Has Bubble (Wrap) Burst for the Last Time?

August 25, 2015

Have you heard the news? Bubble Wrap creator, Sealed Air Corp., who has been popping bubbles since 1962, is saying goodbye to bubble as we know it. Or is it?

Earlier this summer, the Internet was furiously responding to reports that Bubble Wrap would forever be gone. However, in reality, Sealed Air announced its new (and additional) product offering to compete in the in the bubble on demand market: iBubble Wrap.

There are other market innovators like Storopack, Polyair and Pregis, in addition to Sealed Air, who make substantial investments in R&D to stay in front of a changing e-commerce environment—and bubble on demand is one example of that.

These companies will still be offering their pop-tastic version (and so may Sealed Air). Instead of individual pockets of air, the new product introduces connected columns that distribute the air as pressure is applied—packaging on demand, which according to Pichotta, is not a new concept.

“Warehouse expenses continue to rise,” Mike Pichotta, vice president of operations at Ernest Packaging Solutions says. “The relief for the manufacturers, as well as the users, is coming in the form of these on demand packaging systems, which save space in the warehouse. We’ll see this space in the bubble market continue to grow at a rapid pace.” 

Why such a big focus on space? Warehouse vacancy rates sit in the single digits nationwide. According the Wall Street Journal, “…the logistics industry earns an average of $25 in revenue a square foot—so if a facility were to use 3,000 square feet of space to store Bubble Wrap, it loses $75,000 a year in potential revenue.” Multiply that across your entire supply chain, and the added costs of wasted space adds up.

EPS_ErnInsightsMock“Even with scarce warehouse space, these new products likely will not replace the ‘old fashioned’ bubble pack for many years,” Pichotta says. “Users’ costs to package with these products is still very low and remains a user friendly option. Many geographically convenient sources still produce these products and service all major markets. It’s a product which will be around for many years.”

Great news for the legions of fans who understand why popping bubble wrap is so satisfying (spoiler alert: we are all a little too stressed and need a release). Need the stress release now—like right now? Visit our homepage and scroll to your very own sheet of bubble and pop away!

Packaging is constantly changing to meet market demands. At Ernest, we’re always prepared to deliver protective packaging solutions tailored to your needs—and that’s a bubble that won’t ever burst. Contact us today to learn more.