7 Benefits of Flexible Packaging
27 March 2020
As flexible packaging continues to rise in popularity in the packaging industry, more and more companies are choosing to transition to this packaging method. Manufacturers continuously look for ways to improve products and stand out above competition. Having unique design elements helps draw the consumer in, thus ignoring hundreds of similar products in the process. Incorporating flexibility into your packaging is valuable in itself as it opens the door for many other areas of opportunity. Along with this factor, there are many more benefits that come from transitioning to flexible packaging. From minimizing production costs to customizable packaging and extended shelf life, it is incredibly challenging to identify reasoning as to why you should not adopt this packaging method for your products.
1. Minimizes Production Costs
Business owners can potentially reduce their production costs drastically if making the transition to flexible packaging. Traditional packaging, like a plastic or glass container, is known to create a lot of waste and use a substantial amount of energy during their production process. Flexible packaging uses fewer materials for production, which results in fewer greenhouse gas emissions, and the cost is significantly lower. Since the flexible film material can be tailored to fit the specific size of your product, production facilities won’t have to use any additional materials than what is necessary.
Flexible packaging’s ability to conform to your product results in a higher product-to-package ratio. You will no longer need to account for the cost of labeling or capping since your packaging system will be simplified. With the use of high-quality materials, additional packaging elements will no longer be required. Adding more layers to your flexible packaging design will produce a more secure and tamper-resistant package, which helps decrease losses in tampering and damage in the supply chain or at the store. Flexible packaging is also lightweight, which allows for more affordable rates when shipping domestically and internationally.
2. Customizable Packing
Flexible packaging provides business owners with customization benefits that you usually would not have with traditional packaging. Given the soft and flexible nature of the materials utilized to create flexible packaging, it can easily be molded into any shape or size to suit your product, brand, and visual needs. Due to its versatility, the packaging is conducive for customizable solutions, and product owners can choose from a variety of effects like whether the package stands or lays, lives on a shelf or hangs, and many more. These materials can also be printed with high-quality colors and logos, which allows for recognizable and likable packaging allowing for your product to stand out when compared to the competition.
At The Packaging Lab we utilize three main types of customizable film materials to allow for proper protection and security for our products: polyester (PET film), polypropylene (OPP film), and polyethylene (PE film). Each has different capabilities and characteristics, making some more suitable than others for your product. Along with these different attributes, each film can be utilized for various visual properties like clarity, glossiness, and printability. This allows you to showcase your product in a creative way that draws consumers in while providing you with design capabilities tht you would not usually have with other packaging options.
3. Environmentally Friendly
With sustainable and eco-friendly products on the rise, it is becoming more and more critical for businesses to transition to packaging materials that meet these standards. Consumers are more likely to be drawn to products that attempt to reduce their impact on the environment and carbon footprint. Flexible packaging requires less material, water, and energy to manufacture and transport to stores. Along with these benefits, it also generates smaller amounts of greenhouse gases when in transportation compared to traditional packaging.
Flexible packaging promotes recycling with the average consumer since the packaging is often designed with zippers and seal top closures, making them versatile and able to be used in other ways before they are thrown away. This small feature helps keep used pouches and bags out of landfills. Additionally, polyethylene films are recyclable in some circumstances meaning they are commonly made into new materials rather than ending up at the landfill. Transitioning your company towards a sustainable packaging method is not only beneficial to you but also helps reduce the amount of consumer waste being sent to landfills drastically.
4. Promotes Reusability and Consumer Convenience
Flexible packaging is reusable due to the sealing features that are added in the design process such as zippers, spouts, and seals. These features allow for convenient storage for consumers as they can reseal the package each time. Consumers will also be encouraged to reuse your packaging in other ways should the seal structure be made to last. This ties into the current market appeal of sustainability and reusing what already exists in households; customers that live this type of lifestyle will likely be more drawn to your product if reusability and convenience are promoted throughout.
Additionally, flexible packaging is also more comfortable for the consumer to handle throughout their shopping journey, and it takes up less room in cupboards and pantries due to the malleable consistency of the material. Consumers are drawn to a smooth experience that benefits them, and flexible packaging cultivates that experience, in turn attracting more sales for your business
5. Shipping and Handling
Delivering your product to stores and consumers can be a considerable expense and often alarmingly costly. Shipping and handling costs are an area that businesses commonly try to reduce as these costs can quickly turn into a money pit. Due to the lightweight nature of flexible packaging, the number of truckloads required to ship goes down as higher volumes of your product can fit into smaller spaces. When compared to traditional packaging, flexible packaging can weigh up to 70% lighter when shipping, which allows you to ship more of your product at one time resulting in higher profit for your business.
6. Extended Shelf Life
Many flexible packaging products come equipped with an extra layer that protects your product from unwanted moisture, vapors, and dust. This layer can typically be found on the inside of the packaging and allows your product to keep its quality for the duration of its shelf life. Producing and maintaining a fresh product means customers will be able to enjoy them for a more extended period.
Coincidentally enough, utilizing plastic packaging for highly perishable products helps the environment by reducing the amount of food waste ending up in the landfill. Due to the use of high-quality films and proper sealing, food products are protected from oxygen and moisture, allowing them to stay fresh over several uses before spoiling. This practice can be recognized on a variety of products throughout the consumer market today, from fruits and vegetables to cereal and granola.
7. Shelf Appeal
The versatility and customization properties of flexible packaging allow you to create a finished product that will be appealing to the consumer on the shelf. During manufacturing, distinctive and eye-catching designs can be created to elevate the way the consumer perceives your product and overarching brand. First impressions mean everything, so adding custom elements to make your product unique is of utmost importance. Products with excellent shelf appeal use color and design to catch the attention of the consumer and form an immediate bond outshining the competitors. Ultimately, how your product appears on the shelf resembles how the consumer will respond.
While traditional packaging methods have their place in manufacturing, flexible packaging offers many additional benefits and custom elements that you would not have with traditional packaging. Altering your product packaging to better fit your product, brand, and target audience increases the appeal, in turn, increasing sales. From decreased pricing for shipping and handling and extended shelf life to an environmentally friendly design, flexible packaging has the potential to improve your product immensely. Overall, this innovative packaging solution is a wonderful option for manufacturers to utilize if they’re looking to redesign their product and implement a new creative approach to showcase their company’s brand further.