The packing machinery industry has gone through a transformation over the past few decades. Although the economic downturn affected numerous industries, including packaging machinery, demand is growing again and is expected to inch upwards 4.6 percent each year through to 2017, according to a new study by the Freedonia Group.

In the next four years, the packing machinery industry will be valued at $42 billion. Demand is growing all across the globe, particularly in China (7.9 percent), the Asian Pacific (6.8 percent), Canada and Mexico (5.8 percent), Central and South America (5.3 percent) and Eastern Europe (five percent). used food machinery

An improved business climate related to fixed investment spending, packaging demand and manufacturing output will lead to a boost in equipment sales. Most of the machines will be utilized in the fields of personal care products, chemicals and pharmaceuticals. Furthermore, due to the increased standard of living in developing countries, purchases of packaged pharmaceuticals and consumer goods and the necessary equipment will garner a jump in sales.

“Sales growth will be driven by expanding consumption of label-intensive nondurable goods, including convenience and single-serving food items; and by a rising need for shippers to accurately track items for safety and security reasons – especially in the food, beverage and pharmaceutical industries,” the report stated.

In the United States, the packaging machinery demand will see the highest increases in filling ($1.5 billion), labeling and coding ($980 million) and wrapping, bundling and palletizing ($770 million).

Six firms account for nearly one-quarter (21 percent) of the entire market, including Germany’s Krones and Robert Bosch, Illinois Tool Works located in the United States, Coesia of Italy, the Tetra Pak and Sidel subsidiaries of Tetra Laval in Switzerland and the Industria Macchine Automatiche, which is headquartered in Italy.

“The industry as a whole is quite fragmented, especially in developing countries, where a great deal of the production capacity consists of small companies that each make a few types of basic units and aftermarket parts. Developing markets will provide the best growth opportunities for suppliers of packaging equipment through 2017,” the report added.

Another factor that should be considered and was not included in the report is menu labeling. Many states and cities are imposing calorie menu labeling, which would consist of nutrition content information placed on boards and in menus. This would require additional investment by restaurants to adapt to the standards instituted by their respective governments.

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