Custom Resealable Pouches: 4 Reasons To Upgrade Your Stock Bags

Brands of all sizes know that a great package speaks volumes for your brand. The right package attracts buyers, extends shelf life, and even boosts consumer engagement. Whether you’re launching a new product or undergoing a package design overhaul, consider using custom resealable pouches to get the most from your packaging. 

1. Elevate Your Brand with Custom Pouches

Have you ever used stock bags with labels/stickers for your product’s packaging? They can certainly do the job of housing and protecting your product when you’re starting out and selling your product locally at community stores, farmer’s markets, etc. Stock bags can work on a smaller scale, but they, unfortunately, don’t allow you to compete with the big brands on shelves. 

Custom pouches elevate and legitimize your brand, sending a clear message to consumers that what’s inside is a quality product. With the use of various films and film properties, like matte, gloss, or clear, you can take advantage of how these all best highlight your product and differentiate your brand. For example, a clear window allows you to show off your product to curious shoppers, while matte film offers a tactile consumer experience. The move from stock bags to custom pouches reflects your brand’s growth and readiness to reach for a wider consumer base.

2. Full Coverage Design Capability

One of the notable benefits of custom resealable bags is that they can provide what a stock bag and sticker can’t: all over design. You’re no longer limited by the size of the sticker. You can use your brand colours, design, and messaging on every inch of the pouch (even on the bottom of the gusset!) for 360° branding. You’re also in control with regard to the size and shape of the pouch, as well as which user features to include – the design is all up to you. 

And according to Nielsen, package design is one of the most effective marketing levers, working hard to capture attention and ultimately, drive purchase. Nielsen reports that 64% of consumers try a new product because the package catches their eye, and 41% will continue to purchase a product because they prefer its packaging.

3. Extend Shelf Life and Reduce Waste

Consumers love resealable packaging. It’s actually one of the top three packaging attributes of flexible packaging rated by consumers, according to the Flexible Packaging Association. Moisture and oxygen threaten the freshness of many food items, and when present can cause the product to become stale, or even moldy. Flexible packaging that features a reseal closure, like a zipper allows users to securely close the pouch, keeping oxygen out and freshness in. And consumers love that the food item maintains its freshness over several uses and also allows them to take the package on the go, without the risk of the resealable product bags spilling open. 

For products that you wouldn’t want to get into the hands of children, such as nutritional supplements, herbal medicines, or lawn and garden supplies, there is the option to have tamper-proof resealable bags. These child-resistant bags are easy for adults to open and reseal, but hard for children to find their way into.

In addition, flexible packaging helps to extend your food product’s shelf life through the use of high-quality barrier film that works to efficiently block oxygen transmission, water vapor, and light from contacting your product. The high barrier film and reseal closure in custom pouches work together to keep your product fresh on store and pantry shelves longer. 

4. Full Customization and Personalization

Ordering digitally printed resealable bags helps you to compete with big brands, regardless of the size of your business, by giving you the tools to truly customize your packaging. Digital printing allows you to create incredible graphics with photo-like quality while ordering custom pouches gives you the opportunity for differentiation and customization.

Digital pouch printing also allows you to print multiple SKUs within one order, meaning that you can add new flavours, ingredients, and designs with ease. Interested in breaking into a new market? With digitally printed custom pouches, you can modify your packaging’s messaging with ease so your brand can launch new products into the market quicker.

Partner with a Custom Resealable Bag Expert

Ready to learn more about how digitally printed custom resealable pouches are the solution for your brand? Whether you’re launching a new product or going through a package design overhaul, we have flexible packaging solutions that can help build your brand. Give us a call today, or click here to get a free quote. 

Anatomy of a Flexible Pouch

There’s a whole world to choose from when deciding on the perfect pouch for your brand. When deciding what you want in a pouch, it can be helpful to start by knowing exactly what options are available. Your packaging is arguably just as important as your product, and you want to make sure that you are getting exactly what your product needs to protect your product while promoting your brand. 

What exactly goes into the construction of a great pouch and how can you be sure you’re choosing the best options? Read on to learn about the pouch anatomy and what will work best for your product. 

Flexible Pouch Design

Let’s start by looking at the different flexible packaging pouches you can choose from.

Stand Up Pouches

One of the most well known and popular types of flexible pouches is the stand-up pouch. This pouch is fully formed with a bottom designed to allow the pouch to “stand up” on the shelf. You can find a variety of different products packaged in stand up pouches, including snacks like chips, nuts and granola, as well as frozen foods and jerky.

Different variations of the stand up pouch include:

  • Gusseted Pouches
    • Side gusseted pouches 
    • Bottom gusseted pouches
    • Doyen Pouch (also known as Round Bottom or Doypack) 
    • K-Seal Pouch
    • Plough Bottom Pouch (also referred to as Corner Bottom, plow Bottom or Folded Bottom)  
  • Flat Bottom Pouch
  • Retort Pouch
  • Shaped Pouch 

Lay Flat Pouches

Another style is the lay flat pouch, or pillow pouch, which is a fully formed pouch that is designed to lay flat. 

The main types of lay flat pouches include: 

  • Pillow Pouches
  • 3-Side Seal Pouches
  • Stick Pack Pouches

With stand up and lay flat pouches, the fully formed pouches are created and then shipped to brands for filling and sealing. Rollstock, on the other hand, is engineered film that is sent to brands where they (or their co-packer) would then place it on a form-fill-seal packaging machine to form the pouch. 

Pouch Seals

Next, let’s move to the seal, or the closure of the pouch. All pouches are sealed to keep the package closed and secure. While there are many different reclose options available, a reclose zipper is not always necessary, especially if the pouch is not meant to be consumed over multiple uses. In that case, the top of the pouch can be either cold or heat sealed to deliver a secure seal for shipping and storage. If a reclose seal is needed for your pouch, there are several options to suit any project:

Zipper

A press-to-close zipper is a great choice due to its popularity with consumers. Zippers render the package resealable, and work great for many types of pouches, including both stand up and lay flat styles. Zippers help to preserve the freshness of the product inside, offer consumer convenience, and prevent spills.

Powder-Proof Zipper

This type of zipper further aids in consumer convenience, and includes a special feature that helps to keep loose products like flour, sugar, and other powders away from the zipper area, and back into the bag. It ensures that consumers can open and close the package easily multiple times, without the powder clogging up the zipper track. 

Child-Resistant Zipper

An effective child-resistant zipper makes the package difficult for children under five to open, yet easy enough for adults. They are used in many different markets like pharmaceuticals, supplements, herbal medicines, and household cleaners. A properly certified child-resistant closure is the safest and most functional way to ensure that a reclosable, flexible package meets the requirements for special packaging as stated in the U.S. Poison Prevention Packaging Act. 

Flexible Pouch Bottom Styles

Let’s move to the bottom, or base, of the flexible pouch. There are a variety of different bottom gusset styles for stand-up pouches, including:

Doyen Seal

Doyen is a common bottom gusset style in which the u-shaped seal reinforces a large area of the pouch by sealing the front and back panels to the bottom gusset. It enables light weight products to stand up since the bottom seal acts as “feet” for the pouch.

K-Seal

A K-Seal is characterized by a K-style seal at the corners, and a flat bottom seal across the bottom edges of the pouch. 

Corner/Plough (Plow) Bottom Style

This style of bottom is typically recommended for heavy items. There is no seal on the bottom of the pouch, only along the corners of the bottom, thus the product sits directly on the bottom of the pouch. 

Skirt Seal

Lastly, the skirt seal refers to a bottom gusset seal that appears “skirted.” Skirt refers to the portion of a bag between the bottom seal and the bottom edge of the bag.

Here is a visual representation of the different flexible pouch bottom styles:

Barriers + Finishes for Flexible Pouches

The protective barrier of the pouch, or the barrier, preserves and protects the contents of the package to maintain freshness, extend shelf life, and prevent damage to the contents. Flexible barrier packaging is generally made from laminated layers or multiple layers of barrier films. Depending on the product you are packaging, your barrier needs will vary. A specific combination of flexible plastics, aluminum, paper, and coating is chosen to create the right barrier protection for the application. There are a variety of different barrier options for moisture, oxygen, and scent protection, blocking these from entering or exiting the package. 

In addition to the pouch barrier, brands can also customize their pouches with finishes. The finish of a pouch are what impact the look and feel of the pouch. Popular finishes include glossy, matte, metalized and soft-touch matte. 

Pouch Options / Add Ons

The final part in our pouch anatomy includes the optional add-ons for a pouch. Let’s dive into the most common options for pouches.

Hang Holes  

Adding a hang hole to your pouch allows for easy retailing. It enables the pouch to hang on a wall or display, for maximum visibility, instead of placing it on the shelf, an important consideration specifically for lay-flat pouches. Hang holes are commonly used on small bags and grab & go bags sold at the point of sale, or in convenience stores. Brands can choose a traditional round hole or a sombrero hole, depending on the needs of the project. 

Tear Notches

Tear notches are small indentations in the film that sit directly below the heat/cold seal area. They aid in consumer convenience because they help users open the package more easily. The notches signal to consumers where to start the tear and then allows them to easily rip the top of the pouch without much force or the use of scissors. 

Windows

Most flexible packaging applications can be equipped with a transparent or cloudy window, which is a great way to allow consumers to see the contents inside. Windows are gaining in popularity as more brands place emphasis on transparency. Windows can be clouded or clear, based on the type of film chosen for the project. 

Partnering With a Trusted Flexible Packaging Provider

As you can see, flexible packaging consists of many parts, layers,  features, and add-ons that are customizable for a variety of products. There are many considerations for creating flexible packaging, and our team of flexible packaging experts is here to work with you to create the best flexible retail packaging for your specific project

 Have questions? Give us a call or request a free quote and we will help you get started with our digital pouch printing and flexible packaging solutions

Digital Printing: NOT Just for Short Runs

Have you heard the myth that digital printing is only for small businesses that only have a need to produce short runs? Well, we’re here to tell you that this just isn’t true.

Digital printing is capable of producing large orders with quality, sharp and consistent graphics for a superior package.

It’s no secret that the right package can go a long way to boost your brand’s success. This involves securing the best design, materials, and printing process to get the job done right. Whether you’re a small business just starting out or a Fortune 500 brand, you know how important it is to work with a supplier that can deliver high-quality work with a quick turnaround. Not only that but finding a partner who can help leverage the vast abilities that digital printing has to offer. The key is to find the right flexible packaging partner that leverages innovative technology paired with best-in-class customer service.

The Power of Digital Print for Brands of All Sizes

The technology that is already disrupting the consumer-packaged goods space is none other than digital printing. With digital printing, you get unmatched accuracy, and the highest print quality available, all with fast turnaround. Whether you’re a small business looking to print small orders, or a large company looking to print large runs on a consistent basis, digital printing offers an ideal solution. But, the first things first, what is digital printing and how does it work?

Digital printing refers to methods of printing from a digital-based image directly to a variety of media (or packaging substrates). Digital printing offers a solution for small to medium-sized businesses looking to do shorter runs, or larger businesses looking to utilize the power of digital for unique campaigns and promotions.

In contrast, conventional printing involves creating a printing plate for each and every design, SKU or offering. Offset, gravure and flexography are the most common types of conventional printing in the packaging space and each involves transferring the image from a plate to the surface. Because of this, these techniques leave you with lengthy plate set-up time and fees, large order minimums, and a slow turnaround.

With digital printing, all of that is avoided, and you get your orders fast. And, with digital printing, you control the quantity. Some months it may be high, others lower; you pick the quantity based on demand, seasonal packaging, a specific campaign or target markets. With digital printing, the complexity is removed from the flexible packaging ordering, streamlining the process, and getting you back to running your business.

Beyond the Convenience of Digital Print For Long Runs

Large and small companies alike know that great design can make or break the promotion of your product. Because of that, digital printing consistently creates high-quality, clear and colourful graphics, be it with small, medium or large runs. The quality of graphics exceeds that of conventional printing methods, is capable of matching existing product lines, and registers perfectly for every image printed. What’s more, digital printing technology gives you the freedom of personalization for customized packaging and messaging for your brand to reach target markets.

Customization and personalization opportunities that aren’t possible with conventional print give brands, large and small, the chance to set their packaging apart with consumers. One can’t not smile when seeing their name of a Coca Cola bottle, and digital print makes this level of personalization available.

Variable printing, brand authentication, track and trace, augmented reality, and customer engagement imaging is all possible with digital print. The potential is nearly endless when it comes to digital, especially for large brands looking to broaden their reach and market in new, innovative ways. Low minimum orders also allow for such shorter-run packaging campaigns, promotions, and seasonal specials with the concern of excess or unneeded inventory or large cash flow being tied up in specialty packaging.

Digital Print is Clean & Simple

And while digital may seem more complex than the conventional route, digital is the simpler and cleaner method of package printing. In fact, our digital workflow paired with the efficiency of the digital press has finished packaging in your hands quickly (10-15 business days) and with a significantly lower environmental impact.

Are you a large company that hasn’t yet considered that digital printing could keep up with your order quantities, or maybe you’re a small company that didn’t think you could afford the quality that the technology offers? Either way, if you’re still not sure that digital is right for you, call us today to hear about our capabilities and to get a free quote. Let us show you how we can partner with you to help you start, or grow, your brand!

7 Advantages of Digitally Printed Flexible Packaging

Regardless of the size of your company, digitally printed flexible packaging has a variety of benefits over conventional printing methods like offset, gravure, and flexographic. There are many differences between digital and conventional printing, and while traditional print is a great choice for many brands, there are several advantages to choosing digitally printed flexible packaging. Read on to learn the 7 advantages of digital. 

1. Turnaround time is cut in half, and then some. 

With digital printing, there are never any plates to create or set up. This means once the digital file is sent over, your project is ready to print in minutes instead of the days or weeks it would take to create and set up the plates for each package design. And, when you partner with a local digital printing manufacturer, shipping time is significantly decreased, so you get your packaging fast. In some cases, it’s the difference between getting your order in days, instead of months.

2.  You have the ability to print multiple SKUs in a single run. 

For smaller brands looking to print less of each SKU, this is the game changer of digital printing. Because there are no plates, multiple SKUs can run at once so brands can combine multiple SKUs into one order, or one print run. No matter if you have 3 designs or 300, digital printing has got you covered, and all in one order.

3. You can make changes to your packaging design on the fly. 

Since there are no plates, there is no lengthy or costly set up when a change needs to be made to the design. It’s just a new file, so you have the ability to make tweaks to your packaging design file without the headache, cost, and delay associated with the creation of new plates. If your ingredient list changes, you get a new certification, or even if you change your logo, you can easily adjust your design file and start printing the updated design immediately.

4. You only have to print what you need, when you need it. 

This allows you to respond to market demand in real time. And, with digital printing, short and medium runs are possible, so you can print to demand and avoid having excessive inventory. This allows you to keep more cash in your business while decreasing the risk of obsolescence and excess inventory, both of which can cost you more than you may realize.

5. Short run, seasonal, and promotional packaging is possible with digital printing. 

Brands of all sizes can take advantage of short runs for seasonal and promotional packaging when you don’t want to place a large order. This allows you to try packaging for target markets, come up with a fun, limited time promotion, or create seasonal packaging for any holiday or season you can imagine. With no plates and short runs, you are not limited to how many SKUs you can create.

6. Digital printing is more environmentally friendly than traditional printing methods. 

In fact, digitally printed flexible packaging adds even more sustainable benefits, overall, including:

  • Custom flexible packaging uses fewer natural resources and energy to manufacture and transport than other package formats and generates fewer CO2 emissions.  
  • Flexible packaging, when it comes to food packaging printing, also reduces food waste by extending the shelf life of the product inside.
  • Digitally printed flexible packaging also produces fewer emissions and less energy consumption than traditional printing. 
  • The HP Indigo 20000 printing press is a carbon neutral machine used in all our plants. Learn more about the environmental benefits of our press here.
  • With no printing plates, there is less materials needed to set up. 
  • Customers can order to demand, which means less inventory potentially being wasted, since obsolete packaging usually ends up in our landfills.
  • Lastly, digitally printed sustainable packaging is also an option! Brands have the ability to add a recyclable pouch or post consumer recycled (PCR) rollstock to their product line up.

7. Digital printing has capabilities like none other. 

For instance, Variable Data Printing (VDP) is made possible only by digital packaging technology. Brands can take advantage of creating customized and personalized packaging on each package printed, or the track and trace capabilities.  This technology helps customers enhance product shelf presence, create digital consumer engagement (like QR codes), and guard against counterfeiting, as well as provide the ability to track products from cradle to grave.  

Partnering with a Digitally Printed Flexible Packaging Manufacturer 

By choosing digital printing for your flexible packaging, you will benefit from a slew of different advantages, especially when compared to traditional print. If you’re curious about what digital print could do for your brand, give us a call or click here to receive a free quote. 

ePac Announces Its Newest Location: Montreal, Canada

ePac Flexible Packaging, the industry leader in quick turn, short and medium run-length flexible packaging, has announced it will be adding a third location in Canada. Adding to operations in Vancouver and Toronto, ePac Montreal will serve CPG brands of all sizes throughout Quebec province, and its  combined 3 Canadian locations will serve all of Canada.

According to George Boustani, Managing Director of ePac’s Canadian operations: “Since opening ePac Vancouver in 2019 and Toronto in 2021, demand for our services has grown rapidly. To keep pace, we’ve decided to add a new sales and marketing location – ePac Montreal. In fact we are now accepting orders in Quebec, and fulfilling them from our other Canadian operations.”

Added Virag Patel, ePac’s COO: “The acceleration in sales we’ve experienced in Canada has been phenomenal. Our ability to serve small and medium sized brands with great packaging within 5-15 business days  has been a game-changer for our customers.”

To read the complete press release, click here.

Stick pack vs Sachet packaging: What’s the difference?

There are so many advantages to single-use packaging, like sachets and stick packs. From providing pre-measured doses of nutritional supplements and medicines, to makeup, dairy products, flavorings, sweeteners and beverages, the convenience factor has made these small dose packaging options surge in popularity.

In this article we’re going to go over both flavors of single-use, single dose packages. We’re going to compare and contrast sachet and stick pack packaging for you so you can decide what is best for your product.

Why Good Packaging Matters

Whether you choose stick packs or sachets, your packaging matters. No matter how you cut it, the packaging you use to send out your product represents your brand. It might not be the most obvious thing, but people pay attention. 

People notice the brand went above and beyond to ensure that every person who touched the package sees a logo or feels the quality used when choosing how to ship items. 

Inversely, consumers notice when a package was just an afterthought, or when cheap materials were used to save a buck or two.

One thing that’s becoming more apparent is that many options are never a bad thing. Supplement, pharmaceutical, makeup and flavoring companies have preferences but also have needs. There’s a lot that goes into making educated choices in terms of quality, functionality, price points that need to be hit, and how a package needs to be shipped. 

In packaging, it’s easy to get in the weeds on what colors are best to print with, or is something sustainable or recyclable. One of those questions that pop up repeatedly is always around single-use packaging, most noticeably, stick pack vs. sachet packaging

What to know about sachet vs. stick pack

Single-use products like sachet and stick are increasingly popular choices thanks to being easily transportable with low weight and small size and acting as a time-saver. The two are very similar, but there is a subtle difference, and we thought you needed to know what those things are.

  • Stick pack is tubular, with a long, slender design, and there’s always a side seam. A stick pack is typically around four times longer than its width, with an average length of about 40 to 200 millimeters.
  • Sachets are single-serve, easy tear packs best for small portions of things like sports drink powders or supplements. And with ePac’s digital printing capabilities, they have a seriously wicked look and feel. 

One of the nicest things about sachets is that it’s perfect for giving consumers a trial of your product. They’re also ideal for on-the-go lifestyles and frequent travelers because they’re small enough to be tossed in a bag before heading out. 

Packaging that makes sense for your business

Another perk of sachets is that they can be designed for an exact usage amount. However, a sachet is flat and has a three or four-side sealing. When picking between the two, it comes down to:

  1. The type of product
  2. What you’re using as flexible packing materials
  3. What’s inside the packaging. 
  4. And what’s the quality of the product.

And then there’s also the sealing method, along with the production speed. 

Sachets and sticks packs are super diverse in that they can package just about anything from condiments to over-the-counter drugs or your favorite Cajun spice blend. It does come down to what you’re selling and how you want it presented to consumers. 

Conclusion

Whether you’re providing samples, or selling single-use versions of your supplement at high margins, you’ve got a couple of choices: stick packs and sachets.

Stick packs are great for tea and coffee flavorings, or just to provide a pretty, slender look and feel.

Sachets are great for anything you care to provide in a single, pre-measured dose, either for people on the go, a last-minute purchase when you forgot your regular supplements at home, or as sample packs for shampoos, or anything else that fits in the little form factor.

If you’ve got further questions on what makes the most sense for your business, just ask. We’d love to show you the difference between the sachet and stick packaging, and together, we’ll figure out how to solve your company’s needs.

Cold Seal vs Heat Seal Packaging: What’s the Difference?

It’s no secret that the flexible packaging market is growing and growing fast. Many consumers and packagers are turning to flexible packaging because of its light weight, convenient features, and endless customization options. 

But as you create your next custom mylar bag or pouch, you need to decide whether you’ll use cold seal or heat seal adhesives. 

In this post, we answer the questions: what are they, how are they different, and which should you choose?

Cold seal and heat seal adhesive coatings are both used in a variety of flexible packaging applications. They each have advantages and disadvantages and work best for specific product needs. Do you know the difference between the two and which works best for your application? Read on to find out.

Choosing the right adhesive coating for your product depends on a number of variables, primarily the specific needs and requirements of the item, such as machine speed and capacity, barrier properties, and seal strength.

Heat Sealing 

Heat sealing is the most widely used package sealing technology, and is the preferred choice when a high-integrity seal is needed. Heat seal packaging consists of a multi-layered film including an outer layer, core layer, and interior sealant layer.  

Heat seal packaging doesn’t require any special processes or materials (such as pressure-sensitive adhesives). Therefore it’s the more economical choice. 

Available in a wide range of laminations, heat seal films also offer a wider variety of performance characteristics over cold seal films. For example, better barrier properties keep oxygen, light, and other environmental elements out of the package (and away from your product). 

You can also create a tamper-evident seal to ensure your product’s integrity.

During production you need to carefully manage the following three factors to ensure an effective heat seal:

  • Heat: the temperature of the sealing surfaces
  • Dwell: the amount of time the jaws of a machine are in contact with the sealing material
  • Pressure: the pressure applied by heat seal machinery

These factors work together to create the seal and must be in balance to do so effectively. 

Heat sealing can be used in many food and beverage applications, and for pouches and bags in all shapes and sizes. 

Cold Sealing

Cold sealing is also used in many industries and is preferred for temperature- sensitive products such as chocolate, other confectionery items, and ice cream, as well as medical packaging. It requires only pressure, no heat. 

The process involves two films, one reverse-printed with the brand owner’s package design, and a second that provides the barrier to protect the product. 

Cold seal adhesives are unique in that they seal only to themselves. For example, when a substrate coated with a cold seal adhesive comes into contact with another substrate coated with the same cold seal adhesive, the two are bonded together through pressure, not heat.

Cold sealing is sometimes referred to as “self-seal”. Packagers using cold seal adhesives can choose the bond strength – from low to high – depending on application and packaging specifications. 

But the most notable advantage of cold seal technology is speed. The cold seal process can be up to 10 times faster than heat sealing. 

Why? Because production lines don’t have to wait for machines to heat up, as with heat sealing. Additionally, the absence of heat eliminates burn injuries, which leads to a safer working environment. 

But there is a downside to the cold seal: the lack of chemical resistance and other properties often required by the FDA, depending on the type of product being packaged. 

Cold seal adhesives are also sensitive to air contact and require a suitable release surface.

Conclusion

As you have read, both cold seal and heat seal have their advantages and disadvantages. Each one works best for specific applications. As you seek to find the right sealing process for your product, keep in mind that when you partner with ePac, we can help you determine the right materials and seal for your specific flexible package. Call us today to get started.

ePac Flexible Packaging Breakdown: All of our Packaging Options Explained

Are you interested in flexible packaging for your brand, but you’re not sure where to start? In this guide we break down all of ePac Flexible’s packaging options, with detailed explanations about each. 

The Rise of the CPG 2.0 Company

We’re seeing a rise of a new type of consumer packaged goods company – the CPG 2.0 firm – smaller, more conscientious brands that care about the ingredients they put in their food and their impact on the environment.

They’re also very mission-driven, driven more by a purpose than just by the profit motive. Obviously earning a profit is important, but it’s not the be all and end all of their existence.

Granarly Founder and CEO Morgan Potts

For example, ePac customer Granarly is driven by its founder Morgan Potts’ goal of empowering human adventure. As Potts says on their About Us page:  

“At Granarly, we know people are afraid to live outside their comfort zone. We believe every human has an adventurous life within, so we create on-the-go nutritious snacks to fuel people to live their gnarliest life.”


Another characteristic of CPG 2.0 companies is the passion of their founders. Werewoof founder and CEO, Cierra Thompson, is passionate about animal health, and wanted to create an alternative to the adulterated, mass-produced dog foods that are so unhealthy for our furry friends. 

As the Werewood website states: “Our natural dog treats are handmade in the USA and are free of artificial flavors, colors and chemical preservatives…[o]ur treats are corn-free, and wheat-free and the ingredients are sourced from well vetted and mostly local suppliers.”

Finally, CPG 2.0 founders are smaller than traditional CPG manufacturers. Many times that’s because they’re startup companies, but staying small is often a choice: they prefer to keep things manageable, to have direct control over culture, lifestyle and their impact on the earth’s ecosystem.

Today’s CPG 2.0 Founders Expect More From Their Packaging 

Seeing how this new crop of CPG founders are more passionate, mission-driven and focused on healthy alternatives – both for people and animals, as well as their environment – they also expect more of their packaging.

  • They want to have that big brand presence (as ePac CMO Carl Joachim stated in a recent video), without having to commit to huge, wasteful minimum orders.
  • They desire to express their brand through creative designs that communicate a distinct message. 
  • And finally, they want packaging made with environmentally friendly materials, reflecting their concern for the environment, packaging that complements the sustainable ingredients they use to make their products.

Additionally, according to a recent study by CPG consulting firm L.E.K. Consulting, 56% of CPG brand owners reported an increase in spending on packaging since 2019, and 65% said they anticipate growing their spending in 2022 and 2023.

The Rise of Digitally Printed Flexible Packaging

At ePac we are responding to the needs of the CPG 2.0 vendor with digitally printed flexible packaging. By leveraging modern digital printing technology we’re able to provide the features that today’s CPG 2.0 founder demands:

1. Small Runs and No Plate Fees

We believe this new crop of CPG brands shouldn’t have to wait until they reach a certain size before they can look professional with their packaging. And thanks to today’s technology, they don’t have to.

With digital printing, brands can commit to a minimum of only 1,000 units on their initial run, and avoid producing expensive plates that become redundant very soon after they’re made. 

2. Quick Turnaround

CPG 2.0 companies don’t have time to wait the 6-8 weeks it takes for the ship from across the globe to deliver their pouches. Sometimes they need to get their bags into the store in less than a month.

This was the case with a customer of ours that recently received a last minute order from a large supermarket chain. They had to deliver finished package products ASAP. With ePac’s quick turnaround time (5-15 days) they were able to take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

3. Environmentally-friendly

ePac’s digital printing platform is inherently sustainable: it uses less energy, produces less waste and has a smaller carbon footprint than traditional printing technologies. With the ability to order on demand, packaging obsolescence can also be eliminated, keeping unused plastic packaging out of landfill.

With environmentally friendly packaging, such as recyclable PE-PE Films, Post-Consumer Recyclable (PCR) Films, and our soon-to-be-made-available compostable films, we’ve opened up options to complement the missions of the company founders we serve.

4. Connected Packaging

To complement the paradigm-shifting worldview of today’s CPG 2.0 companies, ePac also offers packaging with connected packaging, powered by unique serialized QR codes. 

Each package is unique, like a fingerprint, which allows brands to engage with consumers through personalized marketing messages, protect against product counterfeiting, and allow for track and trace.

5. A Canvas for Unique Designs

Finally, through digitally-printed flexible packaging, brands can express their creativity through unique packaging design. Brands can now feature works of fine art, make use of negative space using solid colors to stand out on supermarket shelves, and print seasonal or special occasion package designs.

A Breakdown of ePac’s Packaging Options

Let’s get into the nitty gritty. What kind of packaging options does ePac offer today’s CPG 2.0 brands?

stand up pouches

ePac’s signature package is our stand up pouches. They’re also our most popular offering. 

Why do brands love our stand up pouches? They really allow you to stand out on the shelf (both the physical as well as the virtual shelf). They look different from the run-of-the-mill plastic and cardboard packaging.

With stunning, photo-quality graphics, and tons of options such as hang holes, tear notches, high vapor barriers, transparent or clouded windows, and gusset bottoms to mention a few, they’re the workhorse of our flexible packaging line.

They come in a variety of sizes, from small sizes for snack packs to large, family-sized options, depending on your brand’s needs.

Crud Cloth Founder and CEO Tim White

And they’re not just for foodstuffs. Companies such as Crud Cloth offer one-time use washcloths with soap pods, whereas Puzzle in a Bag offers….surprise surprise….puzzles in a bag!

lay flat pouches

If your package needs to lay flat on the counter, you can try our lay flat pouches. While your packaging will be horizontal, you still get the high quality graphics and other options as our stand up pouches.

6AM RUN’s single-use running formula pack

If you want single-use or sample sizes, like our client 6AM Run, lay flat pouches are perfect.

rollstock

For maximum flexibility try ePac’s rollstock packaging, Ideal for a wide variety of products — everything from granola bars to packaged snacks to single-serve sample packs — rollstock is most suited to brands looking to create pillow pouches, packets, sachets and lay flat pouches using their own pouch-making equipment.

ePac customers Gezzelig, with their delicious stroopwafels, and energy bar maker Verb Energy, use rollstock for some of their packaging.

films

ePac’s packaging – whether stand up, lay flat or rollstock, can be manufactured with a variety of films, depending on your needs.

These include films that serve to extend product shelf life, films that are recyclable, post-consumer recycled (PCR), compostable or vegan. All fully customizable, they can be produced with finishes such as matte, soft-touch, gloss or spot embellishment, to name a few.

Our films help extend product shelf life and they’re designed to keep moisture and oxygen from entering or exiting the package.

And as to why our packaging helps you stand out on the shelf, here’s the secret: our films allow you to feature high-definition photo-quality graphics so you can create custom packaging with an unsurpassed, attention-grabbing look to attract new customers and set yourself apart from the competition.

ePac offers the following types of films:

  • print films: Print films form the packaging layer that brings packaging design to life. With our HP digital presses, the print layer is reverse printed on a 29-inch wide web, preventing your image quality from deteriorating over time. The print film, combined with the barrier film, and sealant film, becomes the finished packaging product.
  • sealant films: Sealant films, also known as packaging laminates, protect your packaging’s image quality from fading and losing vibrancy while providing a protective layer. Sealant film “seals” in the ink, and our solventless lamination process eliminates VOC emissions and creates a more eco-friendly package.
  • barrier films: Barrier films preserve product freshness, extend shelf life, and ensure product enjoyment. This film layer prevents the passage of atmospheric gases, water vapor, and odor from entering or exiting the package. With high-barrier packaging, your product is protected from punctures and tears during transit and on and off the shelf. And our barrier films are all FDA compliant for direct food contact.

child resistant packaging

Need to package food stuffs or supplements for grown-up use only? Our Certified Child Resistant stand up and lay flat pouches have been tested and certified by third-party agencies to meet federal test requirements provided in the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, (CFR 16, Part 1700), and as referenced by A.S.T.M. D3475.

Child Resistant (CR) packages are designed to reduce the risk of children successfully opening a package and ingesting potentially harmful or hazardous products. We offer a child resistant press-to-close zipper for safe and convenient pouch resealability.

Child resistant packaging is perfect for medications, herbal medicines, dietary supplements, lawn & garden products, and more.

custom mylar packaging

Custom mylar bags are highly desirable in the food, herb and supplement space because of their strength, durability and ability to protect their contents from the outside environment.

Their scent-proof and odor-resistant nature make them a great way to keep products that are known for their strong fragrance from infiltrating its surrounding environment. 

sustainable packaging

As noted above, ePac offers environmentally friendly packaging for today’s modern CPG companies. 

  • Recyclable PE-PE films: Our 100% Polyethylene (PE) films are fully recyclable and are customizable to include high-barrier structures, providing optimal product protection. Similar to standard pouch constructions, our recyclable high-barrier films are oxygen and water vapor resistant and feature photo-quality graphics. Our recyclable films are Store Drop-off compliant (part of the How2Recycle program).
  • Post-Consumer Recycled (PE) films: After recyclable packaging (ex: milk cartons or water bottles) have fulfilled their life cycle, they are diverted from landfills and converted into other commodities, such as new packaging material. The new packaging uses ~28% less virgin polymer, since it’s replaced by PCR resins. By using PCR films in our packaging, we are able to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by ~15.25%.
  • Compostable films: Our compostable films are perfect for brands seeking a fully-compostable packaging option. At the end of the product life cycle, this type of packaging can be broken down into non-toxic components. It will return to the soil without harming, and will actually nourish, surrounding plant life. *Due to uncertainty in the supply chain, ePac cannot currently offer this product. 

The Bottom Line

There’s a new market emerging – a market of locally-based, sustainable, purpose-driven CPG manufacturers. So many new companies eethat follow this new CPG 2.0 model have become empowered by digitally-printed flexible packaging because of the flexibility and options now available to them: smaller minimum orders, photo-finish designs, environmentally friendly options and more.

Now the ball is in your court: what’s stopping you from stepping up to the plate to compete with the big brands? 

Your size isn’t a barrier anymore. 

Your environmental principles can’t keep you from using great-looking packaging.

There is nothing to stop you from going out and conquering the world! 

Let us know how we can help. Let’s start this journey together!

ePac Announces Expansion into Melbourne, Australia

ePac Flexible Packaging Announces Expansion into Melbourne, Australia

ePac is excited to announce the opening of the Australian market, with its first manufacturing facility opening in Melbourne in the fourth quarter of 2021.

ePac’s first production facility will open eight kilometres from the Melbourne, at the new Newlands Road food manufacturing hub, located in the heart of Coburg’s thriving industrial district.

Jack Knott, ePac Flexible Packaging CEO said, “We’re very excited to be expanding ePac’s growing international footprint into Australia. We are focused on bringing the same great ePac experience to our customers, helping small and medium sized businesses grow and achieve big brand presence.”

Jason Brown, ePac Flexible Packaging Managing Director, Australia said, “ePac helps local brands grow into major contributors within the community, with a unique offering for brands to rapidly go to market with great packaging. Opening our first facility at Newlands Road is an exciting milestone for ePac Australia, and we’ve already had a great response from the community.”

Click here to read the full press release.

5 Ways to Get Your Product Noticed By Retailers

Are you ready to launch your new brand or product? Are you working on creating your brand’s pitch to retailers to get into store shelves? 

This can be such an exciting (and perhaps, stressful) time. But getting noticed by retailers comes down to nailing a few key things.

Ultimately, the more you can learn about the retailers you’re targeting, as well as the more you know about your brand and your targeted audience, the better. As you prepare to pitch your product, remember these top 5 must-haves to get your product into retail shelves.

1. Do your research

Research here is two-fold. Research your target audience: 

  • Who you plan to market your brand to
  • What their values are
  • What their needs are. 

Consider their favorite retail outlets to purchase your product and how much they are willing to spend on it. 

Think about what type of customized packaging will best suit their lifestyle and how they may interact with the brand. The more you can tailor your product and packaging to their needs, the better.

But secondly, and just as importantly, research the retailers you plan to pitch to. 

  • What are the store’s values, branding and messaging, and mission statement? 
  • How does your product align with their goals (and their customers’ goals)? 
  • Learn how the retailer operates and what kind of consumer predominantly shops there. 

After gathering everything, create a pitch tailored to the store. Make sure to include key points on what they want to hear, points that reflect what you uncovered in your research.

2. Have a clear ‘why’

Simon Sinek, author of ‘Start With Why.’ Photo courtesy of WIkipedia: https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simon_Sinek

As you know, there are multiple brands vying for retailers’ attention. How does yours differ from the crowd? 

Simon Sinek’s famous phrase, “…start with why…”, is the solution here.

How can you make a strong case as to why the retailer should choose your brand and product over others? Present what makes your brand unique by driving home the concepts and details behind your product differentiators. 

Your brand’s product differentiators – or positioning – should align with the interests, needs, and values of a defined target audience. 

To determine your brand’s key positioning, ask yourself how your product will differ from the competition― will it be organic, targeted to a specific demographic, friendly to free-from diets, or offer a unique and captivating brand story? Consider which void in the market your product will help to fill. 

Ultimately what you have to do is present a ‘why.’ Why this specific retailer should carry your brand, why it’s different from other brands, and why consumers will buy it. 

3. Show proof of success

Not surprisingly, retailers only want to stock products that will be successful and make them a profit. So bring any proof you have that the product will succeed in the market. 

This could be data from previous sales, sales projections for the upcoming year, and/or direct consumer feedback. 

Also, be sure to add in the research you’ve conducted on your target audience, including research on the retailer’s consumer base. 

Through the research that you have done on your target market, communicate how your products will appeal to their customers. 

The less your brand is considered a financial risk, the more likely retailers will choose it.

4. Foster social engagement

5. Choose custom, professional packaging

By now, brands of all sizes know that a great package speaks volumes for your brand. 

The first thing a retailer and customer will notice about your brand is the package. 

What does it say about who you are as a company? What does it say about the product? 

It communicates brand quality, can extend shelf life and boost consumer engagement. 

And with digital printing, you can compete with big brands, regardless of the size of your business. The technology allows you to create incredible graphics with photo-like quality. Ordering custom pouches with digitally printed flexible packaging gives you the opportunity to differentiate your brand’s image and customize through short runs. 

At ePac, our wide-web digital printing technology gives you the freedom of personalization for customized packaging and messaging for your brand to reach various markets. Plus, shorter runs mean more opportunity to create various flavors and designs. 

Ready to get started? Call us today for a free quote and let us help you take your brand from start-up to success.