What is flexible packaging?
Flexible packaging is one of the fastest growing areas of the packaging industry. This type of packaging combines all the benefits of paper, film, aluminium foil and plastic to create a packaging solution with a variety of protective properties that will extend the shelf-life of your products while using minimum amounts of material.
Any type of packaging whose shape can be easily changed is considered flexible packaging; stand up pouches, bags, overwraps and liners are some of the most common flexible packaging types. Nowadays, these are used across a variety of industries, including food and drink, cosmetics and medicine.
What are the benefits of flexible packaging?
Flexible packaging is an industry innovation which allows retailers to increase the value and marketability of their offering. Food products, for example, benefit from a longer shelf life and protection against contamination. Flexible stand up pouches can also be resealed for later use, which helps reduce food waste.
There are sustainable advantages to flexible packaging throughout the entire lifecycle. For one, the production of flexible packaging creates less waste and uses up less natural resources, thanks to the many technological innovations packaging manufacturers benefit from nowadays.
Contemporary production processes also require less energy and water, therefore reducing the overall carbon footprint of flexible packaging. What’s more, stand up pouches are very lightweight and therefore easy to transport, which further reduces the energy consumption.
In addition to their sustainability, flexible packaging products offer a number of performance and design benefits. Stronger and more easily resealed than traditional alternatives, flexible packaging is the best option available on the market when it comes to product protection.
Both consumer convenience and high-quality design add to the shelf appeal of products in flexible stand up pouch packaging. Whether it’s food staying fresh for longer, cosmetics being easier to access or medicine remaining safe, the advantages of flexible packaging are adaptable to any industry.
What’s more, shipping costs being lower thanks to the lightweight nature of the packaging, the end product reaches the customer at a much more accessible price.
Through technological innovation and commitment to increased sustainability flexible packaging helps retailer across a range of industries make their products safer, more convenient and enjoyable.
How flexible packaging trends are shifting and why
Having come a long way since the 1960s, when the only clear packaging option was cellophane, flexible packaging is now made of a series of revolutionary printable substrates. So what else has changed in the world of packaging since then?
Convenience is key
The lifestyle of traditional consumers is drastically different to what it was a couple of decades ago. Younger audiences in particular are always on the go, looking for products that are both heathier and more fitted to their busy day. Flexible stand up pouches can perform to their expectations, delivering a product that’s easy to store, consume and dispose of.
The efficiency of e-commerce
Being able to quickly and easily access dozens of shops online further highlights the importance of convenience. When battling for the attention of customers who can shop anywhere with a click of a button, retailers look to flexible packaging as the source of their competitive edge.
Incorporating flexible packaging solutions in your ecommerce supply chain will help you ensure that your products are intact when they reach your customers, thanks to the high performance seals and durability of the stand up pouches.
The view on plastics
In the current environmentally conscious, zero-waste social climate, disdain for the use of plastics is growing exponentially, fuelled by media outlets focusing solely on one-time-use plastics and all the negative traits associated with them.
Flexible packaging manufacturers, meanwhile, are leading the effort to reframe plastic packaging in the context of circular economy, highlighting the relative benefits of stand up pouches compared to traditional packaging when it comes to the environmental footprint of the entire product lifecycle.
What will be the future of the packaging industry?
Following the original leap from rigid to flexible packaging, the next step in the evolution of sustainable product packaging is a shift to recyclable film structures such as mono-material. Continuous progress in creating high-performance recyclable packaging materials will result in growing popularity of stand up pouches as the preferred option for many retailers.