Foam trays made from a vast variety of polymers are used across pharmaceuticals, food, and a number of industrial applications. For the food industry, especially, the inexpensive, highly versatile, and easily disposed foam trays have become indispensable. The market has witnessed significant growth in the past few years, however in the near future, the scenario is expected to significantly change. 

Awareness regarding the harmful impact of the non-biodegradable varieties of foam trays on the environment is rising at a promising rate and the consumer has started demanding biodegradable products. The focus on the increased production and usage of a variety of bio-degradable products has started gaining strength in response to this trend. The next few years will witness a stark rise in the overall usage of a variety of sustainable substitutes such as paperboard, molded pulp, bagasse based containers, corn plastic containers, and compostable paper containers across a number of application areas.

Transparency Market Research states that the global foam tray market will expand at a CAGR of 3.2% over the period between 2009 and 2021, and rise to a valuation of US$3.0 bn by 2021 in terms of revenue. In terms of volume, the market is expected to expand at a 4.4% CAGR over the said period and rise to 52,876.9 mn units by 2021.

Polystyrene Foam Trays to Remain Most Preferred Product Variety

Of the key product varieties available in the global foam tray market in terms of raw material used, foam trays made from polystyrene are presently the leading contributor to the overall revenues of the global market. The segment is also the leading segment in terms of volume-wise consumption of foam trays globally. In 2014, 2,7301.3 mn units of polystyrene-based foam trays were sold globally. Revenue-wise, the segment had a valuation of US$1,589.4 mn in the same year. Features such as high level of versatility, good thermal resistance, and excellent insulation of polystyrene foam trays are expected to keep their demand high in the global market. As a result, the segment is expected to value over US$1,933.2 mn by 2021 in terms of revenues. 

Food Industry to Remain Largest Consumer of Foam Trays

Inexpensive, highly flexible, and also sometimes reusable trays made of polymer foams are used mostly for packaging and serving in sectors such as pharmaceuticals, food, and several industrial applications. Of these, the food industry is the most prominent consumer of a variety of foam trays, accounting for over 2/3rd of the total production of the global market in present times. Factors such as busy lifestyles and rising affordability of outside food are leading to a vast surge in quick service restaurants and the practice of parceling and delivering food, especially in emerging economies such as India, China, and Indonesia.

This factor, along with the increased use of foam trays for packaging fruits, vegetables, and other food products, has led to the vast rise in consumption of foam trays in the food industry in the past few years. Over the forecasting horizon as well, the food industry will be the most prominent consumer of foam trays and retain its position as the largest contributor to the global market’s overall revenues.

Flourishing Food Industry in Asia Pacific to Fuel Demand

North America is presently the leading regional market for foam trays in terms of both revenue and volume. The prominent position of the regional market is attributed to the rising demand for larger case-ready, high priced, and recyclable varieties of foam trays in the region. The increase in prices of foam trays is also adding to the revenue prospects of the North America foam tray market. However, bans on non-biodegradable foam tray varieties in the region will dent the growth prospects of the market significantly in the next few years. Asia Pacific, on the other hand, will emerge as the most promising regional market. The flourishing food industry in the region and rising consumption of packaged and outside food will aid the increased demand for foam trays in the region.

Some of the key vendors in the global foam tray market are Pactiv LLC, Genpak LLC, Dart Container Corporation, D&W Fine Pack LLC, and Sirap Packaging.


The global market for foam trays is largely driven by the flourishing food and beverages and fast food industries, and the rising popularity of take-away food services in countries like India, Indonesia, and China. The cost effectiveness of foam trays and the rising demand for expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam trays, along with features such as low cost of labor, shock absorbance, low weight, durability, and flexibility are the other key factors driving the global market for foam trays.

The report on the global foam trays market presents a detailed analysis, forecast, and numerous estimates about the market in terms of revenue and demand between the years 2009 and 2021. The report also comprises a detailed analysis of the key driving and restraining factors impacting the market and affecting the market’s overall development. The report also presents an overview of the key trends observed in past years as well as those prevailing at present. Forecast regarding the potential implication of the various drivers, restraints, and trends on market’s future development makes the report a guidebook for efficient decision making.

The report presents a detailed overview of the market on the basis of product type, application type, and geography. Detailed information regarding market volume and revenue for all the market segments are also included in the report. The market operations in the key regional markets are also studied in detail.

The data included in the report is obtained through primary and secondary research methodologies. The information sourced is evaluated using industry-leading analytical techniques for presenting before the readers the most accurate and precise bits of market statistics and general data.

Global Foam Trays Market: Overview

The key types of foam trays discussed in the report, on the basis of the material used, include polyethylene, polyester, polypropylene, and polystyrene. Consumption statistics for these product segments are provided for applications such as pharmaceutical, food packaging, and industrial applications. The segment of food packaging is further sub-segmented into meat and poultry, dairy products, food services, fruits and vegetables, food chains, and bakeries.

The report states that the global market for foam trays, which had a valuation of US$2 bn in 2009, will expand at a positive, although a moderate 3.2% CAGR between 2009 and 2021 and reach US$3 bn by 2021. Volume-wise, the market is expected to expand at a 4.4% CAGR over report’s forecast period and rise from 31.7 bn units in 2009 to 52.8 bn units by 2021.

Of the key application segments of foam trays studied in the report, the segment of food packaging enjoys the lead, by accounting for more than 80% of the market, both in terms of revenue and volume, in 2014. Apart from cost-effective and flexible nature of foam trays, the rising popularity of multi-national food chains in developing nations is also a key driving force for the expanding market for foam trays.

Of the key regional markets for foam trays, Asia Pacific led the market with a 33% share, closely followed by North America, which acquired a 30% share in the market.

Global Foam Trays Market: Key Vendors

Some of the key businesses operating in the global foam trays market include Sealed Air Corporation, Pactiv, LLC, Anchor Packaging, Inc., D&W Fine Pack, LLC, Placon Corporation, Inc., Coveris Holding, S.A., Genpak LLC, Berry Plastics Group, Inc., Ecopax, LLC, Groupe Guillin SA, Dart Container Corporation, and Sirap Group.