Voice of the packaging industry: Flexible Packaging

Sixty packaging engineering professionals from material suppliers and equipment manufacturers were questioned for the “2019 Flexible Packaging Market Assessment” by PMMI Business Intelligence. Here’s what some of them had to say about today’s Flexible Packaging industry.

Voice of the packaging industry: Flexible Packaging
Voice of the packaging industry: Flexible Packaging

Trends

“Recycling trends are still pretty popular right now. Some vendors are trying to make laminations with the same type of material, so you can recycle more easily. At least once a year, customers ask about this.” - Packaging Engineer, Health & Personal Care Company

“Most retailers want to get away from pegs that they used to use for the pouches and just go with retail-ready trays.” - Director of Engineer, Food Company

“All SUP are now in a shelf-ready package; the shelf-ready aspect really helps. I like this trend because it involves less handling of the product and provides more control in how it is presented. We have an opportunity to build more of our brand, and it is much less work theoretically for everyone at the store.” - Senior Project Engineer, Beverage Manufacturer

“The fastest growth for flexible packaging is in the dog food industry. They have been using high quality paper bags for a long time. They are moving really fast toward plastic flexible packages apparently to get better barrier properties, and maybe to look more visually appealing to consumers.” - Packaging Engineer Manager, Cereal Manufacturer

“The industry is now gearing towards on-the-go packaging, user convenience, smaller pack sizes, and easy-opening feature.” - Packaging Engineer, Food Manufacturer

“Serialization has been a hot topic, particularly in my industry. Another is RFID, where they are able to scan and get data for all inventory items in the system immediately. I would envision this to continue to evolve and improve in the coming years.” - Packaging Engineer, Pharmaceutical Company

“Pouches are really dominating. We use the pouches for both foodservice and consumer products.”- VP of Engineering, Large Food Company

“I see companies using the film itself for the reclose feature. Flexible has also done this with cookies (like Oreos). The flexible film has the reclose feature and this also shows tamper evidence That’s pretty clever.” - Director of Engineering, Large CPG Company

“I’ve seen that consumers want something with freshness that is conveyed into their product. They want new and fresh somehow indicated in the products their buying and flexible packaging allows for that.” - Director of Engineering, Large Food Company

E-Commerce

“E-commerce is a growing aspect of the business. Many of the flexible packages are outfitted well for e-commerce.” - Packaging Engineer, Contract Manufacturer

“The impact of e-commerce can only increase the amount of flexible packaging - it is undeniable. We do quite a bit of e-commerce, putting our flexible packages within cartons to transport.” - Director of Engineering & Strategy, Coffee Foodservice Company

“E-commerce is starting to impact packaging choices. We have not developed an e-commerce specific packaging yet. E-commerce is a huge thing that has not hit our industry much. We are behind the curve on this. Reinforcing things will definitely add costs.” - Packaging Engineer, Chemical Company

Manufacturer Needs

“If they built machines that let us run all types of flexible materials with a reduction of scrap, then we would consider buying new machines. Right now, in order to accommodate different material types, the machines have a wide tolerance range, so you get a lot of scrap. If they could reduce the scrap to around 2% or less, we would be more likely to invest in new machines.” - Project Engineer, Food Company

“To get us to invest in new machines, we would need the machines to be more flexible and easier to change over. For instance, not having to turn off the equipment to make a film change and allowing us to change it and splice it in would be a huge time saver. That right there would make us consider buying new equipment.” - VP of Engineering, Food Company

“One equipment provider offered us the ability to test drive their machine in-house for 6 weeks. This is the machine that was shown at PACK EXPO so it will not have every capability we want, and we will not be able to clean it automatically. We will use it to make test products, not for it to be commercially viable. We are paying a small fee and the company is installing it at our site for a trial period. It will really help us to decide if we want to make the final investment in this new type of packaging machinery.” - VP of Engineering, Food Company

Global Perspective

“The European market is the most advanced in flexible packaging. The market does a better job introducing innovative concepts which helps communicate brand essence and consumer engagement.” - Packaging Engineer, Food Manufacturer

“Asian packaging is always super colorful. Their graphics and designs are very eye-catching.” - Sr. Director of Engineering Food Packaging Company

“We’re starting to see a trend in smaller size packaging, primarily for snacks in Mexico. Customers are starting to gear towards ‘easy, on-the-go’ types of products.” - Packaging Engineering, Manager, Food Manufacturer

Nanotechnologies

“I have not seen this much in our market. You can get an indicator when it begins to spoil – it will change color. This motivates the merchant to keep rotating stock. I am not seeing this in the market, but sales people offer it. About every

2 years you hear about this from a sales rep.” - Packaging Engineer, Meat Company

“I have heard of this. It is available, although no one is using it. People will likely be a bit hesitant about this. People would be shocked at how often they are buying [products that are] less than fresh. We have to make the whole supply chain more efficient to really make sure everyone is buying fresh, because often it is more like barely fresh.” - Sr. Director Engineering, Meat Company

“I have not seen it used anywhere, but I have heard of this technology and it is getting close to breaking through one way or another.” - Packaging Manager, Beverage Company

 

Download the free Executive Summary of this report, or, PMMI Members can download the entire report here.

Source: PMMI Business Intelligence, 2019 Flexible Packaging Market Assessment.

Learn more about flexible packaging solutions and machinery at PACK EXPO Las Vegas, September 23-25.

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