Given the love that Americans have for their pets, it should come as no surprise that this affection is a major driver in the growth of pouch packaging for food and treats that indulge their animals. While many may not immediately connect these two facts, the relationship will be clarified for attendees of the upcoming Global Pouch Forum, to be held June 13-15 at the Intercontinental Miami in Miami, Florida.

As the keynote speaker at the Global Pouch Forum—now in its 21st year as the flexible packaging industry’s premier conference—Eric Koppelman, chief revenue officer of Blue Dog Bakery ( will explain the impact that flexible packaging is having on the pet care industry. A recent study by the Freedonia Group ( pegs the U.S. pet food packaging market at about $2.5 billion and forecasts annual growth at more than 4 percent, with pouches as the fastest-growing segment of the market.

“In recent years, people have been making a push for transparent labels and cleaner ingredients in their own food,” Koppelman says. “Today, we’re seeing this trend spill over into the pet food industry, affecting the way we source ingredients, create recipes, market our products and design our packages.”

Connecting with Consumers

Koppelman is responsible for leading all of Blue Dog Bakery’s marketing, sales, product development and innovation. With a background in natural food companies, he has helped position Blue Dog Bakery as a leading all-natural dog treat company. His presentation on the explosive growth in pet food will provide the audience with an overview of the latest trends in pet food, and how companies can embrace the all-natural movement with visually-engaging packaging and compelling messaging that connects with consumers in the aisles.

GPF 2018 Keynote speaker: Eric Koppelman, CRO of Blue Dog Bakery
GPF 2018 Keynote speaker: Eric Koppelman, CRO of Blue Dog Bakery


Honing in on his own company’s experience, Koppelman explains that Blue Dog Bakery chose to use flexible packaging for its meat snack line because it is easy to carry, store and reseal to ensure freshness. It also allowed Blue Dog Bakery to embrace transparency in its packages by easily positioning a clear window so consumers can see the treats inside.

Extensive Agenda Offered

With a theme of “Packaging Boldly for the Future,” the Global Pouch Forum offers an extensive educational agenda that spans a wide range of developments and issues within the industry. This focused program also includes more than 80 exhibitors displaying the latest in technology and services, along with the opportunity to network with more than 600 industry professionals.

Prior to the conference on June 13, there will be an optional tour at the Miami headquarters and technology center of Karlville, a leading manufacturer of converting equipment for the flexible packaging industry. Karlville and partner companies will showcase recent developments in machinery for the integrated packaging lines. Preregistration is required.

Blue Dog Bakery meat snack line
Blue Dog Bakery uses flexible packaging for its meat snack line


After the keynote presentation, Alison Keane, president and CEO of the Flexible Packaging Association, will present an overview of the flexible packaging industry, focusing on current trends and drivers, as well as issues and concerns facing manufacturers. Another association important to the industry is the Contract Packaging Association. Carl Mellville, founder and chief operating officer of the Melville Group, will address the findings of a recent study performed by that association detailing the role of contract packagers.

CPGs to Present Their Stories

Past attendees have expressed an interest in hearing case studies based on the actual experiences of consumer packaged goods companies (CPGs). So, in addition to Blue Dog Bakery, the Global Pouch Forum has lined up presentations from several CPGs. The Forum will feature presentations that include Tree Top, a cooperative of apple growers; Bush Brothers & Co., makers of Bush’s Beans; and Lonza, a pool chemicals company—all of which use flexible packaging for their products.

Two clear trends in flexible packaging include consumer engagement and sustainability. Sal Pellingra, VP of global application and innovation development at ProAmpac, will explore trends and innovations in functionality, design, e-commerce and smart packaging that build consumer engagement with packaging and the product.

GPF 2018 Packaging Boldly for the Future
With a theme of “Packaging Boldly for the Future,” the Global Pouch Forum offers an extensive educational agenda.


Sustainability—a perennial issue for flexible packaging—also will receive substantial coverage. Lia Colabella, principal of Plastic Pollution Solutions, will address the rise of ocean plastics, the solutions that organizations are implementing to reduce their single-use plastic footprint and the challenges of incorporating sustainability in operations. In addition, Betsy Dorn of RSE USA will lead a panel of industry experts discussing end-of-life management for pouches. Representatives of NOVA Chemicals and Charter NEX will explain how the companies are collaborating to develop recyclable standup pouches.

New Technologies Support Pouches

Additional presentations are planned on complementary technologies—including digital printing, high pressure processing and retort—that are becoming increasingly popular among flexible packaging users.

With two networking sessions, a luncheon and several program breaks, the Global Pouch Forum offers an excellent opportunity to meet industry peers and make new contacts. The event kicks off Wednesday, June 13, with a welcome reception sponsored by Charter NEX Films. The Thursday, June 14 evening reception and exhibition, sponsored by Dow, will feature more than 80 table-top exhibitors.

Other sponsors include: ProAmpac, Sonoco, DNP, elplast, Alliedflex Technologies, Hoffer, Zip Pak, Kuraray, Karlville, HP, Bemis, Printpack, FreshLock,  Menshen Packaging and ExxonMobil.

For further information and to register, please visit

2018 Global Pouch Forum

2018 Global Pouch Forum
Global Pouch Forum attracts speakers who address a variety of topics affecting the industry, such as Kaylor Hildenbrand, who discussed qualitative research on millennials at the 2017 event.


When: June 13-15

Where: InterContinental Miami, Miami, Florida


5 Reasons to Attend the Global Pouch Forum

5 reasons to attend 2018 Global Pouch Forum
Global Pouch Forum offers an excellent opportunity to meet industry peers and make new contacts.


  1. Hear expert speakers offering detailed industry overviews and updates on issues such as sustainability.
  2. Learn about the latest innovations driving growth in this packaging segment.
  3. Meet leading consumer packaged goods companies such as Blue Dog Bakery, Tree Top, Bush’s Beans and Lonza Pool Chemicals.
  4. Gain over 10 hours of dedicated networking with industry business contacts.
  5. See the latest products and services from 80+ exhibitors in a casual environment.