Building on its theme covering the evolution of pouches, the 2019 Global Pouch Forum announces an agenda featuring presentations focused on innovation, sustainability and developing markets, such as the burgeoning cannabis industry. 

This year, the 23rd Global Pouch Forum will be held June 11-13 at Hyatt Regency O’Hare in Rosemont, IL. After several successful years in Miami, Fla., as the leading and longest-running flexible packaging conference in the industry, the Forum will move to Chicago area, which represents the heartland of U.S. packaging operations. In recent years, Rosemont, which is adjacent to Chicago’s largest airport, has become a thriving mecca for fine dining, numerous entertainment venues and outlet shopping. 


GPF attendees
GPF attendees value the opportunity to network with peers and learn about the latest developments in flexible packaging.


Leading off the conference as keynote speakers will be Ken McGuire, senior research fellow at Procter & Gamble, and Cedric D’Souza, chief technical officer of Innventure. Together they will detail the development of the award-winning AeroFlexx liquid dispensing pouch, now in use by Procter & Gamble for its Dawn dishwashing detergent and Old Spice soaps, as well Defense body soap and Mighty Mutt dog shampoo, which are not P&G products. The pouch was developed by the P&G research and development team and is being commercialized for uses outside P&G by Innventure.

Pouch Introduces New Benefits

In a market segment dominated by rigid plastic bottles, this innovative package overcomes many of the perceived drawbacks of flexible packaging, including messy dispensing, cheap appearance and expensive converting. Meanwhile, McGuire says, the pouch offers significant sustainability and cost advantages. Flexible packaging uses less than 50 percent of the material than most rigid bottles. The AeroFlexx pouch also offers precision dosing and one-handed dispensing. 

McGuire also points out that that pouches are ideal for use in e-commerce as they are less likely to suffer damage in shipping. In testing within the P&G distribution system, he says, the pouches were able to deform and absorb energy in ways a rigid package cannot. Consequently, the company does not have to perform additional preparation steps that rigid containers require for e-commerce shipping. 

“In a segment developing as fast as flexible packaging, people in the industry can rely on the Global Pouch Forum to help them stay abreast of all the latest trends, technology and best practices,” says John Kalkowski, conference program director. “This lineup is built on feedback from previous GPF attendees. It represents issues and opportunities that industry professionals say they face each and every day.”

Presentations from the Flexible Packaging Association and Euromonitor will update attendees on the state of the flexible packaging industry as well as the latest trends in consumer packaging preferences. 


Global Pouch Forum audience
The Global Pouch Forum audience continues to grow, prompted by an educational program that addresses key issues for flexible packaging.


The conference also will emphasize how consumer packaged goods companies can advance their packaging innovation processes with a presentation by Christina Cvetan, a founding partner of the Ahead of the Curve Group and a former leader of Unilever’s global packaging R&D team. This presentation will followed by innovation panels that include a converting team representing TAPPI, as well as a panel from the Contract Packaging Association discussing how co-packers can contribute to the innovation process. 

Prospects For A Circular Economy

Roger Zellner, formerly the R&D packaging sustainability director for Kraft Foods and Mondelez, will moderate a panel that explores whether the industry will be able to reach its aggressive goals for creating a closed-loop recycling system for flexible packaging. This panel features speakers representing all sides of the issue, from resin manufacturer to operators of municipal recycling facilities. 

Recyclability is one of the major challenges for laminated pouches using multiple resins. A team representing the Kashi Bear Naked brand, along with suppliers Berry Global and Dow Chemical, will explain how the company introduced a recyclable pouch that is designed specifically to fit the circular economy. 

With recent loosening of laws on the use of cannabis in several states, packaging for hemp-based products has become a major topic. Tom Newmaster of Force PKG will give an overview of the cannabis market, while Jim Andrasic, chief operating officer of American Pouch Converters, will address some of the challenges of producing protective packaging required by varying regulations in multiple locales. 

Many brands and converters are now adding active and intelligent features to their packaging, and new technologies are being introduced almost weekly. Eef de Ferrante, managing director of the Active & Intelligent Packaging Association, will provide attendees an overview of some of the latest developments from across the globe. 


The AeroFlexx pouch
The AeroFlexx pouch, designed for use with liquids, is already being used for multiple products.


Other presentations will address biodegradable films, improved pouch functionality, a double pouch format and how to make Big Data work for packaging producers.  

Networking Opportunities Abound

With two networking sessions, a luncheon and several program breaks, the Global Pouch Forum offers an excellent opportunity to meet industry peers and make new contacts. Prior to the Forum’s opening, ALLIEDFLEX Technologies and Cloud Packaging Equipment are inviting registered attendees to join them for a tour of their nearby plant in Des Plaines, IL, where pouch-making machinery is manufactured.  

There is no charge, but attendees must register in order to participate. 

The Forum kicks off Tuesday, June 11, with a welcome reception sponsored by Charter Nex Films. The Wednesday, June 12 evening reception and exhibition, sponsored by Dow, will feature more than 80 table-top exhibitors. Breakfasts on Wednesday and Thursday are sponsored by Preco and Elplast respectively, while networking breaks are hosted by Hoffer, Menshen and ExxonMobil. 

Other sponsors include: ProAmpac (keynote), Sonoco (luncheon), DNP (hospitality), Presto Products (tote bag) and Zip Pak (workbook).

Thousands of packaging professionals have relied on this event to stay current on developments in one of the fastest-growing segments of the industry, with more than 600 attending the 2018 conference alone, along with more than 80 exhibiting industry suppliers. For a complete list of speakers and topics and to register for the event, please visit

6 reasons to attend the 2019 Global Pouch Forum:

  1. Hear expert speakers offering detailed industry overviews and updates on issues such as sustainability.
  2. Learn about the latest innovations driving growth in this packaging segment.
  3. Discover how leading converters and co-packers can help your innovation process.
  4. Meet leading consumer packaged goods companies such as Procter & Gamble and Kellogg.
  5. Gain over 10 hours of dedicated networking with industry business peers.
  6. See the latest products and services from 80+ exhibitors in a casual environment.