Flexible packaging film combines the best elements of plastic, foil, paper, and film to create a packaging solution that uses less material and takes up less space than traditional rigid packaging formats. Flexible packaging is defined as a package or portion of a package that can readily change shape. The most common types of flexible packaging include bags, liners, and pouches. These flexible packaging options deliver a number of benefits to the consumer, to include reusability, convenience and ease of use, and enhanced printability. For the product manufacturer, flexible packaging reduces shipping costs, improves shelf-life, and simplifies storage.
It’s no wonder then, that flexible packaging solutions continue to grow at an unprecedented rate for businesses big and small and for a wide range of products – from food to auto parts – and everything in between.
Flexible Packaging Film: Growing Market
The rise that we have seen in flexible packaging applications over the last few years is only the beginning, and we can expect to continue to see exponential growth in the coming years. According to a recent report from Knowledge Sourcing Intelligence, we can expect the North American flexible packaging market to grow at a continuous annual growth rate of 2.07 percent from 2016 to 2021, resulting in a total market value of nearly $34 billion.
The report, titled “North American Flexible Packaging Market – Forecasts from 2016 to 2021,” points out that the key reasons for such impressive projected growth include: the increased demand for stand up pouches, an improved economic outlook, technological advances in barrier materials, and the increased use of single-serve food and drink packaging formats.
Startups & Small Businesses
Startups and small businesses face the unique challenge of standing out among a sea of other brands, both large and small. In order to stay competitive and stand out on store shelves and/or online, small businesses need to deliver attention-grabbing branding while keeping up with current packaging trends.
Flexible packaging offers excellent printing capabilities, allowing businesses to brand individually-packaged products. Professional packaging and branding elements elevate the desirability and perceived trustworthiness of any product.
Flexible packaging helps to reduce storing and shipping costs thanks to its reduced size and weight. Additionally, flexible packaging tends to be very durable, which results in fewer instances of damaged packaging. These reduced costs allow small business owners and entrepreneurs to invest into other areas of their business.
Local Food Producers
Food products are perhaps the most common application for flexible packaging, thanks to the numerous benefits it offers:
– Clear flexible packaging allows shoppers to see the contents, offering peace of mind.
– Extends the shelf life of food products.
– Ensures food safety.
– Allows for even heating.
– Allows product to be packaged in convenient, single-serve portions.
– Can maintain and indicate freshness.
– Provides reclosure and easy dispensing options.
Local food producers will find that flexible packaging options will help to maintain the integrity of their food products, while reducing both costs and environmental impact.
Importance of Sustainability
Today’s consumers value green products, and as such, product manufacturers need to prioritize sustainability in their packaging materials. Many brands now require that their packaging is branded with environmentally-friendly credentials in an effort to stand out to conscious shoppers.
Flexible packaging offers many sustainable advantages, as the production process creates less waste to begin with, reducing the materials that would ultimately end up in a landfill. Additionally, technology and innovation have reduced not only the amount of natural resources used in the production of flexible packaging, but the amount of energy, water consumption, and greenhouse gas emissions.
Finally, because flexible packaging is lightweight in comparison to its rigid packaging counterparts, the fossil fuels and pollution associated with transporting and shipping these products is reduced.
Flexible packaging is not only growing, but also changing at a significant pace. It is imperative that businesses stay up to date with changing consumer demands, and adapt their product packaging to take into account technological advances in an effort to maintain a competitive edge.
Here at Alpine, we work with you to create, design, and manufacture custom flexible packaging film for your products. Our films can be used for bottle wraps on plastic bottles for juice, teas, milks, sodas, and water. To learn more about our flexible packaging films, and how they may apply to your products, request a quote today!