Pet owners are more conscious than ever about getting the proper diet for their companions. With an increasingly varied market, choosing the correct pet food packaging is critical in terms of eye-catching designs and preserving the food’s quality and freshness.
But how important is it? From packaging types to wet vs. dry food, we’ve covered everything you need to know to make informed decisions for your furry friends below.
Why Pet Product Packaging Matters?
It serves multiple purposes, all of which contribute to maintaining the quality and safety of the food inside:
Proper packaging helps to preserve the food’s freshness, taste, and nutritional value by protecting it from exposure to air, moisture, and contaminants.
High-quality packaging materials can prevent harmful substances from leaching into the food, ensuring the safety of the pet food.
Easy-to-open and resealable packagings allow pet owners to effortlessly serve meals and store leftovers without compromising the food’s quality.
Pet food bag provides essential information about the product, such as ingredients, nutritional content, and feeding guidelines, enabling owners to make informed choices.
Attractive and eye-catching packaging designs can help food brands stand out on the shelves, making it easier for pet owners to find and recognize their preferred products.
Types of Packaging for Pet Food
Despite the remarkable variety of products, packaging types tend to fall into four broad categories — each with advantages and applications.
Cat food packaging, such as tin cans, is favored for wet pet food. They ensure long-lasting preservation with an airtight seal, protecting contents from air, light, and moisture. Tin cans are recyclable and boast a prolonged shelf life.
Glass jars present an eco-friendly and reusable alternative for packaging. They are particularly suited for premium or gourmet pet food products, as they provide excellent product visibility and can lend a high-quality appearance to the product. However, these are heavier and more fragile than other packaging options.
Pouches are popular in the pet food industry for their convenience and adaptability. They are typically crafted from multi-layered, flexible food packaging materials that offer a robust barrier against oxygen and moisture.
They are perfect for portion control and can be easily opened, resealed, and stored. They are also lightweight and occupy less space than cans or jars.
Stick packs are an ingenious packaging solution involving a single-serve, tubular-shaped packet. They’re the go-to choice for individual pet food servings and treats. Easy to open, serve, and dispose of, few packaging options are as convenient.
They are typically made from flexible materials that offer excellent barrier properties to maintain freshness and quality.
Wet vs. Dry Pet Food: Finding the Right Packaging
The choice between wet and dry pet product packaging depends on the type of food you’re buying for your pet. Each type has unique packaging requirements to ensure optimum freshness, quality, and safety.
1. Wet Pet Food
Wet food typically has a high moisture content and requires packaging that can withstand sterilization processes like retort cooking, which involves high temperatures and pressures. This process ensures the food is free from harmful microorganisms and can be stored safely without refrigeration.
Common packaging options for wet food include tin cans, trays with lidding films, and retort pouches.
2. Dry Pet Food
Dry food, which has lower moisture content and usually doesn’t need sterilization, necessitates pet food packaging manufacturers to prioritize preserving freshness, taste, and nutritional value by safeguarding against air, moisture, and contaminants.
Popular packaging options for dry pet food include multi-layered bags, stand-up pouches with resealable closures, and larger bags with resealable zippers for bulk products.
What to Look For on the Packaging
When selecting pet food, pay close attention to the packaging to ensure you’re providing the best nutrition for your pets:
- Short Best Before Date
Look for products with a shorter best-before date, indicating a fresher product with better nutritional value. The date helps determine how long the food will retain its optimal quality.
- Meat or Fish Ingredients
High-quality dog food packaging should contain real meat as the primary ingredient. Check the packaging for a clear indication of the protein source and avoid products that list ambiguous ingredients like “animal by-products” or “meat meal.”
- Refrigeration Requirements
Some fresh or raw pet foods require refrigeration to maintain their quality. Ensure you follow the packaging guidelines to keep the food fresh and safe for your pets. Look for clear instructions on storage and handling of the packaging.
- Environmental Sustainability
Opt for packaging that is eco-friendly and recyclable. It reduces your environmental footprint and supports brands that prioritize sustainability. Look for certifications or labels that indicate the packaging’s recyclability or compostability.
- Transparent Labeling
Choose pouch food packaging with transparent labeling that clearly displays the ingredients, nutritional information, and any potential allergens.
The Role of Packaging in Pet Food Safety and Quality
Product packaging doesn’t just hold in freshness — it shields against microbes and decay. How do you know it meets the standards, however? Here are some factors to consider:
- Barrier Protection
High-quality packaging materials, like multi-layer films or foil laminates, act as a barrier against oxygen, moisture, and contaminants, preserving the freshness and nutritional value of pet food.
- Seal Integrity
Proper sealing techniques, like heat-sealing or induction sealing, ensure the flexible food packaging is airtight and leak-proof. It prevents contamination and spoilage, keeping the food safe for consumption.
- Tamper-Evident Features
Tamper-evident packaging, such as sealed bags or containers with safety seals, provides protection against tampering or unauthorized access. In addition, it gives you peace of mind that the food you’re buying has not been compromised.
- Portion Control
Packaging with portion control features, like single-serving pouches or resealable bags, helps maintain freshness by allowing you to use only what you need while keeping the rest of the pet food sealed and protected.
The right pet food packaging plays a vital role in maintaining your pets’ meals’ safety, quality, and freshness.
If you need food packaging solutions, Contact Plan IT Packaging to discuss your needs and explore their wide range of high-quality packaging options.