Time to Reap the Benefits: Flexible Packaging for Food and Supplements

flexible packaging organic healthManufacturers, packagers, and especially consumers continue driving demand for flexible packaging. Flexible packaging solutions offer various benefits, particularly for food applications and the use of packaging nutraceuticals and supplements. Not only do flexible packages deliver a positive customer experience, but innovative designs can also improve shelf life and yield savings for producers.

As demand for flexible solutions expands within the contract packaging industry, custom flexible packaging alternatives enhance product protection, reduce food waste, cater to consumer convenience, and streamline logistics in many cases. With considerable packaging benefits already known, flexible packaging innovation is poised for further gains in the food, beverage, and nutritional supplement industries.

Benefits of Transitioning to Flexible Packaging

Flexible Packaging Assessment results shared online indicate flexible packaging now accounts for forty percent of global packages. According to the study, food represents the largest flexible packaging market share for end users, with noted growth in sweet and savory snacks and bars. In particular, smaller pouches are in demand for nuts, dried fruits, and nutrition bars. In addition to healthier snack choices, consumers also embrace mix-in powders and other dietary supplements, creating further opportunities to replace rigid containers with flexible packaging alternatives.

With the help of established contract packaging companies, a growing number of manufacturers are transitioning to flexible packaging. An industry study surveyed brand owners, with approximately forty percent citing production costs, shipping efficiencies, convenience, and consumer lifestyle trends as reasons for the shift to flexible packaging. More than half of survey respondents were able to reduce production costs by transitioning to flexible packages, and a similar share of businesses also reported sales increases after expanding their use of flexible packaging materials.

In one example illustrating multiple advantages of flexible packaging, baked goods are increasingly moving to bags and stand-up pouches. Utilizing flexible alternatives has helped producers lower packaging costs, extend the shelf life of baked goods, and increase product visibility.

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Consumer Convenience and Satisfaction

The most effective packages keep food products fresh and provide preferred portion sizes; flexible packaging excels in both categories. Many modern consumers crave food and nutritional supplements on the go, so flexible packaging offers a nimble alternative to rigid packaging traditions. Catering to fast-paced, convenience-driven lifestyles, flexible solutions are well-suited for packing individual food portions as well as gummies, powders, energy drinks, protein bars, and other dietary supplements.

Easy handling is an important consideration for consumers requiring mobility and portability. Flexible solutions add value by incorporating user-friendly features such as re-sealable convenience and dispensing options. Ultralight materials add further appeal, providing mechanical strength without adding excess weight or waste.

Marking a shift from a rigid packaging tradition, powdered supplement makers are turning to flexible packaging for protein and powdered supplements. Supplement packagers overcome past problems with powder-clogging ordinary seals by incorporating powder-proof re-sealable closures.

Commitment to Safety and Sustainability

The Flexible Packaging Association identifies sustainability as one of the hallmarks of flexible packaging solutions. In practice, flexible packaging harnesses all the advantages of materials such as plastic, paper, foil, and film while minimizing the overall amount of material required to protect and preserve food and supplements.

Although flexible solutions are more sustainable and require less energy to produce than some of their rigid counterparts, end-of-life recycling challenges remain. Separating multi-material laminated films is difficult, limiting available recycling options with today’s infrastructure. Industry-wide efforts are underway to improve the sustainability profile of modern packages. Among the initiatives aimed at improving flexible packaging’s environmental performance are advancing flexible material sortation methods and improving recycling outcomes. As new technologies emerge, compostable packaging and bio-based flexible packaging materials are also on the rise.

Flexible food packaging enhances consumer safety. Where appropriate, flexible food packaging solutions employ antimicrobial food contact surfaces, reducing the risk of bacteria growth, chemical reactions, and fungi concentration. It is also possible to add modified atmosphere packaging (MAP), pairing the advantages of MAP and advanced flexible film qualities for sturdy mechanical strength and resistance to bacterial contamination.

Versatile and Customizable Flexible Solutions

Gummy supplements, powders, tablets, and countless food products each have distinct packaging requirements, calling for custom solutions. Because non-rigid packaging incorporates multiple layers and materials, the adaptable solution is very versatile, enabling packagers to create bags and pouches with precisely the protective qualities needed for each packaged product.

Transparency and product visibility are more important to shoppers than ever before. Along with interest in product origins and production practices, curious consumers also want to visually inspect food products before heading to the checkout. Flexible packaging alternatives boost shelf appeal, putting visible package contents on display for shoppers.

Versatile design options help flexible packaging professionals streamline shipping requirements without sacrificing protection – barrier layers keep oxygen out, and puncture-resistant features keep contents intact. In many cases, space-saving flexible packaging designs reduce transportation costs, resulting in a lower carbon footprint compared to some traditional packaging methods.

According to future market insights, the global nutraceutical flexible packaging industry experienced growth of 5.1% CAGR for the 2018-2022 period. It is thought the market will continue on a similar trajectory in the coming decade, predicted to grow at a rate of 6.9% CAGR. The global market value for flexible nutraceutical packaging is anticipated to exceed $4 billion in 2023.

Driven in part by consumer shifts toward healthier, more convenient lifestyle choices, flexible packaging is one of the fastest-growing packaging industry segments.

Reshaping packing traditions for food and supplements, flexible packaging is heralded for its many advantages, including reduced costs, space-saving shipping efficiency, customer convenience, and its positive sustainability profile. Industry innovation continues expanding the possibilities for flexible packaging alternatives, offering new ways for brands to benefit from the technology.

Our team of packaging experts has over 30 years of experience with flexible packaging solutions, and we are ready to help with your next packaging project. Please reach out to us using the RFQ form, calling directly, or using our contact page information to locate the sales office closest to you. We look forward to partnering and working with you!

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