Petfood and treat manufacturers want their packaging to reflect awareness for health, pet pampering and the environment, as well as a focus on consumer convenience, according to the Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies (PMMI). To remain competitive and grow market share, petfood manufacturers should be rethinking their package designs by focusing on package shape, closures and convenience features, says PMMI.
- Shaped packaging is an effective tool to break the monotonous landscape of store shelves, but implementing it can pose some manufacturing challenges, including filling and labeling.
- More manufacturers of petfood are considering closures like re-sealable zipper enclosures, tapes, drawstrings and Velcro to maintain product freshness for a longer period and prevent bacteria growth.
- “Convenient” can often mean packaging with handles, rigid PET containers, cap closure modifications and dispensers incorporated into package design.
To find the best way to implement these or other trends, we’ve found machinery and services that can help your current petfood packaging appeal more to consumers while integrating your brand’s message of quality, convenience, safety and sustainability.
Crown Specialty Packaging North America is helping brand owners enhance their presence in the wet petfood segment by creating visually appealing metal tins for premium lines. Often used as the primary packaging for wet petfood products for both cats and dogs, metal tins can be designed, printed and formed to serve a variety of functions, explains Crown. Techniques such as high-resolution printing can be used to create visual effects that capture the consumer’s attention, while the use of special finishes and embossing makes packaging more tactile, encouraging greater consumer interaction. Crown also offers shaping technologies that can create unique forms that stand out on the shelf.
Mondi’s PolyWoven bag features a durable, strong but also lightweight packaging with a pinch bottom and offers an attractive all-over print, says the company of their new petfood bag. The PolyWoven bag features an attention-grabbing large printing surface and bottom. “This fact is extremely important as large [petfood] bags are usually presented lying flat on the shelf,” explains Ralph Landwehr, CEO of Mondi Consumer Packaging. “Depending on customer requirements, the surface and bottom can be printed in glossy and matte designs to represent product brands in the best-possible way and to attract end consumers at the point-of-sale. The PolyWoven bag combines perfect product presentation with important benefits such as lightweight, tear-resistance, eco-friendliness and recyclability.”
The pinch bottom of the bag is closed with hot melt while the top of the bag can be manufactured in different versions, such as open mouth flush cut or pinch top with or without reactive hot melt. Various alternatives exist to close the bag after filling such as heat seal closure, folding with a tape or stitch closing, says the company.
A-B-C Packaging’s Model 108 bulk depalletizer is for petfood packagers who need maximum flexibility to feed empty containers to one or multiple packaging lines as it runs a wide range of container types and styles with no downtime for changeover, claims the company. Plastic, glass, metal and composite containers run interchangeably with no special options or change parts required. Features are built into the Model 108 depalletizer, including layer stabilizing mechanisms on both the primary and secondary layer, four side container load control, and complete tier sheet control to eliminate layer shifting and ensure container stability. A-B-C offers both low level and high level models, with discharge heights from 36” to 144”.
Concetti has announced the high-speed Starpack bagging machine, capable of handling up to 1,600 bags per hour with 25â€“50kg bags and a choice of closure systems, claims the company. The Starpack bagging machine can handle woven-PP, paper and plastic bags, which incorporates Concetti’s automatic format change to combine speed with flexibility by allowing different bag formats to be handled and changed at the touch of a button.
Sharp Packaging Systems has introduced its first vertical form fill and seal (VFFS) machine, called the Hawk Evolution. The new machine has the smallest footprint in the industry for the bag size it will manufacture, claims Sharp. It can make a bag up to 12” wide and 18” long and can accommodate three bag styles: pillow bag, a gusseted bag and a flat-bottom bag. The Hawk Evolution will run and seal just about any structure of polyethylene, laminated or metalized film, or foil, says the company.
The VFFS machine is equipped with an edge guide system, a pair of “eyes” that watches the edge of the film. If the film wanders one way or the other, the eyes communicate with an air cylinder that will move the whole back stand, so that the film will be centered on the forming tube. The Hawk Evolution can also be customized with a PC-based system, which include troubleshooting video clips to view right on the computer screen.
The Topline 2000 from Haver Filling Systems Inc. boasts filling speeds of up to 30 bags per minute, with one filling spout, claims the company. The machine can be equipped with either a vertical empty bag magazine for tight spaces or a horizontal empty bag magazine suitable for higher storage capacities. Both options are easily re-fillable without interruption to the filling process, says Haver. The Topline 2000 can fill paper or plastic bags and can be fit with one of four optional closing systems: sewing, taping, hot-melt activating or heat sealing. In addition, the bagging and filling machine is equipped with an energy recovery system that enables the machine to consume minimum power during production. The Topline 2000 also includes Haver’s MEC weighing control system that can be programmed with up to 250 product specifications, including bag size and weight, allowing for quick product changeovers, says the company.