coffee packaging
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Everything You Need to Know About How to Choose Coffee Packaging

Packaging is an essential process in your coffee business. It draws the attention of your potential customers and ensures the freshness of your coffee while it’s sitting on the shelf. After all your hard work finding the right beans and the right suppliers, you don’t want to make the common mistakes when selecting your packaging. This is why you need to be very purposeful when designing a package and choosing the right packaging provider. 

Of course, the packaging isn’t just about an attractive outlook of the bag — several factors need to be considered when packaging coffee. From the filling process, size and scale of your business, to your customer’s preferences, you must give your coffee packaging the proper attention it deserves.

Here is everything you need to know, so you can get it right when it comes to coffee packaging. Let’s dive right in!

Custom Coffee Packaging Custom Coffee Bags

 

Choose the Right Bag Configuration

Coffee packaging comes in all types of bags — from the classic square bottom bag, to the quad seal bag, to the side gusseted coffee bag, to stick packs or lay flat pouches for single serve coffee bags. 

You need to carefully pick the right bag for your coffee so let’s look at the pros and cons of each bag. 

 

 

Carefully Design Your Package

The coffee market is very competitive. Your package needs to stand out on the shelf. And it needs to be interesting and compelling enough that a shopper will pick it out from the bunch. 

You should clearly identify your brand guidelines based on what you want customers to feel and think about your coffee. Even the colors you choose can have a strong impact on what consumers think when they first see your bag. But don’t over complicate your package. You need to clearly identify the most important elements such as the name of your coffee, where the coffee comes from, the flavor/roast, and size. 

Your coffee can really stand out if you choose interesting fonts, creative images or patterns, and call out any awards your coffee has won or showcase your brand values.

 

 

How to Get a Barcode for Your Coffee Packaging

pouch tear notch img01 Everything You Need to Know About How to Choose Coffee Packaging

Another thing you need to know is how to get the right barcodes for coffee packaging. You might buy a thousand UPCs from online vendors, but that isn’t going to cut it. Instead, you need to own your UPC by looking at where the top retailers are getting it, that is, Gs1. Gs1 barcodes are most effective, especially if your shop is selling only one product like coffee.

If you sell on Amazon, then you should go for your own unique ASIN Amazon coffee barcode. You need to identify yourself as the brand owner of your products, so take a step and get the right barcode.

 

 

Understanding Your Distributors

If you need your coffee to sell well, then you’d better understand the packaging requirements and needs of your distributors. The good thing is that grocery stores have a lot of common needs when it comes to packaging. For example, your packaging needs to be tamper-evident and secure, be durable, fit on the shelves, fill a certain niche, among other requirements.

And remember that your coffee needs to sell, and if it’s consignment selling, such as on Amazon, you don’t get paid until the merchandise sells. So, you have to make it easy and flexible for your retailers for a better return.

 

 

Consider Unique Packaging Materials

Every business wants to get unique, to stand out amongst competitors. When it comes to the coffee industry, you need to satisfy a certain niche through tailored packaging. So, you can get ahead of your competitors by ensuring your brand stands out.

We suggest that you consider compostable packaging, as it is a biodegradable method that is environmentally friendly. By this, you’ll be embracing the “going green” initiative, hence having a competitive advantage. You can also consider the bourbon and whiskey infused-coffee, which is the latest trend in flavored coffees.

You simply need to stand out! Even if it’s packaging that aligns with local consumers’ culture and lifestyle.

 

 

Understand the Labeling Requirements

You also need to understand the coffee packaging requirements with regards to labeling. Of course, many products have common labeling requirements, but you shouldn’t put a blind eye to specific labeling requirements for coffee packaging. Just to mention but a few, some basic labeling for packaging coffee may include;

  • Ingredients list
  • The net weight
  • Nutritional information
  • Recommended logos/graphics
  • Warnings/advisory statements

 

Be Consistent With Your Packaging Style

When it comes to packaging, you need to be consistent with your packaging format and style. Pick one core differentiator that will enable your customers to distinguish your coffee from competitors’ and build trust with your brand.

For instance, you can only offer infused coffee that is free from flavors, or even brand yourself as a non-profit enterprise focused on offering better products to the public. Having consistency in coffee packaging patterns will separate you from your key competitors and ensure you have the advantage in the eyes of consumers.

 

 

Select Your Market Segment and Be Good At It

You need to pick a market segment to focus your brand on and build your company. For example, you can choose a certain demographic such as age group or a coffee specialty and put more focus on it. From there, you can talk to your packaging provider to customize your coffee packages in line with your market segment or brand focus.

At CarePac, we focus on flexible barrier packaging and we are exceptional. You can also pick your coffee market segment, and be good at it. 

 

 

Packaging Options/Features

You also need to be mindful of the coffee packaging features. Depending on the freshness, shipping, storage, and selling environment, you should be getting the most convenient coffee package bags.

For instance, EZ zipper, which is still new and customer-friendly, is easy to open and keeps your coffee fresh for longer hours because the zipper creates a stronger re-seal. The popular Tin-tie is also a great option, particularly for locking in the natural flavors of the coffee. Also, Re-closable zippers are a good option not only for the ease of opening but also for maintaining freshness during consumption. 

 

 

Create a Base Bag and Grow

Having a base bag is significant in marketing your coffee products and also creating brand awareness. Once you’ve identified your top-selling coffees, you can print those particular bags in advance and be sitting on a goldmine. For instance, French roast coffee is a high-selling coffee you can tap into with pre-printed bags.

 

 

Succeed In The Coffee Market With These Tips

The next time you’re in the market for coffee packaging, you can always refer to these factors to get excellent packaging. The right packaging will draw customers’ attention and subsequently turn them into loyal customers. So build it, and they will come!

At CarePac, we provide businesses with quick custom-printed pouches, which align with your business culture, products, and, most importantly, customers. You can reach out to us for a free consultation if you need to learn more or check our online estimating tool for instant pricing.

bag11 DSC00257 Everything You Need to Know About How to Choose Coffee Packaging

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organic dog treat packaging
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Best In Show: How to Create Organic Dog Treat Packaging That Stands Out

organic dog treat packaging

Humans love dogs. Hence the old adage that dogs are a man’s best friend. That’s why pet owners want the best for their companions — healthy, tasty, and nutritious organic treats. Creating the best organic dog treats is one thing, but getting buyers to believe your product is the best is a different ball game. It all comes down to marketing. 

But how do you enhance your organic dog treat packaging to stand out? That is where excellent packaging that’s appealing and customer-centric comes in. Today, we’ll focus exclusively on how to create the best organic dog treat packaging that will stand out and convince customers to pick up your package. So let’s dive right in!

 

Premium dog food needs premium packaging

Untitled design 30 Best In Show: How to Create Organic Dog Treat Packaging That Stands Out

Dog enthusiasts want nothing but priceless treats for their pets. They wouldn’t want something that would easily go bad and possibly harm their pets. Furthermore, premium dog foods need premium packaging. You need to choose the right packaging materials to ensure your dog treats remain fresh, even after sitting on the store shelf.

Let’s face it, if a dog owner buys organic treats for their pet, and after a couple of days the treats are stale, or even worse, the treats have gone bad, and the dog gets sick, requiring costly medical attention, customers will undoubtedly be upset and never buy your product again. 

To avoid this, you need durable and resealable bags that would maintain the quality of your dog treats even after being opened. In addition, quality packaging will attract new customers and possibly turn them into loyal shoppers.

 

Using high barrier materials

pic4 3 Best In Show: How to Create Organic Dog Treat Packaging That Stands Out

You wouldn’t want to get it wrong, especially, after all the hassles in the refining processes, without forgetting the high costs. And that’s why without any doubt, you require packaging that uses high barrier materials to keep the dog treats safe while maintaining their quality.

A package made of high barrier materials protects the food treats against harmful external intruders, such as moisture and unpleasant odors. The barrier is always made of a thick protective layer, which keeps your treats fresh and appealing. It also ensures the flavors are intact, so the treats maintain their taste.

For example, CareFoil has a very high barrier to oxygen and moisture. It has a strong protective layer that doesn’t allow oxygen or any amount of moisture to penetrate through. With such grade A materials that assure safety, you’ll be certain to keep your treats fresh and appealing.

 

Differentiate yourself from competition

Every business wants to be unique — they want their product to have a core differentiator. Your dog treats are no exception. They shouldn’t look similar to your competitors’ brands. With so many organic dog treat brands out there, you need to be on top of your game to get ahead of the rest. Customers don’t want plain or cluttered packaging designs. That would look unattractive and low quality, hence putting them off.

A unique design tailored according to the culture of your business, and perhaps your targeted audience will help you sell more dog treats. You need great images with bright color schemes, pretty accents, and engaging fonts.

Above all, you should ensure that your organic dog treat packaging is appealing to the eye as customers buy with their eyes.

 

Build a strong brand reputation

Customers are the backbone of your business. Their view of your brand matters. And it’s no lie that one unsatisfied customer can walk away with thousands of others. You, therefore, need to give utmost attention to the quality of your dog treats. 

For example, Coca-cola has a unique, admirable, and selling appearance, which goes hand in hand with the quality of their products. They have always ensured high quality in their products, and that explains their dominance in the market for such a long period of time.

In online market platforms such as Amazon, it’s all about customer reviews. Good reviews will sell your dog treats, while negative reviews will, on the other hand, shun away thousands of potential customers, even those who can afford to pay a pretty penny for organic dog treats.

And remember that a customer’s perception is always right. Their perception may not be accurate, but consumers still carry a lot of power, especially in the current digital market. So you shouldn’t hesitate to provide remarkably high-quality organic treats packaging.

 

Use your packaging as marketing and remarketing opportunities

pic1 Best In Show: How to Create Organic Dog Treat Packaging That Stands Out

It is an undeniable fact that packaging plays a significant role in marketing products. It is what arouses a potential buyer’s curiosity and invites them to pick your product over others, specifically on the competitive store shelves. You, therefore, need to create a packaging that will market and re-market your dog treats and brand in general, even while being consumed.

You can do this by customizing your packages with unique configurations, such as brand logos that will enable your customers to distinguish your dog treat products from competitor’s brands. You can also consider packages with valves to let the smell or the treat aroma out, especially to entice the dog.

Ensure that your package uses high barrier materials to preserve the dog treats and maintain freshness. Re-closable packages such as stand up square bottom bags are also a good option to keep the dog treats fresh even during consumption. Plus, they’re customer-friendly due to their ease of opening and stronger re-seal.

 

CarePac Helps You Choose the Right Organic Dog Treat Packaging

Ultimately, creating top organic dog treat packaging calls for an outstanding appearance to draw customer’s attention, maintain and preserve your dog treats. You should be concerned about the outward impression of your products as much as you are about the quality and condition of the food itself.

Do you have any questions or need to learn more? Feel free to contact us for a free consultation with our experts. You can also check our online price estimating tool if you need quick custom printed pouches for your organic dog treats.

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bag manufacturer questions
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12 Essential Bag Manufacturer Questions to Ask Before Buying

To succeed in the manufacturing industry, you have to be a team player. One significant member of your larger team will be your bag maker. As you design your bags, it is good to think about the person you will entrust to make them for you. Here’s a few qualities they should have and some essential bag manufacturer questions you should ask before purchasing.

Your bag maker should have the capacity to make you well-designed and high-quality bags and deliver them when you need them.  You may not be the best bag art designer in town, but that does not mean you should not get the best design in town. 

Work with a bag maker who will give you design art setup support to ensure you get what you want. In addition, since you do not want the packaging to eat into your profits, you should negotiate for a fair price for your packaging bags.

In this article, we will guide you on the 12 essential bag manufacturer questions to ask before buying. With the answers to these bag manufacturer questions, you will determine if a bag maker can give you a good deal or not.

 

What Minimum Order Quantity Can I Place?

Untitled design 24 12 Essential Bag Manufacturer Questions to Ask Before Buying

At Carepac, we give our customers two choices for the minimum quantity orders they can place. If you are ordering digital template bags, we allow a minimum order of 1,000 pieces. 

In addition, when ordering the plate template bags, the least number you can order is 5,000. If you want to know how much your order will cost you, we have an instant online calculator to give you your price.

 

 

How Soon Can I Have The Bags in Hand?

When placing your order, you can choose if you want the bags done in 15 or 30 working days, depending on the urgency of your order. However, this may not be inclusive of the shipping time, which may depend on your location and the shipping company.

 

Can You Fully Customize?

Unlike most of our competitors, who do not allow a fully customized bag, we will let you choose your unique design to suit your taste and budget. When you pick from set sizes, you may pay more for features you do not need, making your bags more costly in the end.

At Carepac, we understand your products may be unique, needing unique packing, or you may have a special request from a client to package for them in a particular way. That is why we allow you to choose your design, and then we customize your bags.

 

Do You Offer Plate and Digital?

Our customers can choose either plate or digital art. The plate is cheaper and better for you if you want a large quantity. You can place a minimum quantity order of 5,000 pieces.

On the other hand, digital costs more per unit. However, it is better for you if you need fewer pieces since you can place a minimum quantity order of 1,000 pieces.

 

What are the Costs for Plates? Is There a Digital Art Cost?

Carepac customers do not pay for their digital art setup.  However, we charge $150 for each plate. This may be the lowest cost on the market since most of our competitors charge higher. Some even have digital setup fees.

 

What does Production Time Include?

Production time includes the time we take to complete making your bags. The time it takes for the order to leave our premises and get to your door is not included. 

This is because we may not control the shipment of your order since that largely depends on the efficiency of the shipping company. As you order your bags, we advise you to factor in freight time so that you do not run out of supplies awaiting the bags to arrive.

 

Are Your Bag Making Raw Materials Approved?

Carepac uses only FDA-approved materials.

 

Can I Talk to Your Representative about My Order? Is All Communication Through Email only?

Carepac understands your design is important to you and that you want it done right. We, therefore, offer free consultation so that you can explain what you want to our designers. 

Our bags experts are always available to discuss your order to ensure you get your art right. You can call, email, or visit our offices for a free consultation with them.

 

How Many Bags Do I Need to Buy to Get to XX Price Per Unit?

Do you have a specific amount to spend on bags? Are you thinking about the cost of your bags per unit? Whatever you have in mind regarding the cost of your order, we have a solution for you. Using Carepac Instant Online Calculator, you will know the estimated cost of your order or your price per unit. 

 

Do I Need to Have an Art File to Get a Quote?

An art file may help us to give you a more accurate quote. However, even without an art file, you can get a free estimate using our instant online calculator.

 

Do You Offer Help With Design Services? If So, Is There a Fee?

Carepac does not charge a consultation fee for your art. We offer free consultation and art setup support for our customers.

 

What Type of Format Should My Design Be in?

Industry best practices demand the use of Adobe Illustrator for the best results. You may use other formats like Inkscape, Photoshop, EPS, SVG, and BoxySVG, but they do not give the best results. 

We also advise you to use vector files do not lose configuration when enlarged or minimized. They produce uniform results on big and small pieces. Here are some of the design mistakes you should avoid.

What kind of bags do you need to package your products? Maybe you already know, or you are not yet sure. Get in touch with Carepac bag experts for a free consultation on your bag design art.  

We will also give you free art setup support to help you get it right. You can also visit our website to calculate your unit price or the estimated cost of your order. We offer pocket-friendly rates while upholding high qualities for all our orders. Besides, we offer low minimum orders, unmatched customer services and a 5% price match guarantee. 

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Get Your Package Designs Right with Pantone Color Numbers

What does “getting the colors right” really mean when you design packaging? You know from experience that it means not only getting it right on the screen but when printed, not only when printed once but every time, and not only by one printer but all your suppliers wherever they are located. Whether used on a logo, package, or instruction brochure, the right color is essential to the brand because “brand” means continuity, consistency, and quality. At CarePac, we use the Pantone Color system to get your bags done right.

 

Color interpretation

For all our personal familiarity with color, of course—its emotional meaning to us, its stimulative qualities, and its evocation of memories—we all perceive colors slightly differently. Most often it is not the basic colors but the huge variations in shades that drive those disagreements, even arguments, about what color we are seeing. There are now thousands of colors available to use in creating packaging, so there is plenty of room for diverging perceptions.

So the challenge of getting the colors right is not when we are standing beside someone and looking at a swatch, but, instead, conveying that precise color to multiple printers, often in different countries, sometimes in different languages. And doing so over decades of changes in our suppliers.

These are the kind of challenges that gave rise to the Pantone color sets and the systems for using them in any possible context. Pantone identifies thousands of colors, in different sets for different applications, by letters and numbers to create a unique tag for every color.

Untitled design 28 Get Your Package Designs Right with Pantone Color Numbers

 

Multiple materials

These different color sets specify and communicate color across different industries. For example, the Pantone Plus Series is based on graphic/printing ink and for half-a-century has constituted the Pantone Matching System (PMS). Each of the colors is specified with numbers and a suffix (for example, “C” or “U” to specify if the color is printed on coated or uncoated paper). Depending upon the paper, a Pantone color can look quite different when printed. The number and the suffix get the color right.

The only exception to this number-and-suffix system are the 18 Pantone Basic Colors (base inks) used to mix the rest of the colors. The basic colors have names such as Pantone Yellow. Another Pantone color system well worth mentioning is the Fashion Home + Interior Guides (FHI). The system is based on specifying textiles: paper (TPG) or cotton (TCX). Again, depending upon the material you are working with, you would choose the guide on which you want to visually see the color.

Thus, when you work with multiple materials and naturally want to achieve precisely the right color in final production, the pantone number makes possible complete satisfaction with the results. The reason is that the Pantone physical color reference guides, and also the Pantone digital tools for searches and matching, let you see before the printing and manufacturing process begins precisely the color you will get—and convey your choice unmistakably to everyone in the production process.

 

Multiple suppliers

Using different suppliers to produce your packaging and other brand materials inevitable entails some variations in the equipment and processes that will be involved. That means that the resulting color can be considerably different from supplier to supplier. The Pantone system of color tools—physical, digital, and cloud-based—enables you to specify unambiguously a single desired outcome for all those involved. The number given to any color tells the same story in every language, every culture.

Of course, if you can assign your production to a single supplier and use that supplier repeatedly, the process of communication and the opportunities for inconsistent results are greatly reduced. But for most companies the printing of a logo, packaging, and other brand-related materials must be repeated constantly. And as the company grows and production runs become larger and larger—and perhaps are most efficiently done in other countries—the color problem arises, again. Color measurement and evaluation tools from Pantone and its parent company, X-Rite, make it possible to achieve consistent color from run to run, no matter when or where it is produced. Pantone’s color measurement and evaluation tools mean precision and consistency in your color run after run in any location.

 

Pantones and digital printing

It is highly likely that your design process, today, is in large measure digital whether you are creating real-world or online designs. That means, you want to preserve color accuracy and consistency in moving between digital and physical environments. Pantone has the tools you need to move easily and confidently between those two worlds—to translate a brand’s printed colors into a website design and know how your website designs will look in physical form. Pantone Connect is a new digital platform that gives you immediate access to every Pantone Color in every Pantone Library. The Pantone color sets we discussed—and many more—are there.

Onscreen color is produced by a red-green-blue (RGB) system, mixing those primary colors to create others. But when you print from the screen, the resulting colors are produced by CMYK, which is called “four-color process” because it uses Cyan (C), Magenta (M), Yellow (Y) and Black (K). The problem is that RGB and CMYK colors do not precisely match. Pantone has all the tools you need to make the translation again and again to achieve the same results in both environments.  

 

At Carepac we rely on Pantone

At Carepac, we use the Pantone color systems and tools in designing our bags for the spectrum of companies that seek excellent, consistent, distinctive packaging for their products.

Your next step in getting the color for your packaging every time is to reached out to the Carepac team of bag experts for all the support you need on art design. There is a Carepac bag for virtually any product you want to package efficiently, imaginatively, and for optimal marketing impact and sales. We are ready to discuss your individual needs at every step of the package planning, design, and production process.

Be sure to check back here for the latest information, insights, and updates.

Meanwhile, don’t be a stranger. Follow us any day on Twitter for new ideas, offers, and advice on getting your product in the right package.

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china sourcing
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Real Costs of China Sourcing: Know Before You Go

Unquestionably, China sourcing looms large for American importers. Even if we didn’t know the numbers, we can see that truth every time we shop. In fact, about one-fifth of U.S. imports are sourced in China, although it is true that several categories loom very large (electrical and other machinery, furniture, outdoor equipment, and plastic parts).

Walmart, of course, is everyone’s iconic example of a great U.S. business empire built on Chinese imports (more than three-quarters of Walmart goods) because Walmart is about volume and price—and price is the usual allure for “going to China.”

But the “price” an American firm pays for goods made in China can be far less important than the “costs”—fully and honestly calculated. Those costs are not as easy to ascertain as a price on a sticker, but Carepac attaches real importance to calculating it. And one consequence is that at Carepac, today, we emphasize in-house production in all phases of packaging design, planning, and production.

Here is a look at why we do that.

 

Packaging is not all about price

Untitled design 25 edited Real Costs of China Sourcing: Know Before You Go

Many buyers new to packaging approach it as a kind of afterthought—something you worry about when your product is “ready.”  Because innovative, distinctive packaging is our business, we know that the right packaging can make the difference in preserving quality, in packing and transportation costs, and, above all, the crucial point-of-sale impact of your product. Packaging is about your brand and the impression it makes not once but every time.

 

Some real costs of “going to China”

Granted the benefits of “going to China” for some companies of a given size, doing a given volume of business in certain product lines, you also must face the true costs–monetary and otherwise.

 

China Sourcing Lead times

For example, even after you locate and vet a supplier in China, there is a lead-time of 8-12 weeks (in ordinary times”) between placing an order and receiving your goods. Today, though, given the impact of COVID-19 restrictions and delays at U.S. and international ports of entry, shipping time may add 45 days, or, in the worst case, as much as 75 days. We can hope that this situation clears up, in due course, but given the long-term politics of U.S.-China relations, another crisis cannot be ruled out.

 

Untitled design 26 Real Costs of China Sourcing: Know Before You Go

The communications barrier

Many Chinese are ardent businessmen, who work to accommodate their buyers, but a significant language barrier remains. You will not only deal with the sales representative who takes your order (and gives you that “price” you love) but, as questions arise about shipping, insurance, production, costs and billing, and, yes, packaging, communication becomes, as we know, the key to efficiency, quality, and a good supplier-buyer relationship. All this depends upon coping not once but over and over again with the challenge of communication.

This article is not about Walmart, of course, but in a sense Walmart’s success actually reinforces this point. Walmart built a vast infrastructure and staffing in China on its road to success, and, of course, now has Walmart stores all over China. That is a solution to the communication problem that most of us do not enjoy.

 

Real-time contact for troubleshooting

We all know about those times when a question must be answered right now–or a change in instructions must be communicated as soon as feasible. U.S. buyers are not in the same time zone as China, of course, so work hours do not automatically overlap—not even close. Do you have someone you can reach at your China supplier any time during your workday?

 

Tariffs and shipping costs

In addition to these supposed non-monetary costs, there are costs that may be hidden from the new potential buyer who is getting a price from a Chinese supplier. For example, tariff costs of importing your goods—tariffs substantially increased during the Trump administration—can approach one-third of their value. Obviously, this must be taken into account in any projection of your actually costs.

A related cost that always is involved in sourcing from abroad is shipping. Depending upon volume and weight of what you purchase in China, these costs become significant because they are repeated perhaps many times a year.

To lend some perspective, the table on this page shows you costs of a stand-up pouch for packaging your product along with the specifications for the job. This is our business, so we give you our unit price for a bag ($0.10) when your order 50,000 bags. Since we design your bag with you, from the start, including exactly the colors you select, we also give a printing plate costs per color. The total price is $5,000 plus $150 per color plate (up to full four color).

Now, add to that price what it would cost to ship this order from China (we also can match or better the manufacturing price in China).  Shipping by boat (estimated time 45 days) to Austin, TX, and inclusion of tax and customs), adds $2,400 to your costs for a total “price” of $7,400. (Note: with typically high minimum order quantities (MOQ) in purchasing from China, you might be constrained to make a larger order.)

 

When the order arrives

When your bags are delivered from China (which is likely the first time you see the actual product), what if they are defective? Say, the printing is misaligned or blurred your bags don’t close well? Are you sure that you have adequate recourse with your Chinese supplier, even given that you are willing to wait through the new lead time and shipping lag?

 

The Carepac commitment to in-house production

These are just some considerations that over the years have caused Carepac to put a high premium on in-house production, where we have optimal control over design, materials, manufacturing machinery and processes, quality control, and overall production scheduling to meet deadlines.

Your first step in discovering what the Carepac process can mean to you is to visit our website for an instant quote. Then, talk to our team of packaging experts about how Carepac can manage your packaging needs from design to manufacturing to quality control to shipping. We will discuss the real costs to you and how we guarantee quality and satisfaction.

Be sure to check back here regularly for information, insights, and updates and a wealth of information about creating packaging the protects your product, keeps your price down, and impresses your customer at point of sale.

And join us any day on Twitter for new offers and new insights into what packaging can mean to your business.

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packaging inventory
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I’m Just Starting: How Much Packaging Inventory Do I Need?

How many months of packaging inventory should you carry?  That is a concern for almost any business because inventory ties up money but running out of inventory can mean lost sales—especially if getting a large order is contingent on rush delivery.

In the start-up phase of your business, the inventory question is even tougher. There are plenty of formulas for calculating inventory, plenty of rules about weeding out stale inventory, but using those formulas depends upon experience–a track record. And a track record is what your start-up does not have, as yet. And, if you are like most starting businesses, there is too much to do with too little money, so you don’t want to solve the inventory problem by “being on the safe side” (that is, overstocking).

 

Some basics of controlling inventory:

These are a few of the basic often cited for getting a handle on inventory:

  • Use an inventory system with software suitable to the size of your business. One of the best-known systems is QuickBooks, but there are many others. This is a decision to make with the help of your accountant. There are inventory systems designed for small businesses. You and others in the company should become expert in using whatever system you choose.
  • You will want to fine-tune your forecasting once you have a track record.
  • There are standard measures such as “identify low-turnover stock.”  The so-called Pareto principle says that about 80 percent of your sales will come from 20 percent of your sales items. That is something you can learn, and use, when you have more experience.
  • Today, you can quite easily track your stock in real-time with software that registers incoming inventory and sales. When this system is providing the required feedback, you can make orders for resupply automatic when inventory sells down to a certain point.
  • Slashing supplier lead-time, as we discuss, means that you can purchase new inventory closer to the time that you actually need it. But be sure that your supplier can deliver according to the promised schedule.

But keep in mind that whatever handle you get on ordinary inventory needs, the arrival of the holiday season probably demands a different plan and different calculations. Many businesses do a surprisingly large percentage of their entire annual business in the weeks around the holidays.  To be caught short of inventory then presents a double dilemma. You can’t sell what you don’t have and your suppliers are under pressure during the holiday season just as you are.

 

Your packaging inventory

At Carepac, where our business is designing and manufacturing bags, we see new firms struggling with these problems all the time. If your product requires packaging—then, no packaging, no sales. What is more, designing the right package not only protects the quality of your product (freshness, protection from moisture); the right package is pivotal to good marketing and especially the “point of sale” appeal of your product.

As a start-up, simply do your best at budgeting and forecasting, but you can do it better with help from your accounting, marketing, and sales colleagues. Given your financial expectations for the first month, six months, and year, how many bags will you have to sell? Your business may not have a track-record, as yet, but other businesses of similar size with similar products in your market do have experience that you can extrapolate to your situation. There are local organizations such as your Chamber of Commerce and literally hundreds of online groups where small businesses of every kind, in every field, regularly exchange information and hash out problems they all face together.

Also, your salesmen and advertising consultants probably have goals. Are they approaching potential buyers for large orders? What do they see as the prospects?  And, if you get those accounts, will you face a long lead-time in delivering because your packaging is not ready?

 

Untitled design 24 I’m Just Starting: How Much Packaging Inventory Do I Need?

Lead time

Lead-time also can be significant in other ways. If possible, when ordering your bags or other inventory, you want to avoid a premium charge for rush jobs. Most suppliers, and certainly Carepac, have a backlog to fill in the order received. Make no mistake, the supplier wants your business. At Carepac, we make every effort to accommodate deadlines on orders; but we also want to be fair to our current customers.

Let our highly experienced professionals discuss with you a lead-time for ordering that is neither unnecessarily long nor unrealistically short. We take packaging seriously, of course, as should you, and we advise an early consultation to leave time for innovative design that speaks to meeting your distinctive needs, care in manufacturing and quality control, shipping, and any changes you might want to discuss when you receive your order. We are there at every step in the process and when you get in touch, you talk with a real person at any time you wish.  We reserve email, online chat, and other avenues of communication for more routine matters.

The consultation is free, the online price estimate is free, and we are ready to talk whenever you are ready. The challenge of supply chains and controlling inventory for the lowest cost and greatest sales effectiveness never changes—but how you choose to deal with the challenge certainly can change. We want to discuss how we can help in your own stage of business development from start-up to maximal growth.

 

Getting in touch with Carepac

Your first step is to reach out to Carepac for a wealth of information on every aspect of packaging, for your free estimate, and for consultation with our specialists on all phases of producing the right packaging for your product—and getting it to you when you need it. Contact us now.

And be sure to check back here regularly for information, insights, and updates on these and many more issues.

For a quick daily “hello” and update, follow us on Twitter for new offers, reports on new developments in the field, and tip about conditions affecting the challenges we both face.

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packaging dielines
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10 Mistakes to Avoid When Creating Packaging Dielines

When designing a packaging dieline, there are a lot of factors to consider.  Issues with sizing, spacing, color fidelity, and regulatory compliance all play a part in your design process. We often see the same set of mistakes and want you to avoid those in your next project. Those mistakes can be divided into issues with your art setup and issues with your proofing.  

 

Art Setup

Getting your images and your package art just right is both an art and a science. Here are the top five issues we see with art setup. 

1. Use Adobe Illustrator

When professionally printing packaging elements you need everything to be in Adobe Illustrator (AI). It is the industry gold standard. Other solutions such as photoshop, Inkscape, BoxySVG, and other file formats such as  PSd, EPS and SVG are perfectly suitable, but in order to adhere to industry best practices and standards, AI is the preferable program. 

2. Create All Art as a Vector

Digital photography does not produce a vector. It takes in light through the camera's lens and converts it into a digital file. That file, however, becomes pixelated when you zoom in. This is incredibly important to consider for your finished packaging. 

A vector is something that never loses resolution no matter what level you zoom in because a vector is not a picture. There is no pixelation with a vector.  Logos must be a vector. So do any words printed on the packaging, especially nutrition information. 

In order to maintain compliance with governmental regulations, the nutrition information cannot pixelate should you adjust the dieline's size. Barcodes, which must be scannable on your finished product, are especially susceptible to pixelation. Make sure that you design your dieline's barcode as a vector rather than a picture.

A good rule of thumb? Make sure that everything that is not an image is a vector.

3. CMYK versus Pantone 

CMYK stands for "Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black," and it represents the four basic colors used when printing graphics, images, and other media. Pantone, on the other hand, is a color matching system. Pantone includes a comprehensive set of ink pigments called "color bars" which resemble paint samples from the hardware store.

CMYK takes those four color choices and blends them together in a subtractive process in order to make all the colors of the rainbow. The drawback is that every printer has slightly different output. The resulting color is a function of the blending process rather than an industry-wide standard. 

Your finished product will most likely be on some blend of plastic packaging, not on printed paper. Things don't always translate correctly, especially if you are using CMYK. This is where Pantone truly shines. Each color bar in the Pantone collection includes the exact formulation for that pigment. Any element on your dieline that is not a digital photo should be rendered in Pantone coloring rather than CMYK for the sake of continuity.  

4. If You Have To Include A Picture, Make Sure The Resolution Is Correct

Not everything can be a vector. Sometimes your packing calls for the use of a digital picture. Make sure you use the correct print resolution to prevent your included photos from pixelation. 300 DPI is the best possible choice for high resolution prints. 300 DPI resolution includes 90,000 dots per square inch which can help stave off pixelation should your finished packaging require you to zoom in. 

5. Do Your Diligence When Including Images

Normally when you use images rather than vectors, they are embedded directly into the dieline. You can also choose to link those images to a specific file or folder. When the packaging dieline renders in AI, it draws the image from another source. One problem we see routinely is that people forget to properly link the image. If you choose not to embed, make sure you've done your diligence.  

Proofing

Creating graphical elements is only the first step in the design process. Every dieline requires thorough proofing before it is finalized. Here are the five most common mistakes we see with the proofing phase. 

1. Proofread

One of the most commonly overlooked processes is proofreading the text on your bag. Small errors in spelling can result in huge errors in customer understanding, but beyond that, a seemingly innocuous mistake could throw your packaging out of compliance with governmental regulations. 

2. Check Your Sizing and Spacing

It begins with ensuring that the size of your product packaging is adequate and unaltered after adjustments in your design software. Too many industry professionals forget to make sure that the overall bag dimensions fit the product they're intended for. One sure fire test you can use is to measure your dieline against a competitor's product to ensure it fits. 

3. Outline Your Fonts

Fonts can be tricky things. They are dependent on files in order to display correctly. Different devices render the same font differently depending on the file packs that are installed. Outlining is a way to ensure continuity between displays. By outlining your fonts, which is a relatively simple process via AI's editing software, you convert the font into art, much the same as a vector. That way image fidelity is maintained no matter what workspace you are using. 

4. Ensure Compliance

We've mentioned it before, but compliance is an important part of the dieline process. Far too many people fail to check that the barcode they've included serves its intended function. Rather than interacting with the merchant's POS system, a barcode that hasn't been properly vetted may spit back gibberish. 

In the same vein, there is a virtual cavalcade of regulations from entities like the FDA and the USDA which impact the icons and images on your finished packaging. When proofing, make sure to take the necessary time to ensure that your packing meets all regulatory compliance. 

5. Don't Cram Too Much Into Your Dieline

Along the same lines as sizing and spacing, make sure you don't have too many logos, verbiage, and graphics jammed into the edges of your bag. Not only does it make the packing incredibly difficult to read, it may also violate the above-stated compliance issue. 

Designing a High-Quality Dieline

Graphical design is as much an art form as it is an exact science. There are dozens of exact specifications that need to be met in terms of color, spacing, typeset, and overall resolution. With so many variables to keep track of, it is all too easy to make a mistake. 

The items listed above are in on way comprehensive, but they are a good starting point to make sure that your finished dieline truly shines. 

Check Out Our Wide Selection of Dielines

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child resistant stand-up pouches
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Re-closable vs Single Use Child Resistant Stand-Up Pouches

As the legal use of cannabis becomes rampant in different US states, child safety concerns are rising, forcing businesses to keep in step with safety measures put in place by the authorities.

Packaging companies have also gone out of their way to create safer pouches to prevent child access to cannabis content.

The American Society for Testing and Materials describes a child-resistant bag as one that makes it hard for children below 5 to open or access its contents within a specified timeframe.

Child-resistant stand-up pouches are categorized into single-use and re-closable variants.  single-use child resistant pouches are only child resistant until they are opened by the consumer. while the re-closable can be re-closed by the consumer and retain their child resistance. 

In this article, we will compare re-closeable and single-use stand-up pouches to help you choose which one is fit for you.

Re-closable Pouches

Re-closable pouches are also loosely called Lifetime Child Resistant Pouches because they can be used multiple times and retain the same level of safety they had before they were opened. The idea behind “Lifetime” is that the pouch will remain child resistant during the “lifetime” of the consumption of the product inside the pouch.

So for example, if a pouch containers 4 servings of cannabis edibles the “lifetime” of the pouch is being opened and closed 4 times.  A child below 5 cannot multitask. Manufacturers of re-closable bags use this knowledge to create pouches that a child finds hard to open before they get tired and give up. Lifetime pouches typically have a two-step opening process.

Push and turn, a two-piece molding with the benefit of providing the child with false interactivity is one of the three most common child-resistant mechanisms.

Secondly, there are squeeze and turn packs, which are typically single-piece moldings, and are very common in homes. Finally, there's the 'line up the arrows' closing method where two fixed points on the package and the closure must be matched to open the pouch.

Sophisticated lifetime bags such as the pharmacy zipper bags only open with two hands. They are easy for adults, including those weakened by medical conditions to open but a child has a very hard time trying to open them. The child-guard push-pin zipper bag works by inserting a pin to open the sliding zipper. These pouches have tons of other benefits.

Single-use Pouches

Common single-use pouches are designed to not have an easy open feature, and so require the use of a scissor or knife to open it.  They are popular for packaging single servings of drugs including medical cannabis.  Blister packs have polymer trays whose opening is sealed to aluminum lidding foil. 

A single-use package only maintains the approved standard of child resistance as long as it has not been opened.

To make these packs child-resistant, packaging manufacturers use a two-step opening process and add a paper label that children can't easily peel off.

Typical single-use pouches include sample packs, fold-overs, stand-up, and pillow pouches. While they are not built to maintain their child resistance after opening, they do provide a single use child resistance and they still offer all the great barrier properties needed to keep the contents at optimal freshness until  the pack is opened.

There's been growing concern over the contribution of single-use packs in filling landfills and pollution. In this case, your company has to emphasize the need to dispose of the pack safely after use.

Child-Resistant Exit Bags

Some Child Resistant Exit Bags used by dispensaries for cannabis are made from a combination of child psychology and modern technology.  These pouches only open when an adult inserts their fingers under the flaps to access the closing. The closing opens with upward and rolling movements.

This opening method is incomprehensible to children under five. When a child uses this pouch, they still pull at the flaps and expect it to open which does not work.

These pouches are also odor-proof, bar UV light from interfering with content quality, and are moisture-resistant. They are perfect for storing powder and granules too.

Why are they called Exit Bags? In most states cannabis regulation is a subset of the state’s liquor control laws. Often the same agency that regulates the sale of alcohol also regulates cannabis. Many states require that any product sold by a dispensary be placed in Child Resistant outer packaging before it leaves the dispensary, also called “Exit Packaging.” 

Cannabis brands love flexible barrier packaging for child-resistant exit bags because in addition to the child resistant properties the flexible barrier pouches preserve the product's scent and structure. They also make an ideal storage choice because they are flexible, lightweight, include recyclable structural materials, safety features, and preserve the environment.

When to Ask for Customized Child-Resistant Pouches

The key reason to invest in customized child-resistant pouches it to beat the competition! Sell more cannabis, and improve your brand’s appearance to the consumer. Now more than ever it is hard to stand out on the dispensary shelf, or keep your brand fresh in the customer’s mind after their purchase. Amazing custom packaging helps 

  • Improve brand awareness
  • Increase sales
  • Protect your protect

While the market is teeming with different stand-up pouches, there's always a chance that you'd like a combination of some of the features, want an addition or removal of some of them.

Additionally, you may have changed or added a new target market.

More importantly, the face of the pack has to appeal to your new demographic. This may call for a change in material or color combos.

Additionally, your customers may ask for a child guard that's not too hard for an adult but is difficult for children over the age of five. You may also need differently shaped spouts to prevent the likelihood of liquid squirts when pouring.

People respond better to advertising campaigns that address their safety concerns. This goes further than just children's safety.  When medicine is kept in poor conditions, it loses its potency. It all depends on what you're packing and the concerns that people have about the product.

Find Packaging that Sells

At Carepac, we understand that packaging either attracts customers or throws them off. We have tons of attractive packaging options to suit your needs. Contact us to get the right packaging for all your needs.

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10 Tips When Considering Eco-Friendly Packaging
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10 Tips When Considering Eco-Friendly Packaging

More than 70% of customer purchasing decisions are made at the shelf because the packaging is what a customer first sees when shopping.  As brands move towards eco-friendly solutions, they are bound to attract more customers since 70% of customers say they would not mind paying more for sustainable packaging.  Therefore, it is imperative to consider making a shift towards a more environmentally-friendly solution, and here are the ten tips you should consider when making your decision.

1. Printing Needs

Since the package is what the customers see first, it helps to convey the brand's message. Having a package that offers lots of printable space facilitates this because the manufacturer can label the product and still be left with enough room to list the attributes that differentiate it from competitors. Square bottom pouches come in handy in such instances because they are fully printable on the front, back, bottom and sides. 

2. Is It Recyclable?

The essence of making packaging eco-friendly is to reduce the impact on the environment, and recycling is among the best ways to do so. Kraft paper, derived from the German word "Kraft," is recyclable and compostable. Alternatively, PET plastic provides an excellent barrier in preserving the freshness of food products and other consumables. However, before settling on using recyclable materials, ensure that the packaged products are a good fit. Recyclable plastic bags are ideal when packing, nuts and seeds, crackers and chips, pasta, and dried food. Recyclable bag materials lack the strength of other materials, and are not often a good choice for products that can transfer a lot of load to the bag, causing it to burst. 

3. Are Big Retailers Looking for It?

You have to dream big even if you are only a startup. One significant way to grow more quickly is by partnering with leading retailers. Walmart released a Sustainable Packaging Playbook to help companies improve their packaging methods. One of the nine metrics they consider for their eco-friendly packages is the recycled content. Amazon, on the other hand, wants packaging that is frustration-free and eco-friendly. If you can adhere to the guidelines that such leading retailers are looking for, your eco-friendly packaged products will boost your startup in no time.

4. Strength 

The packaging material should be strong enough not to tear at the slightest tension. Tensile strength ensures it can resist a direct pull which is very instrumental in child food packaging. You have to be sure that the little angels do not ingest dangerous items by making it hard for them to access the contents. The tearing resistance, puncture resistance, impact strength, and bursting strength should also be very high to prevent spillage of contents during transportation.

5. The Maximum Temperature It Can Withstand

There is a reason why the current generation is referred to as the "microwave generation." Our hectic lives have seen us look for more convenience; therefore, customers want food products they can throw in the microwave and consume. Time for washing dishes is no longer available as we concentrate on climbing the corporate ladder. So if you can make your customers' lives more comfortable by packaging their food in microwave-safe containers, you will be doing them a huge favor, translating to more sales. Plastic has been proven to release BPA and phthalates in food when microwaved; BPA can disrupt the natural hormonal system since it mimics estrogen.

6. Will It Keep Products in Good Use?

You don't want to lose customers because your packaging has them throwing out food due to a short shelf-life. Times are hard and every dollar saved goes a long way into securing your customer's future. Your packaging should, therefore, not only increase food safety by preventing food contamination, but it should also extend the shelf life. A European Union-funded project, YPACK, discovered that integrating oregano essential oils and zinc oxide enhances bio-papers protection against bacterial contamination, which increases the shelf life of food products.

7. Does It Facilitate Storage in a Controlled Environment?

It is common to read "keep product away from direct sunlight, in a cool, dry place," which is not hard to do, but what about the moisture levels needed to preserve freshness? It is up to you to facilitate a controlled environment through your packaging material. Cannabis users want their stash to hit the right spot every time they open the package. Therefore, humidity control is essential as cannabis should not be stored in an environment above 65% RH lest it risks developing mold. Your packaging should not promote evaporation because then the cannabis will lose its potency, and imagine the damage it can cause, primarily if being used for medicinal purposes.

8. Is it Compostable?

Eco-friendly packaging material may be recyclable, compostable, or biodegradable, and most people use the terms interchangeably, which is wrong. Biodegradable materials must completely break down, decompose into natural elements and return to nature; some of these materials include corrugated cardboard. On the other hand, compostable materials provide nutrients to the earth thus can be added to compost piles. Since they require special composting conditions, ensure that the packaging materials meet those standards to make decomposing at home attainable.

9. Is It Cutting Edge?

Eco-friendly packaging should also be cutting edge to make your product competitive. Imagine being able to tell how ripe an avocado is or if the product is expired by just looking at the package. Yet such smart technology can play a critical role in minimizing cases of food poisoning considering that in the US, 48 million get sick and 3,000 die from food borne diseases every year. 

10. Blow-outs

The eco-friendly package should also facilitate consumer health by blowing up when the contents have toxic bacterial growth. Since your customers cannot smell the product while it is still packed, it is crucial to have a package that inflates. This is especially useful when handling meat products.

Now that you know the most important factors to consider when choosing your eco-friendly packaging, ensure you have a reliable provider. At CarePac, we provide you with high-quality pouches at affordable rates. With our 5% price match guarantee you’ll always get the best deal. We also have a low minimum order quantity and offer you the best customer service. Contact us today and learn more about our extensive range of pouches available in different materials and with varied features to suit your needs.


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Stand Up Pouch 101
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Stand-Up Pouches 101: How Stand-Up Pouches are Made

The first stand-up pouch was made in 1963. Originally two flat sheets were sealed together, but that basic design has gone through a series of improvements as companies pursue durability and aesthetics that make the packaging attractive to consumers.

Stand-up pouches use fewer resources than conventional packaging such as boxes and cartons.  They can also be highly personalized making them the truly modern way to package products.

These pouches are air and watertight which makes them ideal for packaging food, chemicals, some types of clothing, etc. They also give companies an avenue to market their brands. That's why packaging suppliers are always coming up with new features to accommodate branding needs.

The latest features on these bags include zippers, spouts, and top holes that make pouring liquid or powder content less messy.

So how are these pouches made to achieve durability, functionality, and even preserve the environment? Read on to find out.

The Process

Stand-up packaging bags are built from plastic composed of a resin made up of granular polyethylene. This composition makes it easy to melt and flatten into different shapes.

This material is then used to create a long polyethylene tube. This tube can be over a mile long, but the cloth used to make it has a width of less than a tenth of a millimeter. This tube is allowed to cool before being flattened by a series of rollers into a long strip of plastic. The strip is wound on a cylinder to form a sheet.

Each bag has several films with each one made with materials that play into the water-proof and airtight features of the bag. Manufacturers select the materials carefully to ensure the packs are also durable.

The innermost layer keeps the content quality intact. It also comes into direct contact with the pack's content. Therefore, it is made of the polymer LLDPE which is FDA-approved.

The outermost layer often bears the company name and other branding messages. Manufacturers use alcohol-based ink to print words and images on these packs.

When the middle layer is not made of clear material, it serves as a protective and branding layer. To achieve this, manufacturers opt for aluminum or films infused with metal or resin.  Some companies choose kraft paper material for the outermost layer because it looks natural. Kraft material is also durable and has a texture designed to make branding easy.

These layers are then cut into different sizes and shapes then stuck together through sealing by applying heat. A large conversion machine receives the finished film roll. The film is cut into various parts as it goes through the system, forming the top part, rear, and underside of the stand-up pouches. 

Gussets are the bottom part and the reason stand-up pouches can stand. Part of the material used to make the rest of the bag goes through a machine that folds a perfect W-shaped gusset.

Functionality features are added separately depending on the pack. For example, spaces for handles are created through cutting with stamps. Zip locks are bound to the pack through heat.  Perforations indicating where to cut are also added at the last bit in the process.

The layers must be cured in a special high-temperature drying chamber after the lamination process. If laminated films are not properly cured, they can peel apart days or weeks after the bags are completed. Drying takes 2–4 days, and regardless of the deadline, this part cannot be rushed.

However, not all stand-up packs are of good quality. Like with every other product, the cheaper they are, the poorer their quality.

In the United States, stand-up bags use is rapidly on the rise. Traditional packaging techniques, which are bulkier, more expensive to manufacture, less consumer-friendly, and consume a lot of resources, are rapidly being replaced by these bags.

Printing

There are many kinds of stand-up pouches such as, shaped, spouted, liquid, printed, box, retort, foil barrier, inverted, wicket, frangible seal, multi-compartment, EZ-stand and reclosable pouch which breaks into the zipper, hook & loop, slider, and press-to-close categories.

All of them go through different kinds of printing depending on market needs. The following printing methods are widely used to print logos, names, and other aesthetics on stand-up bags.

Plate Printing

The most economic and versatile way to print stand up pouches is with Rotogravure plate printing. Thus, most stand-up bags go through plate printing to add the desired look and information of the top part. The printer has different cylinders which contain different colors that make up the entire design.

Plate printing offers a very wide color range. Digital printing uses direct surface printing ink  which only uses cyan, magenta, and yellow, black and white. Moreover, with plate printing, you can play around with a mixture of gloss and matte.

Digital Printing

The ink used in digital printing does not permeate the substrate being printed on in many cases. It instead forms a thin layer on the substrate, which it adheres to further with UV curing or laser heating.

The main disadvantage of digital printing is that it is a more expensive method of printing on a basic level; as a result, digital printing is not recommended for long runs. Another significant limitation is its inability to match PMS colors. You can't have a mix of gloss and matte either. You can only go all matte or all gloss.

The digital printing method is not economically viable for big runs of up more than 5000 pieces. Multimillion-dollar firms may afford it but smaller firms are left to choose between the cost of buying raw materials and ordering attractive packaging.

If you're planning a high-color-count, a short-run project like trial runs, digitally printed stand-up pouches are a good option. They are useful too when dealing with a constantly changing regulatory climate or have a lot of SKUs.

Flexography Printing

Loosely called flexo, flexography is a printing technique that employs a flexible (rather than a solid) plate. It's a more recent version of relief printing. Flexo printing is a popular method also used to print graphics, text, and images on stand-up pouches. Flexo printing is often used on compostable bags to print directly on an outermost paper layer. 

Get Your Custom Printed Stand Up Pouch

In a world where first impressions are everything, we'll help you get custom-made pouches for your products regardless of your industry. Contact us today to order samples and get an instant online quote.

How Stand Up Pouches are Made - Bags 101 (1)
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