Demand Increases, Pouches Look Likely to Become Packaging Industry Staple

Demand Increases, Pouches Look Likely to Become Packaging Industry Staple

Keeping up with packaging trends is just as important for packaging machinery manufacturers as for the packagers of products themselves.  As the most popular packages in the industry change, so must the equipment used to fill, cap, label and otherwise prepare the product.  A new study from the Freedonia Group unsurprisingly suggests that pouches are more than just a packaging trend, and industry professionals better get used to having them around.

According to the study, demand for pouches will reach $9.4 billion in the United States alone by the year 2018.  An article by Julie Harris at Packaging Buzz points out that pouches not only have an aesthetic appeal, but additional advantages as a lightweight, easily portable package.  The reduced weight stems in part from reduced material use which allows more packaging to be shipped for a lower cost when compared to rigid containers.  In other words, pouches not only look good on the shelf, but they can reduce costs for packagers as well.  

For packaging machinery manufacturers, the plastic bottle has been the standard for a number of years now.  Of course, the plastic bottle comes in many shapes, sizes and forms, but more machinery than not has been built for some variation of a plastic bottle over the last decade plus.  Arguably, the growing popularity of the pouch represents a shift in the package of choice, though only time will tell how such a shift plays out.  What is known for sure is that any shift can and likely will change the way packaging machinery is manufactured.  Inline filling machines and rotary fillers are popular choices for plastic bottles.  Spindle capping machines are popular for the screw on caps used on a majority of plastic bottles.  Power belt conveyors easily move most bottles from one packaging machine to another.

While some of this machinery may just require simple modifications to work with pouches, new machinery will undoubtedly be developed as the package evolves, whether the pouch continues to grow or whether a new, as yet unknown package is developed in the future.  While inline machinery may be used for a pouch, other options are undoubtedly available.  Some pouches, for example, come on a roll that allows the filling and sealing to be done on one simple machine.  As a shift to new packaging options occurs, R&D in the packaging machinery industry becomes even more important. 

Of course, plastic bottles and pouches are not the only containers used to package a product, and a large part of packaging machinery manufacturing will always be the design and manufacture of custom equipment.  For now, it appears that the pouch is moving out of the realm of a special, or custom, project for filling machines, capping machines and other packaging equipment and into the realm of a packaging industry staple.