Keeping it Fresh: How Package Pouches Extend the Shelf Life of Your Snacks
25 June 2020
What Is Flexible Packaging?
More and more companies in the consumer market today are turning to flexible packaging, meaning their products are packaged in non-rigid materials, thus allowing for more economical and customizable options. This packaging style uses a variety of flexible materials such as paper, plastic, and foil to create packaging that ranges in presentation from stand-up and lay-flat pouches to resealable features to promote reusability. Many in the consumer market today look for flexible packaging when purchasing products, as this packaging method offers a variety of benefits for both the manufacturer and consumer.
- Improved Production
- Extended Shelf Life
- User-Friendly Design
- Cost-Effective Shipping and Handling
- Environmentally Friendly
- Enhanced Design and Customization Capabilities
- Resealable Functions
How Does Food Spoilage Occur?
For food and beverage manufacturers in the market today, it's incredibly important to establish a packaging design that keeps your product fresh and extends its shelf life. Consumers expect products to be fresh and in good condition upon purchase, so creating a packaging design that combats spoilage and food waste is vital to a brand's success. Food spoilage is a naturally occurring process that happens over time, and many factors can play into how quickly the breakdown happens.
- Microorganisms: Bacteria, molds, and yeasts are all microorganisms that can cause foods to spoil. Some may cause an unpleasant appearance or give a consumer a foodborne illness. It's incredibly important to create a packaging design that protects your product from microorganisms.
- Enzymes: Fruit and vegetables contain natural enzymes that cause ripening to occur. As these items ripen, the color, taste, and texture change over time. You must consider the natural enzyme cycle when creating your packaging design if you're a produce manufacturer.
- Air: Exposure to air and fluctuating temperatures can impact a product's flavor, color, and nutrient levels. Oxidation causes the product to change. If your product is directly affected by air exposure or changing temperatures adding a seal or other function to your packaging design may be helpful.
- Light: If your product will lose color or nutrients when exposed to light, it's essential to create a packaging design that has a protective barrier to ensure your product is always looking fresh.
- Pests: Insects, rodents, and other pests can get into your packaging, causing damage and an increased likelihood of spoilage. While there isn't much one can do to prevent a situation like this from occurring, durable and reliable materials must be selected.
- Physical Damage: When creating your packaging design, you must ensure the design is damage resistant. Products can get damaged in shipping and when being placed on retail shelves. If any damage happens to your product or packaging, it increases the chances of spoilage.
- Time: Over time, food products age and are no longer consumable. Food and beverage manufacturers are encouraged to create a packaging design that controls oxidation and the natural enzyme process to prolong the product's life.
Well-designed packaging for any product will help keep your product fresh and appealing for customers. Manufacturers need to keep the factors that can encourage food spoilage in mind when creating their flexible packaging design, so your product arrives and leaves the shelf in quality condition.
Ensure Maximum Freshness with Flexible Packaging
Incorporating a flexible packaging design into your business is incredibly vital in the success of your product. Consumers look for products that have a long shelf life and have features to promote maximum freshness further. There are many features in a flexible packaging design that helps limit exposure to moisture, oxygen, and other elements that could hinder the quality of your product.
Reseal and Reuse
Many customers in the consumer market today are drawn to packaging that promotes reusability. Manufacturers can incorporate reseal technology into their packaging design, such as a zipper or pressure seal. This feature allows consumers to securely close the pouch, which helps keep oxygen and moisture away from your product while maintaining freshness. Consumers can then use the product over an extended period with resealing technology, and packaging can be used for other purposes once the product is gone.
If your product is susceptible to spoilage, it may be necessary to incorporate a barrier layer into your packaging design that protects your product from oxidation, moisture, and other risks. Not only does barrier packaging allow the product to retain its appealing flavors and aroma, but it also blocks oxygen transmission, light exposure, and water from making contact.
Proper Oxygen Levels
For added protection, manufacturers can place oxygen absorbers inside the packaging to help prevent the growth of microorganisms and fungi. Oxygen absorbers help keep air out and control the amount of oxygen your product is exposed to, thus increasing its shelf life.
Factors to Consider
When creating your flexible packaging design, there are many factors to consider to ensure the right materials are utilized to protect your product. From spoilage risks and expected shelf life to preservation methods, customer expectations, and overall cost, manufacturers are encouraged to account for all avenues to maintain a positive reputation with the consumer market.
- Risks of Spoilage: Manufacturers are encouraged to account for all potential spoilage risks when creating their packaging design. It's essential to consider all possible factors that are most likely to pose a risk for your product. Accounting for these factors early in the design process allows you to create a design that combats and protects your product.
- Preservation Techniques: Take note of other preservation methods you're using to protect your product, such as an oxygen absorber. It's also vital that manufacturers account for how the product will be stored, whether at the retailer or in a customer's home. The materials used in the packaging design should coincide with additional product protection and storage preferences.
- Shelf Life Expectancy: Account for the minimum shelf life you would like your product to reach and what changes can be made to extend the product's life further. Different packaging materials prolong the life of your product while maintaining ultimate freshness.
- Customer Satisfaction: Take the expectations of both new and old customers into consideration when creating your packaging design. Today, those in the consumer market are drawn to products that promote transparency, reusability, and extended shelf life. Companies must speak to consumer needs and expectations to gain traction in their market.
- Cost Requirements: While packaging costs may sway you into picking the cheaper design, it's encouraged to account for the possibility of spoilage occurring as a result. The cost of packaging plays into the freshness of your product, meaning there are many financial benefits with quality packaging.
While it may seem like there are many factors to consider when creating a packaging design, quality packaging helps extend the shelf life of your product, keep your product fresh, and gain traction for your brand in your market.
Overall, there are many factors of flexible packaging that helps extend the shelf life of your product and maintain quality freshness for consumers. Manufacturers must account for potential threats when creating their packaging design, as well as the benefits of choosing flexible packaging comes with. Well-designed packaging allows your product to stay in optimal condition, thus leaving a positive impression on customers both new and established.