Report flexes packaging trends and drivers

A snapshot look at the key trends and drivers in retail and institutional food and markets is published in Flexible Packaging Assn.’s 144-page report, U.S. Packaging Industry and Opportunities for Flexible Packaging.

In retail food packaging, key trends and drivers were:

  • New product introductions and product line extensions.

  • More focus on health.

  • Increase in consumer convenience and home preparation of meals.

  • Rapid rise of warehouse club stores, which has increased the use of larger sizes of packaging and multipacks.

  • Demographic trends that increase the use of single-serve items and smaller packaging.

    Stand-up pouches, barrier materials, intelligent and smart packaging, modified and controlled atmosphere packaging (MAP/CAP), and aseptic packaging were cited by the report as areas of opportunity for flexibles.

    Institutional food packaging trends and drivers included:

  • Visual package appeal will remain a low priority.

  • Product freshness and flavor must be maintained.

  • Lower shipping weight is desired to reduce transport costs.

  • Increased importance on storage space, and ease of disposal.

  • Brand equity is less an issue.

    The report said flexible packaging opportunities exist in displacing canned foods and beverages in the institutional market, with ease of disposal and space reduction listed as advantages.

    Key opportunities for flexibles in both retail and institutional food segments will continue to exist in the following areas:

  • Case-ready meat packaging, with MAP/CAP designs, new barrier substrates, and new flexible designs.

  • Stand-up pouches for dry foods such as cereals, cookies, and crackers.

  • Aseptically packaged and retorted foods.

  • Pouches for noncarbonated beverages catering to young age groups.

    Released by FPA in July, the report was prepared by Kline and Company, and edited by Jim Peters of J. Peters Associates, Inc. Peters is also a contributing editor with Packaging World magazine. The report is available free to FPA members; $3귔 to nonmembers. For more information, call 410/694-0800, or visit www.flexpack.org.

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