The use of stand up pouches continues to grow in both retail and industrial environments. With stock stand pouches available by the case, in quantities as low as 500 per carton, many folks hand apply colorful labels with great success. Over the years manufacturers of have introduced various color combinations such as clear fronts (so a product can be seen) and colored foil backs such as silver, gold, or black. This has enabled companies to add color and some pizzazz to their packaging without adding much cost. The final step in this progression happens when a company wants to abandon applying labels and have their very own custom printed stand up pouches. Here are 10 things you can do to speed up pricing and lower your cost.
1. Become familiar with what you are packaging. While this may sound simple, often this isn’t the case. Is your product dry or a liquid? If it’s dry, how fine is it…is it the consistency of cat litter or is it microscopic dust? If a liquid, is it water based or something else, like oil? All these factors play a part in the material choices you will have for printed stand up pouches.
2. Know how heavy your product is, and more importantly how much you want to package in a printed stand pouch. Is it 2 ounces, 8 ounces, 16 ounces, etc? This information is critical to your stand up pouch supplier. It will help them determine the film thickness to assure your product not only is protected but is strong enough to stand stable by itself.
3. Determine the barrier properties you need to protect your product. This doesn’t have to be particular numerical statistics, but have an idea what you want the stand up pouch barrier film to do. Are you looking for your product to last for 1 month on a shelf or 6 months? Do you want it to protect from ultra-violet light? Will your product have to travel across the country in a truck without air conditioning…in the middle of the summer?
4. Know the type of film structure you want for your printed stand up pouch. Do you want clear film (or a stand up pouch with a window) or a foil metalized structure, where you won’t be able to see your product at all? This is critical information for your supplier. There is a misconception that clear film isn’t as good a barrier as foil. This isn’t necessarily true. Your stand up pouch supplier can help you determine what film is best for your particular application.
5. Decide on the features you want to have such as ziplocks, tear notches, pour spouts, etc. All of these play a part in the final pricing of your stand pouches. The more elaborate the features, the more expensive the printed stand up pouches will be.
6. Prepare your artwork for printed stand up pouches and discuss it with your supplier, not just your artist/graphic designer. Many clients will hand their ideas to their graphic designer who will create the most amazing graphics but end up having to change things because their supplier cannot make what the artist created.
7. Introduce your graphic designer with your supplier and let them work together. For some reason clients are afraid or apprehensive doing this. Bringing both of these important people together and letting them know what you want will assure the entire job has minimal issues and will speed through production.
8. Know what you really want and by all means tell your supplier. Often companies will go down the path of having custom printed stand up pouches made but won’t share their goals and expectations with their manufacturer. Do you want a really opaque bag while still having a window? Do you want a really shiny finish but still want to see your product? Are you afraid you’ll be able to see through your printed stand up pouch if you choose a clear structure? There are steps your supplier can take ahead of time to make sure you are overjoyed with the final result.
9. Know your quantity and be prepared to change it for better pricing. Discuss with your supplier their minimum run quantity but also have them quote a few more price breaks. Often this can make a big difference in your final cost.
10. Allow 4-6 weeks after artwork approval for the entire process. Nothing will affect your pricing more than trying to speed up a printed stand up pouch. Certainly there are times when this is necessary, however if you can avoid it you’ll save money in the long run.
In closing, these 10 steps will enable you to not only save money but leap past the novice printed stand up pouch customer and help you communicate with your manufacturer. Your supplier will be able to provide options and you will be able to make an informed decision.