If you’re among the many companies making the move from rigid to flexible packaging, it’s likely you have questions as you select the best packaging type and supplier. Based on Fres-co’s extensive experience with customers across the food, beverage, chemical, and agricultural chemical markets, we’ve developed this FAQ-based flexible packaging guide to help educate you as you make the switch.
One benefit of flexible packaging that has significant ripple effects is its lighter weight. A lighter package comes with lower transportation and storage costs (making it ideal for e-commerce) and reduces the total carbon footprint associated with your packaging, particularly compared to glass or plastic bottles, metal cans and rigid drums. Flexible packages also have a lower product-to-packaging ratio, which reduces waste and further improves sustainability.
When it comes to ensuring product quality and integrity, flexible packaging is a smart choice. For example, flexible industrial bags offer a far lower oxygen transmission rate (OTR) and lower moisture vapor transmission rate (MVTR) than rigid drums, providing greater product protection and extending shelf life. And since flexible packaging isn’t susceptible to breakage and damage like glass or metal, it further improves product protection while minimizing waste.
Safety is another factor where flexible packaging outshines rigid alternatives. Many companies find palletization is safer and more stable when they use flexible bags or pouches, while those in foodservice find it’s safer for employees to open and use a flexible pouch or bag-in-box vs metal cans.
And finally, flexible packaging can improve shelf appeal by enabling you to offer products in unique package shapes and sizes with highly impactful graphics on a larger brand billboard.
When providers like Fres-co consult with a company that is new to flexible packaging, we advise them that the following factors influence the optimal packaging choice:
There is a flexible packaging type for almost any application in the food, beverage, chemical, and agricultural chemical markets. Following are the most common flexible packaging options:
Flexible packaging is especially well-suited to supporting a company’s sustainability mission in several ways. With a lower product-to-package ratio than rigid options, flexible packaging reduces waste and equates to a lower carbon footprint, in part by reducing the greenhouse gas emissions generated during transportation. Some types of flexible packaging—including the bag-in-box and various types of pouches—consume fewer resources during production as compared to glass bottles, metal cans and plastic containers. Additionally, recycle-ready flexible packaging is available to further meet the goal of recyclability as a sustainable solution.
Flexible packaging supports a variety of printing options, giving you the flexibility to choose the best method for your needs.
Traditional methods like rotogravure or flexographic printing are ideal when you’re printing flexible packaging in large quantities, since they require setup fees for plates and cylinders, as well as minimum quantities. Digital printing is a better choice when you’re printing flexible packaging in smaller quantities and/or you need faster turnaround than is possible with traditional methods. Companies that produce their products in small batches, and those that offer seasonal, limited time, or exclusive products, find digital printing to be an attractive choice.
When you switch from rigid to flexible packaging, you’ll enjoy access to a wide range of customization features. Though they vary by specific packaging type, most flexible packaging options support customization of:
When you transition from rigid to flexible packaging, you’ll want the support of an experienced partner capable of delivering a smooth experience from start to finish—as well as ongoing service that enables you to realize all the advantages that flexible packaging has to offer. When choosing a flexible packaging provider, be sure to look for:
If you’re ready to switch from rigid to flexible packaging, Fres-co is ready to help! Contact the flexible packaging experts at Fres-co at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn how our wide range of options can help you achieve your packaging objectives.
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