By Steve Katz, Editor | April 10, 2013

Walmart often gets thrown around conversations people have about retail, and there ‘s good reason for it – the store sells everything. From food to clothes to flat screen TVs, you can get it all at Walmart. Consumers like convenience, and Walmart certainly provides it.

This concept of one-stop shopping has permeated not just retail, but other markets as well. Just the other day I observed a co-worker lunching on both KFC and Taco Bell. Naturally, I investigated. It turned out he didn’t make two stops, but was able to purchase both from one restaurant that offered both menus. The Yum Company owns both brands (and also Pizza Hut), and I think came up with a pretty good idea here. This concept could appeal to a number of potential customers – a mom shuttling a few hungry kids comes to mind.  

We make our travel arrangements online these days. Regardless of the website you’re on, what are you asked the moment you’re about to purchase your airline ticket? They ask if you want to add a hotel room or a rental car. And it’s not just the all-encompassing travel sites that do it. The airlines do it to, partnering with hotel chains and rental car companies. Why go to another site and make another, separate transaction when you’ve got everything you need in front of you.

Brand owners also like convenience, and regardless of the product they are marketing, they are never buying just labels to fulfill their packaging needs. After all, a label has to label something, and, a given brand may want an additional way of packaging their product. Here’s another thought: the brand owner may not even know they want an additional package, but maybe their wheels start spinning when they see that they can buy from their label printer, for example, a trial or travel size sachet of the shampoo, skin cream, salad dressing or chocolate they are bringing to market.

Single-serving and travel-sized products. Again, here’s this theme of convenience – and these aspects  are appealing to consumers. Add in sustainability advtantages and a lighter-weight product that costs less to transport, and it’s clear why flexible packaging is a healthy, growing market.

In the label industry, flexible packaging has emerged as a way of offering label customers convenience in ordering something else. And chances are, you are already equipped with the machinery to enter this market. In this issue, we take a close look at the flexible packaging trend that is now prevalent in the label industry. And our Packaging Spotlight provides a great example of innovation, and how packaging can provide a new way of how we think about a given product.

Some of you are already more than just labels, and many are seriously looking into what else you can be, and what else you can offer. There is value in being convenient, in being a one-stop-shop.

Steve Katz, Editor
Twitter: @LabelSteve
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