Demand for new reusable plastic containers (RPCs) for fresh produce is projected to increase 7.6% per year to $185 million in 2022, making them one of the fastest growing produce packaging products, according to a new study produced by The Freedonia Group, Cleveland, Ohio.

Gains will be due to the implementation of RPC-based logistical systems for produce by grocery chains, the study says.

The study, “Produce Packaging Market in the US, 7th Edition,” reveals the number of RPCs in use is larger than the demand due to the multiple trips made per year by most of these containers and their ability to be used for up to 100 trips.

Still, there will be growth opportunities due to replacement needs resulting from wear or breakage, compatibility with modular corrugated box systems and other packaging formats, handling efficiencies due to size standardization, stacking efficiencies compared to boxes and efforts to reduce overall packaging waste.

U.S. demand for all types of produce packaging is projected to increase 4% per year to $6.5 billion in 2022. This will represent an improvement over the 2012-2017 period, when domestic produce production declined. Beyond a modest rebound in production, a number of other factors will boost demand, including increased packaging of heretofore unpackaged produce items and the widening availability of cut and shredded produce in convenience-oriented packaging.