Rigid Packaging vs. Flexible Packaging: Which to Choose?

Rigid Packaging vs. Flexible Packaging: Which to Choose?

When a customer opens a package, its components set the tone for their experience with a new product. Small differences in texture and material can send a powerful message.

Don’t underestimate the decision of choosing between rigid packaging and flexible packaging. If you want to impress your customers with the quality of your packaging, do your research, find custom packaging that complements your product, and increase sales with an instantly recognizable brand image.


What is Flexible Packaging?

When most people think of flexible packaging, they think of printed mail bags and pouches for food, pharmaceuticals, etc. But in reality, flexible packaging includes tubes, sleeves, softer molded plastics, and even carded packaging. 

In addition to food-grade pouches and bags, flexible packaging can be made from mylar, molded plastic, bubble wrap, branded mailer bags, and much more. 

A qualified packaging company can find a material that matches your product aesthetically and optimizes customer experience.


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What is Rigid Packaging?

Rigid packaging is generally made from heavier corrugated cardboard or reinforced chipboard. High-end companies often rely on rigid packaging to protect their merchandise and fortify their reputation. 

While rigid packaging includes high-end folding carton boxes, it should not be confused with “rigid boxes” or “set-up boxes”. These dense chipboard boxes with high-quality printed paper are most often associated with Apple products, like iPhones and iPads. 

When to Choose Flexible Packaging?

If your products are not fragile and you want to cut costs, flexible packaging may be the right choice. Flexible packaging dominates the food market because it is more likely to be food-grade material. 

Depend on flexible packaging to insulate perishables with both chemical and thermal shielding. Beyond this, flexible packaging is much more customizable. Choose a size, shape, and color that highlights your product, and make these aesthetic changes without breaking the bank.

Perhaps the greatest advantage of flexible packaging is its economical cost. The materials themselves are generally cheaper, and because flexible packaging is more lightweight, you will save money on shipping, manufacturing, and warehousing. 

When it comes time to stock your product, flexible packaging takes up less shelf space. Retailers may be more interested in stocking your merchandise as a result. 


When to Choose Rigid Packaging?

The most obvious application for rigid packaging is for breakable or valuable merchandise. You certainly wouldn’t want to ship a vase or a laptop in flexible packaging, or you would risk losing your entire investment. 

Add protective elements like styrofoam or air pillows and your goods are virtually guaranteed to reach their destination in one piece. You can also rely on rigid packaging to insulate your goods from extreme temperatures during transit.

Although rigid packaging is more expensive, it can be easier to stack and store. Hard edges also make it simple to print important information like the expiration date or handling instructions. 

Rigid packaging often connotes luxury, and customers may be willing to pay more for a product as a result. Many brands utilize rigid boxes to reinforce a high-class brand image, regardless of the true price of their merchandise.


Which Type of Packaging Should You Choose?

Ultimately, your choice of packaging relies on the message you want to send to your customers. Flexible packaging implies affordability and convenience, whereas rigid packaging signifies elegance. While you may be inclined to choose one over the other, a combination of flexible and rigid packaging could serve your business best. Take these parameters into consideration before you commit to one packaging material.

Even so, it’s important to remember that rigid packaging can be as much as four times as expensive as flexible packaging. Volume matters with any packaging but this is especially true with printed rigid boxes. Orders over 1000 will see a dramatic reduction in the overall price.

Whatever you choose, enlist a qualified packaging company to help you through the process and craft a distinctive brand image.

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