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Buyers are actively searching for new supplier partners for their packaging materials needs in 2020

Buyers are actively searching for new supplier partners for their packaging materials needs in 2020

Buying activity from engineers & procurement professionals sourcing on has seen strong growth in 2020 for the packaging materials space. At a glance, the following major sourcing KPIs have seen a YoY increase vs. 2019:

  • The number of sourcing sessions for packaging materials has grown by 25% 
  • The number of RFIs submitted directly to suppliers through grew 140% 
  • The number of supplier evaluations taking place on the company profiles of packaging material suppliers grew by 55% 

Several categories related to packaging materials also saw growth. These include “Packaging Services” which saw a 13% increase in supplier evaluations, as well as “Packaging Machinery” which saw an 84% increase. The growth trend of “packaging machinery” compared to “packaging suppliers” suggests that companies may be vertically integrating to manage some of their packaging needs in-house as reshoring efforts continue to increase.

Activity increases for packaging materials, services, and machinery coincide with recent Thomas survey data that placed “Packaging” as the #5 product/service that buyers in the US and Canada were most likely to prioritize sourcing domestically.  

Packaging is one of the top manufacturing products & services being reshored in 2020

Looking more specifically at Thomas data from Q3 2020, several growth categories include:

  • “Packaging” – 12th most sourced product category
  • “Bottle Filling Contract Packaging” -14th most sourced service category
  • “Agricultural Packaging” – 173% growth in sourcing activity

Which regions drove the most sourcing activity for packaging materials?

The top regions for activity from buyers seeking new supplier partners for packaging materials were as follows:

  1. California, US
  2. Ontario, CA
  3. Illinois, US
  4. Texas, US
  5. New York, US

Additionally, New Mexico saw the biggest year-over-year growth in activity with a 650% increase in the number of sourcing sessions in which a buyer located in the state searched for Packaging Materials.

Which Industries are most in need of new packaging materials suppliers?

Several industries experienced large increases in sourcing activity for Packaging-related products and services on

Healthcare Packaging Buyer Activity

Sourcing sessions for “Packaging Materials” from professionals in the healthcare procurement space increased by 30% over 2020, while buying activity for “Packaging Services” was up over 70%.

Retail Packaging Buyer Activity

Buyers in the retail space drove an 85% increase in 2020 for sourcing sessions of “Packaging Services” and a massive 250% increase in activity for “Packaging Machinery.”

Food & Beverage Packaging Buyer Activity

Food and Beverage companies searching for new suppliers accounted for a 116% increase in activity for “Packaging Materials” and a 150% increase in activity for “Packaging Machinery.”

General Manufacturing Packaging Buyer Activity

Sourcing activity for “Packaging Materials” in the general manufacturing space grew by 34% while “Packaging Machinery” increased by 288%.

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Daisie Hobson

Daisie Hobson is a Director at the Reshoring Institute and an engineer with many years of experience in manufacturing and project management.

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