The Flexible Packaging Association (FPA), Annapolis, Md., released the 2018 State of the Flexible Packaging Industry Report, which provides industry converters, suppliers, investors and analysts with insight into the performance (i.e. growth, revenue/volume expectations, profitability and capital spending) of the U.S. flexible packaging industry over the past year.
The data and information also examines several other aspects of the U.S. flexible packaging industry, including:
• Performance (growth, revenue/volume expectations, profitability and capital spending)
• Materials and processes (printing and expected material usage)
• End-uses (end-use forecast and U.S. Census Bureau retail segments data)
• Structure and consolidation (mergers and acquisitions activity)
• Imports and exports (trade outlook)
• Industry vision, challenges and critical issues
The total flexible packaging industry is estimated to be approximately $31 billion in annual sales for 2017, which includes packaging for retail and institutional food and non-food (including medical and pharmaceutical), industrial materials, shrink and stretch films, retail shopping bags, consumer storage bags and wraps and trash bags.
Those packaging materials that perform multiple processes, such as printing, laminating, coating, extrusion and bag/pouch manufacturing are said to add significant value to the flexible materials. This segment of the industry is estimated to be about $24.1 billion for 2017, and does not include retail shopping bags, consumer storage bags or trash bags.
Flexible packaging represents approximately 19% of the total $167 billion U.S. packaging industry, and is the second largest packaging segment behind corrugated paper and just ahead of bottles and miscellaneous rigid plastics packaging. Flexible packaging’s solid long-term strength, coupled with flexible packaging replacing other packaging formats, resulted in the growth of flexibles from 17% in 2000 to the current level of 19% in 2017.