Closure Options for Your Flexible Packaging: What You Need to Know

10 Jun2019

Picture this: you’re running into your local grocery store to stock up for your annual summertime road trip to the beach with your family. Your number one goal is to find snacks for the 8-hour road trip ahead of you with your 3 children.

As you stand in front of the rows of packaged snack options, flashbacks of last year’s trip flood your mind. Chips, everywhere.You’re convinced that 50% of the bag of artisanal chips you put in the back seat ended up on the floor. Not to mention the boxes of gluten-free cookies that took up a majority of the trunk space and ended up getting crushed by suitcases.

Convinced that this year will be different, you decide to ONLY buy snacks in resealable bags. No more mess. No more waste.

The saver of the day is thereseal closure.

Consumers look for products to make their lives easier. And a reseal closure can do just that. As you develop your brand’s product packaging, how do you choose the best packaging closure, with your consumer’s desires in mind?

Choosing the Right Closure For Your Packaging

It’s no surprise that consumers seek out packaging that promotes convenience and ease of use. While flexible packaging on its own provides such convenience, the type of seal you choose depends on a handful of factors. So, what is the best closure for your pouch or bag?

As you set out to determine this, consider the following:

  • How will your customers be using your product?
  • Where will your customers be interacting with your packaging? On the go? At their house?
  • Will your customer consume your product in one sitting or over time?
  • Who is your ideal customer and who is your ideal consumer? These may not be the same person (i.e. individually wrapped snacks for children)

For single-serve items like small pouches of snacks, flexible juice drinks, yogurt stick pouches, and single-use cosmetic or pharma sachets, a reseal closure is probably not necessary. Since consumers are generally consuming, or using, the product in one sitting, keeping it fresh after opening is not a major consideration.

So, when is resealability a good choice?

When to Say “Yes” to the Reseal

Let’s get one thing straight: consumers want their packaging to be easy to open, store and reseal. They also want the package to be easy to handle. For eating on the go, a reclose function is handy in maintaining a tight seal to keep the product from spilling out. It also can aid in keeping the product out of the wrong hands. And perhaps the most notable reason for opting for a reseal closure is that it aids in maintaining product freshness, thus reducing waste.

For packages that hold multiple servings, or multiple uses, like snacks and other household items, resealability is a wonderful differentiator that can make your brand stand out on shelves, and many CPGs are taking note. Popular items now feature reclose technology that traditionally has not in the past. Items like granola, premium crackers, baking supplies like flour and sugar, chocolate candies, and even laundry detergent are available packaged in reclose bags, answering the call from consumers for more resealability and convenience.

Other Considerations

As you consider whether or not you want to use a reseal closure, consider the occasion for your product.

  • Is it meant to be consumed or used in one sitting, or does it offer multiple servings to be used over time?
  • Is maintaining the product freshness, or efficacy a major consideration?
  • What will happen if the product’s package is left open?

Also, consider the consumer convenience aspect– consumers like reseal closures so that they can bring the product, usually snacks, along with them wherever they go (like a road trip). When offering a premium product, consider how resealable packaging may boost the user experience, and allow you to choose a higher price point.

Lastly, consider whether or not your product should be packaged with a child-resistant closure. Items like laundry detergent, edible plants, over-the-counter medications, nutritional supplements, and lawn and garden products may require it. Child-resistant packaging is designed to be very difficult for children under five to open and is used as a poison prevention method to stop children from ingesting dangerous items.How do you know if you need to package your product in special, child-resistant packaging? According to theUnited States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), you must use child-resistant packaging for your product if it poses a risk to young children when they access the contents, and if the technology exists to produce child-resistant packaging for such products. You can go here to read up on which types of products are required to use special packaging.

The Cherry on Top: Consumers Pay More for Resealable Packaging

It’s no surprise that today’s busy consumer wants more easy to open and easy to close packaging options. But what may come as a surprise is that consumers are willing to pay morefor it.

According to an FPA survey conducted by Harris Poll, approximately 60% of consumer respondents said they would be willing to pay more for tangible, functional packaging benefits such as:

    • “Ability to reseal”
    • “Ability to extend product life”
  • “Easy to store”
  • “Easy to open”

The same study also revealed that reseal is one of the top three packaging attributes of flexible packaging rated by consumers.

Choosing the Right Partner

As you research the best type of closure for your product, know that when choosing a resealable closure, you have options. Pull tab zippers and press to close closures, including zippers and hook & loop styles are all popular options, and each is a great choice depending on the project. Press to close zippers are commonly used in the snacks and premium food segments, while most pharmaceutical products in pouches require a child-resistance closure.

As you look into the best closure, be sure to consider the various reseal technologies, as well as child-resistance closures so that your package is not only effective but safe. Partnering with the right supplier will help you determine the best closure for your pouch and answer any questions you may have as you create your package.

ePac is ready to work with you to choose the best reseal technology for your packaging. Contact us today to talk to one of our experts about your next flexible packaging project.