If there’s one thing to be said about stand-up pouches (also known by its trademarked name DOYpack bags), they are all the rage today! And with good reason. This packaging is very competitive on several fronts:
- Lower production, transportation, and inventory costs versus rigid packaging
- Environmentally friendly (depending on materials)
- Highly functional – it accommodates many product types and usage characteristics
- It offers good product protection and is Modified Atmosphere (MAP) capable
- An attractive, versatile marketing vehicle with multiple display options
This attractive, cost-effective and versatile flexible packaging is used for a wide variety of products today. While particularly well suited to powdered, liquid and granular products, it’s employed across many product categories. This can include snacks such as nuts, candy, pet food, pills or pellets, detergents and pods, fertilizer, coffee and tea, cosmetics, (and even cannabis edibles). In addition, it offers good printable area, can be hung or stand on its own, accommodate clear windows, and can employ resealable zippers. With all those advantages in mind, it is easy to see why this has become an extremely popular and widely employed packaging format.
So why even consider an alternative?
Well, one of the potential operational disadvantages associated with traditional standup pouches or DOYpacks is related to the nature of the product being packaged. These packages are filled in a vertical orientation during which the pouch is manipulated to an open state, with product “poured” into it. That process is more easily accommodated when the product exhibits a degree of fluidity due to uniform shape and size – say M&M’s as an example. This process becomes a bit more complex and difficult when dealing with larger and/or irregular sizes. For example, one of the more popular snack foods today is jerky – a natural, high-protein snack that has skyrocketed in popularity along with the low-carb/keto/paleo movement. Jerky is mostly irregular in shape and size. Those characteristics complicate (read adds cost) the filling process and can even slow production throughput.
Another consideration is your target consumer demographic. It is no secret that the Millennials and Gen Z demographic are driving more and more marketing decisions, and one food category that is clearly feeling their influence is the snack market. Snackification is a real phenomenon that is changing what, how, when and where folks consume food. Now layer in the consumer convenience factor this transformation infers. Then overlay Millennials’ and Gen Z’s demonstrated inclination to value sustainability as a major purchase decision factor. Finally, we can’t talk about snackification without recognizing the market demand for premium snacks – such as jerky. Once considered a low-end, inexpensive convenience store or gas station product, jerky now sells at premium prices in grocery stores thanks to the consumption changes driven through demographic preferences.
These factors may be considerations when it comes to your desired packaging format. While many producers will continue to opt for stand-up/DOYpacks, a new packaging technology is now making inroads here in the US that “one-ups” the immensely popular stand-up pouch in certain applications. Paper-based trays have already captured the imagination of European producers seeking an even more sustainable package that offers equivalent or better functionality, a premium presentation, and less operational complications when it comes to irregular product shapes. While much is made of the improved environmentally friendly nature of stand-up pouches, the truth is they are still plastic intensive, particularly in zippered applications (which can also be complex and expensive). Employing a more compostable solution that uses a fraction of the plastic content offers a more attractive package with comparable functionality to sustainability-minded consumers.
One of the options for paper-based trays is the recently introduced PaperSeal® line. PaperSeal packaging utilizes a rigid paper tray that employs a thin plastic protective layer (an Amcor product) on the interior. The trays can be lidded with a number of different films, accommodate resealable (wipeseal), use improved true vacuum/gas MAP, offer superior product protection, and easily accommodate rapid loading of irregular products. Printable areas are further enhanced with PaperSeal offering printing both on the interior and exterior of the package, and they offer both case-ready or hanging presentation modes.
This eco-friendly, tailor-made solution oriented to premium products enjoys another production benefit as well: it is highly compatible with G. Mondini’s Trave tray seal line.
Traves are renowned for their world class OEE and changeover flexibility, allowing them to be easily repurposed into other package styles such as skin pack on board, plastic trays, metal trays, etc. No DOYpack/stand-up pouch filler enjoys this extreme flexibility.