Stand-up pouches saw an increase of 33% (80m units) in the US in 2013, and will be one of the fastest growing types of packaging up to 2017, according to Euromonitor International.
Baby food packaging will boost the sector, with China and Russia showing the largest growth.
Karine Dussimon, senior packaging analyst, Euromonitor International, told FoodProductionDaily.com that parents have hectic lifestyles and want convenient options for feeding babies and toddlers.
The fastest growing prepared baby food pack size will be smaller than commonly seen in previous years.
“Pack sizes below 100g in baby food are typically prepared baby food products, such as meal preparations,” she said.
“Pouches are anticipated to continue to gain some good unit volume growth in certain food categories on the back of increasing consumer demand for safe packs. This will be especially the case in baby food among developed countries.”
In France, it is expected 60g packs will be the size with the highest growth (19% CAGR 2012-2017), while the standard 100g pack size will be -2% CAGR.
Russia will see 75% CAGR growth for its 90g pack size, due to a 2012 product launch from food manufacturer Wimm-Bill-Dann Foods under its Agusha brand.
“Russia boasts very interesting prospects for baby food packaging overall, ranking second globally in terms of 2013-2018 actual unit volume growth,” said Dussimon. China is ranked first.
“Pack offerings which are deemed safer and more portable than more traditional ones such as glass jars are predicted to fare well, especially among the urban areas of Russia.”
Glass jars will still dominate the market in unit volume terms, added Dussimon. However, parents are demanding packs which are easy to carry and safe for toddlers to handle.
Pouches are used for products including confectionery, sauces and rice. Manufacturers claim they are more environmentally friendly than other packaging.
“Advocates for pouches say their lighter weight - compared with other pack types such as glass jars - bodes well for the environment as they mean less packaging usage,” said Dussimon. “These claims can, however, be countered by difficulty when it comes to recycling. As an example, glass jars are much more widely recycled than pouches.”