Answering Consumer Challenges in the Flexible Packaging and Labeling Industry

Flexible packaging has become the preferred method for many consumers. They are easy to transport, can fit into places standard boxes can’t, and often allow for resealing so that consumers can use a product and not worry about the product spoiling quickly.  

As the market shifts away from rigid boxes and into flexible materials, meeting customer desires will be essential in completing conversions and driving business. There can be difficulties, however, obtaining packaging that meets customer needs from suppliers.

Answering Major Challenges in the Flexible Packaging Industry

Packaging can be the key component in a customer selecting your product over another in a store – and in whether they return to your product in the future. As such, it’s essential to meet customer demands when designing packages. To do that, it’s important to understand what the most important aspects of packaging are.

According to a poll held by the Global Pouch Forum, the top factors that should play into packaging development are:

  1. Shelf impact and differentiation

  2. Customer convenience

  3. Cost

  4. Improved shelf life

  5. Speed to market

  6. Sustainability

The specific level of impact of these factors on your packaging will vary with your brand message and your audience. However, shelf impact and customer convenience have some of the highest margins of importance in packaging design.

Shelf impact is what makes your package stand out from other brands, as well as highlighting what makes your product different from the others. Flexible packaging allows you to make the most of your space to appeal to the customer.

Consumer convenience involves visual appeal, easy to use functionality, sustainability and freshness. The convenient storage options of flexible packaging combined with the potential to reseal a package contribute to these factors. Additionally, flexible packaging is quicker to market, lower minimum order quantities, and cost savings from digital printing, allowing for a reduced impact on the environment.

The drive to emphasize convenience for an on-the-go lifestyle and emphasis on sustainability of products is gaining momentum, partially thanks to the number of Millennials making purchasing decisions. 

Even outside of the younger generations, roughly 71% of consumers prefer flexible packaging over non-flexible counterparts – and not adapting to this change means that you can lose customers to businesses that do. However, not all suppliers provide flexible packaging options, which puts a roadblock in the path to making this change.

Active and Intelligent Packaging

In addition to providing flexible packaging options, you want your packages to do more than just provide a convenient way for consumers to recognize and use your products. Incorporating active and intelligent packaging can engage the customers further, bringing in better business. As technology develops, many new ways to develop active and intelligent packaging have come into use:

  • Augmented reality

  • Incorporating company vision

  • Educational product training and safety

  • Product use, promotion of other products, and contests

  • Water-soluble paper materials

While some of these options are new and others are updates on older strategies, they are all great choices to help enhance your packaging plans. Flexible packaging makes it easy to incorporate these elements, giving you even more options for strengthening your marketing plans and attracting customer interest.

A Most Unique and Timely Packaging Innovation

How can SmartSolve materials benefit you and your customers? SmartSolve water soluble materials are the perfect choice for flexible and other packaging options, providing materials that meet all the essential factors of successful packaging and giving you the variety you need to develop the optimal packaging strategy for your products. SmartSolve can benefit you and your customers by providing:

  • Employee and customer safety. Some products may include harmful chemicals that can impact both your employees and customers. With SmartSolve water-soluble pouches, you have a barrier between the product and the user for additional safety.

  • Sustainability. SmartSolve packaging goes beyond recycling and has several certifications of “green” from agencies like TPCH and OSHA.

  • Time and labor savings. For customers who work with critical equipment, our water-soluble paper solutions make for easy label removal and cut down on cleaning time of products and packaging, increasing the amount of labor spent on growing your organization.

  • Innovation. With water-soluble paper materials available in multiple thicknesses, coatings, and configurations, there’s an option ready for your needs all while providing a convenient to use product.

  • Product portioning. If your product requires specific portion sizes, SmartSolve can give you whatever packaging you need to maintain the integrity of your product for use.

SmartSolve provides pouches, board stock, and label stock packaging solutions that are sustainable, cost-effective, convenient for customer use, and differentiation in a changing market. 

To learn more about meeting consumer challenges, view the full Webinar we recently gave for the Contract Packaging Association. As always, we’re here to answer any questions; just call 800.537.9429 or request a quote.