Want to start a food packaging business but are confused about what packaging to use? It usually boils down to two primary options: flexible and rigid packaging. You can package food products in both pouches and paperboard boxes. But which one is right for your products?
This article will go over the pros and cons of flexible pouches and rigid paperboard containers to help you make accurate food packaging choices.
To start off, flexible pouches are becoming rapidly popular for packaging snack foods, juices, health drinks, and various other food and beverages. These are one-time-use bags, usually made from plastic or metal foils.
Flexible food packaging first hit the markets with beverages in the 90s. Today, they are used for packaging chips, crackers, mixed nuts, candied fruits, ketchup, jellies, and even butter. So why do so many foods and beverage companies prefer flexible pouches? There are three main reasons:
1. Environmentally Friendly
Flexible pouches are all the rage because of their low carbon footprint, especially compared to rigid packaging materials. Moreover, flexible pouches take significantly less space in landfills than other packaging options.
Secondly, flexible pouches are cost-effective. They are easy to purchase and transport, and free up a lot of space in supermarkets compared to bulkier (and costlier) paperboard boxes.
3. Easy To Use
Finally, flexible pouches are also user-friendly, in that they are easy to carry, open, and seal. They also take less space in your fridge and pantry.
Another benefit of using flexible pouches is that you can design and print 360-degrees branding and graphic art.
On the flipside, flexible pouches are practically non-recyclable and take forever to totally breakdown in a landfill. It is also less durable than boxes during shipping, especially in extreme temperatures. Sometimes, the packaging also changes the taste of the product.
Now that we have discussed the benefits and drawbacks of flexible pouches let’s now check out paperboard boxes.
Offering various shapes and sizes, paperboard boxes are perhaps the most common food packaging material out there. Paperboard boxes are synonymous with cereal.
Mostly used in a square or rectangular shape, some brands also use unique shapes to make their product stand out on the supermarket shelf. You can also use clear or colored film on a box to display the product inside.
Despite the popularity of flexible pouches, paperboard boxes continue their dominance in the market due to several reasons. But while they are easy to recycle, paperboard boxes have a high carbon footprint and release high methane levels when rotting in landfills.
Which One To Choose?
As you can see, both flexible pouches and paperboard boxes have their benefits. Your choice will ultimately depend on your budget and preferences. If you want to save money on shipping and warehousing, flexible pouches are ideal for you.
On the other hand, you should go for paperboard boxes if the strength of packaging is necessary, or if you want to stack your products neatly in a warehouse or supermarket.