I W BY DENNIS CALAMUSA, CONTRIBUTING EDITOR
F I or the flexible packaging market industry has been impacted a proliferation of to continue to prosper, it will be to date, and how it may be convenience stores, super important for our industry to have dramatically influenced in the markets, super centers and a constant outlook toward emerging future by some new and club store outlets. trends and evolving market dynamics evolving global dynamics. Now what about the that may shape our future and contin- I'm sure we can all think "tipping point" of the - ue to create forward momentum. of many of the "big things" escalation and instability in It is important for us to look globally that have had a major gasoline pricing and what as to what packaging solutions are influence or a dramatic hhnun effect this will have in both working within various regions of the impact on the growth of the the short and long term world in order for us to get a flexible packaging business over the regarding how we think about "snapshot" of what we may expect to past 20 years. Some of these major packaging. see in our own backyard in coming "tipping points" included improved The flexible packaging industry has years. After all, we are starting to see extrusion and laminating technologies, promoted the benefits of flexible that the United States market is not development of improved printing packaging relating to cost efficiencies quite as unique as we may like to think methodology, development of and the logistical benefits of flexible For decades, I have observed global improved resins, barrier film, sealants verses rigid packaging, i.e. cost of packaging innovation that I was told and inks, etc. transportation, handling, warehousing, would never succeed in the U.S. This The "big things" are easy, but what etc. These arguments mainly fell onto was incorrect. They are not only about the "little things" that deaf ears. However, the recent succeeding, but flourishing in our sometimes are not so obvious, that escalation of fuel prices has put a market. The delay in implementation have made a big impact on our spotlight on many of these hidden cos~ was not because these innovations industries growth? Things like factors that just weren't worth the didn't fit here, but we were not willing reclosability, i.e. zippers, "sliders," effort to calculate. Well guess what? to implement them or change from spouts and fitrnents, and the These costs are no longer being %nored more traditional method of packaging consumer's demand for these features; by many consumer product companies for a myriad of reasons. and the gradual shift from paper to who arejust now starting to do the Reluctance to change is probably plastics. What about the move toward math. Today these costs, previously one of the most difficult challenges for upright retail freezers driving the need thought of as "intangible," are having a us all to overcome. However, given the for upright frozen food packaging - substantial ripple effect on the total right market drivers or economic forcing a change from commodity to cost structure of rigid packaging and factors, change can happen rapidly. innovative value-added flexible may have a dramatic impact on the The Tipping Point: How Little packaging, and a shift in retail conversion from rigid to flexible for the Things Can Make a Big Diffuence, by marketing, providing a diverse first time in many years. Malcolm Gladwell, is a book that has opportunity to present new value This single economic "tipping inspired me to ponder how our added products to the market through point" may be enough to cause a major "tumbling effect," which may . rn have already begun, and once started Reluctance to change Is probably one there may be no turning back. Let's hope our industry is poised and ready of the most difficult challemgmr for us to respond! all to overcome. Howevrr, glven the right market drivers or economic Dennis Calamusa can be reached at (941)923-1181, firstname.lastname@example.org, fabtors, change can happen rspldly. or visit www.standup-pouch.com.