The global retort pouch market size was valued at USD 4.2 billion in 2020 and is anticipated to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.2% from 2020 to 2028. Factors such as changing consumer lifestyle and preferences; growing middle class; and working population, are expected to drive the demand for packaged foods, thereby also acting as key drivers for the growth of the retort pouch industry.
The growing demand for packaging solutions that can extend the shelf-life of various food products, such as meat, seafood, poultry, baby food, and pet food, is further likely to augment the demand for retort packaging over the forecast period. Furthermore, growing demand for pouches owing to their lightweight, convenience, and portability, as compared to rigid packaging products is further expected to have a positive impact on market growth.
The U.S. accounted for the largest share of the North American market in 2020. Polypropylene material segment accounted for the largest revenue share in the U.S. market and is expected to maintain its dominance over the forecast period. The aluminum foil segment is anticipated to be among the faster-growing materials during the forecast period.
Retorting is a process in which the prepared food that can either be semi-cooked or raw is sealed in a retort pouch. This retort pouch is then heated to a temperature usually ranging between 116 °C to 121 °C under high pressure for several minutes inside an autoclave or retort machine. This in turn leads to the killing of the microorganisms, thereby avoiding the spoilage of food and extending its shelf life.
Retort pouches have a high surface-to-volume ratio owing to which it takes less time to cook the food as compared to metal cans. In addition, the heat exposure to food is reduced in retort pouches, which further assists in retaining the nutritional value and taste of the food contained. In addition, retort pouches have a larger package space owing to which attractive graphics can be printed on the surface.
Based on material, the retort pouch market has been segmented into polypropylene, polyethylene, polyamide, PET, aluminum foil, and others. Retort packaging is generally manufactured from either three or four ply laminates with the inner layer generally made from polypropylene followed by an optional polyamide layer, a barrier layer of aluminum foil, and an outer layer of PET.
Polypropylene material dominated the global market in 2020, accounting for over 35% of the market revenues, and is expected to continue its dominance over the forecast period. Polypropylene acts as a sealing layer and provides flexibility and strength to the pouch. Polypropylene is a tough and robust plastic material that assists in retaining the freshness of various food items owing to which it is widely used in manufacturing retort pouches.
Polyamide offers properties such as puncture resistance, abrasion resistance heat stabilization, dimensional stability, and high stiffness thereby increasing the overall strength of the retort pouch. Aluminum foil, on the other hand, acts as a barrier layer and protects the pouch from odors, light, moisture, and gases. This material is expected to be among the faster-growing segments of the market, projected to grow at a CAGR of nearly 8% during the forecast period.
PET is generally used as an outer layer in retort pouches. It provides strength and also acts as an excellent printable surface owing to which it is widely used in making retort pouches. Moreover, properties including high strength, lightweight, non-reactive, flexibility, and recyclability among others make PET a suitable choice as a packaging material.
The global market has been segmented into stand-up pouches and flat pouches based on packaging type. Stand-up pouches packaging type is likely to have the highest growth rate over the forecast period owing to several advantages such as aesthetics, performance, and cost. The overall construction and aesthetics of stand-up pouches act as an excellent product marketing tool which is further expected to augment its demand in the coming years
Stand-up pouches assist in product differentiation as they have large surfaces on which high-quality graphics can be printed thereby attracting customers especially in supermarkets and convenience stores where people make quick purchasing decisions. In addition, these stand-up pouches also come with several value-added features such as spouts, tear notches, and zippers that offer convenience and functionality.
Various types of flat retort pouches such as pillow pouch, four-side-seal pouches, and three-side-seal pouches are used across several food and pet food applications. Flat retort pouches are used for packaging various food items such as meat, seafood, and poultry, among others, as well as pet food, including cat food and dog food. The growing trend towards the use of single-serve and portion packs is likely to drive the demand for this segment over the coming years.
Based on the closure type, the global market has been segmented into tear notch, zipper, and spout. The spout closure type segment is likely to grow at a CAGR of 7.6% over the forecast period owing to several advantages offered, including functionality and convenience in dispensing the contents in the pouch - this is most particularly applicable to liquid and semi-liquid products.
Zipper closure type segment emerged as the major segment in the market in 2020, accounting for over 40% of the overall revenues. Zippers offer several benefits including convenient recloseability, as well as protection against spills and contamination. Furthermore, zipper pouches also help in lesser food wastage as people can use the contents in the pouch at a later stage.
Tear notch assists the consumer in easy opening of the pouch in order to access the content within the pouch. Growing demand for single-serve packages, ready-to-eat meals, and smaller portion packages is likely to augment the growth of this segment over the forecast period.
In terms of application, the market has been segmented into food, beverages, pet food, and others. Food emerged as the largest application segment in 2020, accounting for nearly 55% of the market revenues, and is expected to continue its dominance over the forecast period. Retort pouches are widely used for packaging several food products, including soups, sauces, baby food, dry-ready meals, frozen ready meals, chilled ready meals, meal replacement products, and dairy products.
Pet food application segment is likely to have the highest CAGR over the forecast period. The growing trend with respect to the concept of the humanization of pets has led to an increased number of people owning pets and feeding them high-quality food. In addition, the rising trend towards pet adoption, especially among families characterized by working parents and one child, is further likely to augment the demand for pet food, which is in turn likely to favor the market growth.
Retort pouches are also used for packaging several types of beverages, including ready-to-drink products, energy & sports drinks, soft drinks, and juices. Growing demand for a wide variety of beverages, most particularly organic and healthy beverages, is expected to have a positive impact on the market growth over the coming years.
Asia Pacific dominated the global retort packaging market with a revenue share of nearly 33% in 2020. Asia Pacific comprises several emerging economies including China and India. Factors such as changing consumer lifestyles, rising disposable incomes, and growing demand for packaged foods such as ready-to-eat meals, are expected to augment the demand for retort pouches over the forecast period.
North America region is slated to witness a growth rate of over 6.4% during the forecast period. Increasing use of pouches in place of rigid packaging solutions, owing to the former’s superior properties such as lightweight, portability, and reduced material usage, is anticipated to have a significant impact on the overall market growth in the region.
The Middle East & Africa region is likely to witness the highest growth rate over the forecast period. Factors including infrastructure development, high birth rates, and urban expansion have increased the demand for foods and beverages across the Middle East & Africa region, in recent years. In addition, the rising consumption of seafood, meat, and poultry is expected to have a positive impact on the overall market growth during the forecast period.
Key vendors in the retort packaging market include Amcor plc, ProAmpac LLC, Sonoco Products Company, Mondi, Coveris Holdings S.A., Clondalkin Group Holdings BV, Sealed Air Corporation, Huhtamaki Group, Constantia Flexibles, Flair Flexible Packaging Corporation, and Winpak Ltd., among others. Companies engaged in manufacturing retort pouches offer retort pouches that are available in different formats as well as sizes.
Other key players operating in the market include DNP America, LLC, HPM Global Inc., Sopakco Packaging, Fujimori Kogyo Co., Ltd., Clifton Packaging Group Limited, Constantia Flexibles, and Floeter India Retort Pouches (P) Ltd among others. Companies operating in the market further offer customization in terms of size, format, materials, and closure type.
Base year for estimation
2017 - 2019
2021 - 2028
Revenue in USD Million, and CAGR from 2020 to 2028
North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, South & Central America, Middle East & Africa
U.S., Canada, Mexico, UK, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, China, India, Japan, Brazil, UAE
Revenue forecast, competitive landscape, growth factors, and trends
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This report forecasts revenue growth at global, regional & country levels, and provides an analysis on the latest trends and opportunities in each of the sub-segments from 2017 to 2028. For the purpose of this study, Grand View Research has segmented the global retort pouch market report on the basis of material, packaging type, closure type, application, and region:
Material Outlook (Revenue, USD Million; 2017 - 2028)
Packaging Type Outlook (Revenue, USD Million; 2017 - 2028)
Closure Type Outlook (Revenue, USD Million; 2017 - 2028)
Application Outlook (Revenue, USD Million; 2017 - 2028)
Regional Outlook (Revenue, USD Million; 2017 - 2028)
Central & South America
Middle East and Africa
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The global COVID-19 pandemic has led to a sudden pause to manufacturing activities across the globe, affecting the demand for plastics and also production & processing of them. The most critically impacted end-use segments of the plastics industry include automotive & transportation, consumer goods, industrial equipment, construction, and electronics. The report will account for Covid19 as a key market contributor.
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