News Feature | March 12, 2015

Is Flexible Packaging The Best Choice For Your Food Product?

By Isaac Fletcher, contributing writer, Food Online

With a wide variety of flexible packaging options on the market, making design decisions can be tedious, but necessary, work. Whether you package liquid products, dried goods, or meats and cheeses, the perfect flexible packaging solution is out there.

When it comes to packaging food products, every company has different needs and specifications for their unique product lines. With so many flexible packaging options available, choosing the right format for your operation can sometimes be a complicated undertaking. With the help of some general guidelines, you can ensure you are making the right considerations for your food products and their respective packaging solutions.

Soups And Sauces
Products that come in liquid form, such as soups and sauces, greatly benefit from being packaged in layers of film. With this method, your product is adequately protected and, in some situations, is able to be cooked directly in the packaging via boilable bags or retort pouches. Choosing a packaging type with the right amount and combination of layers will provide more durable packaging with the right level of stiffness, allowing the package to stand upright on the store shelf.

You should also consider your product type when deciding what type of closure is best for your package. Will the product benefit from having the packaged affixed with a pouring spout, or will a more-traditional sealing fixture get the job done?

Fruits And Nuts
Similar to the products mentioned above, dried fruits and nuts can benefit from layered flexible packaging. Although barrier films will not add much protection on their own, combining and laminating films together to form multi-layered film will create a packaging solution that will not easily rip or tear.

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Additionally, when choosing a packaging format for fruits and nuts, be sure to avoid packaging that simply glues a clear film window onto the bag. Although being able to see the product inside is a benefit, this method results in a weaker packaging barrier and does not protect the food within as well as it should. Laminated packaging with a gloss finish provides the transparency that many consumers desire while still adequately protecting the product.

Meats And Cheeses
It should come as no surprise that meats and cheeses are best served by barrier packaging. Although an optimal solution, barrier packaging can often be boring and not exactly geared toward drawing consumer attention. When designing barrier packaging, you can get the most from your packaging by implementing various design features such as bold colors, crisp graphics, and attractive fonts. By adding a little extra to the packaging, consumers are more likely to remember your brand and choose your product over the competition.

Ground Coffee
Packaging for coffee is carefully engineered to keep the product fresh for as long as possible. Flexible packaging can be a perfect solution for keeping ground coffee fresh and keeping customers satisfied. To achieve this, you should consider the use of small-format packaging for ground coffee products. Using small packaging can help minimize the factors that cause ground coffee to lose its flavor by protecting the product within from light exposure and moisture. As with other products, barrier film layers work to ensure that the product is protected from being exposed to air for long periods of time.