The largest North American show exclusively dedicated to the pouch packaging format keeps on getting bigger and better.

Last June’s 19th-annual Global Pouch Forum, held at the InterContinental in Miami, Florida, from June 15-17, eclipsed all previous conference attendance numbers with a record 646 attendees. And rightfully so, as the Freedonia Group estimates the standup pouch business alone to grow at a clip of 6.5 percent per year to 2020.

The opening day of Global Pouch Forum consisted of a variety of informative and insightful pre-conference events, such as a standup pouch making workshop put on by TAPPI, a tour of Karlville’s Miami headquarters and technology center and a networking reception to officially kick off the 2016 event. Thursday, June 16, then launched 1.5 days’ worth of education as the conference portion of Global Pouch Forum got underway. Here are the highlights from each of the presentations:

Keynote: Passion for the Pouch: Tom Miller with General Mills shared his vast knowledge about what flexible packaging means to his company, as well as how it can affect others. He discussed “snackification” and how it affects consumer purchasing.

How Pouches are Satisfying Consumer Needs: Sal Pellingra, VP of innovation and technology at ProAmpac, touched on factors for making the shift from rigid to flexible packaging and also discussed how flexible packaging can help reduce the issue of food waste.

Clean Label Packaging: Boosting Trust and Sales of Pets/People: Anthony Bennie of Clear Conscience Pet discussed the necessity of clean labeling on both pet food packaging and food packaging.

How I Chose My Flexible Packaging Company: A Small-Business Owner’s Story: Sarah Lanphier with Nuts About Granola shared how she grew her business, made smart marketing decisions and worked with experienced packagers to shine.

Private Equity in Packaging: Jay Radtke, managing director, Mason Wells, discussed the role of private equity in the packaging industry and shared a real-life example of how Mason Wells acquired Oliver Products Company and eventually shaped the company into leading converter Oliver-Tolas Healthcare Packaging.

The Future of Digital Printing in Flexibles: Smithers Pira’s Sean Smyth showed how digital printing is the key to moving forward in the printing world. Personalization and customization could push your products into the digital age.

How to Open New Pouch Markets with Added Features: The team of Tom Morsheimer from Presto Products Co.’s Slide-Rite division and Dave Johnson with Aptar shared insights on both sliders as well as fitments — and which is best for what product.

Opportunities for Pouches in the Perimeter of the Store: This joint presentation from Sharayla Cleare and Tim Sarna of Sonoco talked about the 17 percent projected growth in sales in the perimeter of the store and the opportunity for innovation in packaging to take advantage of this trend.

Emerging Needs for Fresh Product Packaging: Apio Inc.’s Neeraj Sharma expounded upon consumers’ need for fresh, healthy and nutritious foods. Flexible packaging in the produce market has been tough to enter, but it is beginning.

Mastering the Challenge of Yogurt in Pouches: Brent Frier of Leahy Orchards spoke of the unique challenges of moving yogurt from containers to flexible pouches along with partners Joe Ross of Rossmith Packaging, and Alex Hoffer of Hoffer Plastics Inc.

Integration of Pouches and Retail-Ready: Ron Sasine of Hudson Windsor showed how being retail-ready with your products is a must-do. On-shelf placement and vibrant packaging are major factors.

Keynote: The Disruptive Pouch and the Corporate Culture: Andy Gordon shared Campbell Soup Co.’s take on the role of flexible packaging and announced that technology is the key moving forward to develop better, smarter packages and safer food with longer shelf life.

How Traceability Can Help Prevent Foodborne Disease: A major impact stirring many in the packaging industry lately, Tejas Bhatt with the Institute of Food Technologists and the Global Food Traceability Institute, shared these considerations for traceability: food safety, food sustainability, food security and food defense (e.g., intentional contamination).

Successfully Managing the Pouch Packaging Machinery/Automation Process: Dennis Calamusa with AlliedFlex Technologies discussed the need for pushing forward with flexible packaging machinery and choosing the right partner. He also hit on the Pouch Packaging Methodology: pre-made pouch and rollstock.

Strategies for Unlocking Flexible Packaging Recycling and Recovery: The plastics recycling rate in the U.S. is only about 14 percent. This presentation from Betsy Dorn (Reclay StewardEdge), Bridget Croke (Closed Loop Fund) and Anthony Dilenno (HAVI Global Solutions) talked about the challenge of recycling flexible packaging and emerging innovations that could bring this closer to reality.

With the 2016 Global Pouch Forum now in the books, all eyes are now turned to Las Vegas, where Global Pouch West will be making its debut after two years in California. The 3rd-annual Global Pouch West is scheduled for December 7-8 at the Red Rock Casino, Resort & Spa.

Watch GPF On-Demand

Miss this year’s Global Pouch Forum or just want to review the presentations? Register for on-demand sessions by visiting to watch select presentations any time for the next year.

Global Pouch West

Where: Red Rock Casino, Resort & Spa in Las Vegas, Nevada

When: December 7-8, 2016

More Info and Registration: