Frozen Food Packaging

Meat, poultry and seafood and frozen specialties are the largest applications for frozen food packaging, together accounting for nearly 60 percent of demand in 2006. Above-average advances for meat, poultry and seafood applications will be the result of increased production volume and rising demand for convenience items and those packaged for single-portion use. Efforts by processors to meet a variety of customer needs will lead to expanded product diversity, which will also create opportunities for packaging.

Gains for frozen specialties packaging will be driven by favorable demographics and quality improvements in frozen specialties. Ongoing introductions of products using premium, organic and other healthful products and ingredients will stimulate packaging demand. Though frozen fruit and vegetable applications will lag the industry average due to maturity and competition from fresh alternatives, packaging innovations will lead to renewed interest in frozen vegetables. Technological advances in plastic films will continue to be a key factor in the improved quality of products steamed in their packaging.Pouches to be fastest growing product Among frozen food packaging products, fastest growth is anticipated for pouches as a result of solid prospects for stand-up pouches, often at the expense of rigid containers. Opportunities for stand-up pouches will be based on advantages of excellent visual appeal, product differentiation, compatibility with upright freezer cases, convenience and reclosability. Healthy gains are also expected for flat pouches due to the incorporation of such convenience features as resealable zippers, spouts and tear notches. Boxes are expected to register more moderate gains, the result of inroads by bags and pouches into traditional folding carton applications. Still, prospects will be boosted by heightened demand for boxes with value-added features such as higher quality graphic design and microwave susceptors, which facilitate browning of frozen hand-held foods, pizza, french fries and other products for which crispness is desirable.

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