverages was significant in the market, the industry faced severe revenue losses. Manufacturers faced problems ranging from attracting workers from quarantines to obtaining raw materials required for the production and deliver end products.

However, the produce packaging market is rapidly returning to normal, witnessing the steadily increasing demand. High consumption of intelligent packaging solutions is rising due to increased production activities and demand for storage and distribution applications, which is estimated to offer robust market opportunities. 

Industry Trends

The emergence of retail-ready and display-ready boxes, including regular slotted containers, boxes with cut-outs for display purposes, full telescoping boxes, and open-top tray-style boxes, has been impacting the market growth positively. 

Other major industry trends include high awareness for the availability of a wide range of temperature-controlled packaging solutions. Additional factors bolstering the market growth are increasing trends in local, regional, and international markets that need a wide range of transport modes and optimized total cost of ownership (TCO) led by relentless competition and margin pressures.

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The produce packaging market analysis is segmented into packaging type, application, end-user, and region. The packaging type segment is sub-segmented into corrugated boxes, bags and liners, plastic containers, trays, and others. Of these, the corrugated boxes segment holds the biggest market share, witnessing the rising demand for climate-sensitive, fresh food products. The segment is projected to register a higher CAGR during the forecast period.

The application segment is sub-segmented into vegetables, fruits, salads, and others. Among these, the vegetable segment holds the largest market share, witnessing the rising demand led by the changing lifestyle, increasing disposable income, and overall population growth. The segment is projected to register a higher CAGR during the forecast period.

The end-user segment is sub-segmented into growers/shippers, re-packers, retail stores, and others. Among these, the growers/shippers segment holds the largest market share, creating vast market demand. The segment is projected to register a higher CAGR during the forecast period. The region segment is sub-segmented into the Americas, Europe, Asia Pacific, and rest-of-the-world.

Regional Analysis

The Asia Pacific region dominates the global produce packaging market, mainly due to the high production rates of fresh produces in the region. Besides, the rising demand for efficient packaging solutions due to the high exports of produces in China and India acts as another driving force for the growth of the regional market. Vast investments in product developments and upgrades of packaging technology in the region increase the market share. Moreover, increasing e-commerce businesses in the region drives the market growth.

North America acquires the second position in the global produce packaging market. The region observes superior product development as far as packaging is concerned owing to vast R&D investments and innovations. Additionally, strict food safety policies boost the demand for smart packaging in the food & beverage sector in the US and Canada, substantiates the market growth. The US, with its burgeoning eCommerce sector, dominates the regional market.

The European produce packaging market has emerged as a profitable market globally. Increased demand for fresh vegetables and fruits increases the region's produce packaging market share. Furthermore, the vast adoption of produce packaging solutions propels the market growth. Produce packaging manufacturers in the region constantly offer new, sustainable packaging that can decrease environmental footprint at every point in the supply chain.

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Competitive Analysis

The produce packaging market witnesses several strategic approaches, such as mergers & acquisitions, collaboration, expansion, and product/ technology launches. Matured industry players make strategic investments in research and development activities and foster their expansion plans. 

With consumer demand for sustainable packaging on the rise, produce packaging manufacturers strive to design solutions that can enhance the direct visibility of products and longevity. They look for new ways always to improve their practices and bring innovative solutions to our customers.

For instance, recently, on April 5, 2021, Lipman Family Farms announced that it would be showcasing a new compostable clamshell packaging solution at the Southeast Produce Council's Southern Exposure conference. Reinforcing its ongoing commitment to sustainable practices across the supply chain, Lipman created a unique packaging solution that can offer 100% backyard compost-ability.

Lipman is also expanding the compostable packaging offering to the East Coast to meet evolving consumer preferences. The company is also exploring additional packaging solutions within the Grown True label as Lipman continues to focus on creating sustainable options for consumers. In addition to showcasing its new compostable packaging, Lipman would be featuring a variety of fresh produce across its fresh vegetable and tomato brands. 

Key players involved in the market are Smurfit Kappa (Ireland), Amcor plc (Australia), COVERIS (US), Mondi (Austria), DS Smith (UK), Sealed Air (US), Sonoco Products Company (US), International Paper (US), Berry Pack, Inc. (US), INFIA Srl. (Italy), Pactiv LLC (US), Stora Enso (Finland), Packaging Corporation of America (US), Ultimate Group (UK), and WestRock Company (US), among others. 

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