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Carolyn Haney

Flexible packaging is one of the fastest growing segments in the packaging industry. It is defined as any packaging that can readily take the shape of the product inside and combines the best qualities from a variety of different package formats. Flexible packaging provides a multitude of benefits to the Consumer Packaged Goods industry, driving more brands to choose flexible over rigid for their packaging needs.

What differentiates flexible packaging from rigid?

Convenience

Vital to the success of the CPG industry is an understanding of ever-changing consumer demands. As customers engage in increasingly fast-paced lifestyles, they crave the convenience factor from products and services they purchase. Manufacturers cater to these needs by adopting packaging formats that can be easily taken on-the-go, effortlessly opened, and quickly disposed of. Flexible packaging designs that include zippers, peel-off lids, pouring spouts and microwavable pouches attract customers more often than traditional formats.
 

Cost Savings

As e-commerce and personalization trends develop, prices are being reduced while costs are driven up. Therefore, cost savings from packaging are needed to offset this increase in cost. By converting to flexible packaging, brands can reduce material costs, shipping costs, and ease many logistical challenges. Packaging formats such as stand-up pouches require much less material to create, saving you money on both materials and the energy costs incurred while producing the package. The risk factor is reduced while shipping a large quantity of flexible packages versus breakable glass jars. Flexible packaging eases logistical issues in the supply-chain by increasing the efficiency of the process and reducing costs wherever possible.
 

Environmental Benefits

Consumers and brands have begun expanding their sustainability initiatives, demanding recyclability or compostability of materials in addition to the development of a curbside pickup system. The transition from rigid to flexible packaging can accomplish these demands and provide sustainability benefits throughout the entire lifecycle of the package. Flexible packaging has proven environmental attributes such as reduced fossil fuel and water usage, a more equal product-to-package ratio, and less material ending up in landfills than other package formats.

What are the current challenges in flexible packaging?

While flexible packaging has made strong progress and boasts many advantages, there are still challenges to be overcome. The industry has focused efforts on end-of-life management for flexible packaging formats, developing post-consumer material collection programs and recycling for formats such as snack bags and foil pouches. In addition, consumers have traditionally been exposed to negative depictions of one-time-use plastics in the media. The industry is continually striving to help consumers understand the benefits of plastics in terms of a total environmental footprint and the development of a circular economy.

So, how can Haney help you become flexible?

Haney has recently launched a commercial packaging division – intended to deliver digital printing, laminating, and converting for short-run flexible packaging applications. Haney Digital provides various commercial production capabilities and flexible packaging formats to help your brand gain all the above advantages, and more. Visit our website here for more information!
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