US Beverage Packaging
Demand for beverage packaging is forecast to increase 1.8% per year to $55.3 billion in 2027. Unit demand is expected to grow 1.0% per year to 837.6 billion. While unit gains will remain relatively steady, value growth will be limited by moderation in raw material costs and an easing of supply chain issues that caused pricing surges in 2021 and 2022. Beverage packaging must simultaneously be cost effective and fall in line with changing sustainability goals and consumer preferences:
- Aseptic cartons will see fast value growth in all beverage markets except fruit beverages, owing to their performance benefits and product differentiation capabilities.
- Bottled water will continue to see healthy gains, with sparkling water to experience especially fast growth.
- Mature beverage categories (such as carbonated soft drinks, fruit beverages, and beer) will continue to see declines in real packaging demand, largely due to health concerns and increased competition from alternatives.
Sparkling Water, Energy Drinks, & RTD Coffee to Experience the Fastest Growth
Among beverage markets, sparkling water, energy drinks, and ready-to-drink (RTD) coffee are expected to post the fastest growth in beverage production and packaging demand, bolstered by strong advertising pushes targeting younger consumers. This stems, at least in part, from increasing consumer preferences for beverages with functional properties and those associated with specific activities and communities (e.g., extreme sports, e-celebrities, gaming, and university culture). These beverages also benefit from the availability of low-calorie options and the variety of new flavors and brands that appeal to different demographic groups.
Sustainability Remains Top Concern for Packaging & Beverage Suppliers, Drives Innovation
Sustainability continues to be among the highest profile concerns in the beverage packaging market, with producers of different formats and materials jockeying to be seen as the most eco-friendly. Actions taken to improve sustainability include greater focus onrecyclability, incorporation of recycled and post-consumer content into packaging, and lightweighting and source reduction.
Plastic is the leading target for sustainability conversions, but it remains the most used material because of its cost and performance. To address sustainability concerns, manufacturers have increasingly focused on plastic packaging that is both recyclable and incorporates recycled content.Some beverage and packaging manufacturers have elected to focus on new packaging formats, particularly paperboard and molded fiber bottles, to address sustainability concerns. These bottles are typically composed of an outer paperboard or molded fiber shell married to a recyclable, separable inner pouch or lining. Molded fiber bottles currently have trouble withstanding the pressure exerted by carbonated beverages, though many leaders in the carbonated soft drink and beer markets continue to trial them and innovate their designs to meet sustainability goals.Study Description
This study examines the US market for beverage packaging, defined as primary and secondary packaging materials sold to beverage suppliers, primarily for products targeted at retail or foodservice markets. Historical data are provided for 2012, 2017, and 2022, with forecasts through 2027. Annual data is provided for 2019-2026. Data are provided in current dollar value and units. Also provided is an analysis of key industry players.