The role of packaging is highlighted by its capability to preserve a product and trigger a sale. Flexible packaging is gaining grounds in the field of primary packaging. Advancements in material science have allowed manufacturers to better create flexible packaging materials for the food and beverage industry. Today, flexible packaging companies are bringing pouches, foils, and films to the market on an unprecedented scale. (Source: Flexible packaging procurement market intelligence report). New product designs in the flexible packaging industry aim at minimizing waste, reducing costs, attracting customers, and maintaining the freshness and condition of your products on the store shelves. But keeping that aside, flexible packaging companies do have to endure various difficulties in their operations. Here are some of the key challenges faced by companies in the flexible packaging industry:
Rising raw material costs
Some of the common raw materials used by flexible packaging companies include paper, plastic, resins, films, paperboard, and adhesives. In recent times, the flexible packaging industry has witnessed a steep rise in the prices of these raw materials. Also, the prices for polypropylene, used in resins, bottles, and packaging films have been on a rise due to reduced supply. This situation has affected the competitiveness of companies in the flexible packaging industry.
Rapid technological changes
CPG companies are on a constant lookout for ways to cater to consumers’ demands and improve their offerings. They tend to rely on flexible packaging companies to innovate their offerings and attract more customers to the retail shelf. But, players in the flexible packaging industry often find it difficult to keep pace with these fast-changing demands. Furthermore, flexible packaging companies will also have to make constant technology upgrades to meet these demands, which would require huge capital investments.
The flexible packaging industry has been facing flak from governmental organizations, consumers, and environmental groups due to the wastages created by the companies in this sector. Most of the materials used are often non-recyclable. To prevent themselves from being flagged by various stakeholders, flexible packaging companies have to account for designs that address environmental issues, end-of-life disposal, and reduction of greenhouse gas and water footprints. This could prove to be a costly process.
Perishability of contents
Flexible packaging companies not only have the pressure to innovate in their offerings but at the same time must also ensure that their products are designed to protect the packaged contents from the external environment. Choosing a packaging material that can survive factors such as sunlight, UV rays, high and low temperature, humidity, moisture, and rain is a herculean task. Also, the environmental conditions vary from region to region. Hence, to design and implement a packaging material that meets all these parameters is most likely to put flexible packaging companies in a big dilemma.