The market for pouches has seen dramatic growth over the past five years, increasing by 50% in unit volume terms to approaching 17 billion units in 2013. Beverages and pet food are the largest end use categories, each accounting for one-third of demand, closely followed by human food applications with around 30% share.
Stimulating the recent growth in pouches has been the drive to replace plastic and glass bottles and cans, packaging cost reduction and consumer convenience. In its new report on the stand-up pouch market, PCI Films Consulting forecasts that U.S. demand for pouches will continue to grow by around 7% p.a. to reach nearly 24 billion units in 2018, at least twice as fast as volume growth expected in the US flexible packaging market as a whole.
“The most significant increases in volume have come only in the last two years, particularly in liquid products within the human foods non-retort category, such as in the packing of baby foods and fruit compote and purees,” said report author Julian Lozowick. “The use of pouches for dry food products in general has been growing more steadily, but even here some categories have seen rapid recent growth.”
Future increases in volume are expected to come from a wide variety of end uses - frozen foods and fruit compotes, frozen spirits, cocktails, baby food, shredded and diced cheese, laundry and dishwashing refill packs and soups. Other opportunities are only in the early stages of development but pouches used to pack motor oils, dietary meal solutions and possibly olive oil and fresh vegetables are forecast to grow in volume.
PCI’s comprehensive new report, “The U.S. Market for Stand-up Pouches to 2018,” which follows publication earlier this year of a similar study on the European market, analyzes the major factors driving growth in this dynamic market.