For decades the food and beverage industry has been confined to a uniform standard for their product packaging. These included aluminum cans, plastic bottle, Styrofoam containers and cardboard. With these packaging options many foods and beverages are using up more natural resources and in some cases non-biodegradable packaging that was a strain on the environment.
The next innovation in packaging is now taking the industry by storm, it is known as flexible packaging. Flexible packaging for food is any type of packaging that’s shape can be readily changed. These include bags, pouches, sleeves, carded packaging and tubes.
Why is it so popular?
Flexible packaging is popular because it offers a wide range of options for its construction. Flexible packaging has the strength of plastic, the flexibility of aluminum, can be as thin as paper, and through its construction its protective properties can keep the overall waste to a minimum. This is great for the environmental footprint.
Creating pouches for food is the first option for this great material. When creating pouches they are air tight and can stand upright. They can be customized with any image for advertising and brand recognition as well as fit tightly on store shelves maximizing retail space.
Flexible films are great for creating blister packs or custom shaped packaging. Flexible film have a varied polymer makeup which can be used to improve the shelf life of specific foods, The flexible film can also be used as a protective coating over the foods delivered in trays. The carbon footprint on flexible film products is reduced as well, keeping transport costs down and waste at a minimum.
When we look at foil it can in many cases be recycled. This is a great reason for using this product. When we use foil we are blocking out sunlight, air, moisture and bacteria. All of these elements can cause great damage to our food as well as make those who consume them sick.
Popular foods that use flexible packaging are soups, cocktails, and anything that is liquid. With their rugged design and durability flexible packaging is becoming the number one choice. In fact, in 2016 this market has grown to almost $24 billion dollars in sales in the US alone. On the world market it has reached around $96 billion dollars.
What are the benefits to using this packaging?
Flexible packaging is light weight, easy to reseal, can have zip locks and spouts for easy sealing and consumption of the foods inside. These features are in great demand by customers which has translated into greater sales for these products.
Extended shelf life
This packaging has extended shelf life by protecting it from light, moisture, temperature and more. These are all the major killers’ food.
Since these packages are easier to make the carbon output is much less, meaning it doesn’t produce as much waste into our environment. They are light so it doesn’t take much to transport them and many of the packages are recyclable.