Sustainable Food Packaging for Single-Serve Products

Look at any modern grocery store shelf and you’ll notice something interesting—more and more foods are appearing in single-serve or single-use containers. This trend isn’t just limited to food. There are now a wide range of products available in single-use packages like laundry pods, antiseptic wipes, razors, contact lenses and tissues. The list goes on. Single-serve packaging has become more popular over the last number of years, but the lifestyle of today’s consumers has noticeably increased the push for single-serve food options.

Easy, Convenient, Fresh

People are always looking for more convenience—their lives are busy, and they’re constantly on the go. Therefore single-serve packaged foods come in handy for a few reasons. For one, they’re portable. It’s certainly easier to tote a granola bar or serving of fruit when it’s individually wrapped vs. in a box or can. Second, they’re portion-controlled. Consumers no longer have to weigh their food, or guess how much is in a serving size. They know exactly what they’re getting. For today’s health-conscious individual, that’s important.

The Modern Household is Changing

Another reason single-serve products are becoming popular is that households are decreasing in size. When the 2016 Canadian Census was released, the story that made headlines was that more Canadians are living alone than ever before. Single-person households now make up 28% of the population, while couples without children make up 26%. These statistics hold true for Americans as well, averaging out at 2.5 people per household, down from 3.3 people in 1960.

For these consumers, buying foods in large packages or bulk quantities doesn’t make sense. Food is more likely to go unused and spoil, and hard-earned money is wasted as a result. Single-serve packages help keep food fresher longer, helping consumers avoid unnecessary waste.

Balancing Sustainability with Convenience

That said, there are a number of negative perceptions about single-serve packaging that companies are actively trying to address. For example, single-serve packages tend to take up more space, so they’re not as efficient to ship as bulk-packaged goods. They also increase the amount of packaging materials required, and this can be expensive for companies to produce. Finally, because more packaging materials are required, there’s the perception of disposability or wastefulness, and today’s eco-conscious consumers are opposed to this.

As consumer demand for single-serve or single-use packaging increases, companies need to find ways to balance this demand with sustainable practices. One of the ways you can do this is to choose packaging that takes up less space—flexible packages like stand-up pouches and bags take up less room than traditional packages, making them easier and more economical to ship. You also need to be more conscious of what the packaging is made of and whether or not it is recyclable or biodegradable at the end of its life.

How Emmerson Packaging Can Help

At Emmerson Packaging, we work hard to meet the changing needs of our clients, and offer a number of flexible packaging options that are perfectly suited to meet the growing demand for single-serve products.

Emmerson Packaging’s award-winning SmartPack™ and SmartPack-BDG™ products are two options that our customers love. Gusseted stand-up pouches have become an increasingly popular option for single-serve products, but environmentally-friendly options have been few and far between. Emmerson Packaging’s SmartPack™ process allows our packaging to be fully recycled at the end of your product’s life, and our SmartPack-BDG™ product is fully biodegradable, and will break down completely in landfill conditions. Both packaging options are something you and your customers can feel good about.

If you’d like to explore these or other packaging solutions for your single-serve product, chat with Project Central today.

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