FPA publishes its 2018 State of the Flexible Packaging Industry Report

The Flexible Packaging Association (FPA, Annapolis, Maryland) has published its 2018 State of the Flexible Packaging Industry Report. The market research provides industry converters, suppliers, investors and analysts with valuable insights into the performance (i.e. growth, revenue/volume expectations, profitability, and capital spending) of the U.S. flexible packaging industry over the past year. This definitive source of data and information also examines several other aspects of the U.S. flexible packaging industry including:

  • Materials and processes (printing and expected material usage)
  • End-uses (end-use forecast and U.S. Census Bureau retail segments data)
  • Structure and consolidation (M&A activity)
  • Imports and exports (trade outlook)
  • Industry vision, challenges and critical issues

The total flexible packaging industry worldwide was estimated at $31 billion in annual sales in 2017. The $31 billion 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. The focus of this report is on the segment of the industry that adds significant value to the flexible materials, usually by performing multiple processes – such as printing, laminating, coating, extrusion, and bag/pouch manufacturing. This segment of the industry is estimated to be worth about $24.1 billion for 2017, and doesn’t 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, has resulted in the growth of flexibles from 17% in 2000 to the current level of 19% in 2017. This year’s State of the Industry Report also includes data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2016 Annual Survey of Manufactures (ASM) full set of reports for all U.S. NAICS industries. Census Bureau data for 2017 isn’t expected to become available until the late Fall of 2019 or early 2020, said the FPA. In addition, information for this report was collected from the U.S. Departments of Labor and Commerce, industry analysts, investment banking reports, and other authoritative sources, to provide a more complete and insightful picture of the flexible packaging industry. The FPA 2018 State of the U.S. Flexible Packaging Industry Report is a benefit of FPA membership and is available in the Members Only section of www.flexpack.org. The report is available to non-members for $4,000 (USD). For more information please visit www.flexpack.org.


Tony Curcio is the editor of Graphic Arts Magazine.