Food and drink set to grow

Packaged food and drink consumption in Europe is projected to grow by 3% per annum to 953 billion packages by 2020 according to new research from Smithers Pira.

The consultancy says the growth of packaged food and drink consumption will be driven by continuing growth in retail food packaging as well as a recovery in foodservice packaging markets.

The Future of European Food and Drink Packaging to 2020 highlights trends and dynamics in the European food and drink market. The market data is segmented by pack type, end-use sector and country/region.

The report cites convenience as playing an important role in shaping consumption trends. Ready meals, prepared chilled foods and breakfast bars have proven popular in recent years. Increasingly, time poor consumers are looking for new ways to make most efficient use of their time. Five minutes cooking a ready meal is often a more popular option than making a fresh meal in thirty minutes or more, which has been reflected in poor consumption growth within fresh products.

Convenience has also played an important factor not only in the type of foods people eat, but also in the type of packaging. Convenience foods such as breakfast cereals and bars, savoury snacks and ready prepared chilled foods have proven popular in recent years. In turn, this is changing the dynamics of packaging, with new pack features and more demand for specific pack types.

Smithers Pira says overall, food and drink consumption has increased at an average rate of 1.0% over the period 2010-2014. Consumption growth for food and alcoholic beverages has been weak, with savoury snacks, baby food, ready meals and chilled foods driving demand with growth of around 2% per annum. However, it is the non-alcoholic beverage sector that has performed most strongly, growing by around 3% per annum. The non-alcoholic beverage sector has largely seen growth through consumers reducing their alcoholic intake and instead opting for non-alcoholic beverages.

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