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Flexible food packaging growth is outpacing rigid packaging growth in the meat, poultry and seafood market, a new study finds.

According to the study, growth in flexible packaging (including barrier films) is expanding at four percent and higher. The study attributes this to flexibles’ advantageous properties including lighter weight, reduced material use and larger advertising space.

“The prevalence of case-ready meats, which use modified atmosphere packaging and vacuum packaging, will drive gains for barrier films,” said analyst Esther Palevsky. She expects vacuum pouch usage to expand with fresh, frozen and processed items and stand-up pouches to advance in folding carton applications.

Although plastic containers will see the fastest growth among rigid plastics, they will still face competition from flexibles such as windowed bags and handled pouches for prepared foods, according to the study. The one rigid format that is seeing growth is corrugated boxes, which the study predicts will benefit from shipping requirements and the adaption of moisture-resistant boxes for meats.

The full study, “Meat, Poultry & Seafood Packaging,” is available from The Freedonia Group, Inc., Cleveland, Ohio.


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