The Ultimate Market Drive: Convenience
Today’s consumers increasingly expect greater speed and convenience when it comes to everything, including packaged foods. More and more, consumers are demanding convenient packaging options, such as easy open and close pouches, food sold in microwaveable containers, and self-serve convenience packs for on-the-go eating.
Demand is being met by smart, flexible packaging (Flex Pack), which is increasingly enhanced by investments in adhesive innovation and design. These new and improved packaging options offer compact, lightweight design, which makes food easier to store and carry. The smaller size and lower weight also help to reduce CO2 emissions during transit, something both consumers and H.B. Fuller are passionate about – a commitment to sustainability.
Other advantages to using Flex Pack include protecting food from damage, keeping food fresh for longer periods of time and helping to reduce food waste, which is particularly relevant if we consider that roughly one third of the food produced for human consumption every year – approximately 1.3 billion tons – gets lost or wasted. And, Flex Pack offers aesthetically attractive packaging designs that provide excellent branding opportunities for consumer goods manufacturers.
The High-Speed Challenge
The challenge for Flex Pack manufacturers lies in the need for faster production. The ability to respond quickly to changing consumer demands, to adapt to technological breakthroughs, and to support new packaging design specifications is a necessity for converters to maintain a competitive edge. Processes need to be quicker and optimized, while ensuring food quality and safety.
Adhesives that enable fast curing and processing are, therefore, key to increasing Flex Pack products’ speed to market with minimized inventories and fewer hot room bottlenecks. In this context, adhesive suitability to a wide range of substrate combinations, from general purpose to medium and high performance applications, can allow for quick changes on the line, thus supporting converters in the shorter, more personalized runs required by today’s food processor.
Investing in Our Customers’ Success
To bring in-demand products to market, converters need a partner with technical expertise that understands today’s packaging sector and supply chain, and helps solve their unique challenges. Our adhesive solutions cover a wide performance range, from general purpose to advanced, high-performance lamination as well as hot melts for in-mould-labelling and heat sealing. As your partner, we also offer expertise on food safety legislation and other issues, such as compatibility between adhesives and printer inks and substrates.
We continue to invest in our capabilities and focus on improving our customers’ performance. We recently installed a new laboratory-scale laminator at our Lüneburg Adhesive Academy in Germany. We expanded production capacity for both solvent-free and solvent-based adhesive applications at our manufacturing facility in Pianezze, Italy. And, we are responding to growing demand for innovative laminating adhesives and support across Europe, the Middle East and Africa with the deployment of expert field staff.
Connect with H.B. Fuller
Together with our customers, we are setting the standard for Flex Pack design and manufacturing. Contact our specialists today to learn how our innovative adhesives can help you improve food product safety and compliance, speed up production time and accelerate your business growth. And, if you’re at this year’s International Converting Exhibition (ICE – March 21-23, 2017, in Munich, Germany), stop by our booth #1053 in Hall A5 to learn more!
Frédéric Di Monte
Business Manager, Flexible Packaging EIMEA