Developing countries are leading the way in packaging consumption, according to the latest Flexible Packaging Association’s (F.P.A.) research. By 2021, overall retail packaging is projected to expand by 23% in Africa, 18% in Asia, 8% in South America, 8% in Europe and 4% in North America, according to F.P.A.’s State of the Industry report.

The major drivers include convenience, on-the-go eating, recloseable snacks and portion control, noted Alison Keane, president of the F.P.A. Population growth and the expansion of the middle class in certain developing countries are fueling their economies and flexible packaging growth.

“We’re seeing growth in snack items like bars for breakfast, and resealability through flexible packaging is super important from a convenience standpoint to keep snacks fresh so that it still tastes good the next time you eat it,” Ms. Keane observed.

A more holistic lifestyle, especially among millennials, is not just a North American or European mega-movement.

“Certainly, the emerging markets in China and India are following the same trends,” Ms. Keane said.

Another key driver involves buying an “experience” that packaged foods provide. She said it’s not just buying a product to satiate hunger, but rather, the savoring and enjoyment it also brings.

“Consumers are not necessarily as brand loyal as they were in the past or looking at just a specific product,” she explained. “They’re looking at the whole company and what it is all about. Consumers consider sustainability of the company and not just the product.”

It seems that packaged snacks and baked foods have a lot going from a global perspective.