At local watering holes, you wouldn’t normally expect to hear someone order a “pouch of soda,” but if package engineers have their way, you may be doing exactly that in the near future. With the increased focus on more convenient products, reduced costs, and sustainable living, alternative and green packaging solutions are becoming more and more prevalent.
While manufacturers of children’s drinks and energy drinks have been quicker to adopt flexible packaging methods, industry experts predict that it will not be long until more mainstream beverage makers jump on the flexible bandwagon. This is because flexible packaging methods, the most popular of which is the stand up pouch, have a multitude of benefits that cans and bottles do not.
Flexible Packaging Pouches - The Benefits
For example, the pouches are made from a blend of polyethylene, a type of plastic, as well as aluminum. For marketers, this is a dream come true because, unlike bottles, the pouches can be printed with bright, vibrant graphics and fonts that help to distinguish the product from competitors. Rather than being limited by a thin band of plastic around the center of the bottle, pouches can contain branding messages from top to bottom.
In addition, some gusseted pouches feature four sides –- one in front, one in back, and one on either side. These four-sided stand up pouches offer even more room for visual branding techniques, nutrition information, or promotional messages.
When it comes to dispensing the product, the pouch can either be equipped with a straw that perforates the plastic or a mouthpiece that dispenses the liquid when the consumer either squeezes the pouch or sucks through the mouthpiece. Most manufacturers agree that they have their work cut out for them when it comes to convincing change-averse consumers to switch from sipping out of a plastic bottle to something different. However, the pouches also have significant logistical benefits that make them even more appealing.
For starters, plastic bottles and aluminum cans are big and bulky. They cannot be folded or flattened for storage, so as a result they take up a lot of space on warehouse shelves and on pallets during shipment. And the more space you use, the more you pay. With flexible pouches, there is no such drawback. When not filled with product, the pouches can be stored completely flat, which means more space on shelves and in trucks. This is a dream come true for warehouse managers always looking for extra storage space.
For those companies and consumers concerned about greener living and sustainability, stand up pouches are made from 100% recyclable materials, just like bottles and cans. Those that do make it into a landfill also take up significantly less space than bottles and cans, making flexible bottles a no-brainer for those looking for more modern packaging methods to suit our 21st century sensibilities.