Industry Trends Impacting Flexible Packaging
The flexible packaging industry is one that needs to remain, shall we say, flexible! Shifting consumer and manufacturing trends significantly impact packaging innovation and its supply chain. These are some of the biggest commercial factors affecting flexible packaging.
Sustainability and Plastics Reduction
Consumers are increasingly avoiding plastics, perceiving them to be harmful to the planet. With reduced material and eco-friendly packaging material options, flexible packaging represents sustainability and less environmental impact than the packaging formats that used to dominate the shelves.
Shopping online has for food and pantry items has exploded in recent years, resulting in significantly more (and more frequent) residential deliveries of items that buyers used to only pick up at local stores. More shipping—at smaller quantities than would be delivered to a retailer—means added costs (whether direct to the consumer, absorbed by the seller, or embedded in the retail pricing). Flexible packaging can dramatically reduce shipping weight and even increased the amount of product(s) that can be shipped within the same volume, which benefits all parties in an ecommerce transaction.
The Demand for Convenience
Our on-the-go society doesn’t have time (or patience) for anything that complicates life. The end goal is to enjoy and benefit from the product they’re using or consuming, and the demand for everything about how that product is delivered (from shipping to buying and transporting home to opening and storing) must fall in line with that goal—and not cause frustration. Flexible packaging can make each aspect of a consumer’s interaction with a product much easier from ease of handling to ease of use.
Personalization and Short Print Runs
“Flexible” doesn’t just describe the physical makeup of the packaging but also how agile flexible packaging production can be to meet the needs of a variety of industries and the demands of their customers. Even small niche markets can take advantage of economical short print runs, and digital printing makes customized and personalized designs possible.
Speed to Market
Flexible packaging production and printing can reduce the time it takes to get a new or revamped product to the marketplace. Manufacturers of any size can gain an edge over the competition by making it to the shelves first—with unique and eye-catching flexible packaging.
Besides disclosing all the needed product information in print, and representing sustainability in manufacturing, consumers are demanding and appreciating literal transparency, which is possible with clear windows in flexible packaging to show off the actual product contained within. Consumers are increasingly savvy about the quality of their food—down to the ingredient level—and seeing isn’t just believing… it’s winning over customers.
What other trends are you spotting in your industry with regard to packaging? Give us a call or contact us to discuss the flexible packaging solution that’s right for you and your product.