Demand for packaging of ready-to-eat poultry applications is projected to climb 4.6% annually to $450 million in 2021, according to “Poultry Packaging Market in the US,” produced by The Freedonia Group, Cleveland, Ohio.

The ready-to-eat market comprises packaging of prepared foods by foodservice operations of supermarkets, convenience stores, mass retailers and other stores (e.g., natural foods stores, club stores) and excludes pre-cooked products from food manufacturers.

Packaging demand in the ready-to-eat market will be boosted by solid prospects for store-made prepared foods in the retail segment, as consumers continue to seek convenient, affordable meal options that require little or no preparation, often combining a pre-cooked product with home cooked side dishes. This trend will stimulate demand for a variety of packaging products, including domed plastic containers, trays, bags and foil containers. 

The largest share of demand in the ready-to-eat poultry packaging market will be held by plastic containers due to the proliferation of large domed containers for the packaging of rotisserie chicken and roasted turkey breast products. 

“Gains will exceed the product average due to the fact that roasted chicken and turkey are some of the most popular products in this segment,” says analyst Katie Wieser.

Paper bags and folding cartons, usually with windowed portions, are also used in this segment for the packaging of fried chicken products, while plastic film and trays are used to package a wide range of ready-to-eat entrées, including prepared chicken breast products and smaller portions of roasted and fried chicken.