Converted flexible packaging demand in the USA will expand 2.4 per cent yearly to 6.8 billion lb in 2008, valued at $14 billion, predicts a new study from The Freedonia Group.

The growth will be driven by technological advances such as breathable films and resealable stand-up pouches, as well as manufacturers’ needs for higher performance packaging with enhanced graphics capabilities. Plastics films will continue to make inroads on paper and foil, with particularly good growth increases for PP film. Research will focus on improving strength, sealing, barrier and other packaging properties, as well as graphic capabilities, while maintaining a competitive cost position.

Demand for film used for converted flexible packaging will rise 2.8 per cent annually to 2008, according to the study. While PE will remain the leader, best opportunities are anticipated for PP. EVA films will provide the fastest growth prospects, due to increasing barrier requirements in food markets. PVC and PVdC films will exhibit the slowest increases.

Paper packaging, despite marginal demand growth, will remain an important player due to its low cost, environmental compatibility and use in laminations, says Freedonia. The paper segment will be stimulated by advances in technology and manufacturing techniques, spurring innovations in such areas as laminated packaging. Foils will maintain important niche applications for light, moisture and other barrier properties, and excellent aesthetics.

Food packaging will provide above average opportunities, with the snack and produce markets offering the best growth prospects.



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