Each year, flexible packaging industry leaders and suppliers from around the world meet at the Global Pouch Forum to share pouching trends, best practices, and business outlooks for flexible plastics packaging. During the 2018 forum in Miami, speakers shared thoughts on sustainability and recycling, as well as pouching trends for pet food, pool chemicals, snack foods, and more.
In case you were unable to attend this year’s conference, we’ve pulled together a few key takeaways.
E-Commerce’s Impact on Pet Products
Keynote speaker Eric Koppelman of Blue Dog Bakery shared the most recent trends in the pet food industry such as consumer preference for healthy options, clean labels, and convenience are spilling into the pet food market. However, the most notable topic in the presentation was the rapid growth of e-commerce.
In 2017, the places in which consumers purchase products has drastically changed. Via Statistica research, Koppelman shared that sales for pet products in the U.S. grew to $3.4 billion online while sales for brick and mortar reached only $317 million. Times are changing … can your current primary packaging and closures consistently survive e-commerce shipping?
What does this mean for you? It means now is the time to ensure your primary pet food packaging can survive the rigorous e-commerce supply chain. Heavy dog food bags and paper-like materials do not always withstand all the touchpoints this channel requires. To ensure packaging does not cause brand-damaging issues, it’s time to begin assessing primary packaging and closures. Read more in our e-commerce packaging article.
Pool Chemical Company Finds Success with Packaging Format Change
Lonza and Printpack’s presentation, A Flexible Future in Pool Chemicals, was an exciting discussion on how transitioning from cardboard to a flexible packaging pouch solved a customer challenge and resulted in immense savings and efficiencies.
To create enhanced retailer and end-user benefits, the pool chemical company utilized a PET/PE flat-bottom, pre-made pouch to improve outdoor storage, increase shelf life, and lower shipping costs. Plus, the new package features clear side gussets, which allows customers to see how much product is left. Because of the transition, Lonza realized the following:
- Overall cost savings
- Elimination of repackaging
- 77 percent reduction in landfill waste
- Eliminated 180,000 pounds of paper
- 9500/pallet vs. 1500/pallet
What does this mean for you? Think outside the box when it comes to your products and their primary packaging. This case study is proof that products that haven’t traditionally been packaged in flexible, such as pool chemicals, can find success from reclosable flexible packaging pouches. Products such as chlorine tablets, pool shock, and other chemicals can not only discover operational efficiencies but improved customer satisfaction and shelf presence.
Additionally, products that are regulated can benefit from a child-resistant slider such as Child-Guard® to ensure potentially harmful materials are inaccessible to kids while still offering convenience consumers expect.
Read more about how Child-Guard® works.
Taking Recyclability and Sustainability Seriously
One of the most prominent themes at the forum was the chatter around sustainability and recycling. This hot topic has been a discussion for years, but more recently gained attention with the plastic straw initiative and response to ocean water pollution.
End-of-Life Management for Pouches, presented by representatives at Mars, Amcor, and RSE USA, examined plastic packaging and sustainability and shared what some brands are doing to protect our planet for years to come. Experts noted that single-use and excessive packaging are two major culprits, but big brands are striving to make a change.
Along with others, brands such as Nestle, PepsiCo, Unilever, and Colgate-Palmolive are making strides towards 100 percent reusable, recyclable, or compostable packaging by 2025. Once these name brands start to roll out green packaging, expect others to follow suit. With 88 percent of consumers looking for brands to be more purposeful and to make a positive difference in their world, early brand adapters may be able to win at the first moment of truth more easily.
What does this mean for you? Ensure a green packaging strategy is part of your long-range plans and begin reaching out to film and closure packaging suppliers to see how you can start planning for a more recyclable package.
Additionally, consider reusing materials when you recycle or reuse zipper spools for reclosable flexible packaging. Instead of disposing of spools, brands can simply get involved in Fresh-Lock’s reuse or recycle program to practice green manufacturing and dedication to the environment.
The Future is Bright
The Global Pouch Forum reminds us that the boundaries of flexible packaging are nearly limitless. Each year, we see new, innovative packages hit store shelves. By getting in front of trends and efficiencies early on, you too can capitalize on the momentum and opportunities reclosable flexible packaging has to offer. If you’d like to discuss sustainable closure solutions, resealable pool chemical packaging, or reclosable pet food options for online ordering, contact the team at Fresh-Lock online or at 800.265.0750 to turn your next project into an eye-catching win.