How Has Flexible Packaging Reformed the Food Industry?

01 August 2021

The food industry is one of the many markets that benefit from flexible packaging. As the popularity of versatile packaging continues to grow, both manufacturers and consumers are discovering all of the fantastic benefits it has to offer.

Convenience and health is the name of the game in today’s food industry. Consumers want easily accessible foods that are nutritious and fresh. Whether it’s accommodating busy lifestyles, printing eye-catching designs, or helping the environment, the hype around flexible packaging is understandable. Let’s take a look at the main ways flexible packaging has transformed the food industry.

How Is Flexible Packaging Different?

You’re familiar with rigid packaging in cardboard boxes, aluminum cans, or glass bottles. All of these materials cannot easily change their shape, so they take up more space. Additionally, it requires more resources to create rigid materials.

Flexible packaging is different than rigid packaging in that a package’s shape can be readily changed when filled or during use. Commonly, flexible packaging is made from materials such as foil, paper, and plastic. These adaptable materials create pouches, bags, liners, and other containers.

Flexible packages often feature resealable components, so the pouch is still useful even after opening. Flexible packaging is lightweight, cost-effective, and user-friendly. In regards to the food industry, it makes meals convenient, allows for effective designs, and reduces food waste.

Flexible Packaging Makes Snacking Easy

Whether it’s cereal, coffee, or snacks, flexible packaging is the handy solution for hungry people on the go. Whether you need individual ingredients or ready-to-eat meals, flexible packaging is ideal for people with busy lifestyles.


Nothing is more frustrating for hectic parents than getting their kids dressed and out the door only to realize they didn’t pack snacks for the day. Opening rigid packaging and pouring it into smaller individual bags is time-consuming. Plus, everything seems to spill when you’re already running late, right?

Flexible food pouches are convenient, so busy parents can grab individual-sized healthy snack bags for their kids and easily store them in diaper bags and backpacks. If anything goes unfinished, the pouches feature a resealable zipper to save food for later.


Athletes need access to healthy snacks when they are on the move between practices and competitions. The malleable component of flexible packaging makes it easy to store inside backpacks, gym bags, and pockets.

Athletes know how important it is to fuel their bodies with fresh, healthy food. Flexible packaging extends the shelf life of snacks, helping them stay fresher for longer.

Busy Professionals

Busy professionals such as entrepreneurs, healthcare workers, performers, and community organizers have full schedules, taking them from commitment to commitment without much time for meals. Individual-sized snack options in flexible packaging are fantastic for professionals.

Pouches easily fit in briefcases and purses, so healthy sustenance is always within their reach. Flexible packaging has proven to be a gamechanger for busy people of all kinds. Before, the most accessible food was junk food and candy in vending machines. Now, snacking can be healthy and convenient without breaking the bank.

Designs Allow For Communication

Flexible pouches are transparent, which offers a world of possibility when it comes to design. There are certain design elements necessary in flexible packaging. Professional-grade, easy to open packaging is the first step in creating a design. After that, images can be printed onto pouches during a simple process.

Brand design for food items helps products stand out on the shelf. Manufacturers and marketers must collaborate to find a cohesive brand design that consumers can recognize.

Additionally, since designs can be printed directly onto the packaging, there is an opportunity for communication. Valuable information that can be printed onto food packaging include:

  • Expiration dates
  • Nutritional values
  • Disposal information
  • Ingredients
  • Brand story
  • Social media accounts


Flexible Packaging Reduces Food Waste

One of the many benefits of using flexible packaging for food items is that it is more environmentally sustainable. Did you know that nearly 40 percent of all produced food ends up in a landfill each year? Not only is this disposal a considerable waste of money and resources, but it also harms the environment.

Food waste generates millions of tons of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change. Greenhouse gases also play a role in initial food production in cattle farming, machinery, water pollution, and more.

Food spoilage is the leading cause of food waste. Spoilage is an inevitable process, but certain factors cause food to spoil quickly. The main factors that cause spoilage are:

  • Air
  • Light
  • Pests
  • Enzymes
  • Microorganisms (bacteria, mold, and yeast)
  • Time

Spoilage frequently occurs in fresh produce, though it can affect any type of food item. Some of the most commonly discarded foods in America are:

  • Dairy products
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Meat and fish
  • Grain products
  • Sugars

One of the best ways to minimize food waste is to extend the shelf life of foods. Flexible packaging removes unnecessary air from the wrapping, which delays spoilage, especially in dry foods. Manufacturers can even place oxygen absorbers inside the packaging to help prevent bacteria growth.

Resealable pouches extend the life of food products beyond one use. Resealable zippers help keep oxygen, moisture, and light away from food. Once the food item is gone, the resealable pouch can be recycled and used for other purposes around the house.

Flexible packaging requires fewer greenhouse gasses to produce and ship. Since packages are smaller and more malleable than rigid packaging, more products can fit into one delivery truck, lowering automotive emissions. A sustainable chain reaction occurs when manufacturers choose to store their food products in flexible packaging.

Flexible Packaging Is the Future for Food

The food and beverage industry is rapidly transitioning into the world of flexible packaging. Between accommodating a busy society, optimizing marketing, and reducing food waste, it’s a no-brainer how flexible packaging is reforming the food industry.

Are you ready to transform your food business by making the switch to flexible packaging? The Packaging Lab is here to help you optimize your custom designs. You can order a free sample pack and experience all the fantastic benefits of flexible pouches for yourself!