You’ve seen the numbers. Flexible packaging, such as the popular standup pouch, is forecast to grow significantly. According to one report, by the year 2024, flexible packaging is expected to be a $250 billion global market.
Flexible Packaging magazine recently surveyed its subscribers, which includes converters, material suppliers, co-packers, manufacturers, and brands. The survey revealed 73 percent of respondents expect an increase in overall sales of related products and services in 2017 with 14 percent growth being the average expected increase.
While flexible packaging provides many advantages for CPG manufacturers as well as retailers, consumer demand is driving much of the growth.
That’s because options like resealable standup pouches solve problems and make life easier in the modern world. Here are four ways flexible packaging fits perfectly into contemporary lifestyle.
1. Time-saving Convenience
It’s no exaggeration to say many people feel busy and overwhelmed. Technology was supposed to save time, but instead, we tend to use it to cram even more into our already demanding days.
Adding to that stress, is the fact that when consumers with packed schedules head to the store to shop for food and household products, they get bombarded with choices. Shoppers must quickly decide which products are right for them. That means brands need to show value with their packaging and make the decision easier, and they need help consumers make their decision quickly.
Unique flexible packaging can help products stand out on shelves, making them a clear-cut choice to the consumer. Resealable standup pouches are viewed as …
- Easy to store
- Easy to open
- A way to keep products fresh
- Potentially reusable
Innovative packaging that provides obvious benefits can make the so-called “paradox of choice” a non-issue. What’s more, research from the Flexible Packaging Association (FPA) indicates consumers are willing to pay extra for the added value of flexible packaging.
2. Life on the Go
An aspect of modern life that goes hand-in-hand with busyness is additional time spent traveling. For instance, Americans are seeing an increase in the time it takes to get to and from work. The average American commute is now 26 minutes. That’s 20 percent longer than it was in 1980 when the U.S. Census Bureau began tracking the statistic.
It’s common to see people snacking on the road in an attempt to squeeze in some breakfast on the way to work. Whether they’re taking public transportation or stuck in the car during rush hour traffic, flexible standup pouches with a resealable closure are the perfect type of packaging for commuters.
Small format pouches can be designed to fit conveniently inside of cup holders, allowing drivers to focus on the road while snacking. They’re also ideal for eating out of at your desk when you just don’t have the time to take a lunch break.
When Americans aren’t traveling back and forth from their jobs, they’re likely to be found carting the kids around to school, soccer practice, and other activities. Innovative flexible packaging is making life easier for busy moms and dads, too.
From juice pouches and baby food to snacks and cereal, resealable flexible packaging options are a hardworking parent’s secret weapon. The ease of use and potential to avoid messy situations in the car add value for young families. Toss them in purses, diaper bags, or backpacks and keep moving.
Beyond food products, flexible packaging can also help give parents peace of mind. We developed the Child-Guard™ slider as an innovative child-resistant solution for things like household chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and lawn and garden products.
3. The Single Life
You don’t need kids to enjoy the benefits of flexible packaging. Pouches are ideal for consumers who are living alone, too. And, staying single is a lifestyle more people are choosing.
According to the Pew Research Center, the percentage of Americans who are married is at its lowest point since 1920. About half of Americans over the age of 18 are single. Staying unmarried is a significant trend among Millennials. Research shows only 26 percent of Millennials get married between the ages of 18 and 32. That’s compared to 48 percent of baby boomers and 36 percent of Generation X.
Since Millennials now make up the nation’s largest consumer group, it’s wise to consider packaging for singles, which of course means single serve packaging.
Flexible options are ideal for delivering ready-to-eat products in small packages for the unattached consumer. Single people appreciate items that come in pre-portioned servings, which can also reduce food waste, especially when combined with reclosability to extend shelf life. Small format flexible packaging works well for health and personal care products, too.
To help provide value and resealable features to this type of packaging, we developed the Reduced Scale (RS) Slider, a smaller closure system designed for ergonomic use and versatility.
4. Sustainable Living
Another thing Millennial consumers look for when they shop is products that strive to improve sustainability. According to Nielsen, nearly three out of four would pay extra for sustainable options. Flexible packaging does this in a few different ways.
Pouches use 60 percent less plastic and are approximately 23 percent lighter than rigid containers. Less material means less waste in landfills, and lightweight packaging means less energy is used during transportation. All of this reduces the carbon footprint of the organization selling the product. While the issue of recycling films used in flexible packaging is complicated, there are companies like TerraCycle working to make flexible packaging even more environmentally friendly.
Reducing food waste is also connected to sustainable living. By extending the life of perishable products, flexible packaging helps consumers eat more of the food they buy while sending less to the trash.
For example, the FPA says resealable flexible packaging will extend the shelf life of fresh sliced turkey by a week, cherries by two weeks, adds 90 days to the shelf life of provolone cheese, and will help grapes last 70 days instead of just seven.
Add the Value of Reclosability to Your Flexible Packaging
The advantage of flexible packaging increases exponentially when a closure system is added. That includes the inventive zippers and sliders we produce at Fresh-Lock Slider Zipper.
Mintel’s Global Packaging Trends report shows 81 percent of consumers would prefer to purchase resealable packaging. Are you giving consumers what they want?
Contact Fresh-Lock today to find out how our closures for flexible packages can elevate your brand or packaging operation to a new level.