ROCKVILLE, Md. – Demand for converted flexible packaging in the US is expected to exceed $18 billion in 2015, according to’s new study titledConverted Flexible Packaging. Gains will reflect a rebound in the US economy and will be supported by cost, performance and source reduction advantages over most rigid packaging formats.

Increasing demand for convenience-oriented and other further-processed food items, which often use more costly, higher-barrier packaging materials for extended shelf-life, will also propel growth, according to the study.

Converted flexible packaging's source reduction capabilities will be increasingly advantageous in light of initiatives by major retailers and packaged goods firms to evaluate the packaging used by their suppliers in terms of eco-friendliness and cost reduction.

Above-average growth in food applications will be driven by the need for more-costly films for extended shelf-life along with demographic trends, such as increased numbers of single-person and empty nest households and households where all adults work. These trends will boost demand for food in smaller package sizes and more convenient foods designed to reduce food preparation time.

Trends toward healthier eating and increased on-the-run eating will spur food manufacturers to expand their offerings of products, especially snacks, baked goods and beverages, in single-serving packages. Such products require more packaging than standard packages of similar items. The fastest-growing food-packaging markets for converted flexible packaging will be beverage, meat and related products, and snack food uses.