Retail ready packaging markets around the world are growing according to PMMI, the Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies, which announced its Ready Retail Packaging study findings at the interpack trade fair in Germany last week.

According to the survey of original equipment manufacturers, end-user manufacturers and retailers, Europe’s market value for 2012 was $24.7 billion, more than quadruple the US value of $5.5 billion the same year.

The most regional growth was in Asia, which increased 4.7 percent since 2011.

“Urbanization, population and economic growth are significant factors driving demand for RRP,” says Charles D. Yuska, president and CEO of PMMI. “The expanding number of supermarkets is also contributing, particularly large box stores that carry a lot of leverage with manufacturers. As retailers adjust their packaging requirements, manufacturers must continually innovate to stay competitive and retail ready packaging enhances both shelf appeal and supply chain efficiency, while also addressing concerns about sustainability.”

Survey respondents said lifetime cost, labor costs, flexibility and reliability were all primary concerns that weighed in their equipment purchase decisions for RRP investments. Of the responders, 79 percent were confident investments in RRP would grow; 88 percent projected productivity in this area would increase in two years.

The most variety of responses in the survey concerned material preferences. According to PMMI, while responders generally favored rigid formats for durability and appearance, 67 percent said they would choose flexible materials for cost savings.

Despite the direction brand owners take, PMMI said PACK EXPO International 2014 (Nov. 2–5; McCormick Place, Chicago) will be a good resource for packaging and processing solutions. This year, the event sees the return of the Brand Zone, which is dedicated exclusively to material and container innovations.

Additionally, PACK EXPO will offer free educational programming on and near the show floor. The multiple locations of the Innovation Stage will address topics including material innovation for enhanced shelf appeal, sustainability, flexibility and efficiency.