May 13, 2024

How to Find the Right Flexible Packaging

Flexible pouch packaging has revolutionized the packaging industry with its versatility, sustainability, and application across a wide variety of industries. In this article, we will cover what flexible pouch packaging is, the benefits of using it, different types of flexible pouch packaging, when to use it, and examples of some leading pouch suppliers on Impacked.

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What is Pouch Packaging?

Flexible pouch packaging is packaging made from flexible materials that can be easily shaped and customized to accommodate various products. Flexible pouches adapt their shape to the contents they hold offering unique advantages in storage, transport, and presentation. Available in a wide range of materials including eco-friendly solutions, pouch packaging is commonly used in industries ranging from food and beverages to personal care and pharmaceuticals. Flexible pouches provide a practical and efficient solution for both brands and consumers. 

Benefits of Using Flexible Pouch Packaging

Reduction of Materials and Space Efficiency

Flexible pouches use less material than traditional rigid packaging, which can result in a net material reduction when switching a product from rigid packaging to flexible packaging. Through using less material, pouches can also take up less space compared to rigid containers, both on store shelves and during transportation.

Flexibility and Versatility

Flexible pouches can be easily customized in size, shape, material, and dispensing method, making them suitable for a wide range of products. This versatility allows businesses to design stand out primary packaging across a wide variety of industries. Additionally, high-quality printing techniques can be used to display vibrant graphics and essential product information.

Enhanced Product Protection

Flexible pouches offer excellent barriers against moisture, oxygen, light, and contaminants, ensuring that the contents remain fresh and safe for extended periods. This can provide a potential benefit in extending the shelf life of your product. 

Consumer Convenience

Pouches are lightweight, sometimes portable, and easy to use. Features such as resealable zippers, spouts, and tear notches enhance user experience, making it easier for consumers to open, close, and dispense the contents.

E-commerce Friendly

Flexible pouches are ideal for e-commerce due to their lightweight nature and durability. They reduce shipping costs due to improved value density and can withstand the rigors of transit, helping reduce chargebacks, returns, and negative reviews from damaged products. 

Different Types of Flexible Packaging

While applicable across a wide variety of industries, there is not one size fits all approach to flexible pouch packaging. Understanding the best type of flexible packaging for your innovation is important, here are the five most common types of flexible packaging:

Stand-Up Pouch

As the name would suggest, stand-up pouches are designed to stand upright on their own, providing a shelf presence that is usually achieved with rigid packaging. They are often used for snacks, pet food, and beauty & personal care refill products. These pouches are often used with resealable zippers or valve fittings. 

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Gusset Pouch

Gusset pouches have expandable sides or bottoms that provide additional space and stability. The most common application for gusset pouches is coffee packaging, but they are generally a good choice for bulkier items.

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Flat Bottom Pouch

Flat bottom pouches combine the benefits of gusset and stand-up pouches, offering maximum storage capacity and a stable base. This type of pouch is suitable for a variety of products and often comes with a “window” so people can see the contents of the product. 

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Sachets are small, single-use pouches commonly used for beauty and personal care samples or individual servings of products like condiments, powders, and supplements. Sachets come in a variety of styles and shapes including tandem sachets (a strip of sachets) or custom shapes, known as die cut sachets.

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Stick Packs

Stick packs are narrow, tube-like pouches used for single servings of powders or liquids. They offer convenience and precise portion control, making them popular for drink mixes, nutritional supplements, and pharmaceuticals.

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Flexible Packaging Pouch Dispenser Types

Flexible packaging pouches can be further customized by their dispenser. Dispensing type will matter depending on the product being packaged. Considerations when picking your dispenser type should include if the pouch is single use or resealable, contains solids or liquids, and if the consumer will need to move the product around regularly.


Zipper pouches offer a resealable option that maintains product freshness and enhances multiple use convenience. These pouches are commonly used for food products, pet food, and household items, providing easy access and closure.


Valve pouches are essential for products that release gasses, such as coffee. The valve allows the gas to escape without compromising the pouch's integrity, maintaining product freshness and quality.


Spout pouches are often used for liquid products, providing a convenient way to pour and reseal the pouch. They enhance user convenience and reduce spillage, making them ideal for non-solid formulas like beauty product refills, beverages, sauces, and liquid detergents. Spout dispenser can be used across a wide variety of pouches including smaller sized sachets for samples. 

Handle Tear

Handle tear pouches are one of the most common dispensing methods for pouches as they are often the most cost effective dispensing type. This type of dispenser makes the pouch easy to open and can be used across a wide variety of flexible packaging including sachets and stick packs. Handle tear dispensers are used in the market extensively in categories ranging from snacks to personal care items.

Materials Used for Flexible Pouches

Polyethylene Pouches (PE)

Polyethylene is widely used in flexible packaging due to its durability, flexibility, and excellent moisture barrier properties. 

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Polypropylene Pouches (PP)

Polypropylene offers high clarity and good barrier properties. PP pouches are often used for snack food packaging, as well as for products that require a high level of transparency.

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Aluminum Foil Pouches

Aluminum foil is used in flexible packaging for its superior barrier properties against light, oxygen, and moisture. It is commonly used in packaging for perishable goods and products that require extended shelf life. Often times, aluminum foil is used a one of many layers in flexible pouch packaging.

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Paper Pouches

Paper-based flexible packaging is an eco-friendly option that has gained popularity over the last few years. Paper based flexible packaging is often either biodegradable or recyclable and can be a great way at bringing a sustainable proposition to life.

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When to use Flexible Pouch Packaging  

Sample and Trial Sizes 

Flexible pouches are ideal for sample and trial sizes, allowing consumers to try products without committing to full-size purchases. This is particularly useful for cosmetics and personal care and tends to be a sachet styled pouch. Impacked has a dedicated sample and trial size catalog of components

Mix-In Powders and Supplements

Pouches are perfect for sports drinks, protein powders, and supplement mix-ins. In particular, zipper and tear pouches fit these categories well depending on if the product is single or repetitive use. 

Laundry Detergent Packaging

Laundry detergent pouches are convenient, easy to store, and reduce plastic waste compared to traditional bottles. Two common applications in the laundry space are pouches for laundry pods and pouch refills for liquid detergent.  

Coffee Bean Packaging 

Flexible pouches preserve the freshness of coffee, with options like resealable zippers and valves for optimal storage. We see many materials used for coffee packaging including kraft paper, polypropylene, and aluminum foil. 

Pet Food Packaging 

Pouches are a great option for pet food packaging. The lightweight, easy to handle design of pouches helps consumers store and dispense pet food easily. They offer convenience with resealable options and are popular among pet owners.

Pouch Suppliers on Impacked 

With an idea of what type of flexible packaging is right for your next product, lets try and find you a supplier that can bring your next project to life. Here are some of the top flexible pouch packaging suppliers listed on the Impacked: 


Identipak specializes in high-quality sachets and stick packs which can be used across a wide array of industries. Perfect for sample packaging, Indentipak has robust custom packaging capabilities if you’re interested in die cut patterns.

Specialities: Sachet Packaging, Stick Packs, Custom Designs

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Elk Packaging

Elk Packaging is well known for their sustainable and environmentally-friendly stand up pouch and sachet solutions. Elk Packaging products compostable pouches in addition to pouches which can be recyclable or made from recycled materials.

Specialities: Compostable Pouches, PCR Pouches, Recyclable Pouch Packaging

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Based in New Jersey, eXpack offers a wide range of flexible packaging solutions included spouted pouches and sachets, handle tear pouches, stick packs, and their own custom flexible packaging called the Unisolve. eXpack works extensively with beauty brands but also has FDA and OTC quality certifications.

Specialities: Beauty Products; sachets, sticks, and spouted pouches 

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Xela Pack

Xela Pack is known for its environmentally conscious  packaging options, prioritizing sustainability without compromising on quality and functionality. Xela Pack small sized stand up pouches ideal for liquids, powders, and tablets in the food, natural health, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals space. Xela Pack has designed their own custom pack, the Xela Pack, which is designed to minimize product waste

Specialities: Small Sized Packs, Pill & Powder Packs, Eco-Friendly Solutions 

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Ready to start sourcing? Reach out to our Impacked team by sending us a chat message or emailing to learn more about the right flexible packaging for your next project!