A lot of changes are occurring in the food packaging system from the way the food is produced to how it is distributed, stored, processed and retailed. Food pouches are common flexible packaging formats for everyday food products. They combine the advantages of traditional, rigid food packaging with modern flexible material. The aluminum-free pouches are designed for packaging of food and has numerous technical advantages. Packages are also required to be recyclable and easily disposable therefore most companies have switched to using the European and USA-patented Ensobarr barrier coating, which replaces the aluminum laminating in packaging boards.
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The aluminum free food pouches with value added features continue to stimulate the growth for pouches overall, with spouted pouches and retort pouches posting fast gains. The aluminum free food pouch market can be segmented on the basis of material type, pouch type, by its application and by region. On the basis of material type, the market is segmented into flexible plastic which includes films and sheet, rigid plastic and others.
On the basis of pouch type, the market can be segmented into flat pouches, stand up pouches and others. On the basis of application, it can be segmented into vacuum, re-sealable, retort, spouted and stick market.
On the basis of region, the market is segmented into North America, Europe and emerging countries of Asia Pacific. Many of the fresh food packaging companies are shifting to aluminum free food pouches as it offers customization and provides immense scope to create new designs and also these pouches are eco-friendly as they are non-toxic and biodegradable.
With the general use of packaging and development of modern techniques for food safety and commercialization, efficient packaging has become necessary for all food types from fresh produce to ready to eat meals. The aluminum free food pouch also known as the alu-free pouch are designed to have numerous advantages which include superior barrier property, perfect air-tightness, optimal puncture resistance to preserve the organoleptic qualities of the food, diverse options for easy opening, rotoprinting to optimize product communication, customization of the pouch according to desired visual effects like glossy, matte, transparent etc. Also packing food in plastic is much more convenient as users can view the contents in the pouch which is not possible in aluminum pouches. Also, aluminum reacts with the acids in acidic food, therefore most of the companies are opting for making aluminum free food pouches.
The use of aluminum free food pouches are widely accepted by the consumers as they are lightweight and easy to handle, in addition to being eco-friendly. In addition, these pouches are more cost effective as compared to aluminum pouches as they offer flexibility and ensure better shelf visibility, thereby driving the growth of this market.
By region, Asia Pacific is leading the market due to increasing number of middle class customers with greater spending power, who are more appealed toward cost-effective aluminum free pouches, especially in India and China. But this can only be credited due to high population in these countries and according to the per capita consumption of these pouches. The market in Asia Pacific is followed by Europe and North American markets respectively.
Product innovation and expansion are the key strategies adopted by major players in the aluminum-free food pouch market. Some of the key players in this market are Astrapak Limited, Berry Plastic Corporation, Coveris, Mondi Group, and Sonoco. These companies provide aluminum free food pouches as they have good expertise and more experience gained over the years which has improved their practices and processes to become more efficient.