The global retort pouches market is expected to grow at a CAGR of around 8% during the forecast period, according to Technavio’s ( latest market research. The market is categorized in this report into five application segments, including curry and sauces, pet food, ready-to-eat meals, seafood and others, of which the curry and sauces segment dominated the market with more than 32% of the overall market share in 2016. 

“Retort pouches are becoming prevalent because consumers prefer product freshness above all the other aspects while making a grocery purchase. These pouches are not required to be refrigerated unless opened and can be kept at room temperature, thereby providing a long shelf-life. Moreover, the pouches are cost-efficient for the manufacturers and can be sterilized at low temperatures,” says Shakti Jakhar, a lead packaging research expert from Technavio. 

With the growing demand for retort pouches, many initiatives are being taken, which are positively impacting the growth of the retort pouches market in APAC. For instance, in 2016, the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), signed an agreement with the Defence Food Research Laboratory (DFRL), to provide safe and hygienic ready-to-eat food to train passengers in retort pouches. Also, India is showing high demand for ready-to-eat meals. The ready-to-eat meal market in India is expected to grow at a CAGR of more than 18% during the forecast period. 

In Japan, single-serving pouch meals are becoming prevalent among the elderly population aged above 65 who are living on their own. This is because they prefer easy-to-use meals for consumption. The pet food market in China is expected to grow at a CAGR of more than 12% during the forecast period, which is leading to an increased demand for safe packaging solutions for pet food. 

People in the Americas are time-constrained because of busy the lifestyle, which gives them less time to prepare food at home. So, they mostly prefer convenience foods. In 2016, more than 40% of the budget household food shopping in the US was spent on convenient foods, such as ready-to-eat meals. 

Moreover, the retort pouches market in the Americas is growing because of the demand generated from baby food and pet food packaging. The pet food packaging market in the US is expected to grow at a CAGR of more than 5% during the forecast period. Also, the sales of standup pouches for baby food showed an annual growth of more than 10% during 2014-2015, which is high as compared with the other types of packaging, such as rigid containers and plastic trays. 

The retort pouches market in EMEA is growing because of rising demand from stand-up pouches, which is expected to grow at a CAGR of more than 5% during the forecast period. The adoption of stand-up pouches is increasing in countries like Germany and Spain. 

In Spain, people are concerned about food wastage and dietary balance. As retort pouches reduce the amount of food wastage because of their re-closable and longer shelf-life properties, people are adopting these pouches for the consumption of food. 

“The growth is also because of the growing flexible packaging market in Europe. This market is expected to grow at a CAGR of more than 6% during the forecast period. These aspects are helping the growth of the retort pouches market in EMEA,” says Shakti.