Snack Packaging Trends: Why Flexible Packaging is the Best Choice for Snack Brands

Snack food consumption is on the rise. According to Market Research Future (MRFR), the global snack food packaging market is predicted to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 5.5% over the next five years.

COVID Snack Food Industry Trends

Stand-up pouch

Since consumers are staying at home more because of the pandemic, the opportunities for snacking have increased. The desire to try new things (and order them online), and the need for comfort foods during stressed times, have contributed to the growth of the global snack food packaging market.

There is also a push for improving health. In their recent report Top 10 Food Trends for 2021, Whole Foods, said that more Americans are trying to incorporate healthy supplements into their snacking habits. Consumers are starting to realize they need to consume more probiotics, fiber, and protein. 

Snacks are now seen as more than just a salty crunch or sweet treat. They’re becoming a nutritional source to improve overall health goals. 

Types of Flexible Packaging

From healthy to indulgent and even functional, snack foods today can deliver it all. For a snack food package to truly deliver, it must work to keep snacks fresh and easy to consume. 

Lay Flat pouch

Many snack brands have chosen flexible packaging. MRFR states that the flexible packaging segment held the largest market share of the global snack food packaging market in 2018 and is expected to grow at the highest CAGR during the next seven years.

Stand up pouches are pouches that have a bottom or gusset, giving them the ability to stand up on the shelf and be visually appealing to consumers as they roam the aisles.

Many snack types use stand up pouches, including jerky, nuts, granola, and larger pouches that contain multiple single-servings inside.

Lay flat pouches (also known as pillow pouches), as the name suggests, are pouches that lay flat on the shelf. They include a hang hole, and they might be your best bet if you want your product to hang from a store rack.

Rollstock is printed and laminated film on a roll. Rollstock is best suited for brands looking to create pouches using their own or their co-packer’s pouch-making equipment. It’s ideal for a wide variety of products including granola bars, pretzels, potato chips, tortilla chips, and all types of single-serve snacks.

Four Benefits of Flexible Packaging

1. Extending Shelf Life

Flexible packaging offers excellent barrier protection for the enclosed products, blocking heat, odors, oxygen, and light. The benefit? Reduced spoilage, resulting in less food waste. 

Additionally, making your package resealable keeps your snacks fresh between uses.

2. Shelf Presence 

Will your snack product be sold online or in stores? In a gourmet, high-end store, or a grocery or convenience store? Consider how the package will best be represented, both on the shelf and on a mobile device. 

Pouches come in various sizes and shapes for a variety of applications and allow for high-impact graphics. Photo-quality graphics, clear text, and great branding can all help boost the consumer experience.

3. Snacking Convenience

Is your snack designed for on-the-go consumption, or family nights at home? Is it a single-use product like a small packet of nuts, or a multi-serving package like a bag of chips? 

Whether on the go or eating at home, a good package should be easy to open and interact with. Flexible packaging is portable and easy to open so consumers can consume the product no matter their context.. 

It’s also lighter than rigid packaging such as boxes or jars so it’s easier to handle, carry, and store. Consider whether a reseal zipper makes sense for you, as well as a tear notch, and other functional options that bring major convenience to the product. 

4. Smart Packaging

With smart packaging, you can turn your snack into an online user experience. Smart packaging is packaging that utilizes unique, serialized QR codes to engage with consumers. 

When they scan the code they can view a recipe, video, promotion, join a loyalty program, sign up for a newsletter, play a game, download a coupon, or see the snack’s journey from the beginning of production to the shelf. 

Smart packaging is the future of consumer engagement. 


According to the MRFR report, digital printing is gaining in popularity in the snack food segment. It has advantages over traditional printing methods and is gaining traction with snack brands of all sizes. 

ePac is a digitally-based flexible packaging company driven by our mission to help brands of all sizes stay competitive. With digitally printed flexible packaging you can take advantage of short runs, a fast set-up, flexibility to make changes to the design quickly, and a quick turnaround. Digital printing allows you to create high-quality, perfect images each time in packages that deliver vibrant design and with the convenience features consumers crave.
Looking to create stand-out custom packaging for snack that takes your brand to the next level? Call us today.