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Switching from Rigid to Flexible Retail Packaging: NEW Whitepaper

Fresh Produce in Stand Up Pouch

Face it — We all know certain types of packaging are frustrating or nearly impossible to open, resulting in angry customers who won't shy away from publicly voicing their complaints.

Clamshells and rigid containers with stuck-on lids make it hard for people to actually get to the product in a timely fashion. Consumers hate them, but brands keep using them. Why? Their perceived durability is a key reason — hard, rigid containers appear to serve as a type of protective armor that keeps the product inside free from damage or spills. However, the cost of continuing to use these traditional containers has become greater than exploring new options and better alternatives. It’s been proven time and time again that customers (especially the elderly or those with disabilities) struggle with opening certain styles of rigid packaging, and yet many CPG companies continue to use these containers for their product without actively listening and changing to meet their demands.

Damaged Tray Food Packaging

With new innovations in flexible retail packaging, it’s easier than ever before for brands to get on board with exploring new solutions that are convenient for their customers and keep their products fresher and better protected.

The secret is in the structure of the flexible packaging itself: Stand up pouches and similar forms of lightweight packaging are produced with multiple layers of barrier film that are laminated together, creating a strong yet flexible exterior that protects products from contact with outside contaminants and seals in the freshness, aroma, and flavor of the goods inside. With the addition of a sturdy bottom gusset, stand bags are able to sit vertically on shelves, making them more noticeable and eye-catching than trays and containers that lie flat. 

Food companies using plastic trays or containers with lids to keep their produce and meats fresh are at a major disadvantage, as detailed in our new white paper outlining the benefits of lightweighting your product packaging. Storing food in a rigid tray or clamshell container produces excess waste for the end user compared to the all-in-one, innovative stand up pouch. Flexible packaging also takes up less warehouse space, less landfill space, and requires 86% less coal as well as 71% less CO2 emissions during the transportation process.

Flexible retail packaging, like stand up pouches, help extend a product’s shelf life and offers increased advantages to consumers with the addition of re-closable zip locks, tear notches, handles and pour spouts. New innovations like tear-and-grip bags, retort pouches, and shaker pouches make it easy for brands large and small to ditch their irksome old containers and embrace solutions that are perfect for their product and target customer.

The white paper below — the third and final report in our series on lightweighting your product packaging — contains real-life case studies and data that detail the advantages of moving away from hefty containers and exploring new options with flexible retail packaging. In this guide, we illustrate how producers of fresh fruit, bread, and poultry have found success using stand bags and pouches for their food products.

From environmental benefits to cost savings and prolonged freshness, the advantages of adopting lightweight pouches into your product line help brands stay ahead of the curve and sustainably grow as consumer wants, needs, and desires evolve and expand.

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(Image Sources: And Now U Know, Gourmet Reviews)


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.