According to Cleveland-based The Freedonia Group, demand for pouches in the United States will grow 4.4 percent a year through 2020 to $10.1 billion,primarily driven by the introduction of pouch packaging into new markets and the integration of high-value features, such as re-sealable closures and spouts, in more mature markets.   

Food and beverage markets, which account for nearly 80 percent of the total in 2015, comprise the vast majority of pouch demand,  the market research firm states. Pet food; meat, poultry and seafood; and beverage applications will grow the fastest. However, the nonfood market will post faster growth, with increased pouch use in medical, consumer and industrial markets boosting gains, it adds.  These and other trends are presented in “Pouches,” a new study from The Freedonia Group.

Stand-up pouch formats will continue to grow in popularity because the greatest growth opportunities for pouches lie in previously popular rigid packaging applications, the market research firm reports. The greatest penetration has occurred in markets that were early adopters of stand-up pouch packaging, such as beverages and pet foods. However, the fastest gains will be observed in the cheese and produce markets, which only recently have begun to transition from bags or flat pouches to this more shelf-ready package option, it adds. 

Demand for flat pouches is forecast to increase 3.7 percent annually to $7.3 billion in 2020, according to The Freedonia Group. Pillow pouches still lead pouch packaging overall with nearly 40 percent of total sales through 2020 as a result of the low cost and production efficiency of this format and its entrenched position in markets such as candy and snacks. Side-seal pouches will bolster flat pouches, benefiting from the continued adoption of unit-of-use packaging in detergents, pharmaceuticals, medical supplies, and some food products, it adds.

Pouches with value-added features will continue to stimulate overall growth, with spouted products and re-sealable systems posting fast gains.  The increased use of pouches employing these attributes can be linked to lifestyle trends that see traditional meals replaced by snacks, the market research firm reports. Spouted pouches have seen rapid adoption in baby food and healthy snack markets, especially products marketed to children. Re-sealable closures for pouches also make products more convenient for those with fast-paced lifestyles because a secure fastener can allow the pouch to be stored in a bag or vehicle for easy snacking. Re-sealable pouches also can extend the shelf life of foods, making the products more desirable to small households, it adds.