FBA Blog

Know Your Box Markets

Mar 14, 2023

In the world of sales, there's no shortage of advice on how to close the deal.  Most of it begins with knowing your strategy and your target market.  For corrugated packaging, your market may be as simple as anyone who buys a box or it could be a more sophisticated niche market that fits your production sweet spot and your company’s desired margin or somewhere in between. Whatever your market is, getting to know it, takes time and homework.

Fibre Box Association (FBA) has several tools that can help you better understand your target market.

This week, FBA published the Economic Trends and Outlook Report. Produced twice a year, in February/March and August, exclusively for FBA by Richard Storat and Associates, the report contains a US economic overview and information about several box consuming markets.  Information is available for end-use markets such as produce, meat and poultry, dairy, cereals, beverages and other food products plus durables and other non-durable goods.  Covered markets are organized and reported in the same way that box shipments are reported in the FBA's Annual Report. The report also includes a view of economic activity in each of the six FBA reporting areas.

Data and information in the report has been gathered and researched using numerous publicly available sources.  Opinions and forecasts expressed in the report are those of Storat and Associates and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Fibre Box Association.

The report can be a useful tool for understanding the outlook for products shipped in boxes. FBA will also hold a webinar on the report tomorrow, Wednesday, March 15, 2023.  FBA members can register for the webinar by clicking here.

If your target market isn't included in this edition of the report, you can view past reports for clues on what's happening in your market or you can look to a second tool offered by FBA, the monthly Market Data. Market Data highlights a different end-use market segment each month offering current news and developments with links to further information. FBA pulls information from a variety of sources, so you can see the overall picture of the market segments that best fit your business.  Don't see your market covered?  Send a request to FBA.  FBA is lucky enough to have on staff a former librarian who has the skills to research your market and send you topline data to help you understand the current state of the market and where it's headed.

In addition, FBA provides an historical look at end-use production of boxes in the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) data included in the Fibre Box Association Industry Annual Report. NAICS is the standard used by federal statistical agencies in classifying business establishments and captures business activity across North America. FBA requests NAICS shipment data from members annually. Data for 2022 shipments in due to FBA on Monday, March 20, 2023.  Looking at this data can give you general information about where most boxes are being used and may help you to pick a target market, if you don't already have one.

Finally, FBA produces a monthly Plastic Reduction Report. Many companies and government organizations around the world have committed to the reduction of single-use plastics as part of their sustainability goals.  FBA has created a spreadsheet with detailed information on the plastic reduction effort.  The spreadsheet is organized with tabs for reducing plastic, retailers, International, other, government and state legislation with the newest information at the top of each table. The information may lead to opportunities for corrugated manufacturers to replace plastics with corrugated packaging. 

There's nothing like being present and living in your market every day, but if you need a little extra information to enrich your prospects, look to the FBA for the tools to help you better know your target markets.