In the vast packaging industry, there are a lot of options available when it comes to packing different kinds of products. Diversity is found based on the nature of the items needed to be boxed. From structure and shape to materials and cost, every type is distinctive and has its own set of applications. However, in general, packaging can be categorized into two broad groups: flexible packaging vs rigid packaging.
Let’s explore which type is right for you along with their key differences.
Rigid Packaging vs Flexible Packaging – Fundamental Differences
The preference of opting for any specific packaging is affected by several attributes. These include product characteristics, material compatibility, cost, environmental impact, protection, preservation, etc. Considering all of these is integral when making any decision for a packaging type.
What Is a Rigid Package?
Rigid packaging is designed in such a way that its shape and structure remain intact irrespective of the weight of the product packed inside it. That's why it is used for heavier and stronger products. The major distinction of rigid packages is great protection it offers against external damages. However, this kind of packaging is a bit more expensive than flexible packaging. Some common examples of rigid packaging include:
Processed food containers
Heavy plastic bottles
Glass or plastic jars
What Is Flexible Packaging?
As the name shows, flexible packaging is flexible and elastic enough to be molded or modified in any form. It is highly adaptable and lightweight, and takes less storage space during transit compared to rigid packaging. Moreover, it comes out more affordable for start-ups and SMEs. Some common examples of flexible packaging are:
What are Rigid vs Flexible Materials?
Based on the physical properties, flexible packaging vs rigid packaging materials have quite different compositions. Where rigid materials are not easily moldable, flexible materials can be deformed or stretched quite effortlessly without distorting the shape.
Maintain shape and structure
High tensile strength
Resistant to bending or stretching
High stability and durability
In the food and beverage industry to prevent breakage
In cosmetic and skincare products to maintain integrity
Returns back to original shape
Lower tensile strength
Easy to twist or stretch
Unstable and fragile
In food packaging to preserve freshness
In pharmaceuticals for easy dispensing
Steel and aluminum metal tins or cans
Solid and transparent glass bottles
Canned foods and carbonated drinks
Wine and juice bottles
Rigid plastic jars of creams and lotions
Rigid plastic or glass containers for condiments and dairy products
Ampoules and vials for injectable medicines
Campshell packaging for electronic devices
Strong cardboard boxes for sports equipment
Rubber and soft plastics
Snacks and frozen foods
Tablets, capsules, powders
Lotions and shampoo sachets
Tubes and stand-up pouches in cosmetics
Cleaning wipes and detergent packs
Fertilizers and seed packs
Clothing and accessories
Wraps for dried fruits
Pouches for condiments and sauces
Flexible Packaging VS Rigid Packaging: Pros and Cons
Commonly used for various items, both carry distinct products due to their remarkable benefits and product needs. Some of the critical points to ponder are highlighted as follows:
Pros of Flexible Packaging
Pros of Rigid Packaging
Lightweight, compact, saves spaces
Sturdy, solid, durable
Flexible enough to mold in any shape
Maintains product integrity
Provides great protection during transit
Easy to handle and customize
Resistant to environmental factors
Cons of Flexible Packaging
Cons of Rigid Packaging
Less protection against external factors
Takes up more space
Easy to tear
Offers low-cost benefits
Can change food flavor
High shipping charges
Why Is Flexible Packaging Better?
There is no hard and fast rule when it comes to deciding the type of packaging that would work better for your business. It totally depends on your preferences and needs, and thus varies from business to business. But if you are a startup, then flexible packaging would be the best choice to make. New and emerging businesses often face several challenges, mostly in terms of budget. That's why they need cost-effective packaging solutions that align best with their needs and requirements.
If we assess the cost-efficiency of flexible packaging as compared to rigid, the perks are greater in all aspects. This may include manufacturing, customization, printing, handling, transportation, storage, etc. Moreover, cost advantages of flexible packaging are:
Requires less material; lowering material cost
Fast manufacturing speed; decreasing machinery/production outlay
Easy printing and lamination; requiring less energy
Easy to store; lessening labor fees
Space-efficient; lowering storage cost and fuel consumption
Affordable customizations; plummeting design expenses
Less prone to breakage; decreasing the additional toll
Sustainable alternatives; reducing environmental compliance cost
Ending the debate on flexible packaging vs rigid packaging, you must always select according to your business criteria and requirements. Both types of packaging have their characteristics. Flexible packaging is low-cost and versatile, whereas rigid packaging is robust and gives an impression of quality. So, take some time to plan out your budget including all the aspects and technicalities of packaging. Choose what suits you best!
Half Price Packaging – Your Packaging Saviour
Confused about what type of packaging should you choose for your business between rigid vs flexible packaging? Worry not, Half Price Packaging is here to resolve all your packaging-related questions. And yes, we are familiar with the cost savings on flexible packaging vs rigid. Our expert team does their best to help you with all your queries. We also offer free 3D design support for your ease and convenience. So, contact us today and enjoy amazing discounts on bulk or wholesale orders!