3 Types of Flexible Beverage Packaging that are Changing the Game for the Beverage Industry

November 7, 2022 | By The Fres-co Team

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Competition in the beverage market isn’t slowing down. From beer, wine, and spirits to juices, cold brew coffee, tea, and more, it is more important than ever for beverage brands to combat market saturation and stand out on overcrowded shelves (both in store and online). Consumers are actively seeking convenience, innovation, and sustainability—all key considerations that flexible beverage packaging can help brands achieve.

In this article, we share 3 types of flexible packaging that are gaining a foothold in the beverage industry and that are meeting the following needs of today’s consumers:

Consumer Must-Haves for Flexible Beverage Packaging

  • Added convenience: On-the-go beverages are booming as consumers return to routines away from the home. Shoppers are embracing lightweight packaging that takes up minimal space in coolers and refrigerators, and that doesn’t require tools to open (we’re looking at you, wine bottles).
  • A sustainability story: Consumers have reshaped their views about sustainable packaging in ways that are forcing the entire value chain to act more quickly. Packaging that is lightweight, requires less energy to produce and transport, emits less greenhouse gases during production, and has an efficient product-to-package ratio all contribute to a reduced carbon footprint.
  • Shelf appeal: An attractively designed package can help differentiate products and draw in consumers, especially for companies that are new, launching new products, or looking to refresh their branding and disrupt the market.
  • A fresh taste: Freshness and taste are top concerns, and studies have shown that consumers are willing to pay more for improved packaging in order to guarantee it. Packaging must have a secure seal, adequately protect the product, and ensure safety.
  • Ecommerce ease: Packaging must stand up to ecommerce shipping without denting, breaking, or causing other issues that prevent consumers from seamlessly enjoying the product.

1. Thinking Outside the Bottle: Spouted Stand-Up Pouch

In the highly competitive beverage market, it pays to think outside the bottle. Spouted stand-up pouches are designed for easy, on-the-go convenience and provide a distinctive, eye-catching appearance. Featuring a sturdy design, it allows for a more stable display on retail and storage shelves and helps minimize spills during use. For these reasons and more, spouted stand-up pouches are easily transported, displayed, stored, and used—all without compromising the quality of the packaging.

Spouted stand-up pouches are ideal for a variety of single-serve beverages including functional drinks, ready-to-drink cocktails, drinkable yogurts, smoothies, and more. These portable pouches also come equipped with an easy-to-use drinking spout and are quick-chilling due to their small, convenient size. For added ease, a viewing window can be added to view and measure the remaining product.

Transitioning to a spouted stand-up pouch can also help contribute to sustainability efforts. Compared to single-serve cans and glass or plastic bottles, stand-up pouches have a more efficient product-to-package ratio and are significantly lighter in weight, which can help reduce freight costs, especially on the inbound side. According to the Flexible Packaging Association, one truckload of flexible packaging is equivalent to 26 truckloads of glass jars. And, because they’re virtually unbreakable, flexible beverage packages like the spouted stand-up pouch can nearly eliminate damage in transit and the associated costs, especially from collateral damage.

2. The Innovative Multi-serve Barrel Pouch

Beverages in glass bottles, aluminum cans, or plastic bottles aren’t always easy to handle, carry, or transport, especially in larger quantity sizes—but the multi-serve Barrel Pouch ticks all of these boxes and more. The Barrel Pouch comes in a wide variety of sizes from 750ml, 1L, 1.5L, 1.75L, to 3L and can be customized with viewing windows, dispensing taps, and easy-to-grab handles. Like the spouted stand-up pouch, the Barrel Pouch is designed for on-the-go lifestyles, but also offers multi-serve convenience.

In addition to being portable, packable in a cooler, and easily stored in a refrigerator, the Barrel Pouch features our innovative Pierce Tap® 2, which makes dispensing beverages simple. The Fres-co Pierce Tap® 2 uses our patented pierce-at-first-use technology and helps preserve the beverage prior to opening. It helps extend shelf life by eliminating the oxygen ingress that occurs through fitments on conventional pre-made bags. The Pierce Tap® 2 has an ergonomic design and uses a gravity-fed system that provides a good flow rate and no dripping.

Similar to spouted stand-up pouches, the multi-serve Barrel Pouch offers the same sustainability advantages over rigid containers due to its lightweight design, more efficient product-to-package ratio, and reduced empty shipping space. Compared to rigid bottles, the Barrel Pouch also offers a much larger printable area, allowing for a dynamic and colorful brand billboard that stands out on the shelf through high-quality rotogravure or digital printing done in house by our team of flexible packaging experts.


3. The Next Gen Bag-In-Box: Introducing Fres Flow™

Fres Flow™ is a next generation bag-in-box (BIB) that features all the advantages of a traditional BIB, plus added benefits due to its innovative, upgraded design. When formed, filled, and sealed on our VFFS machines with our patented Pierce Tap® 1 dispensing tap, Fres Flow™ helps to preserve beverages and extend shelf life. Because our patented Pierce Tap® 1 doesn’t pierce the pouch inside the box until the consumer presses the bulb of the tap, it eliminates the oxygen ingress that occurs through traditional BIB fitments and bags with pre-cut holes. Fres Flow™ packages can also be produced at a higher output compared to traditional bag-in-box packaging.

Compared to rigid containers, updated bag-in box beverage containers like Fres Flow™ are easier to open and dispense, and are fridge-friendly, easily allowing the beverage to stack or stand upright in a cooler or refrigerator. It comes in a variety of sizes from 1.5L, 3L, to 5L, and is ideal for wine, spirits, juices, cold brew coffee, tea, dairy products, and other beverages and liquids. Additionally, rollstock for Fres Flow™ can be sterilized right on the VFFS machine for aseptic applications including wine, dairy products, juices, cold brew, and more.

According to Data Bridge Market Research, the bag-in-box containers market is expected to witness market growth at a rate of 5.15% in the forecast period of 2021 to 2028. And, for good reason. Multi-layer flexible packaging like Fres Flow™ are a more environmental-friendly option. Bag-in-box packaging uses approximately 90% less energy to produce and emits about 90% less greenhouse gas compared to glass bottles, greatly reducing the product’s total carbon footprint.

Make the Transition to Flexible Beverage Packaging

If you’re considering making the move from rigid to flexible for your beverage packaging, our team of flexible packaging experts can help advise you on selecting the best solution that meets your needs.

As a flexible packaging innovator with over 40 years of experience, we can help you achieve your objectives and provide you with the highest quality service and support along the way. Contact us  to dive deeper into how our flexible solutions can help you innovate for the future.

For more than 40 years, Fres-co System USA, Inc. has manufactured high-performance flexible packaging systems and invented dozens of innovative breakthroughs including degassing valves, modified atmosphere technologies, and reclosure systems.

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