Less than a decade ago, rigid packaging was used for almost all packaging purposes. Products such as detergent and shower gel as well as most perishable items including food that required to be kept safe and contaminant-free, came with rigid packaging. However, players in several industries that require packaging consistently, have shifted to flexible packaging for its numerous benefits and environmental friendliness. Evidently, the global market for flexible packaging is projected to expand at a significant CAGR of 5.2% during the forecast period of 2016–2024, according to a study by Transparency Market Research (TMR). The TMR report estimates the global flexible market to value US$358.7 bn by 2024. Here are a few factors why flexible packaging is quickly replacing the traditional rigid packaging:
- Flexible packaging are durable, and resilient against damage through external impact. These packaging also hold well against scratches and retailers who are opting for these packaging materials are seeing much lower number of product returns or complaints against them for damaged products.
- The most common materials used in flexible packaging are laminated plastics, which help to strengthen the barrier properties of the packaging. Flexible packaging also enable much wider range of design options.
- Flexible packaging take significantly less space which helps in reducing the transportation costs.
- By opting for flexible packaging, a company has several choices such as laminated sacks, plastic form fill, and seal films, and bags and pouches. Additionally, flexibility in the way package is sealed with innovative options such as velcro sliders, top sliders, hooded sliders, face zippers, and resealable zippers. This not only adds to the effectiveness of the packaged product, but also is better presentable for the consumers.
- Flexible packaging empower innovative branding by enabling flexible printing in a cost effective manner. These products sit right in front of their end-users and innovative branding strategies via flexible packaging are proving to boost the sales.
- It has been observed that the entire production process of flexible packaging consumes less than half of energy than rigid packaging. Hence, these are friendly to environment as well.