US demand for converted flexible packaging is projected to increase 3.0 percent annually to $18.8 billion in 2017. Long term prospects for converted flexible packaging will be heightened by technology advances to enhance shelf life and protect the package from bacteria and other potential contaminants, with material advances in thinner multiwall bags also generating growth.
Pouches, primarily of a standup construction, will offer significant growth opportunities. Recent product launches in such areas as pet food, soups and stews, sauces, baby food, snack food, fresh-cut produce, ready-to-eat meals, noncarbonated beverages, lawn and garden products, and household goods will contribute to further growth. Growth in demand for pouches is also a function of economics, as the lighter weight packages can vastly reduce both production and transport costs.
The usage of bags in converted flexible packaging will also increase, albeit slower than in previous years. The bag market is especially strong for nonfood items such as pharmaceuticals and medical products, where advancements in sealing and protection and strong handling capabilities are driving gains. The continuing conversion to plastic bags in the pet food market and the popularity of ready-to-eat and caseready meats will trigger added growth.
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