Customized Flexible Packaging Design Options Drive Demand

Did you know that one of the major trends in packaging today is the shift by manufacturers from rigid packaging to flexible packaging? A recent report by TMR Research explains how flexible packaging allows for the customization of barrier properties, sizes, and closures. Flexible packaging is simply more…flexible.

Why Flexible Packaging?

Flexible packaging wins on many levels. It is lightweight and compact, allowing for more efficient transportation and requiring less storage space. It also uses less material, so there is a large cost benefit when compared with rigid packaging. Moreover, there are a wide variety of customization options available, which means finding the optimal packaging solution for a particular product.

Flexible packaging requires much less storage space than rigid packaging due to its compactness.

Flexible packaging requires much less storage space than rigid packaging due to its compactness.

The TMR Research report forecasts significant growth in flexible packaging within the next few years based on the inherent benefits of flexible packaging as well as continued technological innovations in the field. The report notes that flexible packaging is widely used in the confectionery and frozen foods categories, as well as throughout the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) sector.

4 Major Benefits of Customization

Flexible packaging becomes even more flexible through customization. This is appealing to manufacturers when it means an improvement in the product, in the process, or in customer satisfaction.

  1. Shelf-Life Extension A variety of film materials can be used in flexible packaging. Individual polymers can be used such as LLDPE for fresh vegetable packaging. LLDPE allows the oxygen transfer required by fresh vegetables for optimal shelf life.Flexible packaging can also incorporate multiple materials through coextrusion or lamination using polymers, metal foils, and even paper. Incorporating ethylene vinyl alcohol (EVOH) or aluminum foil are two options for creating an excellent moisture and oxygen barrier. For products sensitive to spoilage, oxidation, or other degradation reactions, the right film is key to achieving optimal shelf life. The right packaging material can even block UV rays.
  2. Convenience Flexible packaging can also be customized to improve convenience—for the manufacturer or for the customer. For example, bag-in-box flexible packaging and intermediate bulk container (IBC) liners can be designed for top filling or bottom filling. In addition, holes added to IBC liner flaps can help hold the liner in place during filling. Accessories such as fill bridges and bag holders are also available to make the filling process easier. Another example of convenient design is a bag with a vertical fill spout, instead of angled, which is stronger, easier to fill, and simple to reseal.On the dispensing side, there are not only a variety of fitments available (e.g., vertical twist, horizontal twist, and press tap) but also the option of custom fitment location. Customized convenience also extends to custom sizes and designs including features such as handles and zips.
  3. Safety Product safety can be tightly controlled with flexible packaging. Seal strength can be adjusted through material or adhesive selection. Seal thickness can also be customized. The strength of the flexible packaging itself can be controlled through material selection. This is important to maintaining product integrity and preventing loss during transportation and handling. Moreover, tamper-evident fitments are available for flexible packaging products such as bag-in-box and IBC liners.
  4. Sustainability Sustainability in packaging includes the use of materials that are readily recyclable, as well as the use of less packaging overall. Another component is reducing product loss by using packaging with improved strength. This can be achieved through the material or the design. Product loss can also be reduced with innovations such as CDF’s Air-Assist IBC liners, which help expel viscous products like tomato sauce, improving the yield from 95 percent to 99.5 percent.

Customization Opportunities with CDF

CDF Corporation has a long history of innovation in flexible packaging, from accordion inserts to unique IBC liner valves. CDF’s high level of expertise and service ensure a reliable partner for custom food packaging. CDF can provide custom dimensions, materials, fitment location, lip thickness, and even venting for bag-in-box and IBC liners. As an SQF-certified facility, CDF has your food packaging needs covered. Download our corporate brochure to learn more.

Flexible Food Packaging Trends to Watch in 2018

Flexible film packaging is still trending up and shows no indication of slowing down. That aligns with the needs of food manufacturers and every other link in the supply chain. In 2018 and beyond, expect to see and use more of it.

Innovation lets food manufacturers meet current goals and set new ones that they could not have imagined a few years ago. Interactive packaging, as one example, turns flexible films into access points for important product data. Nanotechnology helps flexible materials provide better protection against transfer and spoilage.

What is on tap for 2018? Plenty. Expect to see more of the flexible packaging that you rely on, new innovations that make it smarter, and greater strides toward sustainability goals.

Interactive Packaging Responds to Users and the Environment

The more the user knows about a product, the better. In a recent packaging study by Mintel, researchers learned that about half of Americans like the idea of scanning a package to learn more. Interactive packaging provides access to more information than space on a label could allow. It also responds to its surroundings and might have the ability to adjust.

Here is what Consumer Goods says is possible now and will only become more important in the future:

  • Sensors that log real-time product data
  • Scannable packaging with updatable, cloud-based information such as allergens, preparation tips, and product freshness
  • Films and film laminates that interact with users and the environment

The Third International Conference on Food & Beverage Packaging, which takes place July 2018, posits that sensing technology is a necessary component of intelligent packaging.

Nanotechnology Helps Reduce the Likelihood of Spoilage

Food packaging has trended toward smaller, lighter, and stronger for the past several years. Nanotechnology helps take the industry a step further in size and also helps packaging offer better protection.

The Food & Beverage Packaging Conference has added nanotechnology to the 2018 lineup. Here are some of the high points:

  • Improving strength and performance in a smaller and lighter package
  • Adding silver or titanium dioxide nanoparticle antimicrobials as spoilage retardants
  • Adding clay nanoparticles to improve barrier film resistance to oxygen, carbon dioxide, and moisture

Food Manufacturers Increasingly Adopt Lightweight, Flexible Packaging

In 2013, Food Processing said, “processors can’t get enough flexible packaging . . .” In 2015, the Flexible Packaging Association reported over $30 billion in sales for the previous year, which amounted to nearly 20 percent of the packaging market.

Here is where flexible packaging is headed now, according to a recent Smithers Pira report:

  • Total flexible packaging market penetration of $230 billion in 2017.
  • Annual projected growth of 4.5 percent, up to $283 billion by 2022.

Flexible packaging 

Sustainability Means Less Packaging, Less Waste, and Fewer Carbon Emissions 

Ask ten people for their definition of “sustainability,” and you will probably get ten answers. The thing is, they all have the same core: reducing reliance on raw materials, reducing waste and carbon emissions, and maintaining balance or improving current conditions.

In packaging, sustainability springs from environmental awareness. At CDF Corporation, innovation makes it possible. That was true in 1971 with the advent of drum liners that enabled steel drum reuse, and it is true today with the myriad flexible film packaging options.

CDF Green reflects our corporate social responsibility to make every flexible and semi-flexible packaging system that we produce sustainable and in harmony with the environment.

The coming year promises to improve on everything that you already love about flexible film packaging, from smaller dimensions and improved strength to reduced product waste. With nanotechnology and trackable product data, the next decade in flexible packaging could change everything once again.

If you are ready to learn more about flexible materials, CDF Corporation is ready to help. Download our corporate brochure today.

Download Our Corporate Brochure

4 Key Flexible Packaging Factors that Ensure Food Safety

Food safety requires protective materials and processes working in concert to keep food fresh inside and guard against outside contaminants making their way in. Flexible packaging gives food manufacturers a variety of choices that work for products with different natures, such as dry goods, oily foods, and beverages. It is not one solution, but many.

Details such as storage temperature, sterilization process, and transportation conditions all help define what each food product needs. With flexible packaging, chances are there is an effective, economical, and dependable material or combination of materials that ensure food safety.

Here are four key factors to consider in your food safety and packaging strategy.

#1: Different Barrier Films Have Different Types of Protection

Every flexible film is a barrier of some type. The difference is in performance.

Polypropylene is one of the most common films, often used as bread packaging. But it is not as durable or protective as some others. LLDPE can offer a high rate of oxygen transfer, making it ideal for fresh vegetables that need oxygen. However, for food where oxygen is an enemy, PET helps block transfer. It is also heat resistant and lends itself to laminating.

Lamination lets you customize flexible packaging by bonding two or more layers of materials. For example, PET with a metalized film blocks UV rays, oxygen transfer, and moisture.

#2: Flexible Film is Only as Good as Its Seal

The power of flexible film and laminated films to ensure food safety hinges on the packaging seal. Packaging may be sealed using an adhesive or heat and pressure. Without a strong, consistent seal, contamination, spoilage, and product loss are likely.

Leak tests, says New Food Magazine, cover the whole package—barrier film and seal—to measure packaging integrity. Weave in additional demands, such as retort processes, and packaging seals become at least as important as the balance of the packaging.

Flexible packaging

You can revisit data any time–even weeks or years later–to identify strengths and weaknesses and introduce improvements.

#3: Modern Machinery Collects and Analyzes Data for Better Packaging Product Control

Instead of learning after the fact that there is a seal defect or another manufacturing issue that affects food safety, modern manufacturing and filling machinery monitor the system in real time. If there is a flaw, the whole line may be shut down while the defect is corrected, minimizing product loss.

Data helps clarify what is working like it should and what is not. Today and in the future, historical data can be analyzed and used to develop better packaging and processes. Data can also help pinpoint both the time of a defective run and the volume of packages affected by it. This fits into the Four Elements of an Effective Food Safety Management System, says Food Processing, through “instant traceability and recall management.”

#4: Storage Temperatures Can Alter Transfer and Shelf Life

The higher the temperature, the less resistant packaging may be to oxygen transfer and deterioration. New Food Magazine says that an understanding of storage conditions, especially temperature as it relates to packaging integrity enables a more accurate shelf life estimation.

The higher the storage temperature, the higher the rate of transfer or migration. With a higher rate of transfer, shelf life diminishes. Higher temperatures may also affect whether and to what degree laminate adhesives migrate through packaging to contaminate the food.

Food safety has a lot of moving parts, each one affecting the others. With flexible film, you have an array of choices and combinations that protect against migration and spoilage. There is likely one that is better suited for the food, storage conditions, shelf life demands, and budgetary restrictions with which you work.

Download our corporate brochure today and learn more about the possibilities with flexible films. We will show you why food manufacturers around the world are either using it already or moving in that direction.

Download Our Corporate Brochure

New Alliance Aims to Standardize Sustainability in Flexible Packaging

One of the few perennial snags with flexible film packaging has been limited recycling options and participation. These plastics are generally not recycled to make new food packaging materials, and other recycling possibilities still need to be researched. Unification in testing and designations for recyclability are what the new coalition, Global Plastics Outreach Alliance, aims to resolve.

Three plastics recycling groups have partnered in the coalition: The European PET Bottle Platform (EPBP), Plastics Recyclers Europe (PRE) and The Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR). Their goal, according to Packaging World, is to globally simplify plastics recycling protocols for a streamlined process that benefits everyone.

Existing Testing and Design Protocols Vary

All of the groups included in the coalition have developed plastics recycling design and testing protocols. They help determine what is recyclable and how to go about it. The problem does not lie in a lack of research and development, but in protocol consistency around the world.

APR president, Steve Alexander, tells Plastics Technology Online, that the differences between protocols have created a complicated testing process with more steps than should be necessary.

“Differences between our protocols may require a company to conduct three separate tests to achieve the same recyclability designation. We hope to clarify those differences and align all segments of our testing protocols.”

Global Protocols Promote Recycling Innovation

There is no shortage of research and testing in plastics recycling. With every link in the supply chain more committed to sustainability goals, not to mention consumer demand, more manufacturers have committed to developing testing protocols. However, the differences from one organization to the next, says Alexander, require as many as three different recyclability testing processes just to achieve the same designation.

PRE president, Ton Emans, says the coalition should fill a void in the plastics recycling industry. With the “tremendous amount of work done” to improve recyclability, now the industry needs a “coordinated voice.”

EPBP representative, Andreas Christel, says the industry needs simplification. The fewer complications that engineers and designers face, the more innovation can flourish.

Flexible packaging

Unification reduces the possibility of error, speeds up the process, and keeps everyone in the chain on the same page.

Plastics Testing Should Become Streamlined and Reduce Costs

With APR, PRE, and EPBP working together, the future of plastics recycling should become much simpler. Without the coalition, innovation would continue and protocols would evolve. However, they could grow further apart, creating more challenges and unnecessary steps across the industry instead of fewer hurdles.

APR communications director, Kara Pochiro, explained to Plastics Recycling Update that currently, all of the processes are “very similar.” By aligning now, the organizations can grow stronger and more effective together. Innovation that benefits everyone can be shared across the industry. Testing protocols can be developed as a group and implemented at every link in the chain.

In the future, plastics testing for recyclability should require only one step, says Pochiro. Whether for recycling in the United States, the European Union or any other participating country, one test makes the process quicker, less costly, and less confusing.

Currently, recyclability in flexible packaging materials is one of the few enduring challenges. It is not that the plastics are not recyclable, but that there are not enough opportunities to do so. Options for manufacturing using recycled flexible materials also requires further research. In this environment, the Global Plastics Outreach Alliance could advance recyclability testing and support sustainability goals in a significant way.

Check out all bag-in-box packaging options available from CDF by Download our Bag-In-Box brochure.

Download Our Bag-In-Box Brochure

High Pressure Processing and Flexible Packaging: A Perfect Match

Food manufacturers are under a lot of pressure to produce high-quality products with clean ingredient labels.

Many of them are responding by putting the food itself under pressure.

High pressure processing (HPP), sometimes referred to as hydrostatic pressure processing, preserves food by literally squeezing the life out of microorganisms that cause spoilage. This is accomplished by putting the product into flexible packaging, placing the packages in a chamber filled with water, and inducing hydrostatic pressure in the water of between 43,000 and 87,000 pounds per square inch. This pressure produces corresponding pressure inside the package that is lethal to bacteria, spores, and other microscopic life; it also degrades certain enzymes that would otherwise break down the food. The result is a shelf-stable product.

HPP has a significant advantage over retorting (canning), aseptic processing, and other processes for shelf stability. It does not subject the product to heat. This preserves the food closer to its original state, which is especially important for food that probably will be consumed cold, like juices or salsas. It also accomplishes preservation without chemicals, which is important for processors who want to show consumers a simple, short, wholesome-sounding list of ingredients on the package.

“High pressure processing equipment has allowed our company to provide clean labels to consumers,” Mike Durbin, manager of engineering and plant maintenance for juice producer Evolution Fresh, said in a trade show panel discussion reported in Packaging World magazine.

Minimally processed products with clean labels are especially important in categories like baby food. That is why Johnny Kien, who launched Keen Bean Baby Blends (after founding Green Carrot Juice Co.), chose HPP to process his line of baby food with ingredients like goji, acai, hemp hearts, and chickpeas.

Flexible packaging“It is time to start serving our little ones real food,” Kien told Food Processing magazine. “Our product is as close to homemade, mama- (or dada-) fresh as possible, with the convenience of a spout pouch.”

The technology has been around for about 30 years, with pureed avocados being the first commercialized HPP product. Most foods processed with HPP are at least semi-fluid, such as dips, salsas, and “wet” salads like coleslaw. However, the technology has expanded to solid foods like deli meats. Because the pressure comes equally from all sides, it can treat a whole piece of food without causing damage.

HPP must be done in flexible packaging; rigid packages would not be able to transmit pressure internally. Much of the processing is done in pouches intended for individual sale, but HPP is also done in bulk flexible packaging. This is seen most often in foodservice, where, for example, smoothies in an HPP bag-in-box could be loaded into a dispenser, and in delis and other ready-to-eat areas in supermarkets, for items like bulk wet salads.

By the same token, ingredient processors can use HPP to ship minimally processed, shelf-stable ingredients to their food manufacturing customers. Being able to ship and store high-quality products and ingredients without refrigeration opens up an exciting new dimension for food processors and their suppliers.

Download our Bag-In-Box brochure to learn more about flexible packaging options today!

Download Our Bag-In-Box Brochure

Factors to Consider When Making the Switch from Rigid to Flexible Packaging

The 2016 State of the Flexible Packaging Industry report showed continued, steady growth, making flexible packaging one of the fastest growing segments available in America. The Flexible Packaging Association says flexible materials grew at a rate of about 2.2 percent for $31 billion in sales that year.

Why should that matter to you? Because in the U.S. and around the world, flexible materials are not just growing in popularity, they are becoming one of the most technologically advanced options you can buy.

Chances are, you have at least considered whether or not you should transition from rigid or semi-rigid containers to flexible options. Before you make the switch, here are a few factors to ponder.

Is There a Flexible Solution for Your Product?

Perhaps the most important factor in deciding whether or not to switch to flexible packaging is whether it will work for you. If the product that you manufacture cannot be safely, easily, and affordably contained, the discussion is probably over.

Fortunately, there is an enormous array of flexible packaging solutions for everything from fresh foods to hazardous materials.

  • IBC liners use multiple layers.
  • Metallized polyester creates a safe water vapor and oxygen barrier.
  • LLDPE films offer crack resistance and durability in a general purpose film.
  • Co-extruded nylon is strong and guards against abrasion damage.
  • UN-certified materials protect the product and the environment.

Through laminating technology, you are not limited to one film only. Combining films lets you customize to meet the needs of the product, the filling machinery, handling practices, environmental factors, storage limitations, and end-user preferences.

Flexible packaging

Your transportation partner might love you for switching from heavy, fragile glass to light, durable flexible packaging.

Can Your Supply Chain Handle a New Packaging Material?

Switching to flexible materials affects not just your business but everyone else’s in the supply chain from the transportation company to the end user. If you switch packing to flexible materials, are your supply chain partners equipped to handle the change?

Flexible packaging is usually easier to handle, not more difficult. It is less prone to breakage and it is much more lightweight than glass, metal, or rigid plastics. Because flexible materials hold more with less, the same product volume takes up less space. There are fewer transportation vehicles needed and less space in storage.

Flexible packaging also helps keep costs down for everyone involved. In fact, cost reduction is one of the most attractive and universal benefits. Packaging Strategies reports that over time, the smaller, lighter qualities could translate to big savings in fuel costs, handling, storage, and product loss.

What are Your Green Manufacturing Goals?

Does your business have green goals? Many companies do, but there is a point where you might hit a wall. Rigid containers can only offer so much toward lowering your carbon footprint. Flexible materials are designed for it.

Unfortunately, when some people think “flexible,” they think “plastics that do not degrade.” It is time to put that notion to bed. Flexible materials are incredibly green and Earth-friendly. Here are just a few of the numerous reasons why:

  • Fewer raw materials
  • Significantly less packaging waste
  • Smaller dimensions
  • Fewer transportation vehicles
  • Lower fuel consumption
  • Fewer carbon emissions
  • Smaller storage areas with less reliance on fossil fuels for conditioning
  • Longer shelf life at room temperature
  • Recyclability (in some, but not all, cases)

If there is room to improve your green manufacturing practices, flexible packaging might be the answer for which you are looking.

No matter what product you manufacture, freshness is vital. Dry goods go stale, fresh foods spoil, and food-borne illnesses put everyone at risk. For foods, better freshness protection by way of improved packaging means less food waste and a lower risk of people getting sick.

One of the most relevant examples today is fresh food and water delivery to people who are desperate for it, such as those who have survived a natural disaster and people living in poverty-stricken areas. Some films also go from refrigeration to heat for cooking without the need for a skillet, pot, or utensils.

Flexible materials offer a longer shelf life, protection against contamination, UV resistance, and many other benefits under extreme conditions. Imagine how they can perform for you.

If you are committed to rigid packaging because it is familiar, think of the humble butter wrapper. It is flexible and it has been around for generations. Flexible materials have expanded beyond the feed sacks and sugar bags of 100 years ago because they work and showed great potential. Food manufacturers around the world are moving toward flexible film packaging now because it works better.

If you are on the verge of making the switch from rigid containers to flexible packaging, we can help. Download our Bag-In-Box brochure for more information.

Download Our Bag-In-Box Brochure

Top Trends in Flexible Food and Beverage Packaging

Flexible packaging is evolving almost as fast as films roll off the machinery. For the food and beverage industry, this means more choices, more solutions, and packaging that can adapt quickly to the tighter and more ecologically-aware needs of everyone in the supply chain.

Trends in flexible packaging lean toward creating better solutions. What are the current pain points in food manufacturing and how can the industry help solve them? Flexible materials are already known for certain characteristics, such as strength and lighter weight in a comparatively compact size. The horizon promises improvements on those and other fronts.

Advancing Film Technology Works for More Products

Food manufacturers that previously resisted the switch to flexible packaging have more reasons to revisit it. Flexible films and manufacturing technologies are advancing quickly with more and better materials available.

Film packaging manufacturers offer a variety of simple and complex films for different products. For more challenging food products, laminated films combine the benefits of two or more materials, such as oxygen and water vapor barriers. With custom packaging dimensions, you get a solution that is not standard but tailored to the manufacturer’s needs and the product’s requirements. Canadian Packaging says this dynamic nature is what makes flexible packaging poised for more industry growth.

Research and Innovation Make Recyclability a Growing Option

One of the initial concerns about flexible packaging is becoming less of an issue all the time. Recyclability was a stumbling block for some materials and the manufacturers that might have used them. That is changing with a push for more eco-friendly flexible packaging choices and research exploring alternative materials.

In the meantime, recyclability is already happening for non-food products. The flexible packaging that contains jams or dry cereals for a food manufacturer today may contain fertilizer tomorrow. Packaging Digest notes that recyclability depends in large part on these factors:

  • Designs that make recycling easier
  • Improved recyclable materials collection
  • Better materials sorting
  • More variety in products that use recycled flexible films
  • New technologies
Flexible packaging

Metallized films upgrade flexible packaging to resist moisture, oxygen, and other contaminants.

Better Film Barriers Mean Less Spoilage and Loss

At the consumer level, there is a growing demand for fresh, convenient foods with lighter, stronger, and smaller packaging. Plastics Today suggests that meeting this demand determines whether or not food manufacturers can stay competitive.

With improved films and metalized materials with innovative packaging and filling technology, manufacturers can respond to market demand with packaging that:

  • Resists UV damage
  • Resists oxygen and water vapor infiltration
  • Resists oil transfer
  • Extends room temperature shelf life
  • Resists temperature extremes between freezing, refrigeration, thawing, and cooking

Green Guidelines Become More Attainable

Green practices demand packaging that is less of a burden on the environment. Downsizing with flexible materials helps manufacturers meet stricter guidelines and reduce the carbon footprint of everyone in the supply chain.

Firstly, flexible packaging is smaller than comparable rigid packaging so it needs fewer raw materials. Secondly, manufacturing is much faster so fewer emissions result from the manufacturing process.

Canadian Packaging says, “Manufacturing 780,000 flexible pouches consumes 87 percent less coal, 74 percent less natural gas, and 64 percent less crude oil in comparison to the manufacturing of rigid clamshell packages.”

The green benefits only grow from there:

  • Less storage space required
  • Less transportation space required
  • Lower carbon emissions from fewer trips to transport more product
  • Less product loss from both improved packaging durability and resistance to spoilage
  • Creative packaging design and taps minimize the need to decant into a secondary container
  • Lighter weight requires less heavy equipment to handle and store
  • For hazardous materials, UN-Certified packaging reduces the likelihood of a spill

The flexible packaging industry growth is supported by its versatility and adaptability. If a product changes, flexible packaging can change to keep up with it much more quickly than rigid packaging. If product use or storage conditions change, flexible materials keep up.

Consumer demand might be a driving force behind research, development, and wider implementation in flexible packaging. However, the benefits for the food manufacturing supply chain cannot be overstated. If you are ready to learn more, contact us for a free sample and download our corporate brochure today!

Download Our Corporate Brochure

6 Reasons Flexible Packaging Market Will Reach $202 Billion within Five Years

New research into the flexible packaging industry shows dramatic growth is still ahead. According to Persistence Market Research, Pvt. Ltd., whose press release was listed at PR Newswire, the global market is projected to experience a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of approximately 6.7 percent between 2017 and 2022. That is based on an industry analysis period that ran from 2012 to 2016.

The flexible packaging industry is not just hot in America; it is growing around the world. From sachet and pouches to bags, films, and wraps, flexible materials have come a long way since the advent of gum wrappers and sugar bags.

Here are six reasons behind the recent surge in popularity and its projected growth over the next five years.

#1: Flexible Packaging is Cost-Effective

Perhaps the most often cited reason manufacturers prefer flexible packaging is the cost. It requires fewer raw materials than rigid packaging options and the materials cost less. Manufacturing is quick, there is minimal waste, both during production and after use, and it costs less to produce. Over a million Americans work in the flexible packaging industry, so supporting it helps keep jobs stateside.

#2: There Is Growing Variety in Flexible Film Materials

Do you manufacture an unusual or uncommon product that requires a custom packaging shape, size, and transfer resistance? There is a film for that. Check with your packaging partner to learn what is available. If you gradually incorporate flexible materials into your packaging repertoire, you can monitor its performance and measure it against the rigid containers to which you are accustomed. Flexible packaging films range from general use to high-tech. There is also vapor barrier film and specialty materials that make packaging UN-compliant.

#3: It Helps Prevent Contamination and Extends Product Shelf Life

The threat of food contamination not only puts your business at risk, it also endangers the health and well-being of the end user. Flexible packaging films can block UV rays, air, water vapor, and oil transfer. Packaging seals are strong and machined in a continuous seam. They are inspected regularly, and cutting-edge equipment adds data collection to the mix. If there is ever a problem, you can track it to the moment it happened and make a course-correction. Food stays fresher, even on a shelf with no refrigeration.

Flexible packaging

Flexible packaging has something good for everyone in the supply chain.

#4: Flexible Materials are Lighter, Smaller, and Easier to Store

Glass packaging is notoriously heavy. Metal is not much better and in some cases, it is worse. Flexible packaging weighs a fraction of what rigid containers do for the same storage capacity. That is partly because you can store more in a smaller container without sacrificing durability, and it is partly because flexible films weigh less than the same volume of metal, glass, or rigid plastics.

#5: It Is One of the Most Versatile Packaging Choices on the Market

If your product changes or you decide to store more or less product than before, switching to a new rigid container could take weeks or months of change orders and manufacturing. That is not the case with flexible packaging. The films used in manufacturing are light, thin, and easy to manipulate. By reprogramming with new dimensions, you can change the size and shape of your packaging without significant downtime.

#6: Manufacturers, Retailers, and Consumers Prefer it

There is a lot to be said for making people happy. Flexible packaging does just that. It is the packaging of choice for consumers and retailers for many of the same reasons manufacturers prefer it. Transportation partners also appreciate the benefits. Smaller containers mean more product fits in one shipment than with traditional rigid packaging. Because flexible films are quite durable, there is much less risk of breakage, product loss, and messes to clean up.

The packaging industry is experiencing a revolution. Flexible materials have been around for generations, but modern flexible films take it to places it has never been. With projected growth over the next five years approaching seven percent annually, who knows what possibilities might arrive in the future? There is only one way to find out. Contact us for a free sample and download our corporate brochure and learn why the market is taking off like a rocket.

Download Our Corporate Brochure

Exploring the Role of Antimicrobial Agents in Flexible Packaging

Whether it happens on your watch or in the hands of the end user, spoilage is waste. It wastes money, food, and the time that it takes to start over again from scratch. If you want to really dig in, spoilage wastes crops, farm worker labor, packaging materials, and transportation costs. Antimicrobial agents could be a solution.

In flexible packaging, antimicrobial agents help control food waste by preventing the growth of bacteria. That, in turn, extends shelf life. It is an emerging idea that could take product freshness to places you never imagined.

Natural Antimicrobial Agents Help Control Contamination

Flexible packaging already offers a superior barrier that protects fresh foods from contamination. It is strong, so it does not carry the same breakage risks as packaging such as glass. The wide range of film choices on the market gives food manufacturers options for protecting acidic juices, oily salad dressings, and dry goods such as cereals, all of which have properties that can degrade or break some types of packaging.

The addition of natural antimicrobial agents enhances the durable and protective characteristics of flexible packaging. Instead of a barrier that only blocks UV rays and moisture, it also prevents bacteria from ruining the food inside.

Natural antimicrobials fall into the “GRAS” or Generally Recognized as Safe category for food additives. MDPI explains that depending on the packaging and the food it contains, they may include these and other agents:

  • Enzymes
  • Organic acids
  • Bacteriocins
  • Essential oils
Flexible packaging

Antimicrobial agents take shelf life from days or weeks to months or years.

The Benefits of Antimicrobial Agents in Flexible Packaging Go Beyond the Ordinary

Food contamination has a far-reaching effect that puts everyone from the food manufacturer to the consumer at risk. Not only do contaminants threaten the health of the end-user, an outbreak of food-borne illness can destroy the reputation and ultimately the business of the manufacturer.

Food-safe antimicrobial agents keep fresh food fresh longer, but that is really the narrow view. Edition Truth says the combination of flexible materials and antimicrobials could benefit everyone in the supply chain in other ways.

When food is less vulnerable to spoilage, more people have access to healthy foods. In disaster-stricken locations such as post-hurricane Puerto Rico, food delivery is more problematic than anyone predicted. Flexible packaging with antimicrobial agents could put healthier foods into the hands of people who have no ability to shop for it locally.

Here are just a few more benefits:

  • Eliminate or reduce the need for cold storage
  • Protect a vast range of products from pharmaceuticals to juices to ready-to-eat foods
  • Open up a broader range of transportation options through less breakage and smaller containers
  • Make distribution possible to farther-reaching parts of the country and the world where safe food is scarce

Consumers rely on safe, fresh food that will not spoil quickly or cause harm. Antimicrobial agents in flexible packaging are an emerging possibility that help food manufacturers, packers, transportation companies, and others in the supply chain provide it. The more the possibilities are studied and the more that the packaging industry learns, the better you can meet the needs of your company, your workers, and the family who opens a juice container at the breakfast table.

If you need better food packaging options, advancing technology in flexible materials could be the answer. Contact us for a free sample and download our corporate brochure.

Download Our Corporate Brochure

Preference for Flexible Food Packaging Drives Form-fill-seal Machine Market Growth

What is behind the steady growth in flexible packaging and form-fill-seal machinery? Manufacturer demand, in part. Customer demand plays an important role, as well. For food and beverage manufacturers, bag and pouch flexible packaging is the future.

Whether your business is only beginning to transition to flexible packing or you need to upgrade, here are four considerations for form/fill/seam machines and the films that make flexible packaging a reality.

#1: Form/Fill/Seal Equipment Should Improve on Every Need

Bag and pouch manufacturing accounts for over 43 percent of the global form-fill-seal machine market, according to Transparency Market Research.  With sustained demand for flexible packaging and a predicted increase in the coming years, the industry is entering a phase of quality improvements on all possible fronts.

Flexible packaging affects every link in the supply chain in one way or another. For end-users, freshness and convenience matter. Food manufacturers have more concerns. Machine speed, packaging quality, and cost effectiveness rank high. When one area, such as quality or cost, slips, the whole packaging initiative can suffer.

#2: Smart Machines Extract Data and Make it Accessible 

Today, smart machines do much more than produce a reliable product quickly. Food Processing explains that with the right software, manufacturers can capture valuable data that not only improves packaging quality, but also helps make processes faster with fewer errors.

Flexible packaging

Working with a flexible film manufacturer keeps you tuned into newer materials that can help machines perform better.

Smart machines can track and monitor data from seam seals to RFID tags. Additionally, they make the information available on demand from a smartphone or a computer.

#3: Flexible Films Can Maximize Machine Output and Enhance Packaging Qualify

Cutting-edge machines are only part of the equation for better products, performance, and costs. The flexible films that you choose work in tandem with form-fill-seal machines to help them perform as intended and produce the results that you need.

Better films and machines produce better seals, fewer wrinkles, a cleaner appearance, and ultimately a longer shelf life, says Food Processing. With technological advances in films, you could reduce costs and improve packaging quality at the same time.

#4: New Advances in Flexible Films and Machinery Promote a Stronger Industry

Flexible packaging and form-fill-seal machines are entering a new phase. With the growth trajectory of flexible materials continuing upward and consumer demand increasing, it is not a matter for many food manufacturers of whether to adopt form-fill-seal machinery, but how the next improvements will make business better.

Smart machines are a good indicator of a maturing industry. A larger available variety of flexible films is another. Now, food manufacturers can choose from more machine sizes to handle large and small packaging demands. Machine quality is improving, as well, with less downtime, fewer glitches, and less frequent repairs.

Flexible packaging and form-fill-seal machinery improve on so many food manufacturing pain points, it is no wonder the industry is experiencing consistent and relatively rapid growth. From manufacturer to end user, costs are lower, packing is better, and the quality of food is better longer.

If the array of films has you puzzled, work with a manufacturer who knows the industry now as well as what is on the horizon. Contact us for a free sample and download our corporate brochure to learn more about your options.

Download Our Corporate Brochure