Packaging is not only the final step in product marketing, but it may just be the difference that makes a consumer buy one petfood brand over another. Innovative packaging, whether it starts on the production line or ends with the handle on a hefty bag of dog food, is the key to making your brand stand out on the shelf.

  1. Use packaging that conveys value.
  2. Design packaging for convenience.
  3. Create packaging that gives choices to the consumer.
  4. Use innovative packaging to improve the consumer experience.

The range of new and interesting packaging options for the petfood market is an astonishing one, so we’ve assembled a selection of some products out there with descriptions of exactly how they can take your brand to the next level.
One of the most important things to consider in the packaging world is convenience. According to David Marinac, president of ABC Packaging Direct, the use of stand-up pouches has skyrocketed in recent years, especially in the petfood industry. “Most pet owners are willing to spend a little extra if it means better quality for their pets,” says Marinac. “Because stand-up pouches increase the opportunity for real innovation, many manufacturers are looking to us for new packaging methods that help them compete in this market.” Since many petfoods are not served all at once, consumers want a package that is easy to store after opening. The packaging industry has answered this need with convenient re-closure methods, like zip locks or press-and-seals that make storage easy and prolong the freshness of the product. This is especially convenient for pet treats, which nearly always have something left over.
Now packagers can integrate peel-off promotions directly into the package with an interactive new technology from Curwood, a division of Bemis. The IntegraPeel peel-away packaging system reduces costs associated with cumbersome adhesive labels while retaining brand identity and barrier protection, according to the company. The IntegraPeel peel-away packaging system offers an innovative technology for peel-off coupons, recipes and promotions that leaves brand messaging and barrier intact.Because the peel-away portion of the film does not affect the packaging structure, the pouch retains its full barrier properties to keep contents fresh. Bemis attests it's a breakthrough packaging strategy that provides long-lasting brand exposure, especially on offers like recipes, which stay with the consumer after products are consumed.
To enable manufactures to quickly respond to changes in package style trends, as well as produce different products on a single machine, Bosch created the SVI series. The SVI vertical form, fill, seal machines can produce a wide variety of bag styles including standard pillow, gusseted and block bottom bags as well as premium four-corner seal, doy and doy with zipper. This gives petfood manufacturers the ultimate in package style flexibility to help promote their products, according to the company. Whenever the package style is changed, there is no need to adapt the machine height or dosing platform This efficient changeover reduces machine downtime during format change and increases the overall performance of the equipment.
With large-format bags, retailers want less damage, consumers still want more convenience and packaged goods companies want lower overall cost. Exopack has risen to these challenges with its Rave line of pre-made bags. These robust bags can be printed with up to 10 colors for appealing consumer graphics. The Rave-CMP bags provide a package that is stronger than other conventional bags, according to Exopack. It is available in a pinch, Sewn-Open-Mouth (SOM) or heat-seal style bag. It is also available with a top-slider zipper.
Gateway Packaging’s second ultrasonic seal, mitered bottom bag machine is up and running in its Kansas City, Missouri, USA, plant. According to the company, it is currently the only petfood packaging manufacturer to make this type of bag with the ultrasonic seal. This bag has several features that make it unique. It produces a square bottom bag that allows for better stacking on pallets (reducing damage), improved graphics panel on the bottom of the bag for better shelf appeal, is sift proof, moisture and grease proof, and eliminates possible infestation. and
Rollprint Packaging Productshas teamed with Pactiv Corp. to supply Hefty Slide-Rite slider customers with an improved filling and opening feature for heavier (15-65 pound), bagged products. The challenge for slider bags that are bottom-filled is to minimize the fill force against the slider assembly, while at the same time making it easy for consumers to open and access the contents. To help drive costs out of the bag and improve performance for both packagers and consumers, Pactiv teamed with Rollprint to come up with an alternative. The end result is a ½-inch wide strip that has replaced several feet of expensive film. The new alternative saves time, money and significantly decreases raw material usage, according to the companies.
MAF GmbH & Co. KG from Hopsten, Germany, presents a new development that cuts the machine investment costs for bag producers almost by half in comparison to the equipment necessary to produce comparable top slider bags. Side gusseted bags with top sliders are popular bags in the petfood market. The top slider attached to the inside of the bag head clearly emerges to be the most functional and most important application. For this reason, B&B – MAF has decided to offer a machine especially designed for the production of top slider bags. The new, cost-effective SFB 8E –LT side gusseted bag machine produces from a flat film roll of PET/PE-laminates in longitudinal direction. Reclosable systems like top sliders of different suppliers like Pactiv, Zip-Pak or Flexico can be sealed into the bag in the transversal machine section.
The Starlinger PP Star bag is the first pinch bottom bag made of woven polypropylene. The PP Star woven pinch bottom bag can be used on common open-mouth filling lines and has opened new possibilities in dry petfood packaging, according to the company. The bags are sift proof, strong but lightweight and offer excellent shelf display and visual appeal. The bags are made from an exceptionally lightweight form of packaging made of a BOPP-fabric composite. The fabric is woven from extruded and stretched polypropylene tapes and bonded by a BOPP film with high quality reverse printing, the company says. BOPP-fabric composite is the ideal base for high-strength, lightweight packaging that is tear-resistant and at the same time appealing to the eye.

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