NOTE: While this article is written in the context of printed stand up pouches, also known as stand bags or stand up bags, these same questions (and your answers) pertain to plain-unprinted stand up pouches as well as stock stand up pouches.
The first step when considering custom printed stand up pouches, also known as stand bags or stand pouches, is to answer the question, what am I packaging? While this may seem like a silly step, it’s critical that you explain what it is to your stand up bag packaging professional. It’s true, no one knows your product better than you do, but there are so many variables at this beginning stage that it is best to start from scratch and assume nothing. More importantly, each product reacts differently to the very elements that made you consider barrier packaging in the first place. These elements include but are not limited to moisture, odor, and sunlight exposure.
There are clear films, metalized films, foil materials, paper backed materials and more. For barrier packaging and ultimately stand up pouches, different film structures are laminated together to create different barrier properties. Depending on your application and other issues we’ll discuss below, you’ll have different film choices. Just like anything, each option will have advantages and disadvantages.
So, what are you packaging? Is it granola, loose tea or possibly coffee? Is it a retail application where you are counting on the printing to “tell your company story”? Or, is it an industrial product that you are turning to printed stand up pouches to replace a corrugated box with a plastic liner as a cost savings initiative? Taken a step further, is your product a liquid and you are trying to replace a plastic or glass bottle to save on warehousing and shipping charges?
The following suggestions should help you communicate with your packaging supplier while expediting your answers and ultimately letting you know if printed stand up bags are right for you.
- Be prepared to explain what you want to package in a printed stand up pouch. Is it a powder, liquid, granular, etc?
- Do you want to be able to “see” your product? One of the advantages of printed stand up bags is the ability to have a clear window if you desire. Or, does your product react negatively to light where you’ll need a very opaque film so no light hits your product?
- How much do you want to put into a stand up pouch? How heavy will that be?
- Provide in detail what you are currently using. Often this will serve as a starting point and quite possibly save time when exploring new and different options for printed stand up pouches.
- What features will you want your stand up pouch to have? Would you like it to be recloseable? Will you need a tear notch? Will you want a hang hole or a pour spout?
- How many printed stand up pouches do you need and how soon do you need them?
In closing, printed stand up pouches continue to be one of the most exciting and rapidly growing segments in the packaging industry. However, there are so many variables and things to think about that many people become overwhelmed and don’t know where to start. Each of these bullet points will enable the end user to start to navigate these unique waters and most importantly communicate effectively with their packaging professional to see if in fact printed stand up pouches are right for them.