Supply Chain Disruptions and Inflation Continue to Impact Foodservice Packaging Industry

The 14th annual Trends Report from the Foodservice Packaging Institute (FPI) reveals that industry opinions remain focused on post-COVID-19 concerns indicating that supply chain issues, inflation and requests to “do more with less” are dominant subjects, along with a continued focus on off-premise dining.

“As 2022 heads to its close, we’ve seen a return to normal that isn’t quite as normal as we had wished. There’s increased economic pressure on an already stretched global supply chain, increased focus on the foodservice packaging industry from a legislative and regulatory policy perspective, and movement and growth in both the foodservice segments drawing consumers and the ways in which they choose to have their foodservice delivered — or not,” said Natha Dempsey, president of FPI.

Respondents disclosed that extended producer responsibility (EPR) policy is becoming more prevalent for the foodservice packaging industry. This is a new concept in the United States, with only four states having laws on the books. Respondents also highlighted challenges with the ever-increasing patchwork of state legislation defining what is considered recyclable and compostable.

The survey indicates that growth segments included the grocery and convenience store space, which captured attention with wider selections and evolving foodservice offerings. Grocery meals to-go and convenience store foodservice appeal to consumers wanting to consolidate trips out of the home, but still wanting the convenience of not having to cook. Respondents reported they are still seeing strong demand for off-premises dining, including   drive-thru and curbside pick-up demand.

“As was the case with the past two years, 2022 feels significantly different from those that came before it. Facing our new normal and looking to the future, the foodservice packaging industry will likely continue to feel and face the pressures,” Dempsey said.

For 14 years, the Trends Report has provided FPI’s reflection on the latest industry happenings. This annual survey collects opinions from companies throughout the foodservice packaging supply chain, including raw material and machinery suppliers, packaging manufacturers, distributors and operators.

The first section of the report compiles direct comments and insights by industry respondents. The second section provides high-level trends in the foodservice packaging industry based on FPI staff analysis of member submissions, as well as FPI’s general industry observations.

The 2022 Trends Report is available only to FPI members. Non-members may view an executive summary on FPI’s website. Please contact Ashley Elzinga at for more information.

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