Economic challenges shaping foodservice packaging
By Canadian Pizza
By Canadian Pizza
December 14, 2011, Falls Church, VA – The economy remains a driving force behind this year's packaging trends, the Foodservice Packaging Institute's (FPI) latest report shows.
While the economic roller coaster ride goes on, the “green” packaging trend has continued. This year the industry has seen a shift in emphasis on materials and “beginning of life” issues as compared to other years where “end of life” has been the primary focus. Various value chain partners acknowledge that while going green is desirable, continuing economic pressures continue to be a challenge. In the current economic climate, costs continue to be a strong driving force for material and packaging selections.
One trend affecting the industry includes widening dayparts for foodservice operators as consumer wants shift towards smaller meal options at various times throughout the day. Whether economically or nutritionally motivated, expanding dayparts are also affording opportunities to change up restaurant and menu, and thus packaging, offerings.
There is also a trend towards consolidation. Both company and product consolidation was a strong theme seen throughout the industry in this year’s trends survey. Mergers and acquisitions as well as business closures have added to companies, facilities and staff losses. Cost pressures have driven more consolidation, and the industry is being forced to do more with fewer resources. Even products are being lost to SKU reduction and the elimination of like product offerings.
“The struggling economy continues to impact our industry in many ways,” said FPI president Lynn M. Dyer. “As these changes continue, the industry and its offerings may look a bit different, but we will emerge leaner, more efficient, and hopefully poised for growth as the economy improves.”
The Trends Report is available free to all FPI members; for non-members, the price is $250.