World demand to rise 6.1% annually through 2018
Global demand for pouches is projected to increase 6.1 percent annually to $35.8 billion in 2018. Growth will be driven by consumer and producer preferences for stand-up pouches over more traditional rigid packaging. In developed markets, the adoption of pouches with higher value features will support demand growth in dollar terms. Faster growth is projected in China and other developing nations, where rising personal incomes coupled with expanding production of food, beverages, medical devices, pharmaceuticals, and consumer goods will promote higher demand for pouches. Heightened investment in pouch packaging machinery will also support greater usage of pouches going forward.
Stand-up pouches to be fastest growing product
Stand-up pouches will show the best growth prospects through 2018, although flat pouches will continue to account for the majority of the market. Stand-up pouches offer a number of benefits to both consumers and producers. Consumers are drawn to the aesthetic appeal and the convenience of pouches with features such as spouts, zippers, or handles. The lighter weights, reduced material use, and lower shipping costs of stand-up pouches relative to rigid packaging also benefit producers of packaged goods. The rising prevalence of stand-up pouch packaging machinery for captive production will also support greater use of these products. Among flat pouches, four-side-seal pouches are expected to show the most rapid gains going forward, particularly in developing areas. Four-side-seal pouches have the advantage of being less expensive than pillow or stand-up pouches, and are usually used under a broader range of conditions than three-side-seal pouches.
Asia/Pacific region to be fastest growing market
The Asia/Pacific region is expected to show the fastest growth in pouch demand through 2018. Rapid increases in the output of food and beverages, pharmaceuticals, and consumer goods coupled with a greater emphasis on convenient, eye-catching packaging will support strong gains in pouch demand. Some of the more affluent countries in the region were relatively early users of pouches over bags and rigid packaging, and as a result the strongest growth is expected in developing nations such as China, Thailand, and India. Increases in other industrializing regions -- Central and South America, Eastern Europe, and the Africa/Mideast region -- will be faster than gains expected in North America and Western Europe. Continued development in relevant manufacturing sectors will support demand for pouches that offer savings to producers and distributors of packaged foods, and increasing personal incomes will lead to greater demand for food, beverages, and consumer products packaged in convenient, aesthetically appealing pouches.
Gains in North America and Western Europe are expected to be more limited, as pouch use rates are higher in these regions than in developing parts of the world. However, a shift in product mix will support sustained growth in pouch demand in these regions, as consumers continue to favor more expensive products such as stand-up pouches and value-added pouches such as retort, spouted, resealable, and shaped. Manufacturers of packaged goods will also favor stand-up and specialty pouches as these products can offer better aesthetics and marketing advantages, and are often associated with lower shipping costs than rigid packaging.
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