From The Editor | October 30, 2015

PMMI Study Shows Flexible Packaging On Growth Path

John Kalkowski

By John Kalkowski, editor in chief, Food Online

In the last decade, flexible packaging has grown to the second-largest packaging segment in the U.S., according to a new study just released by PMMI, the Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies. Flexible Packaging Market Assessment Report 2015 also suggests that while flexible packaging will continue to grow for the foreseeable future, the pace may slow somewhat.

Donna Ritson, industry consultant and author of the study, says that nearly two-thirds of end users who were interviewed for the report are at or are nearing saturation for the use of flexible packaging with their current product lines. However, she was quick to point out that sales of many of these products are growing rapidly, which fuels even greater use of flexible packaging. And a full third of the companies already using flexible packaging see room for its use to spread to other products in their portfolio. The study does not include current non-users of flexible packaging, who may expand the use even further should flex packs be adopted.

The flexible packaging industry is growing, Ritson says, but it’s just not growing as fast as it was when flexible was introduced to the market. The U.S. flexible packaging industry expanded to $31.1 billion in 2014 for a compounded annual growth rate of 3.8 percent, according to figures compiled by the Flexible Packaging Association. That represents 19 percent of the total $164 billion packaging industry. Due to economic conditions, the growth rate has varied widely over that time period, dipping in 2008-2009 during the recession and surging as much as 11.7 percent in 2011-2012. The industry is expected to see about 5.3 percent growth in 2015.

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