(Sept. 3) Demand for produce packaging in the U.S. will increase 4.2% annually through 2012, according to a report from The Freedonia Group, Cleveland.

Corrugated boxes will continue to be the No. 1 segment, driven by a shift toward more costly packaging, such as modular, lined and moisture-resistant recyclable boxes, the report said.

The fastest-growing segment will be plastic containers, based in part on the expanding use of clamshells and bowls in ready-to-eat, fresh-cut produce.

The study analyzed the $3.8 billion U.S. produce packaging industry and includes forecasts for 2012 and 2017 by type, application and end user.