There is no way to deny it – times have changed. Many years ago shopkeepers in corner shops would fill tea, flour, powders and other goods into paper bags while sharing the latest local gossip with the people who wandered into their shops. Since then we have come a long way; we no longer have the time to spend large parts of our days purchasing, preparing and consuming goods. Our on-the-go culture relies on convenience, speed and efficiency.
These trends have brought a new set of demands and needs for packaging. Therefore we have experienced a sharp rise in the demand for single-serve, ready-to-consume and, most of all, convenient product packaging. Consumer goods producers are challenged with providing packaging solutions that allow products to be carried easily and discreetly. Despite continuously growing product formats and varieties consumers expect to have it all: convenience and flexibility. The solution comes in a surprisingly small form: the single-use sachet, a simple flat pouch or stick pack for the packaging of powders and other free-flowing goods.
Going with the flow
Single-use sachets with their ease of use, aesthetic appeal, and versatility have become one of the key pack styles allowing brands to adapt their products to consumers’ active lifestyle. Coffee, tea, snacks and vitamins in single-use sachets allow us to take our lifestyle on the road. Powders and granulates are also increasingly used in the pharmaceutical sector. Easier to swallow and often with a more immediate effect, painkillers in sachets have widely gained popularity over tablets.
Sachets not only have an appealing outer appearance but also protect the product through tight pouch seals and high-quality materials. While in the past large packs of free-flowing products such as coffee or sugar had to be replaced entirely if contaminated by water or air, single sachets protect individual portions without compromising the remainder of the pack. The functionality and design of the pouches can help brands to build a strong sense of identification and strengthen their image. No longer confined to consumers’ homes, brands packaged in single-dose sachets allow their message to be present in front of the consumer any time, any place!
A compact solution
There is no doubt consumers have embraced the sachet as a lifestyle choice. But how can manufacturers make the most of this pack style? Facing a host of additional requirements for their packaging processes, such as rapidly decreasing time to market, the need to provide seasonal and special edition product ranges, ever increasing product volumes and line speeds, flexibility is the key for manufacturers, especially when packaging sachets.
In order to be able to run different products, special editions and multi packs on a single packaging line, it pays to invest in an integrated, format-flexible flat pouch or stick pack system. Small, trendy and high quality packages usually can be sold for a higher profit per item than larger packs. However, to generate the same output with small package sizes as can be achieved with larger quantities, machinery has to run at higher speeds. To satisfy demand, the latest automated high-speed systems are now able to produce up to 1000 high-quality sachets per minute.
The latest generation of customized yet modular flat pouch and stick pack systems allows manufacturers to quickly and easily adapt to various formats and sizes within one integrated line. These systems offer the choice of integrating cartoning units with options of top loading and side loading for flexibility in carton formats. Alternatively, a flow wrapping unit can be added for secondary packaging. Additional units such as leaflet insertion and carton coding for pharmaceuticals, checkweighing and carton rejection can be included where needed. Moreover, an entire system from a single supplier can offer the added benefits of a central operating software, streamlined processes, higher machine uptime and less need for staff education. Additionally, a compact and integrated layout offers a small footprint and high efficiency.
We all win
In the past packaging simply had the purpose of protecting goods; today we see it as an integral part of the product, as well as a reflection of our lifestyle. Whether it contains our daily medication or favorite flavor coffee, sachets have become our constant companions. They enable consumers to take their needs and luxuries on the road. Producers have the possibility to profit from trend by investing in advanced sachet packaging technology thus increasing their market share as well as profitability.
To sum it up, the rise of single-use stick packs and flat pouches means everyone benefits!
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