Passion for Packaging Innovation

Family Packs: reclosability vs. resealability

Most of the screwcaps on the market are resealable. So when you tighten the cap, and leave the package lying on its side, the cap will not leak over an extended period of time.

However, there are a number of openings on packages, flip-caps being one of the most prominent, that are not resealable. They are instead reclosable. When closed, they prevent air exchange over the cap area, as well as protect against dust and the like. However, they are not tight against leaking when they are laid on their sides.

Liquid Tightness

There are actually some flip-cap designs that are on the market that come close to resealability. But without a screwcap’s mechanical advantage in its threads, it is difficult to build up enough pressure on the lip surface to provide a lasting seal.

It is possible to provide a good seal surface by combining a number of injection molding technologies. Molding high durometer rubbers over hard plastic frames has been done before. Unfortunately, the higher cost of molding usually trumps the consumer benefit, at least from a manufacturer’s viewpoint, and as a result, it is not often seen in the market.

Consumers Adapt

While these choices are being made by manufacturers and brands alike, consumers resort to adaptive behavior. Once you open a flip-cap package and lay it on its side in your fridge, you quickly learn that it leaks profusely.

After this hard lesson, similar packages will never be laid on their sides once opened. While the problem seems to be easily addressed through this adaptive behavior, what does that really mean from a consumer’s perspective?


Consumers are bombarded with a variety of package formats, even for the same product. Ultimately, if consumers are resorting to adaptive behavior to address a package’s shortcomings, then it would become a question of price vs. utility, given that the packed product is the same.

Packages are typically invisible to the consumer in low involvement products, especially once the purchase process is over. That is, unless something really goes wrong. Then, it becomes a decision factor at the POP during the next purchase.

We do feel that flip-caps do have cost advantages. After all, they are fairly minimalistic. They are also highly distribution efficient. They also appear to be an environmentally sensible choice.

Unfortunately, however, flip-caps, representing the bulk of recloseable openings in family packs, have other disadvantages in addition to not being tight when closed. They inherently do not pour well due to short neck height.

They have one-step or two-step (typical) opening designs. With one step, a single action allows access to the product. But most flip-caps require two steps; one to open the flip-cap, and another to remove the seal (tamper evidence). That may result in lower efficiency and effectiveness scores in package usability, depending on the implementation.


In our opinion, usability and storage issues trump cost advantages. We would like to see resealable flip-caps that pour well. Non-resealability drives how the product is stored taking away flexibility in space management in the fridge, and makes it error prone.

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