U.S. converted flexible packaging demand to increase 3.8% annually to US$18.2B in 2015, with pouches poised to grow 4.6% per year to US$8B, plastic bags to outpace paper bags even as sustainability concerns grow

CLEVELAND , October 13, 2011 (press release) – Demand for converted flexible packaging is projected to increase 3.8 percent annually to $18.2 billion in 2015. Gains will be similar to the pace of the 2005-2010 period based on the now more well-established presence of pouches in a number of food and nonfood markets coupled with overall deceleration in raw material price growth. Converted flexible packaging’s source reduction capabilities will be increasingly advantageous in light of initiatives by major retailers and packaged goods firms to evaluate their packaging in terms of eco-friendliness and cost reduction. These and other trends are presented in Converted Flexible Packaging, a new study from The Freedonia Group, Inc., a Cleveland-based industry research firm.

Pouches will experience above-average advances, with demand expected to increase 4.6 percent yearly to $8 billion in 2015. Growth will be driven by continued conversions to stand-up pouches and healthy gains for flat pouches in a number of markets, along with a smaller environmental footprint due to light weight and reduced material use, which also holds down shipping costs. Additionally, the aging of rigid packaging equipment will create openings for replacements by pouch packaging equipment over the coming decade.

Gains for bags will be moderated by the maturity of many applications along with competition from pouches and rigid packaging. Still, advances will represent an improvement from the 2005-2010 performance based on the expected recovery in the US economy. Plastic bag demand will outpace that of paper bags due to cost and performance advantages, along with widespread usage in baked goods, produce, meat, frozen food and grain mill product applications. However, growing efforts by packaged goods firms to demonstrate their commitment to sustainability will lead to some degree of renewed interest in paper, which possesses such qualities as renewability, recyclability and compostability.

Converted flexible packaging demand in food applications is projected to climb 4.0 percent per year to $12.9 billion in 2015. Advances will be driven by favorable demographics and rising demand for convenience-oriented and other processed food items, which often use more costly higher barrier packaging materials for extended shelf life. The fastest gains are anticipated in beverage, meat and related products, and snack food applications. Demand in nonfood markets is projected to increase 3.2 percent per year. Advances will be led by above-average gains in the pharmaceutical and medical product markets.

US CONVERTED FLEXIBLE PACKAGING DEMAND
(million dollars)

 

                                                                                                                                               

US CONVERTED FLEXIBLE PACKAGING DEMAND

(million dollars)

 

% Annual Growth

Item     

2005

2010

2015

2005-

2010

2010-

2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

Converted Flexible Packaging

12528

15140

18200

3.9

3.8

Bags

6635

7550

8780

2.6

3.1

Pouches

4894

6390

8005

5.5

4.6

Other

999

1200

1415

3.7

3.4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 © 2011 by The Freedonia Group, Inc.


Converted Flexible Packaging (published 10/2011, 422 pages) is available for $5100 from The Freedonia Group, Inc., 767 Beta Drive, Cleveland, OH 44143-2326. For further details, please contact Corinne Gangloff by phone 440.684.9600, fax 440.646.0484 or e-mail pr@freedoniagroup.com. Information may also be obtained through www.freedoniagroup.com.

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