Packaging Trends: Key Findings from The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies Research

Today, our team is settling back into the office after exhibiting at PACK EXPO in Las Vegas. While packaging is fresh on our minds, let’s examine some fascinating packaging research released by  The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies (PMMI) earlier this week.

According to PMMI’s report, “Global Packaging Trends,”  three common themes influencing packaging markets worldwide include:

  1. Growing health and wellness awareness—Consumers are attracted to healthy products, including yogurt and bottled tea.
  2. Recycling and environmental issues—Sustainability has emerged as a major trend in the packaging market, as many companies capitalize on conservation in their marketing. Recently, I shared an infographic on eco-friendly packaging in the food and beverage industry.
  3. Increasing disposable income and purchasing power—The rise of the middle class, especially in Asia and Latin America, has turned consumers toward purchasing packaged goods from modern retailers. When predicting 2015 trends for the food and beverage industry in a January blog post, we predicted this element to also influence food companies to see China as a potential growth vehicle.


Jorge Izquierdo, vice president, Market Development, PMMI commented on these three trends in a PMMI release about the findings.

“These trends are affecting packaging because they’re driving consumers’ purchasing choices,” Izquierdo said. “Recyclability and reusability of packaging are dominant trends and we’re predicting that will continue to be seen as PET and glass bottle usage increases.”

The top packaging types, according to the report, include the following (listed from largest to smallest):

  1. Flexible plastic—29 percent
  2. PET bottles—12 percent
  3. Other—12 percent
  4. Glass bottles—10 percent
  5. Folding cartons—9 percent
  6. Metal beverage cans—7 percent
  7. Flexible aluminum paper—7 percent
  8. Thin wall plastic containers—5 percent
  9. Flexible paper—4 percent
  10. Brick liquid cartons—3 percent
  11. Hope bottles—2 percent


According to another report, the “2015 PMMI State of the Industry U.S. Packaging Machinery Report,” the U.S. packaging machinery market grew 4.2 percent from 2013 to 2014 and is estimated at $9.41 billion. This study also showed that while food is the largest industry sector for packaging machinery, the fastest growing categories include pharmaceuticals and beverage.

While we examined research released for PACK EXPO, be sure to check back with Food for Thought next week for a post on our top takeaways from the conference.


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