Demand for bag-in-box packaging from the dairy industry for foodservice products is increasing "steadily" but potential for growth still lies in the retail sector, says Smurfit Kappa.
The company's Veronika Necasova told DairyReporter.com that that there has been a significant increase in demand for bag-in-box packaging from dairy manufacturers supplying the foodservice industry.
But uptake at retail level is still slow, she said.
“There is a lot of demand from the dairy industry, especially thanks to the development of smoothies and milk shakes in fast foods restaurants who are already used to using bag-in-box systems,” she said.
“We think the highest growth will come from the smoothies and milk shakes sector, but the entire dairy sector is growing steadily.”
“The only channel where the bag-in-box still has to improve in dairy products is retail," she said.
While dairy retail adoption of bag-in-box is currently limited, other flexible packaging formats are being picked up by manufacturers seeking options for on-the-go products.
Manufacturers of dairy-based smoothies and drinking yogurt in particular are increasingly opting for pouch over plastic.
Hygiene and shelf-life
Necasova identified product quality as a key driver of this increasing demand for bag-in-box from the dairy sector.
“…the industrials are interested by bag-in-box because the hygienic norms and directives are still harder and bag-in-box meets perfectly all these constraints as it is one-way packaging,” she said.
Across the board, the beverage industry is drawn to bag-in-box by its hygiene, shelf-life, and environmental advantages.
“But in general, people are increasing aware of the bag-in-box advantages: long shelf life, convenience, environmental-friendliness, and it is suitable with aseptic, hot, and clean filling technologies.”
Wine continues to be the largest market for bag-in-box, but there is growing demand for bag-in-box from the juice sector, and for liquid eggs, post-mix, water, olive and other edible oils, said Necasova.
Pouches “really growing”
Meanwhile, the market for stand-up pouches is “really growing,” she said. Wine and cocktails account for the majority of this demand, she said.
Smurfit Kappa has witnessed this growth first hand with its Pouch-Up stand-up pouch range.
"In general we see that the Pouch-Up market is particularly popular in the cocktail market in the USA, in the UK, and it is also starting in France. Wine is also growing in Scandinavia, the US and France," she said.
“It is quite a new packaging, therefore the figures are not huge yet, but the growth is very high every year.”