In a crowded and constantly growing marketplace, it's no longer enough for packaging to just maintain the status quo. Flexible pouch packaging has been disrupting one industry after another for many years, and growth of this particular packaging format shows no sign of slowing.
'Looks Matter' in Packaging
Packaging World recently reported that according to a new Mintel survey, "one-third of U.S. adults believe that high-quality food packaging is an indicator of product quality, and three in five U.K. consumers say they pay attention to beverage packaging formats." Now is the time for food and beverage manufacturers to roll out unique packaging formats that not only offer enhanced convenience, but differentiate themselves on store shelves in a sea of competitors who largely maintain the status quo as far as packaging goes. Most industries have a 'go-to' standard packaging type that has been tried, tested, and approved.
But today, what is 'standard' in packaging is often being abandoned for a format that is almost completely opposite. 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it' certainly doesn't apply any longer. Instead, 'If it's the standard, why?' seems to be the new adage. Challenging the status quo in packaging has become a way for new brands to make a bigger market impact and for existing brands to reinvent themselves and market to an increasingly discerning consumer demographic.
Sour Cream Gets a 'Sweet' Packaging Upgrade
Sour cream has largely been sold in plastic containers with lids for many years. Why? Because it provides a cost-effective way to cleanly package and transport a messy liquid product. However, this packaging format didn't take into consideration the end consumer, 60% of which use sour cream as a topping. Consumers would have to use a spoon to scoop product from the container which was inconvenient, especially for busy professinals on the go who didn't always have access to silverware. When used as an ingredient, sour cream was messy and cumbersome to measure into exact amounts.
In 2015, a major dairy manufacturer added flexible premade pouches to its sour cream packaging lineup. With a flip cap, this inverted, wedge-shaped flexible pouch offers easy-to-control, drip-free dispensing. Messy scooping of the product is no longer an issue, and consumer reaction has been overwhelmingly positive. Not to mention, this packaging format clearly stands out on the shelf in a sea of plastic cylindrical containers. This new, patented flexible premade pouch packaging format disrupted the industry and any preconceived notions of what sour cream packaging 'should' look like.
Soup Market Heats Up with Stand-Up Pouch Packaging
For many years, soup has been packaged in iconic metal cans. This packaging format was devised when there were no other alternatives, and as with many things, continued on as the standard until there was incentive to change. Incentive has arrived in the form of consumer demand for flexible packaging that is portable, convenient, and light. Bulky, heavy, rigid soup cans certainly don't fulfill today's consumers demands. In addition, soup cans don't provide much real estate for marketing and messaging, and sometimes require extra tools to open. And what if you want to save a portion of your soup for another meal? When it comes to cans, recloseale options are nil.
With soup sales on the decline, a major player in the industry decided to shake things up a bit by packaging their soup in stand-up premade pouches. This was a huge risk - after all, their iconic soup can is instantly recognizable by consumers and has even been immortalized by artists like Andy Warhol. But consumers drove the change, and this company ultimately (and rightly) decided to challenge the soup packaging status quo. This decision disrupted the industry, and competitors are now following suit by offering their products in flexible pouches alongside of the iconic can.
Is Your Product Packaging 'More of the Same'?
Manufacturers and consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies: Take an objective look at your packaging. Would you buy your product as it is packaged now? Would your kids and grandkids? Is it convenient to use, carry, and store? Does it offer a great canvas for marketing and branding? When it is displayed among its competition, does it stand out as something innovative and different? If not, it's time to abandon the status quo and consider your options in flexible premade pouch packaging.
If you've decided that you're ready for a change, one of the first steps is considering your options for packaging your product into premade pouches. Because of technological advances and competition, investing in pouch filling equipment is no longer just for the big industry players. Pricing is now accessible to all company sizes and types, and ease of operation through incorporation of user-friendly human machine interfaces (HMIs) and popular controls platforms has made the learning curve much less cumbersome.
If you're still not sure where to start, you're not alone. Read our newly published guide that will help discern the important questions to ask and factors to consider when investigating premade pouch filling machinery for your business.