Over the last few years the standup pouch has emerged as one of the most versatile and rapidly growing flexible packaging formats which is being adopted worldwide for an increasingly wide variety of end-use applications. PCI Films Consulting Ltd (pcifilms.com) estimates current global market demand at around 80 billion units, over 50% of which is now in Europe and North America where unit volumes are growing by around 5% and 8% per annum respectively.

Recent studies on the European and US stand-up pouch markets published by PCI Films Consulting Ltd show demand being driven by a range of factors:

  • Machinery improvements in terms of speed and the ability to incorporate resealable features such as zippers and sliders.
  • For retort applications, pouches offer reduced heating times and better taste compared with cans.
  • Improvements in barrier film substrates such as coatings with increased heat tolerance and strength; developments in EVOH which is a lower cost barrier film alternative to PVdC coated films; and the availability of directional tear films.
  • Environmental benefits and reduced logistical and storage costs compared with rigid formats.
  • Consumer convenience – light weight, ease of opening and usage – e.g. special spouts on pouches for baby food, measured dosing and reclose / resealability.
  • New eating occasions such as eating and drinking on the go.
  • Attractiveness to retailers – more visible display area with increased printing surface for effective graphics, economies of stacking space by usage in vertical display cabinets.

More generally stand-up pouches offer packers an opportunity to stimulate packaged food sales, develop creative ways to compete better at the consumer and retailer, and the ability to offer profitable and innovative value-added line extensions to brand owners that complement their core businesses. Clearly the stand-up pouch is set to become a serious rival alternative to rigid formats especially as packers replace existing ageing filling equipment.

PCI’s comprehensive report, “The US Market for Stand-up Pouches to 2018,” which follows publication of a similar study on the European market, analyses the major factors driving growth in this dynamic market. Based on extensive fieldwork, the report provides details of the current US stand-up pouch market by unit volume; area of substrates used (M²) and value; existing and planned new filling capacities; trends in more than 30 end-use sub-sectors; usage split between pre-made and form-fill-seal formats; and profiles of the leading pouch suppliers. With forecasts to 2018, this market-leading report provides valuable strategic insights into how the US stand-up pouch market is expected to develop over the next five years.

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