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15300 Woodinville-Redmond Road Northeast
Woodinville, WA, 98072
United States






Turn it Purple!: November is Pancreatic Cancer Month

Kelle Vandenberg


It’s that time to add a little purple into your life! November is Pancreatic Cancer month, which means our team at Pacific Bag will be turning our attention towards raising support and awareness of one the deadliest cancers around. You’ll really need all that purple on November 16th, the official World Pancreatic Cancer Day, that will celebrate those who have survived and those who are still fighting for their lives. To help raise support, PBI will donate 10% of each purple bag purchased to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network fund. For the month of November, PBi would like to encourage you to turn your business purple to help stop this disease.  If it’s not as simple as switching the color of your bags, click here to discover ways you can turn your business purple!


Thank You Green Coffee Associaton

Kelle Vandenberg

By: Robert Hepburn, Vice President of Sales

I just recently attended the Green Coffee Association Convention in Miami, and wanted to thank they association for a wonderful convention.   

For those who don’t know about the group, the Green Coffee Association is a trade association that provides resources and other benefits for individuals and companies dealing with the export, transport, storage, insuring, financing, importing, trading and/or roasting of green coffee.  

They are fantastic to work with and their members are friendly and accommodating.   Doreen Madigan the Corporate Secretary of the Association was absolutely fabulous to work with.  Thank you Doreen!

Their guest speakers were professional and informative.   As a guy from the packaging industry who has spent the past 18 years working with roasted coffee, I find the interworking’s of the green coffee trade fascinating. 

I really suggest anyone in the in the Green Coffee trade, attend the show.  

You can find a link to their website at:

The Future of Petfood Packaging

Kelle Vandenberg

By: Kyle Knott

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. 

Not all new developments were unmitigated successes. This was especially true when it came to large laminated pet food bags. These bags, while providing superior performance to older brethren, had some serious challenges. Some of the benefits of the laminated bag such as an airtight closed bag and glossy appearance also created its own challenges. 

Things like trapped air within the package that would have normally been pushed out of the paper bag could not escape thus making palletizing unstable. Machinery that was built for the filling and closing of paper bags were not specifically designed for plastic packaging exasperating an already difficult situation.

However, solutions have been developed such as one-way and two-way valves, perforations and micro-perforations that allow trapped air to be released.

Anti-skid coatings and Hi-Co Efficient of Friction of plastics were developed to assist with keeping the laminate bags in place while being palletized. New packaging lines were developed with plastic packaging in mind.

Pacific Bag was one of the first laminate pet food packaging companies in the U.S. We helped define and establish film structures and formats that are still being used today, many of which are considered the industry standard.

Biotre ™- Continuing the Conversation

Conservation and waste reduction are being integrated into our everyday lives more and more. Being a socially responsible company means listening to our diverse customer base and figuring out ways to not only help them but, also do our part to help the planet.

As a packaging company, one of the most asked questions we get is “do you have any environmentally friendly options”? The short answer is, yes. Introducing Biotre!

We spent several years experimenting and trialing different packaging materials. What we developed was a material that is 60% (by weight) renewable wood pulp. The wood pulp portion is biodegradable. The remaining 40% (by weight) of the bag is Polyethylene (PE) with an additive that is designed to make it disintegrate significantly faster than standard plastic.

This award winning material has been well received by our customers and we are currently selling it worldwide. The drawback of Biotre, is the current offering can only hold 2-3lbs of weight before breakage occurs. For pet food, that doesn’t leave a lot of options as most food is sold in the 12lb-40lb category.

We are continuing to work toward large format environmental options that will reduce our carbon footprint and meet the needs of our customers. Until then, we encourage consumers to find ways to reuse the bags around the home.

Your Pet is Your Child

These days, most people consider their pets to be members of the family. Everything from clothing to tooth paste has been adapted for your fur-baby. We have been fortunate enough to work with a Texas based company that takes humanizing your pets to the next level. They sell everything from seasonings to dry food. What makes this company stand out is their customers can customize each bag with their pets name and photo on each bag of food they purchase. The bags were specifically sized to fit in a common household pantry, not the garage. Now, if you could only teach them to use the toilet instead of drinking out of it.

Digital Printing

One of the major hurdles for small pet food companies is the printing of the bags. I field calls all day with customers asking “I need professional looking bags so I can compete with the big guys”. In the past, most printing minimums made it impossible for a start-up to get a printed bag. Digital printing has made that a thing of the past.

Digital printing minimums start at 1,000 bags and there are no “set up fees” associated with the art work. Often times, the lead times are shorter than a traditional rotogravure printed bag (6 weeks vs. 12 weeks). The shortened lead time coupled with the low cost of setting up art work makes it easier for a small company to hit the ground running and start competing with the big guys. You can find out more about digital printing by visiting our website at

These are just a few trends happening around the packaging side of pet food. 



Pet Food Packaging: Store Observations

Kelle Vandenberg

By: Kyle Knott

When it comes to retail sales, packaging is everything. You have a fraction of a second to get your product noticed by consumers. To this end, companies are constantly looking at new ways to stand out on the store shelf. In this article, I will explore some of the recent packaging trends I have seen while shopping for my own pets. 

The largest change I have seen in the pet food market is the packaging material. Up until a few years ago, the multi-wall paper sack was the reigning king of pet food packaging. As premium and super premium diets became increasingly popular, pet food companies started looking for ways to differentiate their high-end diets from the low cost, big box store pet food. Plastic packaging provides a host of options not available with a paper substrate. Print-ability, strength and overall aesthetic appeal are just a few upsides. Couple that with recent technologies in air release methods ( and available anti-skid coatings and you’ve got a bag that not only functions well at the manufacturing level but, also looks superior to any plain, old paper bag on the store shelf.

Another trend is matte and registered matte finishes. Matte and registered matte finishes have been the “go-to” look for the natural foods, coffee and tea world for several years. Matte finish is typically an overlaquer that is put over the outside of the bag. This creates a muted affect to the graphics on the bag. A registered matte finish is the same however, you knock out elements of the matte to bring back a “shiny” appearance. This can be a great way to make your company name or logo really POP off the bag while the background graphics lend a hand to the overall buying experience.

Zippers in the big bag category (12lb-35lb) were all the rage a few years ago. This seems to have tapered off in the small to medium size store category, as market research suggests most consumers pour food into another container after opening it the first time. Reaching into a bag of food and scooping out product can be a messy proposition. Zippers can also add as much as, $0.15 to the per bag cost. A cost producers are not willing to pass on to their customers.

Lastly, packaging is getting smaller and smaller. As the cost of raw materials and ingredients increase, companies look at ways for minimizing the impact. Instead of passing a price increase through, they start by downsizing the amount of product being sold. The old “stand-by” 20lb and 40lb bags have given way to 12lb-15lb and 33lb-35lb bags.

These are just a few of the many changes I have seen in my favorite stores. Things are constantly changing in the retail environment. 

The Stand-Up Pouch vs. Block Bottom Bag

Kelle Vandenberg

By: Kyle Knott, Senior Accounts Manager

Picking out the right packaging format can be tricky. You need to attract a large amount of customers in a short amount of time. Your package needs to be your “spokesman” on the store shelf. It should distinguish you from your competition, as well as convey the quality of the product inside.

Two of the most common formats used for packaging pet food are the Stand Up Pouch and Block Bottom Bag.

The stand-up pouch has been the “go-to” bag for several decades. When it was introduced, it revolutionized the packaging market. It came standard with a zipper, tear notch and you could add a hang hole if you desired. No more header cards. In addition to the consumer friendly features, it offers two large panels (front and back) for printing. And most importantly, it stands up!

Different bottom gussets? 

There are two different bottom gussets used when manufacturing the stand-up pouch, Doyen and Plow bottom. The weight of the product going inside the bag will determine which style of bottom we recommend using.  The doyen bottom is used for lighter weights, usually 2oz-1lb, while the plow bottom is utilized for 2lbs & up.

The stand-up pouch is often the cheaper of the two formats.

The block bottom bag (also referred to as “flat bottom bag”) is the next evolution in packaging. Utilizing all of the best features of the stand up pouch and quad seal bag, the block bottom bag is unique in that, it gives you 360 degrees of real estate for printing your company information, logo, feeding instructions, etc. Whether the bag is standing up or lying flat, the block bottom bag is designed to get your product noticed at every angle.

Side Panels

The side panels of the block bottom bag are made from a separate web of material. This means they can be made out of an entirely different substrate than the front, back and bottom of the bag, I.e. Clear. This can give you an edgy look over the traditional square or oval window on the front or back of the bag.

Pocket Zipper

The pocket zipper offers the convenience of a zipper with the benefit of easy filling. However, you have several other zipper options available as well. You can read more about the zippers here.