Think about the last time you were at a party. More than likely, the drinks for the evening were being poured from bottles. Or what about the last time you went to the beach or went tailgating? Chances are, the cooler was stuffed with refreshing beverages in bottles and cans.
Glass, rigid plastic and metal have long been the beverage packaging options of choice, but as flexible packaging continues to invade the marketplace, more beverages are being pouched.
Why pouches make sense
While it may seem unusual to alter packaging that has been in use for decades, there are distinct advantages to using flexible packaging for beverages.
In addition to convenience, flexible packaging provides decoration opportunities that are not available with other options. This is especially important in retail environments where colorful packaging adds shelf appeal and aids brand recognition. In addition, the lighter weight of pouched beverages cuts shipping costs, and pouches also reduce waste and breakage during transport and in stores.
At the American Packaging Corporation, beverage pouches are just a portion of the flexible packaging the company converts and prints using flexographic and rotogravure presses, and graphics are a key part of the appeal. Tom Triggs, liquid market manager for American Packaging, explains that the ability to print up to 10 colors gives customers more freedom in designing their packaging. And, because pouches are often reverse printed, additional effects can be added to ensure an attractive product.
“We can reverse print the polyester, and on the surface side we can apply a varnish,” Triggs explains. “We can apply a matte varnish in register, so some of the graphics can have a matte finish and other areas, a glossy look. That way you can have a picture of a bowl of fruit that is very glossy, while areas around the bowl can have a matte, natural look to them.”