Global demand for pouches is projected to rise 6.2 percent annually to $37.3 billion in 2018. Growth will be driven by consumer and producer preferences for standup pouches over more traditional rigid packaging. The adoption of pouches with higher value features in developed markets – such as the US, Canada, Western Europe and Japan – will support gains in dollar terms. Faster growth is expected in China and other developing nations, where rising personal incomes coupled with expanding production of packaged goods will promote higher demand for pouches.
Flat pouches will continue to account for the majority of the market. Four-side-seal pouches are projected to show the fastest gains, supported by rising demand in the medical and pharmaceutical market; in food applications such as meat, poultry, seafood, sauces and condiments; and in consumer applications, such as soaps and toiletries. Demand for pillow pouches and three-side-seal pouches will also be supported by rising shipments of packaged food products, particularly from developing markets in the Asia/Pacific region. Advances in pouch characteristics (e.g., improved barrier structures and the incorporation of such convenience features as resealable closures, spouts and tear notches) and pouch manufacturing technology (e.g., machinery with increased line speeds) will continue to lower production costs, thereby making pouches more competitive with other forms of packaging, like cartons and cans. In general, however, flat pouch demand is expected to rise at a slower pace than demand for standup pouches, which are less established than flat pouches and offer a number of improved features.