The research study covers the present scenario and growth prospects of the hot drinks packaging market in the US for 2016-2020. The report considers only roast and ground coffee, premium coffee, and instant coffee, and these are collectively referred to as hot drinks in this report for clarity. To calculate the market size, the report takes into account the volume of different packaging materials used to package the products.
Primarily, thin-walled plastic containers are being used by vendors in the US to package hot drinks as thin-walled plastic containers reduce sheet thickness from 650 µm to 500 µm, thereby reducing wall thickness to 0.4 mm-0.8 mm. This results in lightweight packages and helps reduce transportation costs by 10%-20%.
Flexible packaging is used for coffee mainly for its barrier properties and sustainability factors. For instance, 12 oz. flexible packaging coffee pack produces 69% less greenhouse emissions compared to 11.5 oz. of metal can coffee packaging.
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Technavio transportation and logistics analysts highlight the following three factors that are contributing to the growth of the global hot drinks packaging market in the US market:
- Energy and cost savings due to flexible packaging
- High efficiency of packaging machines
- Increased concern of source reduction and sustainability
Energy and cost savings due to flexible packaging
Use of flexible pouches for coffee packaging has resulted in vendors saving up to 35% of the costs in terms of transportation and a 71% reduction in overall solid waste. 11.5 oz. metal coffee containers have energy consumption in the ratio of 4:21 micro joules; 11.5 oz. plastic coffee containers' energy consumption was in the ratio of 5:18 micro joules, and for 11.5 oz. flexible packaging coffee bags it was 1:14 micro joules.
Sharan Raj, a lead packaging analyst at Technavio, says, “With respect to energy savings in coffee packaging, the energy savings equivalent of converting steel coffee cans to flexible packaging is more than 17,200,000 gallons of gasoline per year. In addition, flexible packaging uses 20% less space compared with plastic and glass containers and, thus, reduces transportation costs.”
High efficiency of packaging machines
US vendors in the coffee industry have started using vertical packaging equipment as it increases manufacturing production rates. VFFS machines are used for packaging products with high volume efficiency. For instance, Viking Masek, a packaging company in the US, uses highly advanced VFFS systems to package coffee products. Coffee producers in the US turn to packaging vendors who use VFFS as the machine has excellent packing abilities and a reasonable price. Viking Masek VFFS E250 machine operates at 30 coffee bags per minute.
“Stand-up pouches with gas valves and reclosable zippers are being increasingly used by coffee vendors in the US. Bosch Packaging Technology introduced VFS model SV252, a doy zip bagger, with a speed of 100 bags per minute and reduced footprint of the package by 6 square feet compared with horizontal pouches,” adds Sharan.
Increased concern of source reduction and sustainability
Coffee producers in the US are looking for sustainable packaging materials that aim at reducing transportation and recyclability costs. Packaging companies are investing in materials that are light and cause less environmental impact. Freshly roasted coffee is primarily packaged in containers with barrier properties to protect it from becoming stale. Traditionally, aluminum foil films were used to protect coffee, but these are not easily recyclable, so the use of aluminum was minimized. To overcome this obstacle, vendors in the US adopted alternative innovations, such as use of metalized sealants or plastic films that can be easily recycled and protect the freshness of the product.
For instance, Bemis manufactures flexible pouches that replace 2 and 3-ply structures, traditionally used for coffee packaging, with its advanced bMET II films that use metalized sealant films with high barrier properties apt for coffee packaging. This results in 30% source reduction.
- Ball Corporation
- Graham Packaging
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