The U.S. flexible packaging industry is estimated to be $39 billion in sales for 2021, up from $34.8 billion in 2020, and industry volume is estimated to be 27 billion pounds of shipments in 2021.
The Flexible Packaging Association’s 2022 State of the Flexible Packaging Industry Report provides industry converters, suppliers, investors, and analysts with insight into the performance of the U.S. flexible packaging industry over the past year.
The focus of the report is on the segment of the industry that adds significant value to flexible materials, usually by performing multiple processes, such as printing, laminating, coating, extrusion, and bag/pouch manufacturing. This segment of the industry is estimated to be $29.5 billion for 2021 and does not include retail shopping bags, consumer storage bags, or trash bags.
The FPA bases its annual report on data from converter and supplier members, along with several U.S. Census components, and the survey results were tabulated in mid-2022. Much of the data reported is for the year 2021 along with some projections for 2022.
• Flexible packaging represents approximately 20% of the total $184.65 billion U.S. packaging industry and is the second largest packaging segment behind corrugated paper.
• Films and resins account for the largest input spend for converters with those two categories accounting for over two-thirds of material purchases.
• 2021 saw a record number of merger and acquisition activity with 62 transactions recorded.
• Imports and exports each jumped an estimated 18%.
• FPA converter and supplier members ranked “Labor/Talent” as the industry’s biggest issue for 2022.
This definitive source of data and information also examines several other aspects of the U.S. flexible packaging industry including:
• Performance (growth, revenue/volume expectations, profitability, and capital spending)
• Materials and processes (printing and expected material usage)
• End-uses (end-use forecast)
• Structure and consolidation (M&A activity)
• Imports and exports (trade outlook)
• Industry vision, challenges, and critical issues
FPA gathers the information contained in the report through several reliable industry sources, including the FPA members' State of the U.S. Flexible Packaging Industry Survey; the FPA non-members' Industry-Wide Converter Survey; the Annual Survey of Manufactures (ASM), published by the U.S. Census Bureau; the U.S. Department of Labor; the U.S. Department of Commerce; industry analysts; and investment banking reports. Data collected from these sources provides a more complete picture of the U.S. flexible packaging industry and helps to crosscheck information regarding industry size, structure, market segments, and key packaging products.