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Pouches and bags gone wild!

Pouches and bags gone wild!

Wildly innovative new options in flexible packaging include photochromic bags, a tetrahedral pouch that’s a snack tray, a mosquito-fighting 2-compartment pouch with a frangible seal, a refillable pouch inside a rigid shell, a paper bag made on FFS equipment, a pouch that looks like a teapot and three more “wild” packages.

Pouches and bags gone wild!? What’s going on here? What our sensationalistic Yahoo News-style headline means is that we have assembled 9 examples of creative if not wildly inventive new options in flexible packaging. These bags and pouches push the flex-pack envelope with enhanced functionality and convenience in excitingly fresh ways.

Leading things off is Printpack ’s incredible photochromic flexible packaging that allows brand owners to create an invisible design hidden within a package’s visible graphics. The hidden design is only revealed when a consumer carries the bag into the sunlight. The concealed design can be any graphic that would surprise and delight consumers as they interact with the package outside. The unique technology is a way to engage consumers through packaging on a new level.

“This type of packaging application can truly set a brand apart by adding depth to the consumer experience,” says Mark Brogan, Printpack’s director of technology and innovation. “It can make all the difference when it comes to purchasing decisions.”

Brogan responded to our inquiry with these highlights:

  • Consumers will see what ever image has been printed with the photochromic ink. 
  • The technology is commercially available now for virtually any flexible film structure.
  • Photochromic flexible packaging can be supplied in roll for form-fill-seal applications or as premade bags.
  • The packaging is appropriate for any market, but especially for salty snacks, bar wraps or pouches.
  • Most brands would use this application as a seasonal promotional opportunity.

In March, the technology earned Printpack a Silver Achievement Award for Technical Innovation from the Flexible Packaging Association (FPA) for solving a challenge that has tested the industry for years—applying photochromic ink to a flexible film.

Next: A 3-in-one combination pouch/snacking bowl/tray


Interested in packaging innovation? Consider attending PACKEX Montréal 2016 November 30, 2016 to December 1, 2016


ProAmpac’s E-Z SnackPak is a tetrahedron-shaped pouch packaging format for the single-serve snack food market. It transforms into a serving tray upon opening, providing a unique consumer experience. The shape adds package support that provides product protection during shipping and handling, according to Sal Pellingra, ProAmpac vp, innovation and technology.

The geometric design can be packed into a corrugated shipper, a multipack bag, displayed in a shelf-ready carton at point-of-sale or even conveniently pegged.

Suggested applications include sweet and savory snacks, pet treats, fresh snack foods, microwave products, snacks with condiments and frozen foods.

Features and benefits:

  • Easy opening
  • Package converts into a convenient tray for snacking
  • Pouch shape inherently protects product
  • Less packaging material
  • Barrier and non-barrier available
  • Printed either rotogravure, flexographic, or high-definition flexographic printing.

“There has been high interest in microwavable applications, snacks, frozen and even including a condiment inside the package to mix with the snack,” Pellingra tells Packaging Digest. “The tray format is perfect for this type of application.”

ProAmpac has partnered on the E-Z SnackPak development with Alliedflex Technologies and Mespack filling machinery. 

“The filling machine will be able to fill both the E-Z SnackPak as well as standard stand-up pouches, which makes it a more versatile filling machine,” Pellingra explains. “We are working with copackers to place the machine so that it is available for brands to access the technology and are working with several brands on different applications. We expect to have a commercial application once the filling machine is installed toward the end of this year in time for 2017 production.”

Next: A highly inventive mosquito-fighting pouch


Interest in mosquitos and how to avoid them has increased with the spread of the Zika virus. Penta5 USA LLC’s MosquitoPaQ division approved for sale in early June and began commercial sales in mid-July of the MosquitoPaQ no-bite GardenPaQ Outdoor ZONE product. The product is as unique as the packaging, which work together in a unique way.

The patented pouch is designed with two compartments, one for a dry solution and one for a liquid solution. A frangible seal between the two compartments breaks under pressure allowing the two products to mix.

Once mixed, the products create a carbon dioxide scent that attracts mosquitoes to the pouch, but at the same time confounding the insect's receptors, compelling it away from a blood meal—people—to feeding on plant nectar.

The product is effective for up to 2 weeks and is environmentally friendly, contains no DEET or harmful chemicals and does not kill the mosquito. It can be used safely around children, pets and wildlife.

It is available in-store for $18 and is also being sold by landscaping companies as part of their monthly garden maintenance.

According to Penta5 USA ceo R. Charles Murray, the pouch comprises a polyester/nylon/linear-low-density polyethylene structure with a special frangible seal lamination.

“The patented pouch design was developed for MosquitoPaQ, but it also lends itself to other applications,” Murray explains. “These include food-on-the-go—for both humans and pets, special chemical products that need to be kept separated until usage, medical applications for rural nursing stations where good water supply is an issue, and more.”

Next: A refillable rigid/flexible hybrid


We wanted to present our “wild” packaging list with a mix of the commercial and nearly-commercial with recently patented flexible packaging options.

Using the typically straightforward patent document verbiage is this intriguing concept for a combination of flexible pouch within a rigid container from Sonoco with the title: “Rigid outer container for releasably accommodating a stand-up pouch.”

The combination package consists of a stand-up pouch accommodated within an outer container that includes a hollow shell with an open bottom. The stand-up pouch is inserted through the open bottom and a corner spout of the pouch is inserted through an opening in a slanted corner panel of the hollow shell.  Frictional engagement between the comer spout and the opening secures the spout to the comer panel and pouch within the hollow shell.

In short, it’s a design to provide a way to stabilize wobbly-by-nature stand-up pouches on shelf that can be shelved more neatly for consumer appeal and they won’t tip over so easily.

However, within the document are two different provisions for refillability: One method uses replacement of the pouch itself within the shell and the other refills the pouch contents through the pouch spout.

An interesting option play for marketers to brainstorm over. The patent can be found online here.

Next: The chase for a paper bag made on a VFFS machine ends here.

While paper bags have been around for quite some time, the idea of producing paper bags inline on vertical form-fill-seal equipment is a timely breakthrough that comes at a period when sustainable packaging is on the rise and renewable, readily-recycled substrates like paper deserve reconsideration.

Bosch Packaging’s PME 4001 ZAP vertical form-fill-seal machine is the first in the world to produce sealed paper bags by using coated paper roll stock that can be recycled into paper streams. The bagger is applicable for free-flowing dry products. In fact, the machine was built for and installed at Pfeifen & Langen, one of the largest sugar producers in the world and 3rd biggest in Europe, beginning of 2016. The first products were available in stores across Germany starting in June 2016.

For more on this, see First VFFS packaging machine to form, fill and seal paper bags.

Next: A visual listing of 5 more flexible innovations including a teapot pouch, a hybrid tube-pouch and a microfoamed bag. 

It’s teatime for pouches with this surprising new handled shape that's designed to capture consumers’ attention.

“The new pouch has an unusual and appealing appearance,” says Ross Bushnell, president, Mondi Jackson, Consumer Goods Packaging, about the packaging. “It’s attractive, roughly ‘teapot’ shape is designed to stand apart from conventional packaging on retail shelves. It is ideal for fast moving consumer goods, such as olive and salad oils, fruit drinks and broths as well as liquid soaps.”

Read more in Teapot-shaped pouch is steeped in on-shelf distinction

Hybrid tube-pouch targets food and other packaging markets

A patent for a “flexible tube with gussets” from ProAmpac promises a source-reduced format for food, shampoo and other viscous products that improves product evacuation from the package to reduce waste.

Read all about it here.

The Easy Pour bag is a patented design from inventor Alan Olin, who specializes in packaging.  It demonstrates a different angle on reclosable packaging: The reclosure is located on the side of a bag rather than the top, a position that Olin says provides better pour control to go along with product differentiation.

Read our interview with Olin and his package idea in A 90-degree twist on reclosable packaging.

Penta5’s compartmented mosquito pouch isn’t the only divided pouch we’ve reported on; brand owner Kooee! Snacks invented a two-in-one pouch to deliver freshness for its line of jerky blends in order to keep the jerky side separate from the nut mix side until the point of use.

Read about Kooee’s two-in-one pouch here.

Last but not least, our sister publication PlasticsToday reported on a microfoamed flexible pouch that offers the following benefits:

• Improved packaging performance such as superior sealing integrity and abuse resistance.

• Differentiated optical properties that deliver characteristics of premium packaging.

• A superior environmental profile compared to traditional packaging.

Read about Dow Chemical’s Foamed Pouch reported here.


Interested in packaging innovation? Consider attending PACKEX Montréal 2016 November 30, 2016 to December 1, 2016


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