Food and Beverage Packaging

US pouch demand to approach $9 billion in 2016

July 19, 2012

Demand for pouches in the US is projected to increase 5.1% per year to $8.8 billion in 2016, driven by faster gains for standup pouches stemming from sustainability, functional and marketing advantages over alternative packaging media. Unit demand is expected to expand 3.0% yearly to 90 billion.

Burgeoning consumer acceptance of pouches as an alternative to rigid containers will buoy demand, as will such advantages as aesthetic appeal, portability, light weight, reduced material use and significantly lower shipping costs than rigid containers.  In addition, heightened use of reclosing and dispensing components will increase the competitiveness of pouches against rigid containers. These and other trends are presented in Pouches, a new study from The Freedonia Group, Inc. (www.freedoniagroup.com), a Cleveland-based industry market research firm.  

Standup pouch demand is forecast to expand 7.2% annually to $2 billion in 2016. Advances will be well above those of the overall packaging industry, reflecting heightened interest among packaged goods companies resulting from savings achieved in shipping costs due to the benefits of lighter weight and lower material use compared to rigid containers. Also supporting gains will be attributes of product differentiation; aesthetics; the presence of convenience features (e.g., zippers, spouts); and the perception, especially among younger consumers, of pouches being a more contemporary packaging format than cans, bottles, and cartons.

Demand for flat pouches is forecast to increase 4.5% yearly to $6.8 billion in 2016, fueled by above average gains for four-side-seal pouches based on rising demand in medical and pharmaceutical markets and in food uses such as meat, poultry, and seafood; and cheese.  Advances will also be aided by improved barrier structures and solid gains for pouches employing self-venting films to enable steam cooking of contents in the package.  Additionally, robust growth is expected for stick packs (small tube-shaped flat pouches), based on differentiation and material savings over conventional single portion configurations.