Foodservice Packaging Industry Shows Signs of Optimism Amidst Challenges, Reveals Latest Survey

In the 2024 State of the Industry Report released by the Foodservice Packaging Institute, industry findings demonstrate a market rebounding from recent economic insecurity and cautious optimism, despite the ongoing challenges posed by inflation and economic uncertainties. The annual survey, which assesses the perspectives of manufacturers, suppliers and operators, uncovered that only 34% of respondents experienced growth in volume, with more than 50% seeing a decline.

However, in a turn toward optimism, nearly 60% of the industry stakeholders anticipate expansion in volume, and a promising 77% expect profits to either grow or hold steady in 2024. This positive outlook is further supported by foodservice operators, who reported increased sales and a hopeful stance for the coming year.

“Despite the challenges of the past few years, it’s encouraging to see a wave of optimism coursing through the foodservice packaging industry,” said Natha Dempsey, president of FPI. “Our members are not just navigating through uncertainty; they are finding pathways to growth and expansion, showcasing the resilience and adaptability at the core of this industry.”

The 25th State of the Industry Report also highlighted a shift toward stabilization within the market, with nearly 40% of North American manufacturers moving forward with corporate expansion plans, a slight increase from the previous year. Expansion efforts are primarily focused on enlarging current facilities, with less than 40% considering new plants or mergers and acquisitions.

Findings identify chain quick-service and fast-casual restaurants as primary areas for market expansion, attributed to consumer preferences for convenience. This trend extends to grocery and convenience stores, which are increasingly offering more foodservice options.

Despite optimism, the industry faces ongoing challenges, including government legislation, lack of qualified labor, and concerns about the public perception of packaging as “waste.” The survey identifies these, alongside recovery/end-of-life options for packaging and margin compression, as critical areas needing attention.

“As we look to the future, it’s clear that our industry’s capacity for innovation will play a pivotal role in addressing these challenges,” Dempsey said. “Collaboration and continued dialogue among all stakeholders will be key to navigating the road ahead, ensuring sustainability efforts and fostering growth.”

FPI members and contributing participants received complete survey results. A complimentary executive summary of the report is available at For more information, contact FPI’s Ashley Elzinga at

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