Growth in the use of stand-up pouch bags continues at record levels, with the North American market being the second largest market, only exceeded by China. Their popularity is high in human and pet food and snack markets but also in lawn and garden, agriculture, personal care, and cleaning products among others. These bags have convenience features that are valued by the consumer, such as resealability while providing cost-effective benefits to the brand owner that reduce costs through the manufacturing and supply chain. They are also an excellent format as a billboard for eye-catching designs to make the product stand out on the retail shelf.
What Is a Stand-up Pouch Bag?
Stand-up pouches are ideal packaging for point-of-sale purchases. They are made with flexible packaging material that acts as a barrier to keep the product fresh, presented in a resealable bag with a flat bottom while acting as a mini-billboard to create an impression on the shelf to stand out among its competitors. A stand-up pouch can be customized in many ways, including size, shape, type of closure, artwork and by using different combinations of material, the length of shelf life it can deliver. Even with these options, it provides a smart, cost-effective choice for brand owners because it is lighter than standard rigid designs, whether plastic, metal or glass, so a greater quantity of product can be shipped for every dollar spent on freight.
Stand-up pouch bags are made of combinations of film, foil and/or paper. The materials are laminated together, i.e., permanently combined using pressure and adhesive. Different materials provide different performance characteristics, such as protection from oxygen or moisture
Other key features that can be engineered into stand-up pouch bags include resealability and visibility. Resealability is achieved by matching the right size and strength of the zipper from a wide variety of styles. Visibility simply means that a window can be incorporated into the design to “show off” the contents.
Some examples of key markets and applications for stand-up pouches include:
- Prepared foods
- Cookies & crackers
- Beef jerky
- Dried fruit and nuts
- Protein powder
- Dry mixes
- Dog food and treats
- Fish product packaging
- Bird food
- Lawn and garden
- Pool chemicals
Three Facts About Stand-Up Pouch Bag Manufacturing
When considering stand-up pouch bag manufacturers, there are many factors that will affect your decision. Some of the most important characteristics are listed below.
1. Vertical integration
There is tremendous value when a product can be manufactured under one roof. Not all manufacturers have the equipment and expertise to perform every task throughout the manufacturing process. When a manufacturer is not vertically integrated, in addition to the additional time it takes to move unfinished product from point A to point B for completion, there are potential issues that can arise when products are not manufactured under a single, overarching formal ISO quality management program. The manufacturing of stand-up pouch bags involves many steps including graphic design, printing, laminating, slitting and converting. Each step of the process occurring within the same four walls enhances the quality and consistency of the end products.
2. US-based manufacturing
While custom stand-up pouches are available from international sources, there are potential trade-offs when choosing a distant manufacturer. One is that custom orders typically require a larger order volume than from a domestic manufacturer that can potentially impact cash flow. Another is the time required from order placement to delivery is typically twice as long as using a domestic manufacturer because the finished product will normally be shipped by sea. Depending upon the geographic source, multiple manufacturers may be involved in the production of the initial and subsequent orders without this fact being made known to the brand owner. When different equipment is used, different outcomes are possible, including differences in color shading, seal strength, zipper performance, print quality and the quality of the materials used. When the production site is 15,000 miles away, there is no practical ability to monitor production and whatever quality controls may be in place.
Using a US located manufacturer can mitigate the potential issues of consistent quality, large MOQ’s and long delivery times. Additional benefits include knowing your product is produced by a company that operates under environmentally-friendly regulations, adheres to wage laws, child labor laws and worker safety regulations and supports the growth and the strength of the American economy.
3. Realistic Minimum Order Quantities
The growth of the custom stand-up pouch market is encompassing more smaller brand owners that previously were using rigid packaging or stock, unprinted stand-up pouches with labels. Recognizing that not every customer is able to buy large volumes with each order, pricing models continue to be refined to reflect market realities with respect to minimum order quantities and tiered volume/price relationships. The growing adoption of stand-up pouches is a reality and it is in the manufacturers’ best interests to be as competitive as possible. Brand owners are best served for purposes of pricing and MOQs by engaging the expertise of the manufacturer for recommendations of a structure that will deliver the required protective properties while also not requiring a special order of an esoteric material. Economies of scale come into play when a manufacturer can use one of their stock laminations as the base of the final packaging.