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Report: Microwave packaging market poised for a rebound

Microwave packaging has endured some leaner years, and now food marketers, responding to consumers’ need for convenience and innovation, are giving it renewed interest.

After taking a bit of a dip because of the recession, foods in microwave packaging seem poised for a rally. According to a report from Global Industry Analysts Inc. (GIA), food marketers appear to be reinvesting in microwave technology and looking to increase the pace of innovation in microwave packaging after several years of a slowdown.

GIA forecasts that the U.S. microwave packaging market will grow to $2.5 billion by 2015. Near-term growth will owe to factors including more take-home and packaged convenient frozen foods that reflect consumers’ busy lifestyles and their need for packaging to help them save time. These trends, the report says, will increase the popularity of microwaveable foods and product innovation.

Prospects for the microwave packaging industry “represent a critical trend for the market’s inherent growth, given that packaging for microwaveable foods is extremely innovative and targeted to meet specific consumer requirements and unique food processors’ needs,” the report says.

In particular, the resurgence of microwave packaging should become evident in frozen foods, the report adds. Convenience is re-emerging as a big driver of frozen-food packaging that is suitable for microwave ovens. Frozen foods represent the busiest segment for microwave packaging, with about 58% of total market revenue, GAI says.

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