The US flexible-packaging market is projected to grow a healthy 8% this year to reach $27.5 billion in sales in 2011. Across The Pond, the total European flex-pack market will top €11.9 billion in 2014, rising at about 2.5% a year. These forecasts come from the Flexible Packaging Assn.‘s annual “State of the Industry” report and the Flexible Packaging Europe trade group, respectively.
In his presentation at last week’s FPA annual meeting in Naples, FL, chairman William Burke says the industry’s profits will rise slightly and overall production volume will grow, based on an estimated US GDP growth of 3.0% this year. Burke is president and COO of flex-pack converter Nordenia USA.
As an association, the FPA gained 32 new members in the past year—16 converters and 16 supplier associate members. The annual meeting had 300 attendees—the largest in the past nine years. It was refreshingly nice to be at such a large industry gathering again.
So, it certainly seems like the flexible-packaging industry is doing really well.
- CPCs are still driving the conversion from rigid containers to flex packs, because flexibles save on space, weight, shipping costs and landfill space (if not recycled).
- There’s growth in emerging markets. Central and Eastern Europe will see 6.1% annual flex-pack growth to 2014, the FPE says. Demand in Russia specifically will grow by 8% a year. Asia-Pacific is predicted to see >5% average annual growth.
- Consumer desires for easy-to-prepare foods and processed foods in single-serve packs are pushing demand for flex packs. Secondarily, this is also helping the conversion away from rigid containers.
- Flex packs address current sustainability trends on a number of levels. By their very nature, they’re a source-reduction solution, and they can be more biodegradable, renewable and recyclable than some packaging forms.
Don’t miss the 2011 Quarter 2 issue of CONVERTING QUARTERLY. With a market focus on Flexible Packaging and a technical focus on Barrier Coatings, there’s plenty of important trend information and technical detail ahead.