Front-and-center formats

In the flexible pouch and bag category, stand-up pouches (SUPs) have proven to be a stand-out choice for many baking and snack applications. Again, there is a cost factor to be considered in terms of the types of form-fill-seal machinery and packaging material structures required to achieve optimum SUP performance. Secondary packaging also can be a bit costlier when dealing with stand-up pouches if the brand manufacturer opts for retail-ready display cases.

“In the supermarket, flexible packaging is more delicate to handle,” Mr. Izquierdo said. “Displaying it nicely takes time, and normally the person restocking the product doesn’t take the necessary time. It’s important with stand-up pouches to consider retail-ready secondary packaging that doubles as a display unit in the store. This way, all the products are standing and facing outward to maximize visual impact on the shelf.”

Specializing in easy-open and resealable packaging systems, Sealstrip Corp. (Booth N-5427) develops technology that goes hand-in-hand with convenient packaging like stand-up pouches.

“There has been a significant shift from lay-flat pouch packaging to SUPs, and these can be more expensive,” said Heather Chandler, president of Sealstrip Corp. “Also, package structure and film graphics redesign may be in order. To help accommodate the transition for packagers of snacks and baked goods at minimal cost, Sealstrip offers retrofit applicators that are adaptable to existing in-plant machinery and economical pressure-sensitive adhesive features that keep products fresher longer, protected with strong tamper-evident seals. And we can add extra film, enhanced graphics and limited graphics intrusion. Not only do brands need to offer convenience features to compete in the marketplace, but they also need eye-catching packaging.”

While these graphics features offer more shelf appeal, some design features also double as convenience features. Transparent packaging and window packaging, for example, showcase how intact a food product is and reveals its texture, grain and color. Ultimately, these packaging elements aid shoppers in their buying decisions. Complete-body metalized films provide superior light- and oxygen-barrier, however, technologically advanced transparent-barrier films, such as those offered by Toray, are in the market and offer comparable oxygen-barrier performance. It’s important that the end user be aware of the differences in transparent barrier films. Less robust films have the potential to detract from product protection properties. Packagers and consumers are advised to weigh the trade-offs and find the formats that best balance product preview with product preservation