Food packaging segmentsThe food service industry is one of the largest markets for food packaging. As of 2021, the food service packaging market was valued at 118 billion U.S. dollars worldwide and is expected to grow by over 57 percent over the next several years until 2030. Dairy products and meat products are also two import segments of the worldwide food packaging industry. Tetra Pak is a Swiss company that focuses on sustainable and safe food packaging and works with over 160 countries worldwide. In 2022, the net sales of Tetra Pak was valued at about 12.5 billion U.S. dollars worldwide.
Sustainability and consumer perspectivesIn the global food system, packaging produces about one billion metric tons of greenhouse emissions. Though other links in the food chain produce significantly more greenhouse gases, like agricultural production and land use, many people are interested in more sustainable packaging options to help reduce waste. In the food industry only about a quarter of plastic packaging used is recyclable and less than one percent is reusable.
It is surprising that so little of the packaging is recyclable, considering many consumers’ willingness to pay a higher price for sustainable packaging. In the U.S., about half of consumers would be willing to pay an upcharge of one to three percent for sustainable fresh food packaging and in the UK almost three-quarters of consumers reported a willingness to pay more for compostable packaging.