In the last decade or so, consumer, retail and technology trends have contributed to a gradual replacement of rigid pack formats by sustainable flexible packaging and eco-friendly packaging. These days, when it comes to packaging, how it’s created and where it originates have become just as important as appearance and function.
The below factors are the main drivers of growth in the sustainable flexible packaging sector:
1. Convenience – consumers today are very different from traditional consumers in the past 20 to 30 years. The younger generations’ typical lifestyle is busier and they are constantly looking for healthier options – that often require performance packaging. These millennials are always on the go and they want the products they consume to be delivered quickly, consumed easily with re-sealable bags and disposed of easily.
2 eCommerce – this is driving virtually all retail growth, and its impact on flexible packaging will grow with it. Better performing flexible packaging solutions and child resistant packaging with seal integrity and abuse resistance features to ensure that products arrive at the consumer’s door intact.
3 Cost reduction – converting to flexible packaging can significantly reduce material costs, shipping costs and ease logistical challenges. All these factors remove the cost out of the supply chain for the retailer and the shipper and may in turn lower the retail price for consumers. Consumers will also appreciate when products are lightweight and easier to recycle.
4. Reduce your carbon footprint –the weight of packaging materials will directly impact the amount of energy used to produce finished goods in addition to the energy required to ship them to the retailer or end-user. By switching to a lighter weight material, you can positively impact your carbon footprint.
5. More storage space – When companies shift to sustainable packaging, they end up with more space. This allows them to expand their product line or utilize the available space for different projects that they were not able to implement prior to the shift.
This includes space required for transport, allowing you to ship more product than you had prior while still reducing your freight costs. This helps you cut down on the number of transports you have to make which saves you money in the long run.
6. Safety – most sustainable packaging are biodegradable, non-toxic and free of allergens. The materials are healthy throughout the life cycle.
Sustainable packaging will result in cleaner assembly processes. This means fewer downtimes and maintenance delays. The removal of the use of plasticizers and other harmful chemicals will boost employee health. Sustainable packaging is no longer a nice-to-have but a necessity for any brand looking to future-proof their operations against the rising tide of consumer scrutiny.
Increased demands for sustainable products and responsible corporate behavior are reshaping the food, beverage and restaurant industries – and along with this, the food packaging industry.
By switching to sustainable packaging, food suppliers and supplement packaging companies will benefit their companies in the long run. Not only will these companies reap the rewards that come with improving their brand’s reputation and helping the environment, they will also improve their bottom line by taking this approach.