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Packaging Concepts in the Pet Products Industry


Packaging formats including flexible pouches, shrink sleeves and pressure-sensitive labels are well-suited to the packaging of pet products.

Americans adore their pets and the numbers prove it. Mordor Intelligence estimates the U.S. market for pet-related products at nearly $81 billion dollars and it’s expected to top $100 billion by the end of the decade. That’s a lot of cat food, doggie treats and macaw multivitamins.

Wherever there is a large consumer packaged goods (CPG) category there is certain to be a sizable need for packaging products. In the hyper-competitive pet industry, packaging is more than just a container. Packaging can help tell a brand story, maintain product integrity and contribute to the sustainability goals of the manufacturer.

This blog will explore the various packaging solutions commonly used for pet products, the performance advantages they offer and the possibilities they create for pet product brands nationwide.

Pouches for Pets

Flexible packaging has soared in popularity among manufacturers of pet products. This pouch-style form of pet packaging offers pet owners a number of practical benefits.

  • High-barrier films help ensure product freshness.
  • Resealable closures reduce waste and extend product life.
  • The light weight and compact size are ideal when taking Rex for a ride in the car.
  • The high product-to-package ratio means fewer resources are used to manufacture and transport the product.

Best of all, flexible packaging is available in a variety of styles to suit the product contained within.

  • Stand-up pouches present a large, colorful face to the consumer, giving them excellent shelf-presence at the point of sale. They also deliver the performance advantages noted above, a win/win combination that makes them a popular choice for pet foods and treats.
  • Lay-flat pouches offer the same performance characteristics as stand-up pouches but are especially practical for smaller items or single-use pet products.
  • Spouted pouches are an efficient alternative to the rigid bottle, making it easy to pour liquid pet products from a packaging format that offers a higher product-to-package ratio.

Blog Body Image 1 – Packaging Concepts in the Pet Products IndustryLabels That Lead the Way

Though often taken for granted by consumers, product labels are everywhere. Walk the pet food aisle at your grocery store and you are likely to see countless examples of two labeling formats in particular.

Pressure-sensitive labels are the workhorse of the CPG industry — pet products included. The aesthetic possibilities and cost-effectiveness of pressure-sensitive labels are hard to beat for a variety of reasons.

  • A wide range of print substrates, adhesives and laminations make it possible to create labels that will adhere to nearly any material and withstand harsh environments.
  • Excellent color saturation results in labels with high visibility and shelf appeal at the point of sale.
  • Special embellishments like cold foil, embossing and metallic inks create endless options for brand marketers.
  • Clear films enable a “no label look” that is ideal for bottles and jars.

Shrink sleeves are also a popular choice for the pet industry. In addition to keeping packaging costs down by making custom-printed containers unnecessary, shrink sleeves offer several key advantages when used for pet products.

  • A full-body shrink sleeve wraps the entire product from top to bottom and 360° This expanded surface area opens the door to label design ideas that help the product stand out on the shelf.
  • While pressure-sensitive labels often cannot adhere to irregularly shaped containers, shrink sleeves shrink to fit bottles, jars and cans with complex shapes.
  • Shrink sleeves make it easy for pet product companies to try innovative merchandising ideas. Multipacks, BOGO offers and complementary product sets can be easily packaged together with the help of shrink sleeves.

Blog Body Image 2 – Packaging Concepts in the Pet Products IndustryAnti-Counterfeiting Measures

Counterfeiting is rampant in the CPG industry and pet products are among those targeted by fraudsters. Knock-off pet foods and medications are of greatest concern and pose a real danger to pets. As a result, anti-counterfeiting measures have come to pet product packaging.

  • Shrink sleeves can be used to provide a tamper-evident seal that protects pets from possible harm.
  • Special enhancements like microtext and holograms can be incorporated into the package design. These features give retailers and consumers a clear visual indicator that a product is the genuine article, helping to protect pets and reduce fraud losses.
  • QR codes can also be imprinted on a shrink sleeve or label as an anti-counterfeiting measure. A quick scan of the code directs the consumer to information that confirms the authenticity of the item.

Sustainability-Minded Features

Working in harmony with the trends above is a commitment among pet product manufacturers to bring greater environmental sustainability to their packaging. Depending on the type of product being packaged, there are a variety of ways to make a positive impact.

  • As noted previously, flexible packaging requires fewer raw materials to manufacture than a rigid bottle. This results in lighter weight and a higher product-to-package ratio that reduces carbon emissions throughout the supply chain.
  • Shrink sleeves can be manufactured with a “zipper” seam that makes it easy for the consumer to remove the sleeve and add the blank container to the recycling stream.
  • Pressure-sensitive labels can be made more environmentally friendly by proactively considering all aspects of the label manufacturing cycle.
    • Start with more sustainable label materials, such as paper print substrates made from recycled content or pulp sourced from responsibly managed forests.
    • Plan for recyclability up front by choosing label adhesives, coatings and laminates that will not inhibit recycling after the product is used.
    • Minimize the volume of label materials consumed by exploring thin-stock and linerless label constructions.
    • Change to digital printing for label production, which eliminates the printing plates, blankets, solvents and inks consumed during the operation of a flexographic printing press.

Taylor: Packaging Solutions for Pet Products

Taylor is a leading provider of labels and packaging solutions for the CPG industry. We are renowned for our labeling expertise and ability to create custom packaging that builds brands while reducing marketing costs. This expertise extends to folding carton packaging as well as all of the packaging formats noted in this blog:

  • Flexible packaging
  • Shrink sleeve labels
  • Pressure-sensitive labels

See how Taylor uses the latest product technologies to enhance the packaging of pet products. Contact your Taylor representative to learn more.

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