The North America flexible packaging market was valued at USD 59.7 billion in 2017, and it is expected to reach a value of USD 70.54 billion by 2023, at a CAGR of 2.82% over the forecast period (2018-2023). The scope of the market covers flexible packaging products, including pouches, bags, and wraps.
Increasing market demand for consumer-friendly packages and enhanced product protection is expected to propel flexible packaging as a viable and cost-effective alternative. Innovations in recent times have enabled the development of sustainable and customized flexible packaging solutions, and this has led to an unprecedented rise in the flexible packaging market.
Though US exports of aluminum foil were up till 2013, the robust domestic demand for aluminum has caused an increase in aluminum foil import from China, whose foil shipments to the United States have increased almost 10-fold, accounting to around 265 million pounds, in the last decade. The growing urban population, coupled with the increasing number of households, has been instrumental in bolstering the growth in the usage of aluminum packaging for household care, personal care, and cosmetic market in the region.
The food industry accounts for around 5% of the country’s GDP and is still growing, due to the greater demand for packaged food. With Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)-specified guidelines for packaging of food products, aluminum finds its place in the list of approved materials or coatings that can be used safely. The US cheese shipments to China, South Korea, and Mexico increased by more than 25% each, and exports to Japan and Southeast Asia increased by 16% and 8%, respectively. Furthermore, the changing consumer lifestyles in the region, coupled with the growing demand for snack products, are driving the demand for aluminum-packaged food products that offer an extended shelf life and sterility.
The United States consumer lifestyle trends are demanding convenience and portability of products, especially in the food sector. Flexible packaging companies in the United States need to comply with certain regulations like
As per flexible packaging association of United States, flexible packaging is the second-largest packaging segment in the country, with almost 20% share in the market. Flexible packaging is mainly used for food, which contributed to 60% of the shipments in total. The US flexible packaging industry is witnessing a healthy growth, as the industry was able to implement unique solutions for the many packaging challenges that surfaced. When considering the full life cycle of flexible packaging, it has been noted that it has superior sustainability attributes, including less usage of material, less energy, and creation of less GHG emissions and waste.
Amount of Plastic Storage Bags Used within 7 days, Region, 2015-2016
According to Flexible Packaging Association of the United States (FPA), an increasing number of brand owners are expected to shift to using flexible consumer packaging, for an increasing number of products compared to rigid packaging. Nearly one-third of the survey participants said that over the forecast period, they are likely to switch to a combination of mostly or entirely flexible packaging.
Flexible packaging is preferred by both consumers and producers, due to its advantages over rigid packaging. One of the significant benefits for the manufacturer and retailer is the reduced weight of the packaging, which results in reduced shipping and warehousing costs, while simultaneously creating more space on store shelves. For instance, in soups, new flexible options in tin cans reduce the weight to 4% compared to tin cans, which represent 40% of the total packaging of the product. As a result, it is expected that more products trend toward flexible packaging. Thus, driving manufacturers in the region to shift to flexible packaging, to cater to the consumer demand for convenient packaging.
Major Players: Amcor Ltd, Bemis Company Inc., Berry Plastics Corporation, Sealed Air Corporation, Mondi Group, Sonoco Products Company, American Packaging Corporation, Coveris Holdings SA, Novolex Holdings Inc., Winpak Ltd, amongst others.