Foodservice Packaging Institute’s 15th annual Trends Report highlights decreased international shipping costs, uptick in purchase of foodservice packaging via ecommerce channels, post-pandemic shifts and inflation, and policy considerations such as EPR

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December 20, 2023 (press release) –

The Foodservice Packaging Institute (FPI) recently released its 15th annual Trends Report, offering a comprehensive look at the current state of the industry. Despite facing challenges such as stagnation of orders and slower purchasing throughout the supply chain, the report also highlights positive shifts and emerging trends that shape the foodservice packaging landscape in 2023.

International Shipping and Equipment Timelines:

One notable aspect revealed in the report is the positive impact of decreased international shipping costs. Natha Dempsey, president of FPI, noted that this reduction has facilitated smoother import and export experiences for industry players. Additionally, timelines for equipment procurement have eased, albeit with some delays for in-demand machinery. As market dynamics evolve post-COVID, there is a notable uptick in the purchase of foodservice packaging through e-commerce channels.

Changing Dynamics in Office Environments:

The report underscores the rebound in demand for operators catering to office environments, even though full-time in-office attendance remains significantly below 2019 levels. With a large portion of the workforce embracing flexible or hybrid work arrangements, dayparts have become more fluid, catering to consumers’ preferences for meals and snacks whenever and wherever they want them.

Post-Pandemic Shifts and Inflation:

Operators are adapting to post-pandemic shifts, particularly in response to inflation. Consumers, feeling the financial pinch, are seeking value for money, leading to a surge in nostalgic meal deals that harken back to better days. Despite the challenges posed by inflation, service fees have become a significant burden, prompting a shift away from delivery toward takeout. This shift is so pronounced that operators are increasingly opting for smaller format, smaller footprint locations with an emphasis on drive-thru, to-go, and delivery services.

Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Discussions:

Policy considerations remain a top concern for industry respondents, with Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) discussions taking center stage. Legislation, especially concerning EPR, emerged as the number one topic in the survey. As sustainability and environmental concerns continue to gain prominence, stakeholders are actively engaging in discussions to address the responsible management of packaging waste.

Conclusion:

For 15 years, the Trends Report has been a valuable resource for reflecting on the latest happenings in the foodservice packaging industry. The 2023 report not only highlights the challenges faced by the industry but also showcases the resilience and adaptability of the industry in navigating the evolving landscape. As the industry grapples with changes in consumer behavior, market dynamics, and regulatory considerations, staying informed and agile remains crucial for sustained success.

FPI members can access the complete 2023 Trends Report, while non-members can view an executive summary on FPI’s website. For further information, interested parties can contact Ashley Elzinga at aelzinga@fpi.org.

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