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Flexible Packaging & Rigid Packaging – How to Choose

black plastic bottle and flexible tube packaging options

Flexible Packaging & Rigid Packaging – How to Choose

You need a packaging solution that is affordable and reliable and helps your products fly off the shelves. Explore the key differences between flexible and rigid packaging to see which option offers the best features for your production needs. Find out how Maple Mountain Co-Packers can lead you from formulation to distribution with custom flexible packaging and rigid container solutions.

Flexible Packaging

Keep your packaging flexible, eco-friendly and vibrant with flexible solutions. This malleable option can be manufactured in a range of sizes, dimensions, and styles:

Flexible and rigid packaging both come in a wide range of materials. Choose malleable packaging with multiple layers to combine a durable exterior and a food-safe interior. Flexible packaging is used for food, industrial powders, electronics, and other applications.

 

Pros of Flexible Solutions

Considering flexible supplies for your products? Here are the benefits of choosing this product from a contract packaging service:

  • Reduced cost

  • Eco-friendly

  • Convenient use

  • Iconic branding

You can enjoy an environmentally friendly, cost-effective, and personalized packaging solution when you choose a malleable material or layered product.

This packaging option takes less space to ship and can use less overall material, making it less expensive than many rigid products.

Because this option uses less plastic, it is typically a more eco-friendly alternative to rigid packaging. Many flexible solutions are recyclable at participating locations, so your packaging won’t contribute to local landfills.

Create packaging with resealable or easy-tear openings for convenient use. Compared to some rigid lid designs, flexible packaging is a preferred option for many customers.

Some industries have already made a major change to flexible packaging, but in other industries it’s still a new technology. Help your products stand out with iconic stand-up pouches, stick packs, and other eye-catching designs.

 

Cons of Flexible Packaging

While malleable solutions are popular for many products, there are still some limitations to this solution. Consider the disadvantages of flexible packaging materials for your products:

  • Less protection

  • Temperature resistance issues

  • Non-biodegradable design

  • Limited stacking ability

A sharp corner, heavy weight, or high temperatures could damage flexible packaging. This feature can increase the amount of product waste.

These materials are recyclable, but won’t break down easily if sent to a landfill instead of recycled properly. It’s essential to have the right recycling programs in place to maintain an environmentally friendly, flexible packaging solution.

 

Rigid Packaging

When you need a tough package to protect fragile or heavy items, flexible packaging may not be the right choice for you. Consider rigid containers made of hard plastic, glass, metal, cardboard, or other materials to ensure your products reach your customers safely.

 

Pros of Rigid Alternatives

Consider rigid containers to enjoy these advantages:

  • Durable designs

  • Stackable shapes

  • Reusable convenience

  • Eco-friendly materials

A hard plastic container is far less likely to be punctured, crushed, or otherwise damaged than a flexible plastic one. If you’re concerned with maintaining product integrity after shipping and handling, then you may need a rigid package.

Tubs, barrels, and other rigid containers can be easily stacked. This allows you to position more products on the shelf and ship them conveniently without using dividers or other packaging components.

Many customers enjoy reusing containers from products if you package them in resealable, dishwasher-safe containers. A rigid container also feels sturdier and more luxurious, so it promotes the quality of your products.

Both flexible and rigid packaging are recyclable, but some locations don’t accept multi-layered malleable products. Rigid containers are more likely to be accepted in recycling centers around the country.

 

Cons of Rigid Packaging

A glass bottle, cardboard box, or plastic jar isn’t always the best solution for every situation. While there are many reasons to consider rigid containers, there are also limitations to this packaging style:

  • Typically higher manufacturing costs

  • Greater carbon footprint

  • Uses more material

Thicker walls and more complex manufacturing processes result in higher costs for producing rigid packaging. You may be able to pass on higher packaging costs to consumers of luxury products, but you’ll struggle to stay competitive in other markets.

More energy is needed to produce most rigid packaging products, which results in a greater carbon footprint for your company. You’ll need to find ways to offset this footprint with more than just recycling used containers.

 

More material means more weight and cost. A sturdy jar may keep items safe, but it also takes up more space.

 

How to Find the Right Packaging for Your Products

Review the pros and cons of flexible and rigid packaging for your industry. As you consider whether flexible or rigid containers are best for your situation, review these features of your products:

  • Durability

  • Size

  • Weight

  • Branding

  • Shelf life

  • Cost

A fragile item may not withstand routine shipping in a flexible package. The size and weight of your product can affect which option is more cost effective.

How do you want customers to view your brand? Malleable packaging stands out as a modern, unique solution to traditional packages. Rigid alternatives, however, offer a luxurious feel.

Products that aren’t going to sit on the shelves very long can be stored in lightweight, flexible packaging. For more long-term storage options, consider rigid solutions that won’t affect the flavor of foods or liquids.

 

Partner with a Proven Packaging Provider

 

Learn more about the differences between flexible and rigid packaging with Maple Mountain Co-Packers. Explore MCCP’s services to see how you can enjoy contract packaging services designed to Build. Produce. Deliver.

 

Turnkey vs. Tolling—Which Makes Sense for Me?

Turnkey vs. Tolling—Which Makes Sense for Me?

image showing the process of turnkey manufacturing and the steps
image showing the different aspects of tolling manufacturing - testing, producing, packaging

Turnkey vs. Tolling—Which Makes Sense for Me?

If you’re a business owner, you may have heard or read a lot about toll versus turnkey (or “contract”) manufacturing. You may have even heard the terms used interchangeably, which only adds to your confusion.

What’s the difference between turnkey and toll manufacturing? Does toll manufacturing offer any unique benefit? Which type of manufacturing process is best for handling laminating and coating services? 

In this post, we’ll address these and other questions, so you can choose what’s best for your business needs.

If you’re a business owner, you may have heard or read a lot about toll versus turnkey (or “contract”) manufacturing. You may have even heard the terms used interchangeably, which only adds to your confusion.

 

What’s the difference between turnkey and toll manufacturing? Does toll manufacturing offer any unique benefit? Which type of manufacturing process is best for handling laminating and coating services?

 

In this post, we’ll address these and other questions, so you can choose what’s best for your business needs.

What is Toll Manufacturing?

Toll manufacturing is the simpler of the two manufacturing relationships. In toll manufacturing, the production service renders the tools, equipment, and human resources needed to manufacture the product. You, the business owner, provide any raw materials necessary for the finished product.

Advantages of Toll Manufacturing

Toll manufacturing affords your company a greater degree of ownership over the finished product. Not only can a business owner control the quality of raw materials being used, but they also retain ownership over the intellectual property, including any patents, trademarks, or other “branding” related to the company or finished product.

Disadvantages of Toll Manufacturing

The only downside to toll manufacturing is the level of coordination it requires. The various pieces of toll manufacturing have to come together (i.e., raw materials, manufacturing company, and so on) to produce a finished whole. This part of the process can occasionally slow production down, and sometimes the price of raw materials can fluctuate, adding to manufacturing costs.

If you need additional coating or laminating services, toll manufacturing becomes even slower and costly. Plus, many business owners may be unfamiliar with packaging standards or the types of coatings they may need.

What Is Turnkey Manufacturing

Turnkey or contract manufacturing operates similarly to toll manufacturing. The crucial difference is that the manufacturing company provides the raw materials necessary for the finished product.

Advantages of Contract Manufacturing

The advantage of a contract manufacturing relationship is that the manufacturer typically bears related manufacturing risks such as the cost, the level of stocks, and selecting which raw materials to use. Contract manufacturing is very much a “hands-off” approach for the business owner. This strategy results in a much faster manufacturing process than toll manufacturing. You simply hand over the job to a contractor and wait for the finished product.

Contract manufacturing may be particularly beneficial for businesses whose product packaging requires a specialized coating. A larger company may be able to provide the raw materials for coating and laminating services—something you might not be able to do through a toll manufacturing contract.

Disadvantages of Contract Manufacturing

With contract manufacturing, the manufacturing company retains a great deal of sovereignty over the kind of raw materials being used, which can be particularly important for those who need to consider their product’s packaging and coating quality. In some cases, contractual arrangements mitigate the risks of contract manufacturing, such as pricing provisions or manufacturing warranties.

The Key Difference Between Toll and Turnkey Services

The difference between toll and contract (or turnkey) manufacturing lies mainly in who provides the raw materials. If you enter into a toll manufacturing relationship, you will have to provide the raw materials for your product. If you enter into a contract manufacturing relationship, the manufacturing company provides the raw materials needed for your packaging and coating needs.

Because a coating is essential for many finished and semi-finished products, business owners should carefully weigh their options before entering into a contract.

What Businesses Benefit from Toll Manufacturing?

Toll manufacturing tends to favor businesses seeking to produce smaller quantities of products on an as-needed basis. If you own a small business, your manufacturing needs might be more sporadic than regular, and you may wish to retain the rights to your intellectual property. And if you have the time to devote to the task, you also have the advantage of selecting just the suitable materials you need for your product.

On the other hand, a toll manufacturing contract may present you with some specialized decisions. What sort of packaging materials do you need to get? What type of coating is best for your finished product? A turnkey service grants you greater flexibility, but you may have more pressing concerns than packaging or coating needs.

You may find that these kinds of decisions are best handled by a professional company that’s more accustomed to high-volume contracts and may have connections to provide the best, most affordable packaging and coating services currently available.

What Businesses Benefit from Contract Manufacturing?

Contract manufacturing is a much simpler process. If you’re a business owner, you may value a company that handles the packaging of your products and assists with both your packaging and coating needs, depending on your requirements.

Contract manufacturing relationships can also offer some basic design support services, so you don’t have to worry about the overall design of your product’s packaging.

Additionally, if your business requires specialized packaging and coating services, outsourcing these needs to a reputable company can be a wise business decision. Typically, obtaining suitable materials for product coating involves time and attention to detail. A contract manufacturing partner may have the resources necessary to get just the right materials for the best product packaging and coating. Because these resources can be bought in bulk, they may be available more cheaply through a contract manufacturer than through a toll contractor.

Contract Manufacturing and Packaging

Contract manufacturing and packaging services can be invaluable to ensure that your product receives the best quality packaging, including the best coating needed for product distribution. For most business owners, choosing a coating may seem to be too small a detail to have to contend with regularly. By partnering with a larger company, you can ensure your packaging needs are met, with a coating whose quality matches your product.

Maple Mountain Co-Packers

Maple Mountain Co-Packers offers contract packaging services designed to provide lower costs and faster deliveries. We understand that time is of the essence; that’s why we ensure that we form partnerships with our clients to meet their deadlines, all while providing packaging and coating services for a variety of manufacturing needs.

If you’re looking for a packaging partner that can help your business flourish and grow, contact us today.

Why converting your product from a liquid to powder may win you margin and market share.

Why converting your product from a liquid to powder may win you margin and market share.

Ever heard of powdered soap? Apparently, it was a thing back in the day and now it’s becoming popular again. The reason being that shipping water is both expensive and it causes an unnecessary increase in our carbon footprint. Seeing that virtually everyone in America has access to a water supply, it really doesn’t make sense to ship a liquid if your audience can stomach the extra effort.

icon of box being weighed before being shipped

With brands like Bite leading the way for sustainable packaging and minimal environmental impact, retailers are now getting pressured to offer products that follow suit. This could be a strong competitive advantage for you if you’re looking for an edge over your competition. It also helps you save on shipping because your package weight should go to a fraction of what it was before. That being said, If you’re selling a liquid drink product, you may want to try formulating it into a concentrated powder. If you sell laundry detergent, consider launching a concentrated tablet. 

The common question our clients have when considering making a change to powder is, how will my customers respond to the change? That’s definitely a question you’ll want to get to the bottom of and shouldn’t be taken lightly. However, when working through this thought process be sure to consider the rise in the products that have moved to being offered in stick packs, sachets, and tubes. Sometimes the most convenient thing for the customer is something compact now, with a little work later.

black and white stick pack options - transparent

Need a place to package stick packs? Look no further. Those happen to be our specialty. Need help turning your liquid into a powder? We can help you there too!

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