Companies are always looking for ways to differentiate their products on the store shelves. This can be done in multiple ways; bag format (pouch, gusseted, block bottom, etc…), graphics (matte, registered matte, etc...), consumer convenience (zippers, handles, etc…) and many others. However, a lot of these are widely used leaving savvy marketers to wonder, what’s next?
The block bottom bag (often referred to as ‘flat bottom bag”) is the latest bag format in pet food packaging. I see this style more and more in every pet food store I visit, from big box stores to small boutiques. However, the block bottom bag is the first exciting bag format to launch in the last 20 years. No doubt about it, new packaging formats don’t come along often. More importantly, they are often resisted as they require manufacturers to change the way they package and ship the food.
The Paper Bag
In order to talk about current and future trends, I think it is helpful to briefly discuss the past.
As I stated at beginning of this article, new packaging formats do not come around often. The amount of time and convincing it took to get people to switch from paper to plastic was years in the making. Our company CEO (Mark Howley) and VP of Product Development (Bill Walters) helped change the landscape of the pet food industry with their 1995 pet food packaging study. The results of which showed not only that dogs would accept food packaged in plastic bags, but they actually preferred it. The study proved not only scientifically but also via palatability studies that air tight barrier packaging outperformed the paper bag.