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.

The Four Must-Haves of Popcorn Packaging

Popcorn is a beloved and timeless snack that can be seen on shelves globally. Today more brands and varieties are popping up, especially in ready-to-eat bags and pouches to satisfy the consumer craving for both a salty (and, sometimes sweet) snack and ready-to-eat convenience. 

The popcorn segment, which includes both microwave and bagged varieties, is growing. One big reason?  COVID-19. The segment was already experiencing increasing sales early in 2020 but then saw a big jump once the virus hit the U.S. With more people eating (and snacking) at home, there is more opportunity to snack on popcorn, whether it’s during the day or during family movie night. 

According to Fior Markets, the global ready-to-eat popcorn market is expected to reach $6.22 billion by 2026. With experts speculating that people will continue to stay home due to COVID concerns, the projected sales of ready-to-eat popcorn is set to increase. 

Within this growth, there is a push from health-conscious consumers looking for gourmet options with clean labels. Beyond the standard butter-flavored popcorn, consumers are craving popcorn made with heirloom grains, better-for-you oils like avocado or coconut, and specialty salts.

Stand up pouches from our friends at Cornucopia Popcorn

Popcorn Packaging Solutions

There is more opportunity than ever for popcorn companies to launch a new brand, new flavor, or upgraded packaging to get a piece of the market. As you set out to add your new product to the shelf, consider the following four considerations to set your popcorn package apart:

Choose custom snack packaging. 

Great packaging has the potential to capture consumer attention, retain customer loyalty, and set your brand apart from the competition. Whether you’re packaging popcorn kernels or fully popped popcorn, consider custom printed packaging. 

Go for the bold. 

Consider using bright colors and artwork to really POP (pun intended) off the shelf.  And if you use digital printing for your packaging, you have the ability to print high-definition graphics with photo-like quality, whether you choose a whimsical design, bold lettering, or life-like graphics. 

With digital printing, you also have the option to add certain embellishments like metallic, gloss, matte, soft touch, or any combination of these to highlight certain parts of your package.

Make it functional. 

If you’re opting for a stand-up pouch, or multi-serving bag, consider using reseal zippers to ensure maximum product freshness. Consumers love resealable closures and zippers, and these go a long way to set your brand apart, especially within the popcorn segment. They also help to prevent spoilage and make the package portable. 

Choose sustainable films. 

For today’s eco-conscious shopper, consider packaging your popcorn in eco-friendly materials. Choose from post-consumer recycled (PCR), fully recyclable bags, or compostable packaging printed with compostable inks and a sustainable printing process like digital printing. Attract new shoppers and maintain brand loyalty by offering sustainable packaging that consumers can feel good about buying. 

As you launch your new popcorn brand, or make updates to your existing line-up, consider these must-have popcorn packaging pouch features to help you set your brand apart from the competition. 

Stand up pouches from our friends at Kettle Head Popcorn

Popcorn Packaging Partner

At ePac, we offer different types of popcorn packaging, such as lay flat pouches, stand-up pouches and rollstock. So, if you’re wondering what is popcorn packaging made of, and whether you package single-serve bags, family size bags, or anything in between, we have you covered.

If you’re looking between popcorn packaging suppliers, remember that with ePac’s digital printing, you get low minimum orders and a fast turnaround so you can get to market quickly, and affordably. With ePac who get experts who can help you with quick and easy flexible packaging solutions. Call us today for a free quote. 

6 Must-Haves of Granola Packaging

The snack food market is vast, with innovative and health-conscious snack brands emerging in the market on a regular basis. The highly competitive nature of the snack food market requires brands to stay top of mind for their customers, evolving to meet their needs and preferences. 

Whether you’re a new-to-market snack brand, or someone who has been part of this ever-evolving industry for an extended period of time, you know the important role that your packaging plays in not only attracting new customers, but keeping those customers coming back again and again. 

Trends in the Snack Food Market 

Americans are snacking more than ever, which isn’t so surprising when you take into account the busy, on-the-go lifestyles of most of today’s consumers. Convenience and ease, for many, is key. As a snack food brand, it’s your goal to meet consumers where they’re at:  anywhere but sitting at the kitchen table. 

According to the “2018 PMMI Snack Foods- Packaging and Processing Market Assessment and Trends,” the global snack food market is valued at $280 billion. The salty snacks segment alone is forecast to reach $29 billion in 2022 in the U.S., according to the report, Salty Snacks: U.S. Market Trends and Opportunities from market research firm Package Facts, Rockville, Md.

Because consumers are typically on the go and continue to replace meals with snacks, they seek healthy options that don’t compromise on flavor. In fact, according to the aforementioned report from PMMI, top consumer trends in the segment include better-for-you options, single-serving sizes, resealability, and product lines that offer a variety of flavors. 

And there is one product that satisfies all of these consumer trends: Granola! 

Let’s take a look at some must-haves as you create the ideal granola package to get your brand noticed. 

Granola Packaging That Meets Consumer’s Needs 

To determine the best packaging features and design for your granola, knowing the competition is key. Look in any retail location and you’ll find the cereal aisle overflowing with a plethora of granola options. As with other packaged goods in today’s snack foods segment, there are varieties of granola that meet every consumers’ dietary and taste-preferences: everything from gluten-free to protein-packed, to organic, to paleo, to keto, to grain-free and more. 

Having a great package design, including not only the graphics but also the size, shape, functionality, and feel of your package, says a lot about your brand. And while most cereals can still be found in a box, granola is most often packaged in a stand-up pouch. 

Pouches are the fastest growing packaging segment, as brands shift their focus to most sustainable packaging options, and this is especially true for the snack foods market. In fact,  PMMI’s report states that snack food packages will continue to move from bag-in-box format to simple bag format in the coming years. 

For the granola segment specifically, it’s not just any bag, it’s all about the stand-up pouch

Photo credit: Sarah’s Snacks

Granola Packaging Must-Haves 

Whether you’re a new brand, or a seasoned granola company, ensuring your packaging stands out on the shelf is key. These are the six must-haves of any successful granola packaging. 

The Stand Up Pouch 

Considered the most popular granola package, the stand-up pouch is the number one must-have for granola. Stand-up pouches, you guessed it, stand up on the shelf in the home and at the store, keeping the logo and branding information front and center. They also offer resealability, high-impact graphics, and the lightweight, portable design that consumers love. The design is easy to grab, pour and scoop from, and store at home or in your bag. 


This must-have delivers two major benefits. Resealability offers consumers the chance to take the granola on the go for snacking throughout the day. It also means that the package will stay sealed when not in use, which keeps the food fresher, longer. 

When working with a flexible packaging company, ask for press-to-close zipper and tear notches to make it easier than ever for your consumer to tear open the package and enjoy your product. 

Clear Window 

Humans “eat with their eyes,” and transparent packaging in the form of a window, allows the consumer to do just that: see the delicious contents inside and imagine themselves enjoying it. A window can also build trust when you allow the consumer to see the product before they buy it. 

Granola comes in many different forms: large chunks vs loose cereal, for example, and a transparent window will connect your consumer with your product before they buy, a key way to attract new customers.

And if your granola probably looks pretty tasty, why not show it off?

Shelf Presence 

It’s no secret that setting yourself apart in the competitive landscape of snack foods, and more specifically granola and cereal, is a must. This is why shelf-presence made its way on our list of must-haves for granola packaging.

With stand-up pouches, you have a large canvas for your design, and space to not only display graphics and text but also tell your brand story. Clear and crisp graphics on a durable pouch are made possible with digital printing and create a strong shelf presence for your brand. High-quality, durable pouches go a long way to showcase your brand’s premium feel and look.  

Multiple SKUs 

Everybody loves variety, and with granola, this is especially true. Take a look at the different granola options, and you’ll see that most granola brands have multiple flavor options on the shelf.

With more flavor options (i.e. more SKUs for your products), your brand will also take up more space on the shelf, AKA increased exposure. And, more flavor options mean you will satisfy more palates and gain more customers. It’s a win-win in our books. 

Seasonal Flavors 

We’re all familiar with the seasonal flavors in the snack food market: pumpkin pie, peppermint, apple spice and more. Retail locations tend to overflow with these options as the holidays approach, giving brands the opportunity to stand out and potentially attract a new segment of customers.

With digitally printed pouches, you have the ability to create limited-edition and seasonal packaging in short runs. This gives you the freedom to experiment with new, seasonal flavors without the risk of obsolescence and unused inventory. Marry that with the short lead times and low order minimums that come with digital printing, and seasonal packaging is no longer a barrier. Pumpkin spice granola, anyone?

Partner with a Flexible Packaging Company for your Granola Packaging 

Partnering with a flexible packaging company like ePac can give you access to the convenience and versatility, not to mention digitally printed graphics, of stand up pouches. With these 6 must-haves in mind, you can create granola packaging that stands out on the shelf and attracts new customers. 

Contact us today for a free quote, and to learn how digitally printed stand-up pouches deliver all of these must-haves to satisfy all your granola packaging needs.

Trends and Opportunities Within the Snack Food Packaging Market

Snacks, snacks and MORE snacks! The snack food market is one that is constantly changing and growing. What was once made up of mainly of potato chips and baked goods, now stretches to a multitude of foods in snack-sized packaging. This space now includes everything from nuts to dried fruit, granola bars, jerky, kale chips, superfood concoctions, to gluten-free cookies and more.

If you’re a new-to-market snack foods brand or a seasoned veteran of the industry, then you know the importance of staying on top of the ever-changing trends in product and packaging. Your success depends on staying in front of mind for consumers as their lives and preferences for foods change.

Today more than ever before, consumers eat mini-meals throughout the day: as they run out the door, in their cars, at their desks or between meeting. Our fast-paced society craves foods that meet them where they’re at. Which, is typically on the go. As the “when” consumers eat changes, so does the “what” and the “how.”

Trends in the Snack Food Market

According to the “2018 PMMI Snack Foods – Packaging and Processing Market Assessment and Trends,” top consumer trends in snacks include:

  • Better for you foods
  • Single serving sizes
  • Packages that have the ability to reseal

Because more people are consuming snacks to replace meals, consumers are looking for more health benefits than ever before. Popular diets like the Paleo Diet, Ketogenic, Gluten Free and High Fat/High Protein diets are leading to an influx in foods that fit the busy consumer’s life while still fulfilling their desired eating preferences.

Foods that are high in protein like protein bars and powders, nuts and seeds, jerky and meat bars, and nutritional supplements are also experiencing growth, as are other health-focused foods.

Another trend consideration is the rise in popularity of flexible packaging, primarily stand-up pouches. Snacks will continue to move from bag-in-box to bag format over the coming years.

In fact, a study by Freedonia Group reveals that demand for pouches used in candy and snack food packaging is forecast to increase 3.8% annually through 2022 to $3.4 billionAccording to Freedonia, consumers want more convenient eating.

Frequent, small meals throughout the day are disrupting the traditional three meals a day mantra. Single-portion packages and attractive, resealable, and easily disposable pouches feed this trend.

Why Flexible Packaging for Snack Foods is the Best Option

It’s really no surprise that flexible packaging is growing in the snack foods market. Single-serve snack packs offer portion control and ease of use.   

When not opting for single-serve, consumers are purchasing multi-serving snack bags and pouches with resealing technology to keep items fresh. This allows for multiple servings and multiple occasions while maintaining the freshness. That’s why zippers, hook-and-loops, and reseal sticker add-ons are key to the segment.

In addition to the many features flexible packaging offers, it also delivers a strong shelf presence. As a brand owner, there is incredible opportunity to set yourself apart from the competition.  Because of their slim design, pouches also allow for maximum shelf space, generally fitting more product on the shelf than a rigid package.

What’s more, pouches’ unbreakable and lightweight properties mean that they’re easier to ship, handle, store and restock with no risk of breaking the containers. Consumers benefit from these attributes as well, as pouches take up less space at home or on the go, and they are easy to throw away.

Retailers, brand owners and consumers all love its design capabilities, stand-up convenience, reseal opportunities and lightweight properties.

Digital Printing & Snack Food Packaging

The snack food market is moving toward flexible packaging, and the future of flexible packaging creation is digital printing. Digitally printed flexible packaging is an incredible opportunity to build more brand awareness and increase sales.

As more snack items are unveiled in flexible packaging, there are some key considerations to make sure your package stands out from the crowd.

First things first: packaging design. It’s common knowledge that an eye-catching design promotes a strong brand presence, as well as a higher value. But great design can’t stand on its own — it needs to be printed in a way that fully brings that design to life. Digital printing allows you to do just that. Digital printing allows for high-impact graphics, bright colors, and 360 degrees of design, including images and marketing information, nutritional information and the brand story.

Photo credit: Ka-Pop

Digital printing also allows brands to make last-minute changes to their designs. Add an ingredient to your granola bar? Gain another certification for your protein snack? Add another SKU? Because no plates are needed, unlike traditional printing, there is no long set-up time, so changes can be made easily. This flexibility makes adding a SKU, changing a recipe, or adding promotional information to an existing package quick and easy. 

Lastly, digital printing is much more cost-efficient (remember, no plate fees or setup fees). Digital printing excels at producing short and medium-run length jobs at competitive prices, two qualities that don’t often coincide in the industry. At ePac, we achieve this by eliminating plates charges, minimizing waste and set-up time, and enabling print on demand to reduce costly inventory.

ePac Loves Snacks (and Flexible Snack Packaging)

At ePac Flexible Packaging, we know that the emerging digital technology will significantly disrupt the service and manufacturing models that have served the flexible packaging industry for decades. If you’re looking to create a flexible snack package for your product, or update an existing snack item, let us show you a fast and easy way to buy flexible packaging that will take your brand to the next level.



On-The-Go Snacking and the Powerful Pouch

Today we all seem to snack more, whether it’s breakfast on the go, snacking between meals, or as meal replacements. While it is common at home, most of our snacking is done on the go; in the car, at our desks, or while walking down the street. And this trend isn’t just affecting adults; kids, toddlers, and babies are snacking too. Luckily, consumer goods companies are in tune to this trend and are offering consumers more options to eat on the go.

According to Mintel, millennials are more likely than any other generation to snack four times a day or, in many cases, more than that. But overall, 94% of Americans are snacking at least once per day. As a result, the CPG industry is registering strong growth, primarily due to the increase in sales for snacking brands.

Snacking on the go requires a different sort of flexible packaging to allow consumers to take the snack with them. The preferred package for on-the-go snacks is the pouch. From nuts to jerky, cheese to fruits, and even tuna fish, pouches deliver healthy snacks to consumers in easy to use packages. And they’re not just easy to use, pouches are lightweight, unbreakable, easy to pack and offer the portion control that consumers crave. Just toss them in your car, bag or locker, and you’re good to go.

According to Snack Genius (, one of the top snacking trends for 2018 is grabbing convenient, single-serve snacks due to their portion control and portability. According to the website, seeking healthy options for snacking is also a booming trend, including noshing on nuts. The pouch is the perfect solution to these trends as it offers the portability and ease of use that consumers crave. Pouches are already used to package many snacks, from high protein offerings like meat and nuts, to more traditional items like pretzels, dried fruit and granola. The baby food industry has boomed over recent years due to the widely popular pouch that allows parents to pack baby food without the worry of a spill, or the need to pack a spoon. The pouches are also resealable, making them easy to save for later.

Retailers like the pouch for packaged snacks too. Look at grocery store shelves and you’ll see that big names, start-ups, and private label companies are launching portable snacks in pouches. There are many options of just about any type of food, all designed for on-the-go consumption, with foods packaged in light weight, unbreakable, stand-up pouches with reclose options. The single-serve pouch offers retailers a perfect grab-and-go package available at the cash wrap at a low price point, and with no guilt, due to its small portion.

Retailers and consumers also enjoy the high impact graphics that pouches deliver. Digital printing on flexible pouches adds the bright, vibrant, and precise graphics that make the product pop on store shelves. At ePac, we partner with you to create that unique and eye-catching design you want for your snack, or food, brand. Our wide-web digital printing technology gives you the freedom of personalization for customized packaging and messaging for your brand to reach target markets.

Digital printing also offers the package to producers fast. We are the first company designed from the ground up to leverage digital technology, so we focus solely on short and medium run, quick turn-around business. At ePac, we are a one-stop shop for the creation of your pouch to hold your whole line of on-the-go snacks.