North America Foodservice Packaging Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2022 - 2027)

The North American Foodservice Packaging Market is segmented by Packaging Format (Corrugated Boxes and Cartons, Plastic Bottles, Trays, Plates, Food Containers, and Bowls, Cups and Lids, and Clamshells) and End User (Quick Service Restaurants, Full-service Restaurants, Coffee and Snack Outlets, Retail Establishments, Institutional, and Hospitality).

Market Snapshot

North America Foodservice Packaging Market Size
Study Period: 2020-2027
Base Year: 2021
CAGR: 3.24 %

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Market Overview

The North American foodservice market (henceforth, referred to as the market studied) was valued at USD 23.63 billion in 2021, and it is projected to be worth USD 28.46 billion by 2027, registering a CAGR of 3.24% during 2022-2027 (henceforth, referred to as the forecast period).

  • The North American foodservice packaging business has experienced consistent growth over the last decade, owing to changes in substrate choice, expansion of new markets, and changing ownership dynamics. Sustainability and environmental issues will continue to be emphasized, particularly in the United States, with various innovations catering to corrugated boxes, cartons, and plastic packaging witnessed in the market.
  • Traditional packaging will continue to be replaced by flexible packaging. A corrugated box is a common type of packaging used to transport various food items. It is typically built of paperboard, mainly composed of wood cellulose fibers. These boxes have high strength, stiffness, flexibility, durability, lightness, and aesthetic appeal. The boxes are environmentally beneficial because no toxic chemicals are used in the production process, and they are recyclable. North American food service utilizes corrugated boxes to package products.
  • According to data from a Harris Poll commissioned by the Flexible Packaging Association, 83% of all brand owners use flexible packaging in some form. Polyethene is mainly used for plastic bottle packaging. It is a semi-crystalline, lightweight thermoplastic resin with strong chemical resistance, low moisture absorption, and sound insulating qualities.
  • The main concern faced by the industry in the region is the stringent environmental regulations. Bans on plastic products at the country and state levels are anticipated to pose substantial challenges to the market over the forecast period.
  • The coronavirus pandemic has substantially influenced the foodservice industry's profit margin. Companies in the food and beverage industry are seeing a significant drop in consumption and a disruption in supply chain management systems. The COVID-19 lockdowns had a significant impact on the US food service, with spillover impacts on food service packaging suppliers. Despite a temporary decline in foodservice packaging volumes, the industry will rebound in stages against a backdrop of economic adversity. Both limited-service and full-service restaurants are predicted to increase consumer-facing foodservice packaging volume, albeit at a slower rate. Foodservice packaging should adapt and evolve to meet the increasing needs of the food service business as local economies open up and consumers adopt new dining methods.

Scope of the Report

The study on North American foodservice packaging tracks the demand for major packaging format types such as corrugated boxes and cartons, plastic bottles, trays, plates, food containers and bowls, cups and lids, clamshells, cutlery, and stirrer, along with corresponding industry verticals and revenue accrued from the sales of packaging product across varied geographies. The study provides a detailed analysis of end users such as quick-service restaurants, full-service restaurants, coffee and snack outlets, retail establishments, and industrial and hospitality.

By Packaging Format
Corrugated Boxes and Cartons
Plastic Bottles
Trays, Plates, Food Containers, and Bowls
Cups and Lids
Other Formats (Cutlery, Stirrer/Straws, etc.)
By End User
Quick-service Restaurants
Full-service Restaurants
Coffee and Snack Outlets
Retail Establishments
Other End-user Applications

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Key Market Trends

Corrugated Boxes and Cartons Segment to Exhibit the Highest Growth Rate

  • Corrugated cardboard packaging is believed to be the backbone of the American supply chain for various manufacturers. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, companies wanted to assure consumers that the cardboard box industry continues to operate and deliver needed packaging to their customers, who supply grocery stores, pharmacies, residences, and hospitals with food and beverage supplies.
  • Consumers across the country who rely on consistent and reliable supplies would be severely harmed if the availability of these commodities were to be disrupted. To guarantee that products continue to flow to market, corrugated cardboard manufacturers are committed to operate box factories in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) rules.
  • However, packaging shortages are fueling persistent fluctuations in food and beverage product availability as many manufacturers source materials from overseas. Intense demand for corrugate, cardboard, and paper is causing concerns due to increased shipping activity from major e-commerce companies. Additionally, the uptick in takeout at restaurants is exacerbating shortages of items like coffee cups and to-go containers.
  • In October 2021, International Paper, a corrugated packaging and pulp manufacturer, stated that it absorbed an additional USD 50 million of supply chain costs for its export operations in its latest quarter. The company also informed in July 2021 that the supply of cardboard boxes was severely low and warned of continued supply chain bottlenecks leading into the rest of the year.
  • Also, low containerboard and corrugated cardboard inventory have been a mounting issue since the dramatic growth in e-commerce during the pandemic.
  • As concerns about oversupply grew, retailers like Amazon began stockpiling cardboard in January 2021 to meet demand, leaving smaller businesses empty-handed. By February 2021, the price of cardboard reached a record high, according to the Producer Price Index and the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. This led to a shortage of corrugated boxes, directly affecting the growth of the market.
North America Foodservice Packaging Market Trends

Quick-service Restaurants Hold the Maximum Market Share

  • Sustainable foodservice packaging in QSRs has become an essential part of the region. With less time for meal preparation at home, more people are relying on fast food for meals. Sustainable packaging formats allow food service establishments to package meals safely and cost-effectively while providing customers with a convenient and efficient way to transport meals.
  • RBI's in-house design team collaborated with one of its agency partners to produce prototypes of the reusable packaging, which features a sandwich container and a beverage cup for soft drinks and coffee. The considerations include opening and shutting, the packaging's height and width, how these will fit into QSR supply chain systems, and scalability. According to RBI, the container will be used a minimum of 100 times.
  • For instance, in January 2021, restaurants that provide quick food like Restaurant Brands International (RBI) brands Burger King and Tim Hortons began testing a program in cooperation with TerraCycle's Loop circular packaging platform that will allow customers to specify reusable containers and cups when ordering various food and beverage items. Guests will be required to pay a deposit, which will be repaid after the packaging is returned and cleaned by Loop for reuse.
  • Most of the food service products used in QSRs are either made of paper, including paper, paperboard, and molded pulp, or plastic, including expanded polystyrene (EPS), polypropylene (PP), polyethylene terephthalate (PET), and polylactic acid (PLA). Quick service restaurants (QSRs) are designed to serve high-quality food and beverages less than typical restaurants or cafes. Many QSRs have implemented the usage of dispensers that give a controlled volume to ensure even dispersion and a high level of consistency in providing these services. This can include items like flavored coffee syrup bottles that dispense a specific volume of syrup with each dispenser pump, ranging from 5ml to 30ml, guaranteeing that each client gets the same quantity of flavor in their coffee.
  • Some QSRs mix the conveniences of a restaurant with the possibility for clients to exercise individuality through self-service features. Self-service sauce stations, for instance, will have these controlled-volume dispensers. These can assist QSRs in reducing product waste, increasing cost savings, and providing excellent customer service.
  • Also, in May 2021, Burger King was committed to contributing to a more sustainable future by lowering its environmental footprint. Straws and drink lids are among the restaurant's guest-facing items, launching a green packaging pilot program. Guest packaging, which uses alternative materials, will be tested in 51 of the brand's company-owned restaurants in Miami. Burger King may also trial paper and plant-based straws and strawless lids to eliminate up to 500 million single-use plastic straws from participating Burger King locations in the United States each year.
North America Foodservice Packaging Market Share

Competitive Landscape

The North American foodservice packaging market is fragmented due to the presence of a large number of players. There is increasing competition among local vendors in the region in the market. Owing to the wide range of suppliers of foodservice packaging, buyers have the option to choose from multiple vendors.

  • February 2022 - Apollo and Novolex announced that the fund managed by Apollo's affiliates (Apollo Fund) had reached a final agreement to acquire most of the company from the fund managed by Carlyle. Carlyle will retain a minority stake in the company. The financial terms have not been disclosed.
  • September 2021 - Berry Global Group Inc. announced more than USD 110 million investment to expand its proprietary and polypropylene thermoforming capabilities in North America to manufacture clear drink cups and lids for quick-service restaurants, coffee shops, convenience stores, and other foodservice markets.
  • June 2021 - Novolex announced that it launched a new production line in Chattanooga, Tennessee, to manufacture compostable cold beverage cups made from plant-based plastic. The clear cups are made using polylactic acid (PLA), a plastic polymer created from starch-based plants, such as corn, sugarcane, and wheat straw.

Recent Developments

  • February 2022 - The Coca-Cola Company announced a goal to increase its reusable packaging use significantly. By 2030, the company aims to have 25% of all beverages across its portfolio of brands sold in refillable/returnable glass or plastic bottles or refillable containers through a traditional fountain or Coca-Cola Freestyle dispensers. In recent years, the company also partnered with Burger King and TerraCycle in the United States for a pilot program in select cities to reduce single-use packaging waste by offering reusable food containers and beverage cups.
  • April 2021 - To expand its focus on sustainable packaging, Sonoco Products Company, in collaboration with Tellus Products LLC, declared the receipt of a prequalified label, Check Locally for recyclability from How2Recycle for the Natrellis line of food packaging. Natrellis, a dual-ovenable package made with upcycled sugarcane fiber and other US-grown plant fibers, features a highly engineered surface, which helps maintain the package strength during all phases of use, preventing loss of food moisture.

Table of Contents


    1. 1.1 Study Assumptions and Market Definition

    2. 1.2 Scope of the Study




    1. 4.1 Market Overview

    2. 4.2 Market Drivers

      1. 4.2.1 Demand for Convenience Food Remains High in the United States

      2. 4.2.2 Increasing Emphasis on Sustainability is Causing the Vendors to Focus on Recycled Plastic

    3. 4.3 Market Challenges

      1. 4.3.1 Positive and Steady Growth of Flexible Packaging due to Environmental Pressure and Uncertainty in Polymer Prices

    4. 4.4 Market Opportunities

    5. 4.5 Industry Ecosystem Analysis - Material Suppliers, Convertors, Distributors, End-use Organizations, Customers, and Recycling

    6. 4.6 Industry Attractiveness - Porter's Five Forces Analysis

      1. 4.6.1 Threat of New Entrants

      2. 4.6.2 Bargaining Power of Buyers

      3. 4.6.3 Bargaining Power of Suppliers

      4. 4.6.4 Threat of Substitute Products

      5. 4.6.5 Intensity of Competitive Rivalry


    1. 5.1 Market Demand Impact Due to the Pandemic (Dine-In restrictions will shift the focus to off-premise options in the short- and medium-term | Increasing Relevance of Ghost Restaurants/Cloud Kitchen | QSRs witnessing a rise in drive-thru, takeout, and delivery options)

    2. 5.2 Reusable vs Single-user Safer Solution in the Current Scenario

    3. 5.3 Food Service Regulations and COVID-19 Materials Safety

    4. 5.4 Impact on Recycling and Convenience of Food Service Products


    1. 6.1 By Packaging Format

      1. 6.1.1 Corrugated Boxes and Cartons

      2. 6.1.2 Plastic Bottles

      3. 6.1.3 Trays, Plates, Food Containers, and Bowls

      4. 6.1.4 Cups and Lids

      5. 6.1.5 Clamshells

      6. 6.1.6 Other Formats (Cutlery, Stirrer/Straws, etc.)

    2. 6.2 By End User

      1. 6.2.1 Quick-service Restaurants

      2. 6.2.2 Full-service Restaurants

      3. 6.2.3 Coffee and Snack Outlets

      4. 6.2.4 Retail Establishments

      5. 6.2.5 Other End-user Applications


    1. 7.1 Company Profiles

      1. 7.1.1 Pactiv Evergreen Inc.

      2. 7.1.2 Dart Container Corporation

      3. 7.1.3 Amhil North America

      4. 7.1.4 Genpak Corporation

      5. 7.1.5 Huhtamaki Americas Inc.

      6. 7.1.6 Berry Global Inc.

      7. 7.1.7 Inline Plastics Corp.

      8. 7.1.8 Novolex Packaging

      9. 7.1.9 Sabert Corporation

      10. 7.1.10 Silgan Plastic Food Container

      11. 7.1.11 Bennett Plastics Inc.

      12. 7.1.12 B&R Plastics Inc. (Gilster-Mary Lee Corp.)

      13. 7.1.13 Graphic Packaging

      14. 7.1.14 Amcor PLC

      15. 7.1.15 Sonoco Products Company

    2. *List Not Exhaustive

**Subject to Availability

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Frequently Asked Questions

The NA Foodservice Packaging Market market is studied from 2020 - 2027.

The NA Foodservice Packaging Market is growing at a CAGR of 3.24% over the next 5 years.

Novolex HOLDINGS LLC, Berry Global Inc., Genpak LLC, Inline Plastics , Huhtamaki America Inc are the major companies operating in NA Foodservice Packaging Market.

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