Industry Report Reveals Confidence Amid Lingering Pandemic Effects

The Foodservice Packaging Institute’s 2022 State of the Industry Report has revealed that more than 80 percent of foodservice packaging manufacturers and suppliers experienced growth in volume. About 30 percent of respondents reported profit growth, a decrease compared with 40 percent of respondents in 2021.

The 23rd State of the Industry Report included input from raw material and machinery suppliers, converters, and foodservice distributors and operators. The survey looked at industry issues, such as changes to volume and profits; expansion and purchasing plans; and opportunities and challenges facing the industry, including COVID-19’s ongoing effect.

“As we continue to crawl out from COVID-19’s impact, this year’s State of the Industry Report asks both members and non-members in the industry, to share their thoughts and insights on issues that matter most to the foodservice packaging industry. Responses indicate confidence in the industry with signs of growth in both volume and profit,” said Natha Dempsey, president of the Foodservice Packaging Institute.

“Based on the feedback of more than 47 organisations, the 2022 State of the Industry Report predicts a positive year for the foodservice packaging industry as we learn best practices from our experiences dealing with the pandemic and its aftermath.”

In an encouraging sign, 72 percent of respondents expect volume expansion and 58 percent expect profit growth this year. Foodservice operators who responded saw increased sales, as we move past pandemic closures and continue to see the relevance of delivery and takeout.

In the same split as in 2021, 50 percent of the North American manufacturer respondents reported another year of corporate expansion plans through construction of new facilities, expansion of current facilities, and mergers and acquisitions. Up from last year, 93 percent of North American converter respondents plan to purchase machinery in 2021.

Respondents continue to view the fast casual sector as the greatest area for market expansion. While fast casual has been seen as an area of growth in past surveys, this year’s speculation is due largely to COVID-19 and post-pandemic health and safety concerns, as continued use of take-out is expected.

“It is also possible that this continuation is due to consumer habits formed during the pandemic or benefits of ordering through restaurant apps,” added Dempsey.

Other areas, such as grocery stores and convenience stores, are also noted as opportunities for market expansion because of increased foodservice solutions and the popularity of being able to purchase grab-and-go products to eat at home.