How to Package Food for Retail

How to Package Food for Retail

Food packaging has a big job to do! It needs to fight for a place on the grocery shelf and stand out amongst competitors. At the same time, it needs to be cost-effective and practical, easy to ship and stock, but mostly, food packaging needs to be safe! After all, what good is retail packaging if the food inside it isn’t fit to eat?

So, how do you find packaging for your product that checks off all these boxes? Check out these guidelines for a helpful place to start!

How to Package Food for Retail So It’s Safe

Truly, the number one goal of all food packaging is to preserve food quality and freshness by protecting it from any chemical or environmental contamination as well as physical damage, from storage to transit to shelf. 

Different foods have different requirements, so first off, it’s important to choose appropriate packaging for the type of food you are selling. For instance, if your product is frozen, your packaging will need to hold up in extremely cold temperatures and be thick enough and seal well enough to avoid freezer burn. On the other hand, fresh-baked bread would be best packaged in a thinner, sealed poly bag to keep moisture in and the bread soft.    

Plastic is a popular choice because it’s not only affordable, but also flexible and versatile, coming in a variety of shapes, sizes, strengths, and thicknesses. Just as it’s important to find the packaging option that fulfills the safety requirements of your product, the size and shape of your packaging matters as well. It plays a vital role not only in the ease of transport, shelving, and storage but also in ensuring your product is not squished or able to move around excessively. 

Packaging that is too big or too small inhibits your product’s shelf life potential, so in addition to making sure you choose packaging that fits safety standards, make sure it also just plain fits your product!

How to Package Food for Retail So It Sells

While the main goal of all retail food packaging is keeping food safe and protected, the presentation of your packaging needs to stand out from others. After all, what good is the perfect packaging if your product doesn’t sell? 

That means, you not only need to consider your product’s shelf life, but also how your product looks, fits, and competes on the shelf. 

From your logo to the colors and font you choose to the shape of your product, packaging design should catch customers’ attention and help them to recognize your brand. It should also be easy to pick up, take home, and store. 

Of course, besides your branding, it’s important to make sure you have all the FDA requirements on your packaging as well. These include:

  • Identification of product
  • Net Weight
  • Name and Address of the Manufacturer, distributor, or packer
  • Ingredients in order of usage from greatest to least
  • Nutrition Facts
  • Allergens
  • UPC barcode for tracking


How to Package Food for Retail So It’s Safe AND Sells

To recap, when choosing retail food packaging, consider the type, size, and shape of the packaging needed to protect your food while also reinforcing your brand and standing out on the shelf. You should also think about ease of stocking and transporting. It may seem like a lot of boxes to check, but it’s actually easier than it sounds: 

If you’re ready to package your food product for retail, A-Pac manufacturing offers food-grade packaging options at no minimum order, and on your schedule. Give us a call to learn more about our custom packaging and printing, or simply visit us online. We can help you make sure your product stays safe and make sure it sells! 

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5 Types of Medical Plastic Bags

5 Types of Medical Plastic Bags

In the medical industry, cleanliness and safety are paramount in ensuring that tests are completed accurately, patients are given quality care, and medical personnel are kept safe throughout their workday. So when it comes to packaging, there are strict guidelines put in place to safeguard the handling of supplies, products, and samples. Let’s explore some of the types of plastic bags that adhere to these standards and are used to package medical supplies on a daily basis.

World Health Organization Standards for Medical Plastic Bags

The World Health Organization (WHO), has been one of the industry authorities to outline regulations for medical plastic bags. According to the standards they’ve established, manufacturers must make medical plastic bags that:

  • Protect the product within from the external environment
  • Are sterile — completely free of dirt and biological contamination
  • Display the correct product identification and information
  • Don’t react with either the internal contents or the outside environment
  • Don’t damage the product in any way
  • Retain the purity, strength, and quality of the product
  • Protect the product against light, moisture, physical damage, oxygen, and temperature variations

5 Types of Medical Plastic Bags

From packaging prescriptions to disposing of hazardous waste materials, there are a multitude of medical applications that require some form of packaging — and, in most cases, there’s a unique type or style of plastic bag that’s ideal for each one. Below, we’ll take a look at just 5 of the most common types of medical plastic bags, what they’re used for, and what features they must have to get the job done safely and effectively. 

1. Pharmacy Bags

There are three main characteristics that pharmacy bags must present: durability, privacy, and tamper resistance. Therefore, they’re usually manufactured with extremely durable high-density polyethylene (HDPE) material and a sealed closure that reduces the potential for any tampering. They’re also commonly made with an opaque color that hides what’s inside, in an effort to protect patient privacy. 

2. Sterilization Bags

In hospitals, doctors’ offices, laboratory settings, and more, most medical equipment cannot be exposed to contaminants — which is where sterilization bags come into play. Sterilization bags are generally used in conjunction with a sterilizing device to effectively disinfect medical equipment so it is safe for use on patients. They’re often tinted a translucent color, and are specifically designed to allow sterilizing chemicals, heat, vapor, or steam to enter. 

3. Specimen Bags

Specimen bags are used for transferring potentially hazardous samples from hospitals to labs. They’re made with highly durable packaging materials like HDPE, and are even sometimes built with a three-wall design that provides multiple levels of protection for both the specimen and the personnel handling it. Specimen bags can (and should) be customized to display a “HAZARD” marking, as well as other printed messages that provide pertinent information regarding the sample, such as the temperature it should be stored at. 

4. Water-Soluble Bags

Water-soluble bags are an environmentally friendly packaging option most commonly used to transfer contaminated clothing and linens to the laundry. This helps medical staff maintain hygiene and avoid any risk of contamination from hazardous specimens. These bags can accommodate moist or dirty linens for hours without damaging them, and they’re completely soluble in water that is at least 140°F. 

5. Transfer Bags

As the name suggests, transfer bags are used to transfer drugs from the pharmacy to the site where they’re needed, whether that be a hospital or outpatient facility. In order to ensure all medications make it to the desired location safely, these bags are manufactured with durable materials, including a strong adhesive and tamper-evident seal closure. They’re also usually customized with a label that explains their purpose. 

Benefits of Using Poly Bags for Medical Plastic Bag Applications

Although there are plenty of packaging options that can uphold medical-grade regulations, poly bags are the best option for each of the previously mentioned applications. Here are a few reasons why:

  • They’re durable – Plastic poly bags are much more durable than paper bags, and can be made with varying materials and mil strengths to accommodate your application’s specific needs.
  • They’re customizable – Poly bags can be customized to fit any identification, labelling, or brand information your application requires. 
  • They’re cost-effective – Poly bags are the most affordable, yet durable packaging option, which makes them especially desirable when you need to order in bulk quantities. 
  • They’re compact – Poly bags are thin, lightweight, and easy to transport and store, which is also especially important when you need to order in bulk quantities. 

Whether you’re a distributor or a small manufacturer, A-Pac manufacturing produces medical plastic bags for a variety of applications. If you need quality medical-grade poly bags, we can help. Talk to our team for more information.

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Looking to a Sustainable Future: Plant-Based Custom Poly Bags

Looking to a Sustainable Future: Plant-Based Custom Poly Bags

Now more than ever, our world is committed to understanding and reducing the environmental impacts of various products, processes, and activities. And as we’ve become more aware, we’ve found that plastic-based products can be seriously harmful contributors. This leaves the poly bag industry with the unique opportunity of developing a sustainable solution for a longstanding consumer staple. 

With a little bit of time and a whole lot of environmental engineering expertise, some poly bag manufacturers have found a solution: plant-based custom poly bags. In this article, we’ll talk about this eco-friendly packaging solution and how it can benefit your business, your customers, and the planet. 

What Are Plant-Based Custom Poly Bags?

Plant-based custom poly bags are made with a combination of regular poly bag materials (polyethylene or polypropylene resin) and plant-based polymers. These plant-based polymers are abundant, renewable resources made from natural starch materials. They serve as eco-friendly substitutes for traditionally-used man-made polymers, and they work just like any other additive — leading to a custom poly bag option that’s sustainably sourced, recyclable, and biodegradable. 

What Are the Benefits of Plant-Based Custom Poly Bags?

While you may be hesitant to switch to something new, we can assure you that plant-based custom poly bags are a safe, rewarding investment. They’re not only great for the environment, but they also have many of the same desirable features as traditionally manufactured poly bags. Some of their key benefits are listed below:

Recyclable and Biodegradable

Obviously, the best part of plant-based custom poly bags is that they’re a green alternative. In fact, they can reduce your reliance on fossil fuels by up to 20%. 

That’s because, in closed loop systems where the material is known, plant-based custom poly bags are able to be recycled. And in the chance that they’re unfortunately leaked into the environment, the plant-based polymers can be quickly biodegraded by naturally-occurring microorganisms. 

Expanded Customer Base

As society has prioritized sustainability, consumer purchasing attitudes and behaviors have changed. Customers have started to put more thought into their purchases, like choosing brands that do good for the community and brands with values that they align with. 

Therefore, implementing a sustainable solution in your business can do wonders to attract new customers. No matter what you’re selling, they’ll appreciate your commitment to building a cleaner future, and they may become loyal fans because of it. 

Useful in a Variety of Applications

Plant-based custom poly bags are built with the same reliability, versatility, strength, and affordability as traditional poly bags. This makes them a great packaging and storage solution for just about any application, from food to hardware to pharmaceuticals. And with a variety of bag styles, colors, and branding options, you’re sure to have a product that best suits the needs of your business. 

Ready to bring your company into a more sustainable future? Contact A-Pac Manufacturing to discuss eco-friendly packaging options. We are proud to offer sustainable poly bags made from custom formulas with plant-based additives which can offer you the same durable poly bags you trust, with up to 20% fewer fossil fuels.

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Understanding the Importance of Packaging in Supply Chain Management

Understanding the Importance of Packaging in Supply Chain Management

Packaging plays an integral role in your supply chain management, so finding the right product and a trusted supplier is key to improving your workplace efficiency. 

Here’s what you need to know about packaging’s role in supply chain management, and how to find the right poly bag packaging supplier for your company. 

Why Is Packaging Important in Supply Chain Management?

As your company has grown, your perspective on packaging has probably changed. While you used to think of the term “packaging” as bags and boxes filled with products, your definition may have evolved to accommodate the changing needs of a larger customer base and more complex operations. 

Now, you probably define packaging more like this: a coordinated system that’s optimized for storage and shipping products in a fast, safe, and cost-effective manner

That being said, packaging is one of the most important parts of supply chain management. From preventing product damage to delivering products efficiently to communicating with customers, the right packaging solution can help you be more successful in supply chain processes and more competitive in your industry. And all of this, of course, leads you to boosting consumer value, sales, and profits for your company. 

How Do I Connect My Packaging with My Supply Chain Process?

In order for your packaging system to connect with your supply chain management processes, it must be aligned with your logistics, production, marketing, and environmental goals. 

  • Logistics – Your packaging should make products easy to handle in your facility and in the hands of consumers. 
  • Production – Your packaging should fit your products and be simple to use in order to minimize time and labor costs.
  • Marketing – Your packaging should catch consumers’ attention and motivate them to make a purchase.
  • Environmental – Your packaging should be sustainable in terms of reduced waste and reduced environmental footprint.

How Do I Find the Right Packaging Supplier for My Business?

Since packaging is so important in maintaining consistent, efficient supply chain operations, you need a packaging supplier you can trust to get the bags you need, on the schedule you need. If you’re looking for the right company to supply your poly bags, you’ll want to consider these four factors relating to your unique packaging applications and needs. 

1. Application

Different types of poly bags are used for different applications. Depending on what your product is, you may need to find a supplier that manufactures the poly bag that’s most appropriate for your product. For example, food packaging often requires the manufacturer to be recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) and certified with the Food Safety System Certification (FSSC)

2. Size

Choosing the right poly bag size is critical in reducing unnecessary waste and extra costs. Once you find the correct size, you’ll need to find a supplier that can provide that for you. This may be a supplier that carries that size normally, or it may be a supplier that can create a custom size for you.

3. Quantity

Many poly bag manufacturers require a minimum order because they want to keep their costs low, but you’ve got a budget and deadline you need to stick to as well. The good news is, if you’re looking for a poly bag supplier with no minimum order, there are companies out there that will work with you — you just have to find one. 

4. Budget

If you’ve calculated your packaging costs, the totals can be overwhelming if you’re trying to stay within a strict budget. Luckily, there are a variety of ways you can cut those costs down, from switching to poly bags, to ordering in bulk, to working with a custom supplier. Knowing what you need and who will work with you is key to finding the right option. 

Looking to improve efficiencies in your supply chain? Talk to our experts at A-Pac Manufacturing. We deliver poly bags according to your specs and on your timeline. Whether you need standard or custom packaging, we can help.

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How to Calculate Packaging Costs

How to Calculate Packaging Costs

When you’re calculating packaging costs, there are a lot of factors to consider. From the cost of the material itself to the time it takes to ship, let’s break down what goes into this number, and the steps you need to follow to calculate your packaging costs. 

What Are Packaging Costs?

Packaging costs include more than just the cost of the packaging itself. Remember that everything that goes into making and delivering your packaging also can affect the cost. Here are four factors to consider when calculating packaging costs.

Packaging Material

The biggest consideration for the cost of packaging is the material you choose. Different materials will be more or less expensive to acquire, produce, and ship. Consider how the costs differ for materials like lightweight plastic, thick cardboard, or even glass.

Packaging Design

Does your product require special considerations for protection, insulation, or cleanliness? For example, if you’re packaging food products that need to stay cool and dry, you will have more specialized packaging to preserve your product quality.

Shipping Costs

Don’t forget that the costs to ship your packaging materials to you affect packaging costs. Heavier, complex, or fragile packaging materials will be more expensive to ship than lightweight, straightforward packaging. The location of your packaging distributor will also factor into your packaging costs calculation.

Lead Time

Although not a direct cost, the lead time to order and receive your packaging could also affect your bottom line. Packaging products that are more complex or customized may take longer to prepare. If you’re on a tight deadline where time = money, then lead time is worth considering. 

How to Calculate Your Packaging Costs

Ready to calculate packaging costs? Follow these steps to collect custom quotes for your packaging needs.

Step 1: Select your material. Choose the material that will offer the best protection for your product without breaking your budget.

Step 2: Find suppliers. Find 3-5 suppliers who carry the type of packaging you need and get a custom quote for the style and design of packaging that works best for your product.

Step 3: Calculate shipping costs. Remember that local suppliers will likely offer better rates on shipping.

Step 4: Compare bids. Which supplier is able to offer the lowest packaging costs while still delivering what you need?

Step 5: Consider value-adding perks. Consider other factors beyond price that may make one packaging supplier a more valuable choice, such as better product quality, a fast customer service response, a short lead time, customer loyalty programs, and custom branding options.

How to Save on Packaging Costs

Are your packaging costs eating up your budget? Here are a few ways to save.

Switch to Poly Bags

If you’re using a heavy material like cardboard, paper, or even glass — making the switch to poly bags could save your company money. Poly bags are much lighter than other packaging materials, but just as durable. You can adjust the mil strength of your poly bag order to provide the strength and protection you need, without adding significant weight or expense to your packaging costs.

Order in Bulk

Save on your order and shipping costs by ordering in large quantities. If you’re not sure exactly what you need —  maybe you need packaging in various sizes or styles — consult your supplier. They should work with you to develop a proof and packaging plan that works for you.

Work with a Custom Poly Bag Supplier

Custom poly bag suppliers handle each order as a custom order. This means they’ll work with you to develop the ideal packaging solution for your product, whether you have special style needs, custom branding, or a tight deadline to meet. They can help you calculate the packaging costs for your order and make adjustments to meet your budget and expectations. 

If you’re looking for a custom packaging bid, talk to the team at A-Pac Manufacturing. We’re always willing to help you to get exactly what you need for a great value.

Looking for Custom Plastic Bags with No Minimum Order? Here’s What to Expect

Looking for Custom Plastic Bags with No Minimum Order? Here’s What to Expect

As a purchasing manager or distributor, you have a lot on your plate. So much to do, so little time, right? This is why it can be so frustrating when trying to find a go-to place for ordering custom plastic bags to meet your packaging needs — especially if you don’t have what would be considered a large order. 

It’s true many manufacturers require a minimum order because they want to keep their costs low. But you’ve got a budget you need to stick to as well, not to mention a deadline to meet. 

Between long lead times, high costs, and minimum order requirements, it can definitely be nerve-wracking to find the right supplier, but take heart. There are places out there that will work with you. Here’s what to expect when searching for a supplier willing to meet your needs:

3 Tips for Finding Custom Plastic Bags with No Minimum Order

01. Know What Affects Cost

There are many variables that can affect the cost of your purchase, including:

  • The size of the plastic bags you need
  • The type of plastic they’re made of
  • The thickness you need
  • The type of handle or seal you choose

Another factor that affects the price is whether you want the plastic bags printed, and what you choose to print on them. Every color used, for example, can increase your cost. 

Decide and prioritize what you want from your packaging so you can modify your order to cut costs if need be, while still maintaining the quality and performance you need to package your product safely. For instance, consider printing your logo in black and white instead of color, or opting for a different seal.

Also, keep in mind that the more plastic bags you order, the less you’ll pay per bag, so even if you’re looking for plastic bags with no minimum order requirement, it’s good to crunch some numbers to find the magic number of both quantity and cost.

02. Be Realistic About Lead Times

Just as with the variables that can tack on costs, the more complex your order, the longer the turnaround is likely to be. Think about your design compared to your timeline, then determine what you absolutely must have vs. what is not completely necessary. 

Since custom plastic bags are not standard, orders typically take longer than the average lead time of 4 weeks. If you need it faster, be prepared to have to pay more, even if there is no minimum order required.  

In addition, remember that there will be an initial design and proofing process that precedes the actual manufacturing of your order. This typically adds a week to your timeline. 

03. Expect Different Definitions of “Custom”

“Custom” can mean anything from size and shape to printed and branded. Make sure you explain exactly what you’re looking for as well as the details regarding your product, your distribution, and even your goals. Some companies may only offer certain sizes or might not have the ability to print on plastic. Defining what “custom” aspects you need will help to narrow down your search. 

Finding Custom Plastic Bags with No Minimum Order Made Easy!

If you’re a purchasing manager or distributor trying to find custom plastic bags with no minimum order, you’re in luck! You are just one phone call away from ending your frustrations and your search. 

A-Pac Manufacturing offers high-quality custom poly bags with no minimum orders. No matter what style or size bag you’re looking for, we’ve got it, in the order quantity you want, and on the timeline you need. We are happy to work with you to find the best solution for your application. Get in touch with our team online or make that one last phone call by dialing 800-272-2634 to learn more. Let’s start building a relationship today!

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