Are pouches here to stay? Sure looks like it. Global demand for pouches is projected to rise 6.2 percent annually to $37.3 billion in 2018, according to The Freedonia Group, Inc., a Cleveland-based industry market research firm. Growth will be driven by consumer and producer preferences for stand-up pouches over more traditional rigid packaging. The adoption of pouches with higher value features in developed markets - such as the U.S., Canada, Western Europe, and Japan - will support gains in dollar terms. Faster growth is expected in China and other developing nations, where rising personal incomes coupled with expanding production of packaged goods will promote higher demand for pouches.
Stand-up pouches will show the best growth prospects through 2018, although flat pouches will continue to account for the majority of the market. According to analyst Emily Park: "Consumers are drawn to the aesthetic appeal and convenience of stand-up pouches with value added features such as spouts, zippers, or handles." The lighter weight, reduced material use and lower shipping cost of stand-up pouches relative to rigid packaging also benefit producers of packaged goods. Among flat pouches, four-side-seal pouches are expected to post the fastest gains, particularly in developing areas.