The flexible packaging market is one of the fastest growing and profitable sectors of the economy today. It is the second largest packaging industry in the U.S. with about an 18% share of the $145 billion market. One of the biggest reasons for the success of flexible packaging comes from their stake in the food industry, both retail and institutional, as it accounts for about 58% of all shipments.
The efficiency and versatility allow for quality material handling of a variety of products and food processing equipment. A new report by Smithers Pira, a worldwide authority in the industry, projects that it will continue to grow at an annual rate of 3.4% over the next five years. According to a piece by EnvironmentalLeader.com, here are the four primary reasons business is good.
1.) Amount of Material: Known as “downgauging,” flexible packaging utilizes less resources and energy to produce than its competitors, which cuts down on the overall costs to make and ship.
2.) Plastic Films: One of the biggest aspects in the packaging world is maintaining and improving the shelf-life of the goods inside. Improvements in the plastic film used in flexible packaging, as opposed to things like glass and metal, is one of the driving factors of its current success.
3.) Overall Convenience: Virtually everything in the world is trending to solutions that are easier and more convenient for the end consumer. The demand for things like ready-made meals and fresh meats and seafood has created a demand for material to properly store them in. Flexible packaging recruiters have attacked this market and with the support of consumers have something of a strangle-hold on it for now.
4.) Environmentally Friendly: While robotics are moving the industrial industry into the next era, bio-based plastic films do so in the flexible packaging world. A company in Brazil now makes bags from locally grown sugar cane and in the U.S. Emerald Packaging has created a potato bag made from 25% potato starch resin and 75% low-density polyethylene mixture.
There are other factors to attribute the recent success of the flexible industry, but these are some of the biggest and most tangible. It’s good news for the estimated 79,000 people that work directly in the industry.