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Gains will also be helped by a trend toward more expensive boxes, such as corrugated boxes and folding cartons that offer high-quality graphics and printing. Other value-added box types, such as those that are retail- or shelf-ready, are also expected to gain ground. Food and beverages, which accounted for 50% of total U.S. box demand in 2011, are the largest single box market.
These and other trends are presented in Corrugated & Paperboard Boxes , a new study from The Freedonia Group, Inc., a Cleveland-based industry market research firm.
Corrugated and solid fiber box demand is forecast to climb 2.5 % per year through 2016 to $26.1 billion, supported by a rebound in manufacturing activity and accelerated growth in consumer spending. In addition, corrugated and solid fiber box demand will be supported by their well-entrenched position as the shipping container of choice in a number of markets as a result of their cost-effectiveness, excellent protective performance and limited competition from other packaging alternatives.
Demand for folding paperboard boxes is expected to increase 1.7% per year to $9.8 billion in 2016, trailing the corrugated box pace as a result of strong competition from other packaging formats-mainly flexible packaging and mini-flute corrugated boxes.
Source reduction efforts-such as the elimination or downsizing of secondary cartons-will also limit advances. Nonetheless, gains will benefit from a rebound in nondurable goods output and continued use in many markets because of their low cost, functionality and ability to provide considerable billboard space for eye-catching graphics and printing.
Set-up box demand will increase modestly due to inroads by less costly options like folding cartons and plastic containers, but will benefit from usage as upscale packaging for premium confectionery products and fragrances.