Packaging Innovation
Flexible packaging
November 6, 2015

Flexible packaging: what does the future hold?

The packaging industry has changed dramatically in the last decade, moving from a one-size-fits-all approach to one of flexible packaging that can be tailored to the properties of a wide range of products. As flexible packaging is the most economical and convenient packaging method to date, it comes as no surprise that store shelves and pantries all over the world are stocked with flexibly packaged products. Never before has packaging been so versatile in terms of shape, size and appearance – not to mention practical in terms of opening and reclosing features. The future of flexible packaging looks promising.

Flexible packaging is here to stay

Flexible packaging As consumers are increasingly focusing on convenience and sustainability, barrier properties that extend shelf life – such as zips and spouts – are becoming the new norm in packaging. Experts believe flexible packaging is headed for an annual growth rate of 3%, resulting in an overall market value of $210 billion by 2020. Asia is the largest market for flexible packaging today, accounting for 40% of global market volume, followed by Western Europe and North America. Flexible packaging is mostly used in the food sector, with flexible food packaging showing an annual growth rate of 4% in terms of volume over the last five years. The beverage sector and pharmaceutical sector follow close behind.

Pouches to take center stage

There is a wide range of flexible packaging on the market, but all-plastic barrier pouches are forecast to become the most popular of all. Packaging designers and manufacturers are tirelessly developing new pouch designs to meet growing consumer demand for easy-to-open-and-close packaging as we speak, while engineers are focusing on creating new machinery and efficient processes to ensure pouches will soon be filled at the same speed of bottles.   Inspired by