Health is a concern of a majority of the population in some form or another. These days that concern often takes the form of an interest in being ‘green,’ a concept that obviously is directed toward the environment but indirectly affects peoples’ health. And with the growing publicity and focus on obesity in North Amercia – specifically the United States – health concerns are now turning toward food and freshness. That’s where flexible packaging can make a significant impact.

For many people, in order to live a healthier life, and eat healthier foods, they require that fruits and vegetables maintain intense flavor and stay fresher longer. Increasingly, those issues are being addressed by better flexible packaging.

Some of the top food trends in 2008 include fresh and organic produce, bold flavors and probiotics (dietary supplements containing potentially beneficial bacteria or yeasts).

Organic food makers are
targeting kids more aggressively, and the number of new food products launched in the United States that are designed to use steam as a cooking method tripled between 2005 and 2007, according to Datamonitor’s Productscan Online database. Most often, the utilization of that steam is a function of a flexible package.

The demand for “superfruits” – those that offer desireable health benefits including antioxidants, like
pomegranates – is moving away from the natural food outlets and into the mainstream grocery stores. And juices from these superfruits are also gaining in popularity.

Probiotics, the friendly bacteria producing healthy benefits for gut health, are now available to consumers in a variety of ways. Food producers are rolling new probiotic options that include yogurts, cheeses and even chocolate bars. In nearly every case, flexible packaging plays a role, from flexible lidding, labels or value-added pouches.

The bottom line is, while flexible packaging has traditional been used to extend shelf-life, it now can aid in extending human life, when partnered with a fresh, healthy food. The combination of good food with good flexible packaging can play a significant role in improving our health.