Demand for pouches used in meat packaging is forecast to climb 5.3% per year to $220 million in 2021, with unit gains expected to advance 3% per year to 1.6 billion units. Above average gains will be driven by the growing preference for products that make meal preparation more convenient. These and other trends are presented in Meat Packaging Market in the US, a new study from The Freedonia Group, a Cleveland-based industry research firm.
Stand-up pouches are well-positioned for growth in the frozen meat and jerky sectors while retort pouches will continue to see more use in the packaging of processed meat. However, many conversions have already occurred, mitigating gains somewhat going forward.
According to analyst Katie Wieser, “Pouches have a number of advantages and disadvantages that impact their position in meat packaging.” For processed meats, the ability to be easily displayed is a key benefit, resulting in greater use of stand-up and peggable formats and high-quality printing. Additionally, the ability to integrate value-added features has allowed pouches to gain share in all major markets for meat packaging.
However, cost and slower production speeds will limit gains for many processed meat applications. Furthermore, the packaging of ready-to-eat meat products in pouches is not feasible in many cases due to the fact that these often must remain upright in their packages.