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Asia Pacific: Thai packaging companies adapting to consumers’ demand for processed food

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The preference for processed food is growing rapidly in Thailand where consumers want easy-to-use packaging, according to a Canadean report entitled Latest trends and key issues in the Thailand retail packaging market.

The consumption of prepared meals in Thailand is forecast to rise at a compound annual growth rate of 9.8%, while other South East Asian countries, such as Indonesia and the Philippines, are only expecting respective growths of 6.0% and 2.3%.

Senior analyst Ronan Stafford said organized retail is growing as consumer preferences shift from non-processed foods to processed packaged food.

“Today’s packaging manufacturers should adapt to increasingly target the growing organised retail and processed food markets, where light, convenient and easy-to-use packaging is key,” said Stafford.

New retail formats to drive processed packaged food

The growth of new retail formats in Thailand will drive the burgeoning demand for processed packaged food.

The leading distribution channels for food in Thailand are open markets, independent and traditional stores, and street vendors.

However hypermarkets, supermarkets and convenience stores are gaining in significance, and increasing urban populations have helped these format stores gain traction.

Innovative packing solutions, manufacture

Canadean says that this boost in organized retail means that packaging materials and equipment manufacturers need to keep up with demand.

For instance, the growing popularity of processed food and packaged water means that demand for rigid plastic packaging will grow twice as fast during 2013–2016 as demand for paper and board packaging.

Lightweighting can be used to reduce the overall cost of the product, providing benefits for both the consumer and the manufacturer.