When Does it Pay to Flex Your Packaging? Flexible Packaging 101

Part 1 of a 3-part Series on Flexible Packaging.

There are times when it’s wise to be rigid. In matters of principle. In important areas of self-discipline. And, sometimes, in your packaging choices.

However, there are also times when flexibility can be the wise choice. Here, we’ll stick with flexibility as it relates to packaging. We’ll leave matters of the heart, raising children, and self-indulgence for another time.

Glass and plastic bottles and containers will always have their place in the packaging world. Their ability to hold and display a wide range of products – as only they can – will ensure that. But, for some product manufacturers, flexible packaging offers strong benefits over plastic and glass.

We’ll explore flexible packaging in this three-part series.

What is flexible packaging?

Pouches, films, bags, envelopes, sachets, wraps, stick packs and foils – stand-up and lay-flat – are types of flexible packaging widely used by manufacturers today. Chances are, you’ve seen flexible packaging on store shelves and in coolers everywhere. Products ranging from juice, to nuts; candies, to jerky – even lawn & garden products – can be found in flexible packaging.

These are the packages that flex to hold product and flatten to be disposed of while taking up less space in trash receptacles and landfills. They are easy to transport, don’t break, take up less space on store shelves, coolers, home pantries and refrigerators.

From the consumer’s viewpoint, flexible packaging can provide the convenience to enjoy products on the go with single serve portions that can bend, fold and be stored almost anywhere. There’s also the desirable ability to provide resealable product packaging and tolerance to microwave oven temperatures.

Why flexible packaging?

From the perspective of product manufacturers, flex packaging can offer a multitude of benefits – for the right products and conditions.

Flex packaging can reduce packaging costs, minimize waste, and attract attention. Yes, well-designed, quality printed flexible packaging can help get your products noticed among the competition in stores and pharmacies, especially when lined up against plastic bottles and containers.

The right flexible packaging solution can do all this while protecting the condition and freshness of your products.

No label required.

Flexible packaging requires no label because the graphics and product information are printed directly onto the packaging material. This allows manufacturers to showcase high quality graphics on packaging that also protects the contents with an air-tight seal. Century Label offers FDA-approved finishes to further prevent moisture from affecting the product inside.

Flexible packaging and digital printing – a powerful duo.

Century Label is a leader in digital flexible packaging. Our advanced digital print equipment and capabilities allow us to provide short- to medium-run custom flexible packaging at the highest quality and quickest turnaround in the industry.

Here are a few of the benefits of digitally printed flex packaging:

  • Cost Savings - No plate charges, print-on-demand so no inventory required, no waste due to obsolescence

  • Customizable - Use variable data to target any demographic or promotional opportunity

  • Speed-to-Market -Shipping ten business days from approval of artwork

  • Low Minimum Quantities - Ideal for short runs and multi-SKU jobs

  • High Print Quality - High Definition quality, extended color gamut, perfect registration

For long-run jobs, Century Label capabilities include flexo printing for flexible packaging, which may offer cost savings over digital. Our experts can help you determine which method is best for your needs.

When is flexible packaging the best choice?

As you consider your packaging options, our experts can help. Once we gain a knowledge of your products, processes, logistics, and customers, we’ll recommend the best packaging size and structure for your product.

If you already have a package specification in mind, let us know and we’ll work with you on maximizing efficiencies while meeting your packaging, messaging, and merchandising needs.

Here are some important factors to keep in mind when considering various packaging options:

  • How do your customers view your products and how would a packaging change effect that?

  • How does your current packaging compare to the competition?

  • Are there potential cost savings in your packaging process?

  • What would new or different options do to your transit costs?

In Part 2 of this series, we’ll cover specific types of flexible packaging, and the benefits – and drawbacks – of each.