The single-use foodservice packaging industry is looking and feeling very healthy these days, according to the Falls Church, Va.-based Foodservice & Packaging Institute (FPI).

The industry is experiencing steady, modest growth in volume and profit for the second year in a row, both in the US and Europe. At the same time, US Census Bureau data shows the evolution of a global foodservice packaging industry as single-use products begin to be exported and imported throughout markets worldwide.

"Single-use foodservice packaging use continues to grow because people everywhere find themselves time-pressed by technology, and coping with increasingly complex lifestyles that have become part of modern life," said John R. Burke, FPI president.

"As a result, people here and abroad are eating more and more meals away from home, and when they do head home, they are carrying already prepared foods that they can assemble in their kitchens in a few minutes. Both realities translate into the use of more single-use packaging."

FPI's year's State of the Foodservice Packaging Industry Report shows that in addition to consumer demands that drive the industry, continuing expansion of restaurants into new ethnic food concepts and "to go" service at formerly sit-down facilities also are creating new demands for single-use packaging.