While the flexible packaging industry no doubt took its blows during the downturn, there seems to be a large consensus that the bottom is in our rear view mirror.



This month, Flexible Packaging centers much of its editorial focus around the art and science of bag and pouch-making. Global Pouch Forum-an annual three-day conference hosted by our sister publication, Packaging Strategies-will also hit on many of the same trends, applications and innovations this year in Clearwater Beach, Fla., May 11-13. So why all the pouch coverage?

Considering where flexible packaging’s-and more specifically, bags' and pouches’ growth-is headed, the more appropriate question might be, “Why not?”

According to a March 2010 report published by Freedonia Group, global food container demand is forecast to grow 3.8% annually through 2013. This increase, suggests the report, is driven not only by increasing populations and subsequent increased output or consumption, but by continued calls for convenience that modern, hurried lifestyles demand. Is it any wonder Freedonia predicted bags and pouches would maintain their position as the most prominent format in the packaging landscape?

In his address to the Flexible Packaging Association Annual Meeting in Orlando this year, Ampac president and chief executive officer John Baumann suggested flexible packaging’s revenue growth of 3.5% would not only parallel Freedonia’s figures above, but would also outpace the 3.1% growth of U.S. gross domestic product (GDP). While the flexible packaging industry no doubt took its blows during the downturn, those figures give substance to the large consensus that the bottom is in our rear view mirror.

Indeed, one might speculate that with the end of the prevailing economic storm, we may soon be seeing a rainbow-if not in the second half of this year, then certainly in 2011. Considering the popularity and overall growth potential of pouches, should we be all that surprised to see the mythical pot o' gold has been replaced with a pouch o' gold when we get to the end of that rainbow?

Sayre Kos, Editor-in-Chief
koss@bnpmedia.com, 847-740-6210