GVR Report cover North America Molded Pulp Packaging Market Size, Share & Trends Report

North America Molded Pulp Packaging Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Source (Wood Pulp, Non-wood Pulp), By Packaging Type, By Product, By Application, And Segment Forecasts, 2020 - 2027

  • Report ID: GVR-4-68039-305-9
  • Number of Pages: 104
  • Format: Electronic (PDF)

Report Overview

The North America molded pulp packaging market size was estimated at USD 987.9 million in 2019. It is expected to expand at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.1% from 2020 to 2027. Growing consumer demand for environment-friendly sustainable packaging, especially in the foodservice sector, is expected to drive market growth. It is largely used for egg packaging in form of trays and clamshells which are then sold to restaurants, supermarkets, foodservice operators, and individual buyers. Additionally, countries such as the U.S. and Mexico have the highest egg consumption in the world, which is growing aggressively due to the COVID-19 pandemic that has driven consumers to opt for eggs to boost immunity. The rising consumption of eggs, which directly affects the product market, is expected to have a positive impact on market growth.

U.S. molded pulp packaging market size, by product, 2016 - 2027 (USD Million)

The clamshells segment in the U.S. molded pulp packaging market is expected to expand at a significant CAGR due to the high consumption of eggs in the country. The producing companies in the U.S. are expanding to various industries, including electronics, pharmaceutical products, and personal care products, which in turn is likely to have a positive impact on market growth.

Over time, there have been significant advances in the technology and design of molded pulp packaging. These had been used primarily for packing of products without moisture. However, several companies have come up with new designs that contain plastic or metal thin film opening a new avenue of the packaging of liquid products based on molded pulp. The use of these packaging solutions for liquid products is expected to introduce new opportunities ascending the market further.

It is increasingly being used in the shipping of products due to new designs invented for specific applications such as cushioning and product protection. These designs include honeycomb paperboard and paper foam that is cost-effective and completely recyclable, and biodegradable. The increasing applications, as a result of novel designs, are expected to expand the product demand further in the region.

It is one of the most predominant sustainable packaging types as the raw material used is easily accessible. As the consumer base is increasingly becoming aware of plastic pollution and its harmful effects on the environment, the demand for sustainable green packaging has surged. Consequently, the product market has spiked due to growth in the overall green packaging market.

Despite the benefits offered by the product, it lacks aesthetic appeal as it does not maintain uniformity in geometric precision due to the nature of raw materials. Aesthetic appeal of packaging is a marketing necessity thus, the challenges posed by these forms of packaging, such as inflexibility in printing on surface and addition of colors to the molded pulp act as a hindrance to its adoption in the market.

Source Insights

Wood pulp led the market and accounted for more than 85% share of the revenue in 2019. Rising demand for sustainable packaging along with the advent of end users to push and adopt such forms of packaging is expected to bolster the product demand. Also, molded wood pulp is considered sustainable due to its 100% degradable properties. Growing concerns over plastic usage, especially in packaging, has directly resulted in high demand for the product.

The declining pulp prices in most of the regions have been boosting the market growth in the past few years. For instance, pulp prices dropped by USD 480 per ton in 2019, compared to the year 2018 when prices were high at USD 725 per ton. Besides, increasing paper recycling rates in the U.S. has been favoring the market with raw material availability. This subsequently has an added advantage of reducing deforestation and protecting the environment.

Non-wood pulp, manufactured using non-woody cellulosic plant materials, including cereal straw, reeds, grasses, and sugar cane bagasse, has been gaining popularity in recent years. Of all raw materials, cereal straw dominated the non-wood pup market, as of 2019. With increasing concerns about deforestation, the demand for non-wood pulp is expected to grow at a faster pace.

Packaging Type Insights

Transfer packaging led the market and accounted for more than 29.0% share of the revenue in North America in 2019. The segment is gaining momentum in food packaging applications owing to the advantages such as air permeability and hygroscopic properties, which results in the prolonged shelf life of transported food and beverage products. Furthermore, the shock-proof ability of this packaging restraints breakage or damage to the products, especially eggs and wine bottles. In contrast to plastic packaging, transfer molded pulp packaging is being preferred due to its optimal flexibility and stiffness. The expanding retail chains in developing countries that opt for sophisticated packaging are expected to have a positive impact on industry growth.

Thick wall molded pulp packaging is primarily used in transport applications, especially for edge protection. The lightweight property of the product has been supporting cargo transportation requirements. Therefore, increasing trade between countries is expected to boost the demand for thick wall molded pulp packaging. Furthermore, increasing wastepaper recovery rates in countries such as the U.S. is expected to contribute to the growth of the thick wall molded pulp market.

Thermoformed plastics are primarily produced from raw materials such as PET, HDPE, and ABS. Rising concerns regarding single-use plastic products that hold challenges in recycling have bolstered the demand for thermoformed molded pulp packaging due to its 100% recyclability. The shifting trend of consumers from plastic thermoformed packaging to ecofriendly packaging has been observed in many countries. Thus, the product demand is expected to grow as compared to its plastic counterparts.

Application Insights

The food packaging segment led the market and accounted for more than 50% share of the revenue in 2019. Molded pulp packaging products such as trays and clamshells in the food industry are largely used for egg packing. The egg packaging is followed by fruits and vegetable packaging. Molded pulp trays and clamshells are considered as the key packaging types for eggs due to the cushioning offered and low price. Also, molded pulp trays offer the extended freshness of the eggs owing to the ventilation provided in the trays.

Molded pulp plates, and bowls are widely used in the foodservice industry for packaging on-the-go snacks, ready-to-eat meals, and beverages. The rising trend of consumption of single-serve meals and on-the-go products owing to busy lifestyles, especially in the city areas, is expected to boost the sales for molded pulp packaging products in the foodservice industry over the forecast period.

Molded pulp products are used for packing various medical devices including glucose monitors, oxygenators, test kits, and surgical instruments. Rising instances for chronic diseases are expected to generate high demand for various medical devices, thereby, having a positive impact on the growth of the market.

The demand for molded pulp products has witnessed a surge as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic where the healthcare industry has been suffering from a shortage of medical supplies. Molded pulp products can be easily discarded and are cost-effective compared to the cost incurred in reusing the existing utensils.

Product Insights

The trays segment led the market and accounted for more than 40% share of the revenue in 2019. The demand for molded pulp trays is expected to grow year-on-year owing to several drawbacks of plastic trays. Plastic and foam trays are not preferred in foodservice packaging, as these tend to deform with the elevated temperature of the food. Also, several plastics, except PET and CPET, are not microwave compatible and are highly-priced, which is a major drawback. This is boosting the demand for molded pulp trays, which are microwave compatible. Moreover, molded pulp trays can be used in both microwaves as well as conventional ovens.

North America molded pulp packaging market share, by product, 2019 (%)

The demand for molded pulp clamshells is rapidly increasing due to the high demand for retail egg packaging. Eggs are packed either in plastic or molded pulp-based clamshells. However, the demand for molded clamshells is expected to expand at a higher CAGR as compared to its plastic counterpart on account as they are easy to dispose of and have better-carrying capacity.

Other products in the segment include containers, urinals, dishes, and flowerpot holders, etc. The demand for urinals in the healthcare industry is increasing owing to the easy disposable benefits that prevent infection rates among patients. Moreover, the growing trend of indoor plants has boosted the demand for molded pulp-based flowerpots. This is due to the low mortality of plants in pulp-based flowerpots as they can capture moisture for a long time.

Regional Insights

The U.S. dominated the market and accounted for more than 76% share of total revenue in 2019. The U.S. is home to several food service companies including fast-food outlets, restaurants, and catering services. The humongous demand base for out-of-home food due to busy work-life schedules and convenience is expected to bolster the demand.

Foodservice providers majorly rely on advertising, marketing, and running product campaigns to increase sales and create awareness. The effective use of electronic media helps drive marketing and ad-campaigns for creating awareness among consumers to use & adopt environment-friendly packing solutions, which, in turn, drives the demand.

The rising popularity of food trucks is another factor driving the popularity of molded pulp packaging in the U.S. This is expected to continue to grow over the forecast period. States including Texas and North Carolina have witnessed triple growth in food trucks, which is mainly ascribed to low initial capital requirement and rising convenience food demand from common people. Relatively low-priced food leads to high market penetration, in terms of consumer outreach, and creates a high demand for convenient packaging solutions such as molded pulp products.

Increasing digitization and focus on reducing the use of plastics, especially in the packaged food and foodservice industry, are expected to augment the growth for molded pulp packaging. Regulations about environmental safety and the rising need for easy disposal are expected to drive the demand for bio-based materials in packaging applications. This is expected to boost the overall market growth in the coming years.

Key Companies & Market Share Insights

The industry players are focusing on R&D activities and on diversifying their portfolio to launch innovative alternatives to plastic packaging products. Major players in the market, such as Brødrene Hartmann A/S, Huhtamäki Oyj, and UFP Technologies Inc. are characterized by a robust sales channel in North America for the distribution of their molded pulp packaging.

In February 2019, PinnPACK, a North American company specializing in sustainable food packaging, acquired exclusive rights of DeLight Ltd., an exclusive manufacturer of a first-of-a-kind hybrid food service tray. This partnership led to the introduction of a dual-ovenable hybrid tray produced from renewable paper and enhanced with polymeric additives in the North American market. Such collaborations and partnerships are expected to drive the sales revenue for molded pulp packaging over the forecast period. Some prominent players in the North America molded pulp packaging market include:

  • Brødrene Hartmann A/S

  • Huhtamäki Oyj

  • UFP Technologies, Inc.

  • Thermoform Engineered Quality, LLC

  • Genpak, LLC

  • Eco-Products, Inc.

  • Pro-Pac Packaging Limited

  • Fabri-Kal

  • Henry Molded Products, Inc.

  • Sabert Corporation

North America Molded Pulp Packaging Market Report Scope

Report Attribute


Market size value in 2020

USD 1.02 billion

Revenue forecast in 2027

USD 1.36 billion

Growth Rate

CAGR of 4.1% from 2020 to 2027

Base year for estimation


Historical data

2016 - 2018

Forecast period

2020 - 2027

Quantitative units

Revenue in USD million and CAGR from 2020 to 2027

Report coverage

Revenue forecast, company ranking, competitive landscape, growth factors, and trends

Segments covered

Source, packaging type, product, application, region

Regional scope

North America

Country scope

U.S., Canada

Key companies profiled

Brodrene Hartmann A/S; Huhtamäki Oyj; UFP Technologies, Inc.; Thermoform Engineered Quality, LLC; Genpak, LLC; Eco-Products, Inc.; Pro-Pac Packaging Limited; Fabri-Kal; Henry Molded Products, Inc.; Sabert Corporation

Customization scope

Free report customization (equivalent to up to 8 analysts working days) with purchase. Addition or alteration to country, regional & segment scope.

Pricing and purchase options

Avail customized purchase options to meet your exact research needs. Explore purchase options

Segments Covered in the Report

This report forecasts revenue growth at regional and country levels and provides an analysis of the latest industry trends in each of the sub-segments from 2016 to 2027. For this study, Grand View Research has segmented the North America molded pulp packaging market report based on source, packaging type, product, application, and region:

  • Source Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2027)

    • Wood Pulp

    • Non-Wood Pulp

  • Packaging Type Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2027)

    • Thick Wall

    • Transfer

    • Thermoformed

    • Processed

  • Product Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2027)

    • Trays

    • End caps

    • Bowls & Cups

    • Clamshells

    • Plates

    • Others

  • Application Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2027)

    • Food Packaging

    • Food Service

    • Electronics

    • Healthcare

    • Industrial

    • Others

  • Regional Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2027)

    • North America

      • U.S.

      • Canada

Frequently Asked Questions About This Report

gvr icn


gvr icn

This FREE sample includes market data points, ranging from trend analyses to market estimates & forecasts. See for yourself.

gvr icn


We can customize every report - free of charge - including purchasing stand-alone sections or country-level reports, as well as offer affordable discounts for start-ups & universities.

Contact us now to get our best pricing.

esomar icon

ESOMAR certified & member

D&B icon

Leading SME award by D&B

We are GDPR and CCPA compliant! Your transaction & personal information is safe and secure. For more details, please read our privacy policy.

great place to work icon