The Foodservice Packaging Institute's fourth annual Trends Report reveals three key trends:
• "Green" isn't a trend, it's standards operating procedure. As in past years, the idea of "green" or "sustainable" packaging is a hot topic. Although, no longer is this simply a packaging trend, but truly it has become an established part of doing business in the industry. Looking for new ways to differentiate themselves from their competition, the foodservice packaging industry will look to innovation for differentiation among competitors.
• The quest for information is leading to greater supply chain collaboration. Customers are on the quest for knowledge, including learning more about the foods and beverages they consume, along with the packaging used to convey them. With more demands for information on issues like sourcing and certifications, this year has seen increased collaboration among supply chain partners. Responding to the desires of customers, both within the supply chain and consumers, and a more holistic approach to the development of packaging, the industry has seen new partnerships emerge.
• Companies are seeking returns on (very little) investment. Economic pressures continue to be a challenge, and rising costs are a strong driving force for supply chain partners. Companies are looking to increase profits without significant investment. "Just look to the increased interest among packaging converters for more efficient, multi-material machines, or foodservice operators' looking to capitalize on new business opportunities through catering, non-traditional day parts and food trucks," FPI president Lynn Dyer points out.
"Our Trends Report is a terrific snapshot of what the foodservice packaging industry and our supply chain partners are facing today. It's the call for ‘green' products to meet customer demands. It's partners commiserating about the state of the economy and margin pressures. But, it's also about how partners can thrive through innovation and collaboration, and that's rewarding to see," says Dyer.
FPI's Trends Report is broken into two sections. The first contains the results of a survey on trends in five key areas: foodservice packaging; raw materials used to make foodservice packaging; machinery used to convert foodservice packaging; foodservice distribution; and foodservice operations. The second section contains analysis from FPI staff based on members' survey submissions, as well as other trends observed in FPI's Packaging Innovations and Insights.
The report was developed in response to requests FPI receives from media, analysts, conference organizers and others for information on the latest trends in single-use foodservice packaging. FPI provides the report to its members for free; non-members can purchase the report for $250. Contact FPI vp Natha Dempsey at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to subscribe to FPI's free quarterly Packaging Innovations and Insights newsletter.