US flexible plastic packaging sales in the 2011 to 2013 time frame was in the $18 billion to $20 billion range, based on a review of data on the Internet. Historically, packaging sales growth from year to year follows retail sales growth. However, it is likely that flexible plastic packaging sales growth will exceed the historical rates. Some of the reasons for this are:
1. Customer Acceptance. Flexible plastic packaging allows for advances by packagers in design, open-ability, reseal-ability, size, package messaging, and other features which have great appeal to customers.
2. Better Performing Plastics. Technical developments are allowing packagers to use better performing plastics in flexible plastic packaging that provide greater shelf-life, lower weight, and other desirable properties.
3. Active Packaging. Technical developments are now allowing packages to be “active” in that packaging materials can do such things as absorb oxygen, water, and other undesirable chemicals and be antimicrobial.
4. Intelligence Packaging. As in 2 and 3 above, technical developments are allowing packagers to insert sensors, communication signals, safety-related devices, and other desirable “intelligence” systems into the packaging.
Because of the above reasons, flexible plastic packages should provide many increased benefits to the seller and the buyer of products in flexible plastic packaging. These increased benefits should lead to better sales growth than for other packaging.