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From beverages to baby food: pouches to grow 6.5% a year

By Rachel Arthur+

30-Apr-2014
Last updated the 30-Apr-2014 at 10:34 GMT

Parrot Bay, a cocktail brand, has made the transition from bottle to pouch
Parrot Bay, a cocktail brand, has made the transition from bottle to pouch

Features on stand-up pouches – such as handles and spouts – will increase the customer appeal of the packaging, with growth for the US sector predicted by market research company Freedonia. 

Stand-up pouches accounted for 14.7% of total pouch demand in 2003, but will make up 27.2% in 2023, Freedonia’s report Pouches predicts.

Esther Palevsky, analyst, Freedonia, told FoodProductionDaily.com stand-up pouches will remain a major growth area in the packaging industry, with demand forecast to expand 6.5% annually.

Contemporary packaging

A more contemporary look and user friendly features have helped pouches achieve a premium and contemporary image for products - including both new and existing ones," she said.

In the case of the latter, a stand-up pouch can be a means of updating or refreshing the perception of a mature product in order to stimulate awareness and sales.

Although it has become a common type of packaging, pouches are still distinctive on the shelf, Palevsky added.

The vertical orientation of stand-up pouches enables them to be used for a billboard effect in the display of package graphics," Palevsky added. "This will also propel opportunities for stand-up pouches to supplant boxes and containers in secondary packaging uses, especially with small-sized items such as nutritional supplements, single portion condiments and pod and tablet detergents. 

Additionally, newer stand-up pouch styles - such as flat bottomed, side gusseted types - are expected to make inroads into traditional formats such as medium-sized multiwall paper bags and plastic jars. 

The incorporation of value added features such as handles, contoured shapes, spouts, and laser scoring (which facilitates neat, parallel tearing across the top of the pouch) will also increase the consumer appeal.

Beverages and baby food

Stand-up pouches are popular because they are portable, lightweight, use less material and lower shipping costs, Freedonia reports. Candy and snacks will be the biggest category of demand by 2023, closely followed by beverages and processed foods, it predicts.

Stand-up pouches will gain ground in alcoholic beverage uses, especially products sold or consumed in entertainment and recreation venues that prohibit glass containers due to safety concerns regarding broken glass,” said Palevsky.

Though dry foods will remain the leading processed food generator of demand, stand-up pouches will experience robust growth in relatively new uses such as baby food, and sauces and condiments. 

While the baby food market was historically dominated by glass jars, spouted stand-up pouches have gained a significant presence with baby food and other child-targeted foods – for example fruit purées - in recent years.

Demand for all pouch categories in the US is projected to increase 4.6% per year to $9.4bn in 2018. The food and beverage industry currently makes up the majority of pouch demand, accounting for 80% of the total in 2013.

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