Flexible Packaging Advancements for 2020

Flexible packaging is continually evolving. From extended shelf life to advancements in sustainability and structural performance, the future of flexible containers is filled with innovation. Here are six state-of-the art flexible packaging options that are making a big impact on the industry in 2020.

Fully Recyclable Polyethylene Films

One of the most considerable developments in eco friendly packaging is fully recyclable PE pouches and bags. By combining new equipment, materials and processing, manufacturers are able to produce PE containers that, in addition to being 100% recyclable, also boast a wide range of attractive features:

  • Machinability
  • Photo-quality graphic clarity
  • Grease resistance
  • Puncture resistance
  • Multiple closures
  • Rigidity
  • Easy opening
  • Store drop-off compliance

In short, options that were once thought to be solely reserved for traditional PE pouches are now viable in packaging options that are good for manufacturers, brands, consumers and the planet as a whole.

Compostable Containers

In addition to wholly recyclable materials, earth-conscious brands are also embracing flexible packages that can be composted. Once the user is finished with the product, he or she can take the container to the local compost site where it will decay into completely non-toxic elements that provide nourishment to the soil and nearby plants.

Vibrant Graphics

Consumers have more decisions to make than ever, particularly at the grocery store. The current trend is to reevaluate shelf impact and embrace designs that use oversized logos, high-contrast colors, muscular line art and simplified food photography to help catch a shopper’s eye. In 2020, expect to spot more and more shelves packed with dynamic boxes, bags and childproof pouches clamoring for patrons’ attention.

Color-Shifting Pouches

Variable print enhancement technology is also taking shelf appeal to new heights in 2020. Metallic finishes are having a moment, and this unique and emerging process lets manufacturers create metallic stand-up pouches that shift in color as the light hits them. Mixing metallic accents with matte prints is a popular choice for creating an engaging shelf presence this year, as well.

Pouches Shaped Like Traditional Containers

Traditional containers, such as mason jars, may be timeless but they’re also heavy. To circumvent heft and retain classic appeal, manufacturers are embracing shape factors that capture shoppers’ interest by evoking old school packaging modes. When it comes to jars, for example, using lightweight, flexible packaging designed to look like jars — instead of utilizing actual glass — increases sustainability and dramatically reduces shipping costs.

Inverted Pouches

Custom printed stand up pouches that open at the bottom are another flexible packaging innovation making their mark in 2020. Gone are the days of weighty bottles of condiments, dressings and dips. Instead, these lithe, squeezable containers offer a bevy of benefits to both manufacturers and consumers:

  • Extended product freshness
  • No need to use utensils to start the contents’ flow
  • Less water and fossil fuels used in production
  • Lower greenhouse gas emissions during manufacturing

Because they’re made of printable materials, inverted pouches can also easily feature striking graphics, photos and typography to help them attract consumer attention.

The only constant in flexible packaging is change. Look to the future to ensure your container choices preserve your products and make your goods stand out.