How Flexible Packaging Transformed Food & Beverage Industry?
Flexible packaging is one of the fastest growing segments in the FMCG manufacturing industry, exhibiting a compound annual growth of 5.1% from 2017 to 2024. The market of the food and beverage industry is changing continuously by the rise of processed food. In addition, the introduction of advanced flexible packaging solution is taking the food and beverage industry into a new dimension.
Majority of FMCG manufacturers agree that packaging has a significant impact on the branding of a product. Packaging has been a crucial differentiator, a medium to communicate your identity and drive customer decisions.
What is Flexible Packaging?
According to the Flexible packaging association, flexible packaging consists of any package or part of a package whose shapes can be readily changed. These include non-rigid structures such as bags, pouches, shrink films, tubes, sleeves and carded packaging.
Types of Flexible Packaging Available For the Food Industry
Pouches are versatile packages that can stand upright on the shelves. This helps the brands stand apart on the food shelf and project their uniqueness from other brands. It is also convenient for users to store conveniently in the kitchen, cupboard or refrigerator. Since the packaging is flexible, the pouches can easily be squeezed into any available space.
Pouches contain multiple layers of film designed to create a barrier pouch resistant to puncture, moisture, vapour, odour, pests, air and light. This helps in preserving the freshness, flavour and nutritional value of the product. Pouches are in high demand; thanks to their ease of use, options of resealability and excellent high-quality printability.
The type of flexible films used in the food and beverage industry is dependent on their polymer constituent. The flexible packaging films contain a wide range of variables that are used according to the product requirement.
Flexible films win the race over conventional packaging when it comes to the food and beverage industry. The material is less susceptible to spoilage, protects the food and gives brands the opportunity to leverage their creativity.
Some of the popular flexible films used in the food industry include high-density polyethylene, low-density polyethylene, polypropylene, polyethylene terephthalate etc. They are often used to manufacture bottles to store beverages like cold drinks and milk, cereal box liners, flexible lids, jars, and snack packets.
Aluminium is the most popular flexible foil used on the food and beverage industry. You will find it in confectionery, packaging of dairy products, as capsule foils and other application.
The key features of flexible foils include cost-effectiveness, a strong barrier to light, heat, air, moisture and gases compounds, its compatibility with food, recyclability, its strength endurance etc.
How Are The Food And Beverage Industries Benefiting From The Flexible Packaging?
The transformation brought by flexible packaging to the food and beverage industry is one of the reasons why they are gaining such huge popularity in the FMCG manufacturing space. Let us discuss below the points in detail.
Flexible packaging is convenient to use
The flexible packagings are convenient to use when compared to traditional packaging methods. The food products decide the type of packaging to be used which in turn decides the mode of transportation. Flexible packaging offers great resistant to environmental factors such as fluctuating temperatures, moisture, light and water vapours.
Flexible packaging is designed to withstand the climatic change since the geographical area in which the food is transported may differ from the source of production.
Extended shelf life
Flexible packaging is designed with multiple layers to accommodate the food product. These layers protect the food from external harsh conditions. This invention has increased the shelf life of many food products and beverages. Now food can even be shipped to overseas without worrying about the product getting spoiled.
It has also become easy to ship products in areas with severe weather conditions without compromising the quality of the food. Advancements in flexible packagings have also made it possible to store easily degradable food for a longer period of time.
Today consumers are environment friendly and conscious about the activities undertaken by FMCG manufacturing companies. Flexible packaging requires less energy to get manufactured and generates smaller quantity of greenhouse gases.
The flexible packaging design is minimal, meaning that the container takes the exact shape of the product inside and reduces the amount of material used. Flexible packaging even takes less energy to get recycled and hence benefit from both economic and environmental perspectives.
Promotes quality and innovation
Food and beverage industry is seeking constant innovation in food processing and food packaging. The customer is conscious about the quality of food they consume and thanks to flexible packaging, manufacturers today can guarantee all the food specification and nutrient constituents accurately.
With growing trend e-commerce people judge the quality of food product by the packaging design and the material they feel in their hands.
In the food and beverage industry, where the quality and freshness of a product is what people judge ultimately, flexible packaging help FMCG manufacturers sustain both. With creative packaging options, brands can effectively communicate their message about them being different, healthy and environment-friendly. This can lead to long term growth and sustenance of a brand.
Disclaimer – “Views expressed in the blogs, are exclusive thoughts of the author and are not necessarily aligned to Parakh Group’s policies”.