The annualised growth projection forecasts a fall off growth from the 5.3 per cent rate experienced in the five years to 2005.
Consumer demands for convenience is one of the trends fuelling growth in the food industry. Busy lifestyles are opening avenues for developing packaging solutions that are safe, easy to open, and convenient to use.
The gains in snack food packaging will slightly outpace the expected growth in the market, reflecting changes in consumption patterns and trends that are changing the way such products are packaged, according to the Freedonia Group.
One such trend is the downsizing of package sizes, which increases demand since smaller packages use more packaging relative to their volume than standard-sized products.
Although the growth of club stores will boost demand for larger containers, this will be more than offset by the growth in single-serving snacks, Freedonia stated in its report.
"Demand will also be driven by greater use of higher-value packaging or unique packaging chosen for increased marketing appeal," the research firm stated.
In the candy and confections segment, Freedonia forecasts the growth rate will fall to 3.5 per cent per year to 2010, compared to 4.8 per cent rate in the five years to 2005.
Packaging demand in the bakery and snacks segment is forecast to fall to 2.6 per cent annually from 3.9 per cent. Demand in the savoury snacks market is forecast to grow to 4.1 per cent, compared to 6.2 per cent in the five years to 2005, and to four per cent in the nuts and dried fruit category, compared to 5.6 per cent.
The highest growth area is forecast for nutrition bars. Savoury snack packaging will be aided by a rebound in snack shipments as well as expanded offerings of single-serving size products and a healthy outlook for quick casual sandwich restaurants, which tend to sell small bags of chips as side items, Freedonia stated.
Health and wellness trends and increased demand for single-serving items will also aid prospects for related packaging in candy and confection and bakery snack applications, the company stated.
In the flexible packaging segment, demand expected to rise 4.3 per cent annually through to 2010. The best advances are anticipated for pouches, including stand-up and side seal types, as a result of cost, performance, convenience and differentiation advantages.
Flexible packaging, while continuing to expand its overall share of snack packaging, will face growing competition from smaller rigid containers such as cups, canisters and other moulded containers. Cups, canisters and other moulded containers offer the advantage of allowing processors to differentiate products.
Their compatibility with car cup holders provides greater on-the-go convenience.
Meanwhile plastic containers will log the fastest growth among rigid snack packaging products, driven by conversions from glass, metal and paperboard containers as well as making some inroads into flexible packaging, Freedonia stated.