Demand for pouches in the U.S. is projected to increase 4.6% per year to $9.4 billion in 2018. “Growth will be fueled by continued solid opportunities for stand-up pouches,” says Esther Palevsky, an analyst at The Freedonia Group Inc., a Cleveland-based industry market research firm.

Overall pouch unit demand is expected to expand 2.7% yearly to 92 billion. Advantages of superior aesthetic appeal, portability, light weight, reduced material use and significantly lower shipping costs relative to rigid containers will foster strong acceptance in a broad range of consumer packaged goods uses.

Food and beverage markets comprise the majority of pouch demand, accounting for 80% of the total in 2013. Nonfood markets for pouches will grow more rapidly than food and beverage markets, based on the further development of new applications in consumer goods resulting from sustainability advantages and strong opportunities for dissolvable pouches for laundry detergents. These and other trends are presented in “Pouches,” a new study from The Freedonia Group.

Stand-up pouches will remain a major growth segment in the overall packaging industry, with demand forecast to expand 6.5% annually. Advances will reflect rising interest among packaged goods companies based on cost savings due to lighter weight and lower material use compared to rigid containers. Also supporting gains will be the ability of stand-up pouches to differentiate and draw attention to products on store shelves due to their large front-panel billboard space and the perception of pouches as a more contemporary packaging format.

Demand for flat pouches is forecast to increase 4% annually, driven by faster advances for four-side-seal pouches in medical and pharmaceutical markets. Four-side-seal pouches will also experience favorable growth in certain food applications. Robust gains are anticipated in nonfood uses due to the rising popularity of unit-of-use products packaged in dissolvable pouches. In general, however, flat pouch demand will lag increases for stand-up pouches due to already-high usage in many markets and competition from stand-up pouches.

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