Increasing consumer demands for convenient packages, coupled with an industry-wide push for sustainable shelf-ready designs has the global flexible packaging market poised to eclipse the $290 billion mark by 2023, according to Flexible Packaging Market Assessment from PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies. With an estimated 3.9 percent CAGR, the market in the U.S. and Canada projects to achieve $44 billion.
As has traditionally been the case due to its early adoption of flexible packaging, the food industry remains the largest user, accounting for nearly 50 percent of the flexible packaging in circulation. With convenience as a noted driver, food figures to remain the dominant segment due to the overall rise in ready-to-eat foods, snacks and frozen meals. Two segments called out by the report as expected to grow the largest by 2023 are processed fruits and vegetables and baby food, each in flexible pouches.
In addition to convenience and sustainability, the report cites high-performance films and materials, retail-ready packaging (RRP), e-commerce and advances in flexible packaging technology as the most impactful drivers going forward.
Current trends in flexible packaging reflect widespread consumer demand for packaging that is convenient, safe and sustainable. Meanwhile, manufacturers are looking for flexible packaging to provide efficient and effective barriers for shelf-ready products. Innovations in flexible packaging are also driving changes in how consumers and retailers respond and accept products that use this packaging method.
Globally, pouches account for the biggest piece of the flexible packaging pie and are the fastest growing category, with the pillow pouch as the predominant pouch format (39 percent). However, retailers such as Walmart are pushing manufacturers toward stand up pouches (SUP), which are viewed as shelf-ready and offer a better retail presence. These retail demands are leading consumer packaged goods (CPGs) companies to shift products traditionally associated with cans, into pouches (e.g., sauces, soups and processed meat).
Innovative dispensing functions and easy-open features like snap-seal tops and press-to-close zippers are helping ease the initial pains CPGs are feeling about moving products from age-old packages into flexible pouches.
No trade show in the world in 2019 will offer more flexible packaging solutions, technologies, equipment and the latest flexible materials than PACK EXPO Las Vegas and the co-located Healthcare Packaging EXPO (Sept. 23-25, 2019; Las Vegas Convention Center). The PMMI-produced event will bring together 30,000 packaging professionals and 2,000 leading industry suppliers across 900,000 net square feet of show floor.
Award-nominated packaging solutions will be on display and located within The Containers and Materials Pavilion at The Showcase of Packaging Innovations sponsored by Dow.
Attendees will also find educational opportunities at the Innovation Stage, where exhibitors present breakthrough technologies during free 30-minute seminars, located right on the show floor, throughout the three days.
The Forum makes its Vegas debut at this year’s show, bringing an interactive learning experience, featuring free 45-minute sessions on the latest industry trends and will include hands-on activities, small group discussions and Q&A sessions.
Registration, which includes access to both PACK EXPO Las Vegas and Healthcare Packaging EXPO, is $30 through Aug. 30 after which the price increases to $100. For more information and to register online, visit packexpolasvegas.com and hcpelasvegas.com.