by Greg Kishbaugh
Smithers Pira has released a new report entitled “The Future of Packaging in North America To 2017,” which highlights several primary trends the research company sees driving future growth in the packaging market in the coming year.
The report predicts that Mexico will show the highest percentage of growth in both the short and mid-term among the North American countries. Mexico is forecast to gain an average 3.1 percent per annum over the course of the next four years, with growth particularly strong in soft drink beverage packaging.
Paperboard will continue as a market leader for packaging in the coming years. In 2011, the largest share of packaging consumption in North America was paperboard. Corrugated packaging was the fastest-growing sector, growing by 4.7 percent during 2011, and it also accounted for the largest share of board consumption with 64.3 percent. U.S. board packaging sales are slated to grow 0.9 percent per annum on average to reach $51.9 billion in 2017.
The outlook for industrial packaging is still a bit uncertain as the effects of the European economic crisis on the North American economy remain unclear. Industrial packaging is expected by Smithers Pira to increase 1.2 percent per annum on average by to reach $62.5 million by 2017.
Finally, the report suggests that retail-ready packaging (packaging that is delivered to retailers in self-contained units immediately ready for on-shelf product display without the need for assembling or unpacking) will show significant growth. Nearly 60 percent of the respondents to a recent Packaging World survey stated they had received increased numbers of requests for retail-ready packaging in the past 12 months.