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IndustryNet Blog

U.S. packaging companies see nearly 5 percent growth

Posted by IndustryNet on Thursday, May 25, 2017

00000028_Kinnow_packingThe U.S. packaging industry, which comprises packaging for consumer products as well as industrial machinery, continues to show resilience, according to IndustryNet. As packaging companies across four different regions reported strong growth, packaging containing flexible materials stood out. Data further suggests that U.S. manufacturing is still in the midst of an economic rebound.

Sales growth

IndustryNet's data shows that overall the U.S. packaging industry has grown 4.6 percent over last year. Total average yearly sales in the U.S. packaging industry exceeded $26.3 billion. As 2017 moves forward, experts at IndustryNet anticipate sales growth to remain strong.

Domestic distribution rose 70 percent while international distribution rose 29 percent, by comparison, suggesting that U.S. packaging companies have pivoted to provide more services within the U.S..

Taking a deeper dive into the data, packaging machinery sales inched up 1 percent. Sales at flexible packaging companies rose by as much as 23 percent, and packaging automation equipment skyrocketed 31 percent.

The cost benefits of sustainability and recyclability are two reasons why packaging companies have reported such strong growth. In fact, the market for reusable, green packaging is expected to exceed $274 billion by 2020.

Sales growth of this magnitude provides a key point of reference when analyzing the health of U.S. manufacturing. Overall, manufacturing output is at an all-time high in the U.S., a recent article by Forbes reported. Sales growth in U.S. packaging coincides with this trend.

Moreover, increased sales growth also dovetails with employment stability. A look at IndustryNet's employment statistics gives context.


At the time of this writing, 163,446 workers were employed by U.S. packaging companies. In total, 2,423 plants were in operation in January 2017. Also, job growth remained stable as companies became more efficient, which contributed to strong sales growth overall.

Top 10 companies by employment

IndustryNet's data provides context for these employment figures. In January 2017, the top 10 U.S. packaging companies by employment were:

Elwyn, Inc.
• Nippon Dynawave Packaging
• Sealed Air Corp.
• Technicolor USA, Inc.
• Almac Clinical Services, LLC
• LifeScape
• KIK Custom Products
• Anomatic Corporation
• Uline, Inc.
• Belmark, Inc.

Elwyn, Inc. employed the most workers with 1,800 jobs, and Belmark, Inc. employed 750 workers.

Regional statistics

IndustryNet data shows that 40 percent of all U.S. packaging companies operate in the Midwest, also accounting for 48 percent of employment in the industry. Furthermore, packaging companies in the Midwest encompassed 59 percent of employment growth.

Twenty-seven percent of packaging companies in the U.S. conducted business in the south, compared to 20 percent that operates in the northeast. Interestingly, only 13 percent of all U.S. packaging companies are located in the western U.S..

Over the foreseeable future, manufacturers can expect more positive signs in the U.S. packaging industry. Companies interested in connecting with all U.S. packaging companies can turn to IndustryNet for the most up-to-date information in the industry.

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