Whether you’ve boxed up your products in rigid cardboard for over a decade or have yet to package your first item, it is time to look at flexible packaging. While the rigid cardboard box may feel safe, traditional and trusted, forward-thinking companies know that flexible packaging can offer better sustainability, higher customers satisfaction and cost-savings.

What is flexible packaging?

Flexible packaging, also called pouch packaging, is made up of multiple layers of thin plastic or aluminum film that is laminated together, creating a durable material with unique qualities. Flexible film is a superior barrier for oxygen, water, smells and to contain preservative gasses. Pouch film can be cut to nearly any shape, for a customizable look. It is heat sealed around the edges to form a pouch. Pouches can be designed to lay flat or stand upright and can be fitted with a wide variety of spouts, seals and dispensers to accommodate liquids, gels, granules and solids.

Why is flexible packaging so popular?

Flexible packaging is not only physically flexible, but also flexible in its use, size, shape and features. Unlike the carboard box, flexible packaging is pliable, durable and customizable.

According to Packaging World, a 2016 Harris Poll of 2,000 adults indicated that consumers prefer flexible packaging over rigid packaging, and many are even willing to pay more for a food product if it is in flexible packaging. Why would consumers pay more for flexible packaging? The answer is convenience. Consumers like that flexible packaging is easy to open, resealable, easier to store and can often be reused.

Amongst adults ages 18-34, 86 percent believed that flexible packaging provided benefits over rigid packaging, and 46 percent said they would pay an average of 10.3 percent more for such packaging.

Top three benefits of switching from rigid to flexible packaging:

  1. Reduces your carbon footprint – flexible packaging uses fewer fossil fuels than rigid packaging, weighs less, uses less water, and takes up less room in transport. Learn more here.
  2. Reduce shipping and storage costs – flexible packaging is far lighter weight than its cardboard counterpart, making it less expensive to ship and store. Calculate your savings here.
  3. Enhanced branding opportunities – There are only so many ways to decorate a cardboard box. Flexible pouches allow for unique features, full color printing and custom shapes and sizes that make your brand stand out. See some ideas here.

How to make the switch from rigid to flexible packaging.

Making the switch from rigid packaging to a flexible pouch is easy. First, consider your product and the type of features a flexible pouch could provide to make it easier to dispense, store and dispose of. Then, look at other companies and products to see how they are using flexible packaging. Finally, contact a packaging professional at PAC to help you evaluate your current packaging and provide you with flexible packaging solutions. PAC has flexible packaging options to suit almost any need.