What is Flexible Packaging?

What is flexible packaging

Flexible packaging is a way of packaging certain products using non-rigid materials. This results in a more cost-efficient way along with resulting in more customizable options.  

What is rigid packaging? It is packaging such as plastic that holds a shape, for example protein powder that is packaged in rigid barrel like containers. In comparison to flexible packaging which consists of food quality resealable bags and pouches.

Flexible packaging is made of up different materials and layers which add much needed protection to consumable food and food products. It is necessary for flexible packaging to keep products fresh and free of outside contaminants

Flexible packaging can be used in various industries, but mainly it has been a staple of the food industry more specific coffee roast and beans.

Film Materials and Barrier Properties

Flexible packaging materials and barrier properties

This table chart highlights all the different materials that are used to manufacture a flexible packaging bag or pouch. It also highlights how each material can effectively block oxygen, moisture, light, and aroma.

Benefits of using flexible packaging

There are a few great benefits that come from using flexible packaging.  Flexible packaging is easier to store in comparison to rigid packaging.  Due to the flexible element of bags and pouches, they can be easily stored by taking up less unnecessary space.

The majority of flexible packaging comes with a zipper that makes it easy to open and close. This alone is a great advantage to opening and closing lids in rigid packaging. Having the ability to re-close the packaging, gives customers the convenience to quickly access their products.  In some instances, if a zipper is not available, tin ties have been used to reseal products. This is often seen when packaging coffee.  Although tin ties do not create that seal that can be made with zippers, they do offer the ability to re-close the bag with ease.

Extending the product shelf life is the single greatest benefit of using flexible packaging. Due to the resealable packaging options, flexible packaging is the best option out there to keep products fresher, longer.  Another popular option is the addition of one-way degassing valves to eliminate internal natural gasses which are expelled by coffee beans and roast.  Degassing valves have become a staple for coffee that is packaged in flexible packaging.  

A better marketing and branding approach

Unlike rigid packaging, flexible packaging can be customized and branded using hot stamp, full color, or digital printing options. Customers can pick what type of branding they will need based on their product and budget requirements. Printing can be done on the front face of the bag, on the back, both or all around including any side gussets. With these options a product using flexible packaging will have a noticeable advantage over others using rigid packaging containers.

Hot Stamp Printing

hot stamp printing flexible packaging

Hot stamp printing consists typically of 1 or 2 color options. It is pressed using stamping machinery. 

Custom label printing

Custom product label printing

Label printing consists of creating a label of multiple color options and sizes which is directly applied to the bag.

Digital Color Printing

Digital Printing Flexible Packaging

Digital color printing is great for a faster turnaround time than traditional full color printing.

Full Color Printing

Full Color Printing

Full color printing creates a full spectrum which can be customized to cover the entire bag, front back and sides. 

Additional accessories for flexible packaging

Flexible packaging has evolved into having additional options which will help improve shelf display.  When packaging is displayed on store shelves, it needs to be noticed and maximize its branding for customers to take notice.  Here are a few additional

Clear see through windows are a very popular option that allows consumers to visually see the quality of packaged products before they purchase. This is a unique option that banks on the consumer making their purchase decision based on the freshness and quality of products. Many beef jerky that is packaged has opted to have the entire back side being see through although some offer windows in oval, rectangular shapes for their display.

Hang holes are another popular option which allows bags to be hung instead of sitting on the shelf. This simple yet functional option can increase consumer visibility within prime display areas near registers and other prime areas.

One-way degassing valves clear out any internal gasses which are expelled by products such as coffee beans. This allows for the coffee to maintain its freshness and prolong the original flavor. As coffee consumers, having that original rich flavor and freshness is a big decision maker when it comes to choosing the right coffee brand.

Liquid spouts are a required option to have when packaging liquid products using flexible packaging. The spout allows for the contents not to spill and easy pouring, they often come with a twist on cap that makes re-closing a breeze.  

Environmentally friendly flexible packaging

Flexible packaging takes up less energy to make and there are certain bags that are recyclable and even 100% compostable. The flexible packaging industry has seen a transaction of more recyclable elements in their bags and pouches.  A great example of a full compostable bag are the Biotre flexible packaging bags, which are meant to not only protect your products, but also minimize landfill products.