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Flexible Retail Packaging Lightweighting 101: NEW White Paper

Lightweight Flexible Retail Packaging

Many CPG companies think their product packaging is working fine — after all, it seems to function, it keeps items contained, and it offers enough space to print their branding and graphic designs on the outside.

However, too few businesses take a deeper look into how their packaging performs next to similar items on store shelves. This isn’t surprising, as so much time and attention to detail goes into perfecting the product itself. The container is often viewed as an afterthought... but what's the first thing shoppers see, touch, and experience on the shelves? That's right: the packaging.

Listening to consumer feedback and response in terms of the look, feel, functionality, and overall appeal of the product is crucial, but packaging truly plays a huge role in people’s overall perception of both the item itself and a brand as a whole. Influential millennial consumers, especially, are not only drawn to unique and exciting packaging, they’re also sharing it on social media and building brands through word of mouth. If the package is unattractive, outdated, broken, or cheap looking, these younger consumers will notice and will definitely talk about it.

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This is where lightweighting comes in — it’s not just a trend or a buzzword, it’s a strategic action successful companies are taking to revamp their product lines and increase the appeal and quality of the goods they put out on the market. Big brands like Kraft Heinz, McCormick, and Mars are embracing flexible retail packaging for their various CPG products to stand out from competitors, attract millennial consumers, and reduce both costs and their carbon footprint. The advantages of lightweight, flexible retail packaging are vast, and the key problem it solves is transforming a stale brand image and leading existing products into a new era through creative, inventive, high-quality packaging that attracts consumers within seconds of coming into contact with an item in stores or online.

By analyzing and compiling data gathered by the Flexible Packaging Association, we’ve outlined several concreate examples of real companies that have switched away from traditional rigid containers — like cardboard boxes, glass jars, tin cans, and plastic trays — and adopted flexible retail packaging alternatives to keep their products fresher, easier to use, and more attractive. With the inclusion of case studies, common uses, and advantages of lightweight packaging options like polypropylene bags, metalized film pouches, and three-layer vacuum seal bags, this guide will help brands determine which flexible retail packaging is the right fit for their unique product.

This complimentary white paper is the first in a series of lightweighting guides that help solve common problems brands have relating to their product packaging, including but not limited to shipping costs, meeting retailers’ demands, attracting shoppers, and eliminating wasted or spoiled product.

Whether you’re packaging coffee, pet food, frozen goods, or single-serve items, lightweight, flexible packaging offers increased tear, puncture, and stress resistance, helping reduce product damage during all phases of the transportation process. This means a more attractive appearance and higher quality product. Good packaging keeps the integrity of your products intact and has the ability to distinguish your brand, attract key influencers, and get your goods flying off the shelves.

Topics: Food Packaging

Brittany Nader

Written by Brittany Nader

What LEGO’s Sustainable Packaging Teaches Us About Overseas Innovation

Since 1949, children across the globe have fawned over tiny, plastic, interlocking bricks.

LEGOs are a not only a classic toy but a staple in many households. Many kids beg their parents to take them to the majestic LEGOLAND, an amusement park where all their wishes and dreams could come true.

Why Nestlé, Unilever & PepsiCo are Banning Oxo-degradable Plastic Packaging

Originally marketed as an eco-friendly packaging material, new evidence regarding the potentially negative impact of oxo-degradable plastics has led a number of companies and governments to restrict their use.

More than 150 companies and global organizations, including Nestlé, Unilever and PepsiCo, have recently endorsed a total ban on the material in light of its potentially negative environmental impact.

Oxo-degradable plastic packaging, which includes select plastic pouch bags, is often marketed as a solution to plastic pollution because it claims to degrade into harmless residues within a period ranging from a few months to several years. However, oxo-degradable plastics do not degrade into harmless residues, but instead, fragment into tiny shards of plastic that actually contribute to plastic pollution.

Often, consumers think that because a material is biodegradable, it can be composted or even littered on the ground, because, it is thought, the material will break down into nothing over time. This actually ends up leading to an increase in pollution, since consumers don’t end up recycling or repurposing the material, and misconceptions about how the plastic will degrade leads them to end up putting it back into landfills.

What is important to note in this case is that although oxo-degradable plastics are biodegradable, being biodegradable does not necessarily mean that a material is eco-friendly. Although these plastics do break down over time, the tiny pieces they break down into are still plastics that contribute to pollution — they do not degrade into nothing or into another usable substance.

For companies looking to make the switch to sustainable packaging, it is important to consider that sustainable packaging does not necessarily mean biodegradable packaging, and vice versa.

Why New FDA Guidelines Could Bring Big Changes to Pet Food Packaging

Today’s consumers are demanding transparency and accountability from all types of products, and pet food is no exception.

Greater scrutiny over pet food ingredients, and an increasing demand for responsibility, sustainability and complete transparency from pet food manufacturers is driving change within the industry. As the consumer demand for “clean” pet food labeling evolves as a major topic within the world of pet packaging, FDA guidelines are shifting.