A new Freedonia Group analysis projects retail-ready boxes to be one of the fastest growing packaging types used in the fresh produce industry through 2024, with the strongest increases anticipated in the $3.5 billion fresh vegetable and salad packaging market.

Though traditional corrugated boxes will remain the dominant box types used in fresh vegetable and salad applications, retail-ready boxes continue to increase their share of demand based on their added convenience, providing the benefits of prepackaged produce for retailers, along with the selection of bulk produce bins, which consumers often prefer. Here are four key produce applications where use of these value-added boxes is growing:

Tomatoes: Will remain by far the largest application for retail-ready boxes used in fresh vegetable applications and comprise the largest single share of sales gains through 2024, growing 5.0 percent annually. Modular retail-ready boxes are often preferred because they showcase the tomatoes and feature attractive graphics.

Salad: Though much smaller than the tomato market, salad will remain the second leading market for retail-ready boxes, with 5.5 percent annual growth anticipated through 2024, as use of retail-ready packaging increases with bagged salad mixes.

Potatoes: Though also from a small base compared to tomatoes, demand for retail-ready boxes in the sizable potato packaging market is forecast to rise 5.4 percent per year through 2024, as use of retail-ready boxes expands for both loose and bagged potatoes.

Smaller Volume Vegetables: The fastest growth in retail-ready box demand is expected for carrots, mushrooms, onions, and smaller volume vegetables such as sweet potatoes, bolstered by the increasing popularity of modular produce boxes in these applications due to their convenience. 

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