Keeping it zipped: growth in resealable flexible packaging
Food brand owners are facing many challenges around balancing industry waste initiatives while addressing the needs to preserve, protect, contain and deliver convenience for the consumer of products. As the flexible packaging segment continues to grow, Zip-Pak sees itself playing a larger role in supporting the food industry by identifying ways to help avoid or reduce waste.
According to the Flexible Packaging Association, the top five reasons brand owners increased flexible packaging use in the last few years has been due to: reduced production costs, improved consumer convenience, improved shipping/transportation efficiencies, ability to fit consumer lifestyle trends and reduced environmental impact.
“Within the breakfast category in particular for the food industry, Zip-Pak has seen some brands extend their offering from the traditional ‘bag-in-box’ format to a ‘flexible package’ with the added benefits of a zip reclosure,” said Michael Debono, National Sales Manager of Zip-Pak in Australia and New Zealand.
“Zip-Pak has been offering reclosure/reseal solutions for flexible packaging for many years and we believe this type of packaging can help to provide a simple solution to the waste problem.”
Once a flexible pack is open, there is a challenge to retain freshness, protect and contain the contents and allow for portion/dispensing control for consumer convenience. In some cases, the consumer may dispense the contents into another resealable pack, which can add to the landfill waste challenges we face.
Adding a resealable zipper onto a flexible pack provides a way to avoid products being decanted and ensures the flexible pouch is the primary pack. The zipper is able to be opened and closed multiple times until the content is consumed.
Zip-Pak’s Pour & Lok resealable zipper is one solution available that can help to shift a flexible package into a resealable/re-usable package. The press-to-close, foldable zipper is pre-applied to film in the side gusset of the package for an easy-to-use pour spout. Suitable for a range of food products such as cereals, biscuits and sweets, “the solution is also suitable for recycling with resource-recovery initiatives such as Red Cycle,” said Debono.
Lockable flexible pouch
For products such as dishwasher or laundry ‘tablets’, one of the challenges for flexible packaging has been how to provide the child lockable cap which is available in a rigid package format. Zip-Pak has been developing child lockable features on flexible pouches.
“In some cases, there has been a need for a ‘child impeding’ reclosure for flexible packaging through to a ‘child resistant’ solution for flexible packaging. Child impeding will be a difficult-to-open reclosure zip but not tested and certifiable, while the child resistant solution is designed to be compliant and certifiable when added to a flexible package and submitted for Child Resistant certification,” Debono said.
Zip-Pak has many years of experience with resealable zip solutions for flexible packaging. Whether that be related to lockable zips, the zip application process or zip equipment, it has a range of innovative solutions.
Adding zip application functionality onto a VFFS or flow wrapper is not new. Zip-Pak works with a number of global OEMs for new projects but also with brand owners and convertors to retrofit their existing equipment. Debono said his company has recently seen an increase in inquires for advice in this area, and he and his technical team are happy to help.
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