There is no doubt that packaging is an important part of the product marketing mix. It serves as a physical and visual representation of the product, and it can be used to communicate information about the product to potential buyers.
In addition, good packaging can protect products during shipping and help them stand out on store shelves.
With so much at stake, it’s no wonder that manufacturers are always on the lookout for new packaging materials that can give their products an edge.
One such material is flexible packaging. Flexible packaging is a method of presenting goods in a more affordable and adaptable way by using materials that aren’t rigid.
Pliable product containers such as pouches and bags are made using a range of flexible materials such as foil, plastic, or paper in this packaging technique.
In this blog post, we will take a closer look at flexible packaging and discuss its many benefits.
What Is Flexible Packaging?
Flexible packaging is a type of product packaging that uses materials that are not rigid. Flexible packaging is used for a number of purposes by enterprises. To begin with, it is more affordable than rigid packaging. However, it is also very durable and provides superb product protection.
High-quality polyolefin shrink films are a common choice for packaging. These films have been authorized by the FDA to extend their shelf life.
However, flexible packaging’s quality isn’t its sole distinguishing feature. In addition, it’s praised for its flexibility, which allows it to be adapted to any product.
Flexible packaging allows for the packaging of items in a wide variety of forms and sizes. This may be done with a wide variety of materials as well.
This is excellent news for firms that are designing bundles to help sell their goods. Consumers may be engaged in new ways thanks to flexible packaging.
What Are the Benefits of Flexible Packaging?
First and foremost, it is one of the most affordable types of packaging. Mostly, this is because it requires less material to encase the product.
The lack of rigidity in flexible packaging also makes it easier to store and transport. As a result, businesses can further save on costs.
If you are on a tight budget but still want your products to be well protected, flexible packaging is definitely the way to go.
Flexible packaging is not only affordable but also adaptable. It can be used for products of all shapes and sizes. So, no matter what your product is, you can be sure that there’s a flexible packaging solution for it.
This quality is also beneficial for businesses that are selling products of different sizes.
For example, a food and beverage company that sells both small and large pouches can use the same type of packaging for both. This would not be possible with rigid packaging, which comes in set sizes and shapes.
Superior Product Protection
Flexible packaging shields items from environmental pollutants such as moisture, ultraviolet radiation, mildew, dust, and others that may have a detrimental impact on the product, thus preserving the product’s quality and increasing the product’s shelf life.
This is extremely important for businesses, as it helps them avoid product loss and increase profits.
Enhanced Production Capacity
The packing procedure may also be made more efficient via the use of flexible packaging’s potential to be automated.
This is attainable due to the use of materials that are not stiff in flexible packaging. As a direct consequence of this, the process of packing may become both quicker and more effective.
This is of tremendous help to companies who want to boost their capacity for production and may see immediate benefits from doing so.
They would be able to package a greater quantity of items in a shorter amount of time if they used flexible packaging.
Ingenious Packaging and Customization
In addition, businesses can use flexible packaging to package their products in new and innovative ways. This can help them stand out from the competition and capture consumers’ attention.
Flexible packaging can also be customized to a great extent. This means that businesses can add their own branding and labeling to the packaging. As a result, flexible packaging can serve as a powerful marketing tool.
In fact, many businesses use flexible packaging solely for its marketing potential. They use it to create eye-catching packaging that helps them promote their brand and increase sales.
Flexible packaging is not only good for businesses and consumers but also for the environment.
This is because flexible packaging is often made from recycled materials. In addition, it can be recycled after its use, which further reduces its impact on the environment.
Some types of flexible packaging are even biodegradable, which means that they decompose on their own without causing any harm to the environment.
This is an important quality, as it helps businesses reduce their carbon footprint and do their part in preserving the planet.
Shipping and Handling Made Easier
Shipping and management are also made easier by flexible packaging. This is due to the fact that it is light and can be stored easily.
Thus, firms may save money on transportation expenditures. Additionally, they may help to keep the goods safe from harm during transport and storage.
Both of these aspects are significant for companies since they have the potential to lower their operational expenses and raise their earnings respectively.
Various Flexible Packaging Materials to Choose From
Stand-up pouches are one of the greatest alternatives to conventional packaging. As their name indicates, they are designed to stand upright on shelves. This container features an airtight seal.
Stand-up pouches, also known as flexible pouches, are very simple to pack, and their digital printing possibilities for branding are extraordinary. Custom stand-up pouches may be printed with eye-catching images and spectacular colors.
Stand-up pouches are totally adaptable to your specifications. In addition, stand-up pouches offer numerous layers of barrier protection.
They are often used for packaging coffee, tea, spices, dried fruits, jerky, pet food, and much more.
Spout pouches are a type of flexible packaging that features a small, built-in spout. This spout makes it easy to pour the contents of the pouch without making a mess.
Spout pouches are often used for packaging liquids and semi-liquids such as juices, salad dressings, syrups, and sauces. They are also frequently used for packing lotions, shampoos, conditioners, and other types of cosmetics.
Foils are most often utilized in the food and pharmaceutical sectors. keeps food fresh by using foil packaging. In addition, it protects food from contamination and extends the shelf life of your items. In addition, it is a recyclable product.
Foil wrapping is a type of flexible packaging that uses thin sheets of aluminum to wrap food. This material is effective in keeping food fresh and free from contamination. It is also recyclable, which makes it an environmentally friendly option.
A sachet is similar to a compact pouch, except that a sachet normally contains just one (piece) product and is closed by sealing (welding) on all four sides.
It is often made of laminated paper, metal, and/or PET film. It provides an excellent chance for branding and marketing due to its totally pressable surface.
Applications that are available in a broad variety of sizes and forms may be filled with an exceedingly diverse assortment of goods, including powders, soaps, shampoo, coffee sugar, tablets, fluids, and many others.
List of Flexible Film Materials
Plastic made from polyethylene (PE) is resistant to tearing, in addition to being flexible and long-lasting. These three traits are each a must when you need to pack heavy-duty objects inside your poly bags.
That implies that industrial organizations typically employ polyethylene storage bags for big, heavy objects, such as industrial machining components.
Packaging materials made of polyethylene are also frequently used in the food industry, as they are impervious to moisture and can be sealed airtight. Products such as coffee, tea, and spices are often kept fresh in polyethylene packaging.
Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET)
PET is an abbreviation that stands for polyethylene terephthalate, which is the chemical term for polyester. PET may also be shortened to PETE. The term “PET” refers to polyethylene terephthalate, which is a kind of plastic that is known for its transparency, durability, and lightweight.
This type of plastic is often used for the packaging of food and beverages, particularly in the form of portable soft drinks, and juices.
Polyvinylidene Chloride (PVDC)
Polyvinylidene Chloride, sometimes known as PVDC, is a kind of vinyl polymer that is widely used in the production of food packaging.
By virtue of its gloss, transparency, print adhesion, and resistance to scratching, PVDC material, when used in the production of food packaging, results in an improved look of the package. In addition, PVDC-coated packaging also provides a good barrier against moisture and oxygen.
Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)
Polyvinyl chloride, more often referred to as PVC, is one of the most widely used synthetic polymers in the world.
It is put to a variety of purposes, some of which are more long-term in nature, such as the building of pipes for the conveyance of potable water, while others are more immediate in nature, such as the packaging of food products.
Glycol-Modified Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET-G)
When it comes to manufacturing, the thermoplastic polyester known as PETG or PET-G offers excellent chemical resistance as well as long-term durability and formability.
To provide PETG with its unique chemical features, glycol has been molecularly added to make it an adaptation of PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate).
Although the monomers in PET and PETG are the same, the latter is stronger, more impact-resistant, and better suited to higher temperatures than the former. In terms of packaging, this means that PETG can be used for a wider range of applications, from food and beverages to cosmetics and cleaning products.
Polyamide is often utilized in the creation of flexible packaging to reduce weight and retain product freshness.
It does this by blocking UV radiation, oxygen, and moisture from having an effect on the flavor and quality of the food, which allows the shelf life to be extended.
In addition to its use in the food industry, polyamide is also commonly employed in the medical field, as it is resistant to both chemicals and heat.
Ethylene Vinyl Alcohol (EVOH)
Ethylene-vinyl alcohol (EVOH) is one of the most well-known flexible thermoplastic oxygen barrier polymers in use today.
It is particularly crucial for items that need to be refrigerated or stored at room temperature since oxygen degrades the quality of packed products and shortens the amount of time they may be stored.
In the food industry, EVOH is used to keep oxygen from coming into contact with packaged meats, cheeses, and other perishable goods.
Polyethylene Naphthalate (PEN)
Polyethylene Naphthalate (PEN) is primarily employed in packaging applications because of its superior thermal and barrier qualities, such as oxidation resistance.
Over the projected period, rising demand for high-strength photographic films is likely to drive market development.
In the food & beverage industry, PEN is used in plastic containers and films for items such as water, soft drinks, beer, and food products that need to be freeze-dried or aseptically packed.
Cross-Linked Polyolefin (POF)
Crosslinked shrink film strengthens and sterilizes shrink film by crosslinking polymers with irradiation. The interlaced strands improve the seal strength and tear resistance of the polyolefin material.
The increased material strength is ideal for shrink film downgauging and wrapping heavier objects with sharper edges and corners.
Direct food contact is permitted for all standard and crosslinked polyolefin shrink film. In the food industry, POF is used for applications such as meat and poultry wrapping, as well as for other products that need to be heat-sealed.
Ethylene Acrylic Acid (EAA)
The expansion of the use of ethylene acrylic acid copolymers in the production of safe food packaging is the primary driver of the market.
Due to the adhesive characteristics that EAA has with packaging substrates including LDPE, paper, polyamides, and foil, it has found widespread use in the food packaging sector for various applications in the field of packaging.
In the food industry, EAA is used in applications such as lamination, metallization, and sealing.
Polypropylene is often used for polypropylene boxes, flat bags, gusseted bags, strapping tape, and poly strapping.
Because it can withstand high temperatures without breaking down, polypropylene is an excellent choice for packaging that can be heated in the microwave. Housewares, toys, carpets, upholstery, and appliances are examples of non-packaging applications.
In the food industry, polypropylene is used in applications such as containers, lids, and packaging film.
Ethylene Vinyl Acetate (EVA)
Ethylene-vinyl acetate, sometimes known as EVA, is a copolymer composed of vinyl acetate and ethylene. EVA is a highly elastic substance that retains its toughness even after being processed to become a material that is similar to porous rubber.
In the packaging of dairy products and meat, it plays the role of a sealant. In terms of packaging, EVA is used for lamination and metallization.
Polystyrene (PS) plastic is a naturally transparent thermoplastic that may be purchased in the form of either a standard solid plastic or a material that is hard foam.
Both of these forms are accessible. PS plastic is used in a wide range of applications, including those that are specific to consumer goods, and it is also quite helpful for industrial packaging. Polystyrene is a versatile material that can be used for a number of different packaging applications.
In the food industry, polystyrene is used in meat trays, egg cartons, and plastic cutlery.
Due to the cost of the material, PC is mostly used for more durable packaging needs.
Customers will be drawn toward PC when they need a clear solution and a component with a strong effect that exceeds the typical packaging requirements. Options for custom colors and both thin and thick gauges are available.
How is Form Fill Seal Involved in Flexible Packaging?
Form-fill-seal is an abbreviation that refers to a process that involves forming a package out of flexible material, then filling it with either a liquid or a dry product and sealing it shut.
The FFS machine takes a flat roll of film and simultaneously forms plastic bags and stand-up pouches out of it while also simultaneously filling the bags with the product and closing them.
There is a possibility that FFS machines will fill the package from either the top or the side. The horizontal and vertical principles are the FFS systems that are used the most often.
Should You Consider Flexible Packaging?
If you are a business that is looking for a more efficient and cost-effective way to package your products, then you should definitely consider flexible packaging. Flexible packaging is a great option for businesses looking for a way to reduce their packaging costs and increase their efficiency.
Take note that there are products that cannot be packed with flexible packaging. If your product is fragile, then flexible packaging is not the right option for you. In addition, if your product is perishable, then you should also avoid using flexible packaging.
If you are not sure if flexible packaging is the right option for your business, then you should consult with a packaging expert. They will be able to help you determine if flexible packaging is the right option for your business.
Should you need expert advice, Spack Machine is always here to answer all of your questions. Contact us now and our team will get back to you as soon as possible.