An authoritative report from industry consultants, AMI Consulting, published in August 2013, defines and analyses Thin Wall Packaging market trends in North America.
Thin Wall Packaging (TWP) is a market with a still unclear definition in North America. AMI Consulting perceives Thin Wall Packaging from the perspective of the end-use market and packaging formats. The Thin Wall Packaging industry encompasses thermoformed and injection molded plastic tubs, pots, trays and cups.
The 8 billion pounds (3.5 million tonnes) industry can be split into foodservice and retail packaging. The proportion of foodservice and retail TWP in North America is skewed towards foodservice, which accounts for 56% of the market by volume. This translates to the demand of nearly 4.3 billion pounds in 2012. The remaining 44% of TWP volume was used in retail packaging applications, with volume demand equivalent to 3.4 billion pounds in 2012.
Retail TWP applications include for example chilled dairy cups, meat/fish/poultry tray, fruit punnets, margarine tubs and long-life food containers. The intense retail environment is increasing retailer focus on ways to differentiate from the competition, efficiency gains to lower margin pressure, rationalisation of SKUs, and inventory reduction. Price competition drives efforts to streamline supply chain and improve vertical coordination. It has become imperative for the North American Thin Wall Packaging industry to review operations in search for cost savings and efficiency optimisation to counteract the ever squeezing margins and offer more competitive prices for customers addressing consumer spending constraints.
Figure 1: Thin Wall Packaging applications in North America