Packaging- The 5th P of Marketing

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Till about a decade back, marketing consisted of the four Ps namely: Product, Price, Place and Promotion. Thanks to the boom in the use of packaging in FMCG and retail sector, it has firmly taken the 5th place among the other coveted Ps in the field of marketing.

From being just a source of storage, packaging and particularly flexible packaging, has come of age. There is a perceptible shift in food packaging towards flexible packaging materials, as these are durable, lightweight and space-saving. Flexible packaging is made from materials like plastic, aluminum and paper. These materials undergo a detailed conversion process such as printing, lamination, coating, extrusion, and pouch & roll making to develop different types of flexible packaging products.

The role of packaging in marketing has become more important than ever as it creates the first ‘impression of truth’ for the customers at the Point of Sale. Packaging can actually make or break the deal.

A number of manufacturers are turning to flexible packaging of their products as it offers a variety of exciting marketing opportunities to the producer without increasing the cost of production. The packaging solutions can be actually ‘bespoke’ with respect to merchandising requirements.

The global packaging industry is expected to grow to $820 billion by 2016. The Indian packaging industry, growing at roughly 15% annually, is estimated to become the fourth-largest in the world, with revenues of $43.7 billion in 2016. Market research reports have also estimated the flexible packaging market in India to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 15-16% over the next five years. These statistics are giving rise to new prospects for the industry, especially the SMEs in the flexible packaging industry. Given the fast changing dynamics of the industry, there is a need to elevate the knowledge levels of all the value chain participants to international standards through relevant capability building and best practice sharing platforms.

Flexible Packaging – The Advantage:

Flexible packaging can be customized into practically any shape or size. It can also incorporate a variety of colours and styles. A different looking, startlingly suave packet undoubtedly becomes a head turner at the Point of Sale and stands a fair chance of being picked.

Flexible packaging allows the usage of same style of pouches to store different items. For instance, the basic pouch is used to store food, beverage and non-food items. With the addition of a special feature the pouch can be innovatively customized. For e.g.if a spout is added to the basic pouch, it can be easily used to store and pour liquids. The addition of a zipper will further make the pouch re-closable, thereby more convenient to store and restore dry items.

Flexible packaging is relatively cheap, therefore even the most cost conscious business can afford it. Flexible Packaging can be customized to suit a brand so that businesses aren’t pushed to strike a compromise between short term gains and long term brand equity.

In the flexible packaging market, food packaging is one of the fastest growing segments due to a steep rise in consumption of packaged food items. A growing sense of concern for health coupled up with knowledge about nutrition of the packaged food has given a huge fillip to the packaging industry.

Flexible packaging has immensely benefitted from the ever increasing influx of brands in the market. Materials like BOPET,BOPP, CPP and EVOH have stood the test of time by offering superior  barrier properties. This is one of the reasons why flexible packaging has been in great demand given the improved shelf life and greater protection that it offers. Other features like durability, convenience, designabilitiy, eco-friendliness etc have been desirable in making flexible packaging a whopping hit amongst food retailers.

Flexible packaging paves way for new and sophisticated printing and designing techniques. This alone gives the manufacturers to create attractive logos, designs, graphics etc on their package which can catch the attention of the consumer. Uflex believes that the greatest boon to the FMCG sector in contemporary times has been the advent of flexible packaging, that owes its existence to Mr. Ashok Chaturvedi (Founder & CMD of Uflex) who created ripples in the market by introducing this concept in the decade of 80’s.

Uflex under the aegis of Mr. Ashok Chaturvedi has steered the packaging industry to the NEXT LEVEL delivering the absolute best in terms of aesthetics, functionality, barrier properties and eco-friendliness at the most competitive price coordinates.

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