According to a recent report by market research company Fredonia Group, world demand for food containers will increase 3.8% per year, reaching $115 billion in 2013. The report contributes this increased demand to growth in global food output and trends toward convenience-oriented food options stemming from fast-paced lifestyles.

Further, demographic trends will continue to influence food container demand. Such demographic trends include increasing urban populations, greater numbers of women in the workforce and increasing numbers of single-person households, all of which researchers believe will fuel packaged and processed food spending thanks to perceived convenience benefits and limited time for meal preparation. The Freedonia report also forecasts that products made from biodegradable materials will post robust advances, albeit from a low base, as pressure on packaging producers to reduce their environmental footprint increases further.

Of greatest interest to flexible packaging suppliers and converters, bags and pouches are forecast to maintain their position as largest product type by a wide margin, a trend supported by ongoing developments in high-barrier resins and value-added features such as microwaveable bags and resealable stand-up pouches. Demand for bags and pouches will continue to benefit from their environmentally friendly image. Furthermore, cost advantages of bags and pouches compared to rigid containers, their smaller physical footprint and their lower energy requirements for production will further drive growth in this segment.