Currently global production levels are estimated in the region of 324 billion in 2016, but with a healthy annual growth rate of approximately 4.7% in the years up to 2021, that figure should be in the region of 407 billion in five years time.
The figures come from the latest market report titled The Future of Pouch Packaging to 2021, which has recently been published by market research provider Smithers Pira, a company specializing in the packaging segment.
Annual volume growth of 4.6%
Those figures put the estimated value of the market at a current value of $15bn, but with that 4.6% CAGR, that figure should stand at $19bn by 2021.
And although the lion’s share of that market is attributed to food and household products, the new generation of pouch designs could well help to attract more cosmetic and personal care players.
Pouches have proved particularly popular for sample or one-use cosmetic and personal care products, but if the new generation of designs can stand up to the all-important retail shelf test, mass market brands could be adopting the packaging for regular-sized products.
Fulfilling environmental demands
“There is mounting public pressure on brand owners and retailers to reduce the environmental impact of packaging,” said report author David Platt.
“Manufacturers are responding to consumers’ environmental concerns by reducing the amount of polymers used, which lowers the pack weight, without impairing pack performance. Flexible plastic packaging like pouches requires significantly less energy to transport products than metal and glass.”
The new generation of packaging pouches are being designed with reduced sterilisation time, savings on materials making them lighter weight and more sustainable, better durability, while also having better shelf appeal thanks to front images and quality printing techniques, the report points out.
One of the most significant changes has also been the evolution of sophisticated multi-layer pouch films, which the report says has drawbacks due to higher materials costs and recyclability issues, but can also serve to improve shelf life as well aesthetics.