With technological advancements and modernization, more and more innovative options for packaging designs keep on being introduced; and with the passage of time, package design trends keep changing. A newer and more prominent trend, that seems to be growing by the day, is the use of flexible product packaging such as laminated layered pouches. These have taken the packaging industry by storm and especially the food industry, where they are replacing more conventional packaging such as metal tin cans and glass bottles, even in some cases cardboard packaging.
Flexible packing solutions offer a number of advantages over the more conventional rigid packing solutions, hence making them more acceptable and their use a fast-growing trend. It can safely be said that this solution is here to stay. The following are some of the main advantages they have to offer:
The food industry is one of the main utilizers of this type of packaging. With the advancements in technology not only is the production speed fast, but they are also easier to sterilize and hence use lesser energy. They also have a longer shelf life and they serve to preserve the taste and retain the nutrition quality as well; when compared to the conventional metal cans and glass and plastic bottles, even cardboard retail packaging. Also, with advancements, now there is the ability of ultrasonic sealing for the packaging as compared to heat sealing, which serves to be even more effective in preserving the packaged product. Also, the need for using preservatives is reduced since the technology offers the use of materials that absorb the oxygen which is the main cause of reducing the product life. This is especially important for consumable items that are organic and for the health-conscious, giving the brand a big edge when marketing preservative-free products.
The use of flexible solutions is not limited to the food industry but is used all across for a wide variety of other products as well. With a nozzle or a spout, they can be used for anything liquid, such as juices and drinks, sauces, and oils, and they are also used for liquid soaps, crèmes, and lotions and so on. Also since the pouches offer more durability and preserve the quality of the product, due to protectant layers, adding to the shelf life; this is making it easier for products to be made available across the globe which would not have been possible otherwise due to the shipping time involved.
In comparison to bottles and cans, stand-up pouches packaging has two main faces, the front and the back; and when displayed in shelves, the entire front face is visible, hence, offering better shelf appeal. This larger visible surface area can be used really well for branding and marketing, as it is visible in its entirety in one glance and the consumers see the complete branding picture, without the need of having to pick it up and turn it to see the complete label as in the case of cans and bottles.
Pouches serve to be convenient packaging solutions not only for the consumer but also for the brand manufacturer. Pouches feature so many different options now; they may have nozzles/spouts, straws, zippers, resealable features and even spoons. Not only is it easier to use pouches with a nozzle for pouring liquids which is seen to be preferred by the consumers, the ability to reopen and close offers a better customer experience. Baby foods also come in pouches that have a spoon attached, for easier and hassle-free feeding, and also in turn eliminating the need for a bowl and even a bib. Not only that, some foods come in microwaveable pouches and even salads come in pouches that offer circulation, keeping them fresh for longer.
For the manufacturer, due to their lighter weight and lesser volume, storage and transportation are much more convenient as well.
When compared with metal tins, plastic jars and glass bottles; pouches are much more feasible and are a cheaper solution, especially for food packaging. Not only is the production cost low, it takes up lesser volume and weighs less so cuts down on shipping, handling and storage costs. Also since the pouches themselves can be printed on, in comparison to bottles and cans the sleeve printing costs are saved too.
With the increased environmental awareness, more and more consumers are opting for greener materials and hence the manufacturers are directed to choose eco-friendly solutions. Pouches even though may use plastic, they are more eco-friendly as compared to the other solutions as they have a lower carbon footprint, easier to recycle and hence reduce the amount of material that ends up in the landfill.
Considering all of the above advantages that this solution offers, its popularity is increasing day by day and it can safely be said that pouches are here to stay, and are the future of the packaging world.