North American Packaged Food, Drink Consumption to Hit 659.34 Billion Packs by 2022

Demand for food and drink packaging in North America will continue to expand and add new functionalities across the next 5 years according to the latest exclusive market research from Smithers Pira (

The Future of North American Food and Drink Packaging to 2022 tracks how this market consumed 514.55 million tonnes in 2016, having seen sluggish (1.3%) annual growth since 2012. Smithers’ analysis shows that across 2017-2022, volume consumption will continue and reach 551.32 million tonnes per annum in 2022.

Increasingly, food and drink packaging is expected to be recyclable and light weight, i.e. manufactured with as little material as possible. Lack of recyclability is one of the key reasons U.S. municipalities are increasingly moving to ban products such as expanded polystyrene/Styrofoam food packaging, with brand owners switching to more environmentally friendly materials, like paperboard. A parallel trend extending into the future will be greater use of materials sourced in a sustainable manner. Plastic packaging in particular will be affected by the greater availability of commercial packaging grade bioplastics and enthusiasm for brands to make use of them.

Packaged food and drink sales via North American retail channels grew by an annual consumption trends average of 2.3% between 2012 and 2016, reaching 549.57 billion packs. By 2022, consumption is forecast to reach 659. 34 billion packs, representing yearly growth of 3.1% from present levels.

Likely market drivers include a greater focus upon food and drinks geared towards time-pressed consumers, as well as the continued spread of convenience and discount retailers throughout the region. Although the U.S. remains the region’s largest market, recent growth has been higher in Mexico – this is mainly because the country’s grocery retail industry is less developed, and more people are now starting to shop at modern, Western-style outlets.

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