Stand-up pouches are a fast-growing trend in many key markets around the world for a range of fast moving consumer goods (FMCGs). As just one example, demand for stand-up pouches for cocktail mixes has risen to 300 million units per year. Stand up pouches are seeing similar growth in use for a wide range of other FMCG products.

According to the Freedonia Group, demand for pouches is expected to increase as much is 6.2% each year until 2018, eventually becoming a $37.3 billion-dollar market. Growth is expected to be the greatest in China and developing countries, with Western Europe and the US also contributing to some degree. Read on to learn more about the key benefits of stand-up pouches and why those benefits are leading to such a strong upward trajectory for growth.

In this article we’ll look at why stand-up pouches are seeing such a dramatic rise in use.

More efficient transportation of products

Rigid packaging has been the option of choice for decades, however, pouch packaging is making inroads because it offers more efficient transportation of product. Pouch packaging weighs less than conventional rigid packaging options such as and cans and bottles, enabling manufacturers and distributors to store equal amounts of product using less material and with less weight.

Pouch packaging also requires less space in transit because pouches can be packed more tightly together during transport. This allows more product to be shipped without increasing shipping volume, reducing the total number of shipments needed to transport the same amount of product.

On both ends of the shipping equation, the stand-up pouch offers an additional benefit by way of storage. Manufacturers and distributors need less square footage for warehouse storage while retail outlets can more efficiently use their limited storage space because they need less room for products packed in pouches. From start to finish, storage and transport are simply more efficient with pouch packaging.

Green benefits of pouch packaging

As product manufacturers and distributors look for ways to leave less of an environmental impact as a result of their operations, stand-up pouches offer a number of green benefits that FMCG producers appreciate. For example, it takes approximately 60% less plastic to create a pouch package than is required to make a standard plastic bottle. Pouch package manufacturing uses 50% less energy and produces fewer carbon dioxide emissions as well.

The effect of pouch packaging and shipping is another obvious green benefit. Fewer emissions are produced when shipping volumes are reduced, leaving less of an environmental impact during the transport of products to the market. In an era in which we are trying to reduce emissions by burning fewer fossil fuels, increasing shipping efficiency is an important part of any company's plan to help protect the environment. Using stand-up pouches instead of rigid packaging can be part of any such plans.

Most importantly, all of these green benefits are achieved without any adverse impact on packaging integrity and durability. Stand-up pouches are just as durable as plastic bottles and aluminium cans but significantly better for the environment.

Marketing: Pouches stand out on store shelves

FMCG manufacturers must be very cognisant of marketing potential when designing packaging materials. Competition is stiff among multiple companies vying for shelf space in retail outlets. Pouch packaging is gaining in popularity because stand-up pouches make it possible to easily differentiate your product from the competition. This is accomplished in a number of ways.

First, consumers simply like pouch packaging. According to industry 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.” Successful marketers know what consumers appreciate and successfully tailor the packaging accordingly.

Next, pouch packaging offers more printable space than the average plastic bottle or aluminium can. More space means packaging designers have a larger canvas on which to create eye-catching graphics that will truly make the packaging stand out. Manufacturers are now choosing pouch packaging more often because they understand that such packaging helps them to be more competitive in the retail environment.

Finally, stand-up pouches allow for more creative in-store merchandising campaigns. For example, pouch packaging is designed with hanging points built-in, making it possible to hang pouches from unique displays rather than simply stacking product on the shelf. There is virtually no limit to how pouches can be attached for maximum visibility and improved sales.

Wrapping up

Pouch packaging is now a multi-billion-dollar industry that is only projected to continue growing over the next several decades. Stand-up pouches are one of the fastest growing trends among FMCG brands because they increase efficiency, reduce environmental impacts, and improve marketing efforts. Companies that do not yet use pouch packaging will likely need to take a serious look at in the very near future.

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