The U.S. flexible packaging industry has experienced positive and steady growth since the economic recession of 2009. According to the 2012 State of the U.S. Flexible Packaging Industry Report, the value of the industry is anticipated to grow from $25.4 billion in 2011 to $26.7 billion in 2012.

The 2012 Report, recently released by the Flexible Packaging Association, provides industry converters, suppliers, investors and analysts with insight into the performance (growth, revenue/volume expectations, profitability, capital spending) of the U.S. flexible packaging industry over the past year. This definitive source of data and information also examines several other aspects of the industry including:

•  Materials and processes (printing, expected material usage)

•  End-uses (end-use forecast, U.S. Census Bureau retail segments data - 2010)

•  Structure and consolidation (M&A activity)

•  Imports and exports (trade outlook)

•  Industry vision, challenges, and trends

Data available in the Report is gathered through several industry sources including the FPA members State of the U.S. Flexible Packaging Industry Survey, the FPA non-members Industry-Wide Converter Survey, the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2010 Annual Survey of Manufactures, the U.S. Department of Labor, the U.S. Department of Commerce, industry analysts and investment banking reports.

Over the next few months, the FPA Update will include reviews of key sections within the 2012 Report. Following in this issue is an overview of the “Industry Performance” section.

U.S. Flexible Packaging Industry Performance

Over the past 10 years (2001-2011) the U.S. flexible packaging industry has grown from $19.5 billion to $25.4 billion, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.7 percent per year. Industry performance compares favorably with the growth of the U.S. economy, which experienced GDP CAGR of 1.7 percent over the same period. The U.S. flexible packaging industry is one of the fastest growing segments in the U.S. packaging industry.

According to the Report, 85 percent of converters experienced higher sales revenue performance in 2011 than in 2010. Looking ahead, converters remain optimistic with 76 percent of converters (participating in the State of the Industry program) expecting 2012 sales to be higher than 2011 sales.

For more information on the 2012 FPA State of the U.S. Flexible Packaging Industry Report, and the FPA Financial Benchmarking Program, contact FPA at (410) 694-0800 or visit www.flexpack.org.