MIAMI — This an excellent time to be in the stand-up pouch business. And the next few years look pretty darn good as well.
That's because the popularity of the stand-up pouch is expected to continue to grow over the next few years as billions more such pouches will find their way into consumers' hands around the world, according to Jorg Schönwald, president of Schönwald Consulting. His company provides international packaging, plastics and environmental consulting and looked at the market through 2018.
The growing use of these pouches means that the expected sale of laminates and fitments used to make them will continue to increase as well, he said.
“Stand-up pouches are accepted by the consumer. They have very competitive costs. It depends on the laminate, on the attractiveness of the pouches, where there are fitments or not,” Schönwald said. “Stand-up pouches have still the differentiation to other types of packaging. They have plenty of room to grow.”
About 165 billion stand-up pouches were use around the world last year.
When it comes to the sheer number of stand-up pouches consumed, Asia leads the way, with a 54 percent share of the global market and 88 billion stand-up pouches used last year.
But while folks in that part of the world consume the most stand-up pouches overall, the per capita consumption rate of 19 per year falls behind both North America and Europe, Schönwald said at the recent Global Pouch Forum in Miami. That's because there's just a lot more people in that part of the world, where annual the stand-up pouch growth rate is 8.4 percent.
North America consumers, in the United States and Canada, used 19.8 billion stand-up pouches last year, but had a per capita consumption rate of 51 stand-up pouches per year and an annual growth rate of 7.5 percent. North America has 12 percent of the market.
That compares with Europe's 33.4 billion stand-up pouches consumed in 2014, for a per capita consumption rate of 41 per year and an annual growth rate of 7.7 percent. Europe has 20 percent of the market.
Latin America and the Caribbean, meanwhile, consume 22 stand-up pouches per capita per year, for a total of 14.5 billion last year. Growth in that part of the world is 6.6 percent annually. Latin America and the Caribbean has 9 percent of the global market.
And Africa consumes eight stand-up pouches per capita per year, for a total of 8.7 billion units last year and a growth rate of 4 percent annually, Schönwald said. Africa has 5 percent of the global market.
Global growth for stand-up pouches is pegged at about 7 percent, the consultant said, and overall consumption is expected to increase to 222 billion units in 2018.
Stand-up pouches still trail PET bottles, beverage cans and liquid cartons in world consumption, Schönwald said. But, he added, that means there's room for growth.
Last year's 165 billion stand-up pouches last year compared with 520 billion units for PET bottles. Beverage cans checked in at 310 billion units in 2014 and liquid cartons posted sales of 380 billion units, Schönwald reported.
Schönwald Consulting's look at the stand-up pouch market included Doypack, Cheer Pack and FlexCan stand-up pouches and excluded all others, even if they had the ability to stand.