Why pouches are such a popular packaging choice - Readability Ltd

Why are pouches such a popular form of packaging in 2022?

Published by Sam Edney on 16th June 2022 | General

The popularity of flexible packaging – such as pouches for food, supplements, coffee and tea and pet and animal feeds – is growing constantly.

Factors such as versatility, convenience, weight and ease of storage, whether flat-packed or filled with product, all make pouches attractive for manufacturers, wholesalers and consumers alike – in fact all the way up the value chain.

The sheer range of substrates available for the manufacture of pouches adds to their popularity, because it means they can be used for many diverse types of foodstuffs.

These range from dry foods requiring only low barrier properties, to wet products such as pet food and drinks which required high barrier substrates.

Summary benefits of pouches for manufacturers and suppliers

As described in our previous blog on the benefits of digitally printed pouches, there are a number of reasons why pouches have become popular with manufacturers. Pouches:

  • Reduce waste
  • Reduce costs of origination
  • Reduce costs of shipping and storage
  • Reduce timeframes and time to market
  • Are great to attract shoppers’ attention on the shelf
  • Keep contents fresh
  • Can be manufactured from a variety of materials
  • Can be manufactured in a range of shapes and sizes
  • Can be customised for multiple requirements
  • Can be used to package a wide variety of products e.g. liquid, viscous, granulated and solid products
  • Can be recycled or composted, depending on the material, making them a greener alternative to other plastic based packaging
  • Can carry brand messaging
  • Can entice customers to buy in store

What industry sectors are driving demand for pouches?

The main sectors where demand for pouches is growing significantly include the following:

  • Food and snacks
  • Pet foods
  • Coffee, tea and other beverages
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Nutrition
  • Sport supplements
  • Personal care
  • Household cleaning materials

According to Mordor Intelligence, the pouch packaging market was valued at USD 18.03 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach a value of USD 22.65 billion by 2026). (Source)

Furthermore, numbers published in a Harris Poll chartered by the Flexible Packaging Association show that 83% of all brand owners currently use flexible packaging of some type.

Consumer trends driving growth in demand for pouches

Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, there was a strong trend towards the consumption of snacks and drinks ‘on the go’. This snacking trend is continuing post-pandemic in Europe and North America, particularly with re-usable and open-close packaging solutions.

The reason for this popularity is that pouches are light in weight, fitting easily into bags and briefcases. For consumers, this translates into simplicity and convenience, specifically:

  • Pouches can be opened and resealed easily to maintain freshness of the contents
  • When used for food or drinks on the go, pouches are light and easy to carry in a bag or backpack
  • Pouches are easy to use, with simple open and close mechanisms
  • With an eye on sustainability, a greater proportion of pouches can now be composted or recycled
  • When stored, they take up less space
  • Pouches are finding their way into ever more uses, with pet foods being a particular growth area as regulatory authorities legislate more on freshness and standards than ever before
  • Pouches (particularly stand-up pouches) are noticeable and engaging when displayed on supermarket shelves, meaning that consumers tend to gravitate towards them increasingly.

Pouch convenience

The lightweight, slim dimensions, easy open and seal mechanisms and ability to keep the contents fresh are all major factors in the convenience of flexible pouches, whether used for wet or dry products in both human and pet food categories.

In fact, the rapid increase in popularity of resealable stand up pouches for food packaging and storage is in large part due to the demand for food on the go, and the inherent need to open and reseal the pouch whilst maintaining freshness.

Popular features of pouches

Several innovative features can be incorporated into stand-up pouches to improve their function and usability. These include:

  • Slider closures
  • Spouts
  • Reseal zips
  • One way gas release valves
  • Hanging slots
  • Tear notches.

The most popular pouch types

Many of the features mentioned above can be included as standard into standard size pouches, though bespoke pouch packaging designs can also be manufactured, subject to certain requirements.

As discussed, convenience is a key driver in pouch adoption, hence resealable pouches are among the most popular types. Other pouch types include:

  • Vacuum pouches
  • Aseptic pouches
  • Retort pouches
  • Shaped pouches
  • Stick pouches

Flat-bottomed or stand up pouches are adaptable and can be customised to the shape and size of the intended content, with the pouch material selected to match the specifications and requirements of the product contents.

Next steps

For custom pouch designs produced exactly how you want them, with designs that can be changed around quickly, delivered fast and with no origination costs, speak to one of our pouch specialists at Readability today and we’ll help you navigate the choices to arrive at the right solution for your product. Call us on 01440 712 273, email hello@readability.co.uk or complete our contact form.

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