Study #: 3988 | Published: 11/2020 | Pages: 79 | Individual User License: US$ 2,900

Demand for pouches used in processed food applications is forecast to increase 4.0% annually to $2.4 billion, equivalent to 20.0 billion units in 2024. Gains will be driven by further conversions from rigid containers such as metal cans, glass jars, and paperboard boxes and other flexible formats such as bags and film wrap based on pouches’ good functionality and superior convenience:

  • Advantages of pouches – such as their light weight, low package-to-product ratio, and ability to be shipped flat – have become increasingly important for reducing shipping costs and in light and retailer purchasing initiatives that favor packaging that meets certain sustainability guidelines.
  • Pouches allow processed food brand owners to differentiate their products on crowded store shelves, as pouches offer excellent graphics capabilities.
  • Production of pouches uses a fraction of the raw materials needed for rigid containers.
  • Improved line speeds for pouch-making and pouch-filling equipment will improve cost effectiveness.

Dry Foods Will Remain By Far the Leading Processed Food Application for Pouches

Dry foods will continue to account for close to 60% of processed food pouch sales, supported by the high penetration of pillow pouches in breakfast cereals, rice, and pastas, and the widespread use of side seal pouches for seasonings, powdered creamers, and drink mixes. The best opportunities for growth among dry food applications will be for stand-up pouches in the packaging of premium, organic, and other specialty foods (e.g., organic pastas and beans, gluten-free pancake and waffle mixes).

Inverted Stand-Up Pouches See Rapid Adoption in Sauces & Condiments

Across all major processed food applications, stand-up pouches are forecast to outperform flat (pillow and side seal) types due to their advantages, including enhanced shelf appeal and visibility, and ability to incorporate convenience features such as spouts and easy-to-use closures.

Among stand-up pouches, inverted pouches are seeing rapid adoption in condiment applications such as peanut butter and barbecue sauce, as well as in other processed foods such as sour cream and yogurt. These pouches offer superior convenience – with no need to unscrew a lid – as well as product differentiation and reduced product waste.

Stockpiling Supports Processed Food Pouch Sales During COVID-19 Pandemic

Demand for pouches in processed food applications will continue to rise at a healthy pace in the near term, supported by consumer stockpiling of frozen and shelf-stable foods amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Consumers are purchasing higher quantities of frozen and nonperishable items to support more at-home cooking in place of restaurant visits, as well as to reduce the frequency of grocery store trips. Stockpiling to safeguard against shortages of certain food items also contributed to processed food sales throughout 2020.


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