Consumers favour pouches over glass, paper and metal packaging

Global demand for pouches to grow by 2,489 million pack units between 2014 and 2017

By Jenny Eagle

- Last updated on GMT

Consumers favour pouches over glass, paper and metal packaging

Related tags: Packaging

Global demand for pouches in the food market will grow by 2,489 million pack units between 2014 and 2017 – a 14.9% increase in the total food pouches market size, according to Canadean.

It believes glass, metal and paper packaging are slowly falling out of fashion, while flexible packaging such as pouches is becoming more popular.

Consumers favour pouches over glass, paper & metal packaging

Ronan Stafford
Ronan Stafford

In its report; ‘Aligning packaging innovation with consumer trends in food – the impact of current and future behaviors in packaging’ it claims the global flexible food packaging market is set to reach close to 800 billion pack units in 2018, as consumers favour products such as pouches over traditional glass, paper and metal packaging. 

Ronan Stafford, senior analyst, Canadean, told FoodProductionDaily, the continued rise in the use of plastic packaging shows it’s more important than ever.

Pouches meet many of the trends driving food markets today: they’re convenient, offer something different to experience-seeking consumers in categories where they’ve rarely been used, such as ready meals, and they’re easy to open and re-seal​, he said.

For example, an October 2014 survey by Canadean found 1 in 5 (22%) consumers find tinned food difficult to open, highlighting a market pouches should be targeting​.”

The report states an estimated 786,095 million units of flexible packaging will be consumed within global retail food markets in 2018, which means flexible packaging is set to expand reaching 53.1% in the next three years.

Metal will record the slowest growth in the food packaging market

Metal, on the other hand, will record the slowest growth in the food packaging market, increasing at a marginal 2,5% CAGR between 2013 and 2018.  

The continued rise in the use of plastic packaging shows that it’s more important than ever for competing materials like glass and metal to target premium packaging opportunities, built on the material’s unique properties, in order to maintain profitability despite falling market share​,” added Stafford.

For example, the craft beer market shows how glass can help a quality product stand out from the crowd; we’ve also seen unique beverage can designs, such as for Japanese beer Sapporo in the UK.

Packaging manufacturers need to learn from these innovations and apply them in categories like edible oils, spreads, and soups​.

These are categories where we’ve seen rapid increases in the use of plastic packaging, but there’s also growing demand for more exciting, premium options​.”

Canadean claims pouches are growing so strongly in the packaging market because they reduce costs with lightweight, thin plastic walls and no outer packaging; they have easy-to-open and re-sealable grooves or zips; they minimise waste through sustainable and biodegradable material and improve the shelf-life of a product though multiple plastic layers.

Products can be stored more easily in cupboards

They are lightweight and durable, which means products can be stored more easily in cupboards, and they are less likely to get damaged and are lighter to transport. They also provide consumers with instant meals and on-the-go snacks.

In the report,l it states microwavable pouches, for example, are on the verge of replacing tinned ready-meal products and the outer plastic layers of microwavable pouches are designed to cool quickly while keeping contents hot.

It says Campbell is one of the manufacturers already capitalising on this trend. The recently released ‘Go Soup’ pouches target a younger, time-scarce generation of food lovers.

The flavours were specifically designed to appeal to more adventurous palettes and the packaging was introduced to compliment the product with a greater volume​,” said Kirsty Nolan, analyst, Canadean.

The packaging also features a transparent bottom, which allows consumers to assess the contents and its ingredients before purchase​.”