Would it Pay to Flex Your Packaging? Flexible Packaging Options. Which One is Right for You?


As you consider flexible packaging, your options are just about endless. Pouches, films, bags, envelopes, sachets, wraps, stick packs and foils–stand-up and lay-flat–are all types of flexible packaging widely used by manufacturers today.

Everything from juice to nuts; candies to jerky;  and even lawn & garden products can be found in flexible packaging.

There are many ways to flex.

Two-, Three-, or Four-Side Seal Bags or Pouches – Slim and convenient, these work great for single servings, sample-sizes and more. These three-side seal-flat pouches, are a great flexible packaging option for products with flat or flexible shapes, like beef jerky and dry powders or mixes. This slim packaging option is packable, portable and can save on shipping costs. Features that can be included in flat barrier bags include zip locks, hang holes and child resistance.

These types of high-barrier pouches are in high demand because of their superior properties, including improved durability, strength, and protection of products from moisture and oxygen. Another key benefit is the ability to print on the entire package in full color while offering reduced material and less negative impact on the environment.

Printed Roll Stock – If you make your own packaging but need the right film to maintain product quality and control costs, printed roll stock might be your answer. It can be used to convert into many different types of products, such as stick packs, sachets, lidding, flow wrap and vertical or horizontal form and fill. These types of packaging require different types of film dependent on the application. The choices are endless, from clear OPP to metalized to foil film to multiple layer constructions.

Your Century Label packaging consultant can help you determine the best material, specs and design. We'll need to know the application, materials going into the pouches, preferred web width, diameter or length of rolls, heat settings and dwell time. No project is too big or too small, as we can offer digital or HD flexo printing to accommodate all your custom printed packaging needs.

High Vapor Barrier Pouches – Product accessibility can be limited with the use of this flexible dispensary packaging option. When child resistance or legal locking bags are needed for consumer preference or to comply with government regulations, Century Label offers these packaging solutions.

Uses include packaging of medical marijuana, edibles, laundry pods and medicines. These durable, high vapor barrier bags and pouches help maintain product aroma, freshness, shape, viability and structure, and can be custom printed digitally or flexographically. Our fully custom printed stock pouches are available in quantities as low as 5000 bags or pouches.

K-Style Bottom Gusset Stand Up Pouches – K-bottom gusset style pouches have a K-shaped seal profile on the front and back sides of the bottom edges. This design tends to guide product toward the center and bottom of the pouch, making it an excellent choice for lightweight products like crackers, cookies and snacks.

This type of flexible packaging is strong and able to stand upright without falling over. It protects fragile product while offering an attention-grabbing presentation and, of course, can be customized to meet your branding needs.

Unlike a round-bottom pouch, the tooling required to manufacture the “K” style seal is not affected by pouch size. This makes it easy and affordable to make just about any size pouch, making changes in package size without needing to change tooling.

Plow-Bottom Gusset Stand Up Pouches – Heavy, bulky products require a slightly different flexible packaging design. Recommended for products weighing five pounds or more, the plow-bottom gusseted stand-up pouch is a convenient, cost-reducing choice for sugar, salt, and other granular products. They offer an excellent way to package, transport, store and display heavy products in a way that is easy to get to and keep fresh.

The plow-bottom design does not have seals on either the front or back edges of its bottom. The weight of its contents settled at the bottom provides a foundation on which the pouch can stably stand. While recommended for products weighing five pounds or more, products that are lighter can be packaged in this style of a pouch.

Round-Bottom, or Doyen Style Gusset Stand Up Pouches – With a round-bottom gusset that features a curved seal profile on the front and back sides of the bottom edges, this can be another good option for lightweight products. The rounded bottom evenly distributes product weight and maintains balance.

This style offers an impactful display that stays upright or hangs, can carry a full-color product message, is resealable, and does a great job of protecting fragile products. Products like grains, coffee grounds, loose-leaf tea and flour, as well as soaps and liquid detergents are good choices for this kind of economical packaging. The round gusset stand-up packaging is convenient for consumers as well, especially with the popular resealable zip closure.

Tooling required to manufacture round bottom seals is specific to the size of the pouch, so custom tooling might be needed, depending on the desired pouch size.

Our experts can help you decide on the best flexible packaging for your products and market.

It’s true that flexible packaging can reduce your packaging costs, minimize waste, and draw attention to your products. Well-designed, quality printed flexible packaging can help get your products noticed among the competition in stores and pharmacies, especially when lined up against plastic bottles and containers.

It's all about product differentiation. Will the consumer choose your package over the competition? How can you improve your chances while controlling costs? It has been proven that product packaged in pouches and other flexible packaging sell better than rigid packaging, overall.

The right flexible packaging solution can do all this while protecting the condition and freshness of your products. Our flexible packaging experts will help you weigh the pros and cons of each and come to the best packaging decision for your product and market.

Our experts can share with you the many fully custom printed pouch programs we offer on both standard- and high vapor-barrier pouches.

In Part 3 of this series, we’ll cover more specific flexible packaging printing options and how to make the most of product messaging and improve your chances of standing out in retail spaces.