South African retailers and consumers have always been quick to follow international food and beverage trends – and this extends to new types of packaging too. Stand-up flexible packaging is growing fast – with its share of new product releases growing by almost a third between 2012 and 2015 in the US. But you don’t need to look to the US to see the impact stand-up pouches are having – take a walk through your local supermarket, and if you’re looking for them, you’ll be surprised to see how many products are now in pouches!
And that’s across many diverse categories, for example beverages, fruit purees, dishwashing liquids, sauces, cosmetics, soups… the list goes on and on. And as new stand-up pouch designs, spouts and closures emerge, the list will grow, driven by manufacturers.
Consumers will drive the growth too: today’s young parents grew up drinking fruit juices from pouches – so when they do their grocery shopping for their families, and weigh the many benefits of stand-up pouches, buying them will feel like a natural choice.
Advantages to Consumers – and Manufacturers
Food On The Move
Increasingly, consumers find themselves having to eat while mobile. While taste, and to many, nutrition, remain important, a key opportunity is to enable the consumer to eat while they’re driving or walking. Flexible stand-up pouches enable them to heat the single-serve product quickly in the microwave, leave, then eat the food on the run, without needing utensils (and without messing!)
Another aspect of on-the-go eating is how easy a package is to open. Traditional formats can mean the need for a pair of scissors or can opener – whereas stand-up pouches can have an easy tear-off top, or an easily opened cap.
No Wasted Product
Food, toiletries, cleaning liquids… prices just keep going up and up. So consumers hate the idea of having to discard good product because they just can’t get the last drop out of a rigid container. Pouches enable them to empty the package completely – so this can be an important factor in which product they choose to buy.
Freshness is a key decider when it comes to making grocery purchase decisions. It’s true that ‘best before’ dates are a good guide, but it’s also true that many shoppers gauge product freshness by how it looks to them. And flexible pouches have a clear benefit here versus, for example, cans or boxes – clear film enables a consumer to see the product for themselves. Studies have shown that consumers are even prepared to pay a premium for a package that lets them confirm product freshness for themselves – and this can improve the manufacturer’s profit margin.
Can Be Resealed
Stand-up pouches offer many design options, including that of resealing. This makes them even more convenient for consuming on the go, and has the additional benefit of less wastage.
Closures are an important aspect of pouch design, with many options, such as: child-safe openings, the ability to open with one hand, and tamper-evident closures being just a few examples.
Consumers place high importance on packaging which enables them to easily take products with them, wherever they might want to go. Pouches are unlikely to break, and are much lighter than many alternatives (e.g. metal, glass, rigid plastics, etc.) And products in pouches open opportunities for manufacturers that otherwise may not be available – for example, packing a salad dressing in a stand-up pouch into a lunch box is easy – but make that same product available in a glass bottle, and that consumption opportunity may simply go away.
Correctly designed, stand-up pouches offer consumers the ability to cook and eat from the same container, saving valuable time and eliminating the need to wash up.
Less Storage Space
Homes are getting smaller – and so are kitchens, with storage space becoming more and more valuable. Stand-up pouches usually have a smaller footprint than more rigid packaging – and that’s when they’re full! As the product inside gets used up, they collapse, taking up even less space!
The Growth Of Ecommerce
As more and more consumers shop online, the need for packaging which is least likely to break is going to increase. Protective packaging designed to ship from manufacturer to supermarket in a controlled supply chain may well be good enough. But the same may not be true for groceries dropped off at a convenient location for the shopper. The solution: stand-up pouches, which are less likely to dent (like cans), shatter (like glass), or tear (like corrugated.)
Consider Stand-Up Pouches For Your Products
These are just some of the advantages stand-up pouches can offer consumers – and, by implication, manufacturers. If you’d like to explore the possibility of moving some of your production into this type of packaging, please contact us – we represent a principal which is an expert in manufacturing the machinery which will enable you to make as many stand-up pouches as you can sell!