Is it almost time for an upgrade to this century-old packaging design?

Frozen vegetables, snack chips, even cat treats—they all are available in resealable flexible packaging. So, have you ever wondered why breakfast cereal isn’t?

The folks at Markeplace took on that question in a recent column. They posed that it might be because the bags that are used now are prone to spilling, which causes people to buy more cereal, but the actual reasons aren’t quite so cynical. It does have to do with money, though.

In the article, they cite Kellogg’s as having tried the resealable closures, but they found that the packaging process became much slower and more expensive, and also that the zipper closures didn’t always close properly. The added cost keeps price-conscious big brands like Kellogg’s and General Mills from opting for the resealable pouches, but some boutique brands like Bob’s Red Mill Natural Foods and One Degree Foods do offer them.

Danny Houghton, the chief content officer for One Degree, is quoted in the article as saying that society has shifted away from the traditional family of, say, around four people who would sit around the table, pour a bowl, and go through a box in under a week. With millennials, it might take them two weeks to go through one box. A report from CB Insights said that 40% of millennials eat on the go. Houghton said the resealable component for some of One Degree’s products allows them to have a fresher product with an extended shelf life.

Bryan Lacy, the director of sales at a manufacturer of automated packaging equipment, is also quoted in the article. He explained that the film used in standard cereal pouches is thin (and inexpensive) by design. “It’s made with a layer which obviously you can pull apart easily,” he said. “If you’re going to apply a zipper onto it, at that point, you need a thicker sealant layer than what they use.”

Read the whole article on Marketplace here.

The “bag-in-a-box” concept used by most cereal manufacturers has been around almost a century—and it’s deeply ingrained in consumers’ minds. It might take a while for something like that to move to flexible stand-up pouches, but the truth is the technology involved in developing those pouches is advancing at lightning speed. Costs are coming down, and our ability to design the pouches and print them with information about the products is getting better all the time. If you have a product that you think would benefit from resealable stand-up pouches, give us a call. We’ll go over all the benefits and possibilities with you.