Why is flexible packaging and will continue to be a premium packaging solution?
What is Flexible Packaging?
Flexible packaging refers to packaging in which the shape of the container can be changed after the contents are filled or taken out. It is usually made of paper, plastic film, aluminum foil, composite film, etc.
Flexible Packaging Design Principles:
- The principle of realizing packaging function: packaging has four functions protecting and containing products, facilitating logistics (storage and transportation), promoting sales, and facilitating use. Flexible packaging is generally used directly for sales packaging, so flexible packaging materials must have excellent mechanical properties (tensile strength, rigidity, wear resistance, sealing, elongation, friction, etc.), physical and chemical properties (barrier properties, fragrance retention, Oil resistance, chemical resistance, light shading, etc.), processability (printability, formability, anti-static, heat shrinkability, etc.), display (transparency, whiteness, gloss), environmental protection (sanitation), safety, easy disposal of waste), etc.
- The principle of the economy: Many packaging design schemes can realize the packaging function of a product. How to reasonably select the best packaging design scheme, the first and foremost is good economy, and the cost should be as low as possible; at the same time, it is also necessary to pay attention to the equivalence of packaging value The principle of sexuality, that is, the value of the entire package should be equivalent to the grade of the product. Excessive packaging should not cause packaging waste, nor should it be overly simplistic to reduce the added value of the product.
- The principle of standardization and standardization of packaging: At present, the circulation speed of products is fast and the production cycle is faster. Therefore, the packaging of products, especially the flexible packaging of products, requires a very high degree of mechanization and automation to meet the various needs of society. This requires the standardization of the thickness and width of the flexible packaging substrate to be suitable for the assembly line production of various flexible packaging materials automated composite equipment, flexible packaging container forming equipment, and high-speed printing equipment while saving flexible packaging substrates.
- The principle of brand personalization: With the improvement of science and technology and production level, various products flood the market, and the competition is very fierce. Therefore, the corporate culture, traditional culture, and art of products are integrated into packaging through packaging design to form personalized packaging and brand packaging, thereby enhancing the competitiveness of products and increasing the added value of products.
Flexible Packaging Industry Trends:
In the packaging world, flexible packaging is considered by many to be the best way for a company to make the most of it. Since the 1950s, flexible packaging has been driving innovation in the industry, offering businesses a more affordable and customizable alternative to rigid packaging. Composed of lightweight materials (usually plastic or resin-based), flexible packaging has long been the solution of choice for food brands, consumer goods, and pharmaceutical companies alike. But what exactly makes flexible packaging so impressive? How can flexible packaging continue to evolve and innovate?
- Impressive Packaging:
Once packaged goods are delivered to consumers, unboxing is a unique and anticipated consumer experience. At the heart of unboxing is a combination of sight, hearing, touch, and sometimes smell, to make customers feel the value of the brand. Well-done packaging can leave a brand impression or lead to strong customer loyalty. Using digital printing on flexible packaging, companies can leverage the inside of the box to provide consumers with a richer brand experience. By including a company or product logos, QR codes, or promotional information, customized flexible packaging creates a call-to-action that drives consumers back to the company’s website, social channels, or product promotion platforms, thereby enhancing consumer engagement with the brand.
But how can companies keep repeat customers engaged and excited about the unboxing experience? Flexible packaging enables companies to personalize through digital printing easily and cost-effectively, so every out-of-the-box experience is completely new for consumers. Small changes to the packaging will ensure that the consumer experience is always fresh and allow for an evolving dialogue between buyers and brands. When looking for a flexible packaging partner, companies should look for experts who can provide packaging design and expertise, from material sourcing and production to the entire process. When a company provides packaging consulting from start to finish, they can work with brands to design packaging that tells the brand story in a unique and impactful way.
- Smart Solutions for the E-Commerce World:
E-commerce has become one of the mundane lifestyles of global life. While rigid packaging has historically been the preferred choice for shipping due to its durability, flexible packaging is evolving into a viable alternative for some companies. While not as structured as hard packs, soft packs are designed to absorb shock and impact, protecting the contents inside. Flexible packaging, whether mail or bags, can replace boxes to store many non-breakable materials, including books, clothes, and medicines, to name a few. Flexible packaging is more economical to produce and takes up less space in transit, maximizing space, reducing costs, and adding value by allowing brands to ship more products at the same time.
However, simply advising companies to adopt smart packaging solutions is not enough. In 2019 Amazon implemented the Amazon Packaging Support and Supplier Network (APASS) for suppliers and manufacturers to demonstrate the durability of their packages. To be certified, packaging must pass a rigorous series of tests evaluating the effects of shock, compression, vibration, and extreme temperatures. Billions of packages are completed through Amazon each year, so brands looking to compete in the e-commerce space should seek out companies that can complete APASS testing and certification while providing design advice for packages that don’t meet the requirements. By mandating that packages be APASS certified, Amazon requires companies to review all packaging options and alternatives to adopt the best solution for the product they wish to ship. For some, flexible packaging is the right solution, and Amazon's requirements help ensure it's a viable implementation option.
- Smart Sustainable Development for the Future:
Packaging has come under the same scrutiny as brands face increasing consumer pressure to establish, maintain and expand sustainable business practices. There are options for flexible packaging that are not only sustainable but also appealing to consumers, making them an excellent choice for brands looking to incorporate more sustainable business practices.
Fiber-based flexible packaging, such as kraft paper, not only provides real protection for the material but can also be recycled at the curb, supporting brands in their efforts to use more sustainable packaging. Even some plastic flexible packaging is now designed to be more environmentally friendly.
The packaging industry has invested in technology to reduce the content required to hold and secure loads. By properly stacking and loading the upper jaw, manufacturers can use thinner but equally durable plastic to hold the material, so once discarded, it requires less space and wastes less. This process, known as tapering, shows a manufacturer's commitment to continuously developing industry practices and improving them as much as possible. Consumers are increasingly concerned about the environment, and they will continue to support companies that echo those values. The transition to compostable bags helps build loyalty among existing customer bases and attract new customers. The brand's commitment to sustainability brings not only environmental benefits but financial benefits as well. Flexible packaging remains one of the most dynamic options for companies looking for effective, portable, and responsible packaging solutions. It helps companies make a better first impression and continue to delight consumers around the world. As the industry continues to evolve, flexible packaging is expected to be at the forefront of driving innovation and advancement in the packaging world.