Modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) has proved to be one of the most significant and innovative growth areas in retail food packaging of the past two decades. Bulk modified atmosphere packs have been an accepted form of packaging for meat and poultry in the USA since the early 1970s, but MAP is only now of being widely adopted. Today there is a substantial wholesale on the verge market for bulk packaged fresh vegetables and fruit, and the most significant retail MAP products are fresh pasta, pre-cooked poultry and sausage, and biscuits (a unique American product). The United Kingdom is the biggest single market for the modified atmosphere packaging of fresh chilled food products, accounting for about half of the total European market. A further quarter is represented by France. The success of MAP in both the British and French markets can be attributed to the large, highly sophisticated food retailing multiples and dense populations existing in both countries.