Uflex Revolutionizes the Online Flower Market
By now, shopping flowers online has been challenging, because sending them involves many risks. But recently, Indian flexible packaging company Uflex developed the “Waterless Internet Flower Packaging”, which ensures a longer shelf life.
Since the e-commerce business is booming, it’s no longer a challenge to pack and send products such as clothing or books to consumers. But it’s another thing with flowers: There have been many hurdles to sell them on the internet, because their shelf life is commonly of short duration, especially when it comes to long-distance deliveries. But now, the so-called “Waterless Internet Flower Packaging”, from Uflex, is likely to revolutionize the online flower market. Uflex even won the 30th Awards for Packaging Innovation by The Dow Chemical Company as one of the Diamond Finalist Winners in 2018.
A Smart System for Fruits and Vegetables
In order to keep flowers fresh Uflex adapted their patented polymer film Active Modified Atmospheric Packaging (AMAP) by Flexfresh™, that is already used to extend the shelf life of fruits and vegetables. This 100% biodegradable film is able to maintain the hydration of flowers during transpiration and thereby creates a closed loop system. It also forces flowers to breathe more slowly by reducing oxygen, preventing oxidation and drying.
N. Siva Shankaran, Vice President of Uflex, explains the concept in detail:
“Equilibrium of oxygen and carbon dioxide is achieved by naturally consuming the available oxygen by the [flowers or] produce. Oxygen level is brought down to slow down the oxidation rate. All this is possible in refrigerated conditions where the respiration rate is within normal tolerances and aids in designing the solution. Micro perforations enable the gas levels to maintain it in equilibrium based on the number of holes and the size of the holes, which are calculated through patented software.”
These calculated data refer to each specific product, considering the desired oxygen or carbon dioxide values, product weight, surface area and film permeability.
As a result, flowers coming with an Uflex packaging can survive without water for a significant number of days within the modified atmosphere:
“In a traditional supply chain, when you receive the product on, let’s say, day ten, it’s ten days old. When you use Flexfresh™, it’s probably three days old. So that’s the difference, it’s much younger, it’s got a lot of weight because it’s not lost its moisture, so you can see the benefits”,
N. Siva Shankaran explains.
Still Room for Improvements
Beyond that, Uflex is already working with many leading supermarkets and producers to package consumer goods sustainably and efficiently. But of course, they are still working on improvements of their products. One of them is a version with high clarity which has great potential for success in supermarkets by replacing usual plastic bags. According to the company’s Chairman and Managing Director Ashok Chaturvedi,
“Uflex has taken the lead as more supermarkets come under pressure to eliminate plastics from their counters. In a bid to cater to ever changing consumer demands coupled with eco-friendly solutions, this technology is a major shot in the arm for e-commerce companies that enables florists and retailers to stock up large inventory thereby leading to enormous savings”.
Their fresh packaging is already being used for both regional and tropical fruits and vegetables in Europe.
We surely appreciate this invention very much and look forward to long lasting fresh flowers. What do you think about this innovation? Can you think of other product fields it might be helpful? Tell us your opinion in the comment section!