Business Opportunities in Agriculture: 150 Field Interviews (Book)

Frozen foods are by far the largest application for microwave packaging


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Microwave Packaging to 2013

US demand to climb 7% annually through 2013

Demand for microwave packaging is projected to climb 7.0 percent annually to $2.4 billion in 2013, driven by consumer demand for convenient meal options, the ubiquitousness of microwave ovens and rapid growth for foods developed specifically for microwave preparation. Moreover, improvements in package structures that enable foods to be heated and served in their packaging and innovations that overcome limitations of microwave ovens in terms of even heating, browning and crisping will continue to drive a steady stream of new product introductions. Other trends that will foster growth for convenience-type foods include above-average growth in older age groups, which tend to have smaller households than younger age groups; and large numbers of households where all adults work outside the home, which limits the time available for home cooking on a daily basis. ( Microwave Packaging - Business Market Reports )

Frozen foods to remain dominant application
Frozen foods are by far the largest application for microwave packaging, accounting for nearly 60 percent of total demand in 2008. Through 2013, microwave packaging demand in frozen food uses is forecast to rise 6.1 percent per year to $1.3 billion. Beyond demographic and convenience factors, gains will be further assisted by heightened consumer interest in ethnic cuisines; the increased availability of organic frozen foods; and robust demand for steam cooked vegetables. The last employ self-venting microwaveable pouches that result in improved taste and texture compared to conventional frozen vegetables. Demand for packaging for microwaveable frozen dinners will be aided by more moderate consumer spending, resulting in heightened demand for economical meals that can be easily prepared in workplaces and with minimal cleanup.

Fresh prepared foods to be fastest growing use
Fresh prepared foods will represent the fastest growing application for microwave packaging through 2013, with demand expected to climb 11.2 percent annually to $450 million. Robust gains will be based on the convenience of fresh prepared foods and the perception that they are of higher quality than frozen and canned alternatives, especially among time-pressed consumers desiring meals with components closer to home cooking but without the time involved. Above-average growth is also anticipated in shelf-stable applications, boosted by quality improvements and the increased presence of single-serving shelf-stable items designed to be heated in microwave ovens. The fact that shelfstable foods do not require refrigeration is advantageous in environments where refrigerators may not be available but microwave ovens typically are.

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Business Opportunities in Agriculture: 150 Field Interviews (Book)