Packaged food and drink consumption in Europe is projected to grow by 3% per annum to 953 billion packages by 2020

The growth of packaged food and drink consumption is driven by continuing growth in retail food packaging as well as a recovery in foodservice packaging markets.

The Future of European Food and Drink Packaging to 2020 highlights trends and dynamics in the European food and drink market. The market data is segmented by pack type, end-use sector and country/region. The report analyses the dynamics of each market as well as emphasizing the key food and drinks packaging industry trends in consumer demand. It then goes onto feature the most important areas of growth, both in terms of pack types and end-use sectors, whilst adding meaningful analysis. It addresses the key aspects of each national market with segmentation between retail and foodservice for each country.

Convenience has played an important role in shaping consumption trends. Ready meals, prepared chilled foods and breakfast bars have proven popular in recent years. Increasingly, time poor consumers are looking for new ways to make most efficient use of their time. Five minutes cooking a ready meal is often a more popular option than making a fresh meal in thirty minutes or more, which has been reflected in poor consumption growth within fresh products – overall rather than packaged

FIGURE 0.1: Consumption of food and drink by the countries under review, 2010-20f (’000 tonnes)

Convenience has also played an important factor not only in the type of foods people eat, but also in the type of packaging. Convenience foods such as breakfast cereals and bars, savoury snacks and ready prepared chilled foods have proven popular in recent years. In turn, this is changing the dynamics of packaging, with new pack features and more demand for specific pack types.

The main purpose of packaging has been traditionally to protect, preserve and promote the product. However, packaging has and is developing itself to cater for convenience and environmental aspects. Lightweighting has become an important factor in the packaging market, with most significant influence in beverage cans and bottles. This has been driven by two main factors. The first of which is environmental pressures from government, and environmental groups. Secondly, lower material usage for packages means lower costs, which are always welcomed by both brands and retailers.

Overall, food and drink consumption for the countries under review increased at an average rate of 1.0% over the period 2010-2014. Consumption growth for food and alcoholic beverages has been weak, with savoury snacks, baby food, ready meals and chilled foods driving demand with growth of around 2% per annum. However, it is the non-alcoholic beverage sector that has performed most strongly, growing by around 3% per annum. The non-alcoholic beverage sector has largely seen growth through consumers reducing their alcoholic intake and instead opting for non-alcoholic beverages.

The retail sector has seen stronger packaging penetration rates, growing from 63.0% in 2010 to 66.0% in 2014, with key areas including fresh fruit and vegetables, fresh meat and fish, chilled foods and baked products. This has largely been due to an effort to reduce food waste, but also for ready-to-eat or convenience based products such as cakes and pastries, cereal bars and ready prepared chilled foods.

The Future of European Food and Drink Packaging to 2020 is available now for £4,200. For more information, please contact Bill Allen on +44 (0)1372 802086, or via e-mail at