We get a fair amount of calls from customers for quotes on food-related packaging and a common question we hear is whether our resins are FDA compliant. Aside from VCI, they all are. However, it’s important to note that there are other requirements that may be different from or additional to such FDA approvals. For example, you (or your NFC Bags Rep ) may ask about HACCP certification and we’re happy to provide explanations on the occasional necessity of HACCP.
First off, the basics. HACCP stands for Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point. This is used in the food industry to control hazards associated with food processing. HACCP can be required for many things across various industries, but if you’re dealing with NFC Bags, the only HACCP certifications that are relevant are for food packaging. With HACCP, NFC Bags addresses a critical step of the process for food safety. As the manufacturer, we are the first step in the food packaging process and HACCP is the vehicle that jump-starts the steps needed to ensure that proper, mandated safety is followed throughout the entire process.
With any handling and packaging of food, we know how important it is to you in determining if the manufacturer you are using has safe and mandated practices. You can rest easy. NFC Bags can produce HACCP-certified packaging for your food-related customers
Remember good ole Calvin and Hobbes on the newspaper comics page? The two mischief-makers had a habit of taking normal games and inventing their own rules. A game of “Calvinball” was likely to include a bazillion bases (including a secret one), a “no song zone,” or water balloons. Even a croquet wicket was liable to be repurposed when a Calvinball game started up.
The only rule of Calvinball? Keep changing the game.
Well, we really dig Calvinball.
The packaging industry’s wickets aren’t quite as exciting as the ones in croquet-turned-Calvinball, but they’re still a critical part of the game. Wicketed bags hold individually cut bags bound together by a wire wicket. Folks in the food packing business or clothing business need them all the time.
They’re also one of the fastest-growing areas of custom requests from our customers. In fact, over half of wicketed bag orders also requested custom printing. The technical term for that is A BIG DEAL.
Until recently, getting your hands on pricing and availability for custom or printed wicketed bags was next to impossible. It required multiple phone calls, technical drawings on napkins, and multiple days to confirm specs and artwork. You told us the process was a pain and we had to agree. Getting a price and lead time for even the most highly customized bags with multi-colored images became a cinch. All that lag time disappeared. Now, instead of having to do your own sourcing, you can get the same experience, same service, and same guarantees that you expect from NFC Bags.
You do an awesome job keeping us informed about the changing marketplace. Also telling us what your customers are looking for. All of which gives us the opportunity to keep innovating and improving our products and process.
At NFCBags.com, you have access to a universe of custom and stock options. Wicketed bags are just the latest. We look forward to you throwing us a new challenge soon. Want a custom Quote? Fill out this form and we’ll get back to you quick1 Since we’re NFC Bags, every product is always be backed by the service team you know and rely on, and the guarantees that have your back. “It’s a magical world… let’s go exploring!”
We want to talk about shipping. Let’s start with a chalkboard and a few facts. Everyone and their toddler has a smartphone or mobile device available these days. Amazingly though, mobile shopping is still pretty new. Mobile shopping has actually doubled in volume since 2013, and it’s not slowing down anytime soon. Over half of Americans now prefer online shopping. Retail e-commerce sales worldwide are predicted to nearly double from 2016 to 2020.
As online shopping evolves, third party order fulfillment companies are popping up left and right. Their whole business model centers around packaging and shipping. You can bet your cowboy boots they’re capitalizing on cheaper and lighter shipping methods. This burgeoning industry of logistic fulfillment companies are a new type of end user—not big retail behemoths, but agile consumer companies. They’re specializing in stocking and shipping product and managing returns with speed and accuracy. Interestingly, they’re leaving boxes behind. Sure, big boxes still have their place. But as online shopping keeps growing, smaller and lightweight orders are increasingly going into Poly Mailers. And why not? Poly Mailers are cheaper and more secure, and they’re easily branded with logos and company names. It’s a whole new mail and ship world. And NFC Bags is right in the thick of it with bigger, better than ever Mail + Ship inventory options.
NFC Bags stocks and sources the universe of Poly Mailers. An unlimited array of custom sizes, printed and plain, is just a click away. Want to get some custom printed mailer? we’ve got you covered. Fill in this form for a Quick quote! All Poly Mailers are made with a co-extruded blend of LDPE & LLDPE, and stock is white on the outside and silver on the inside for opacity. After that, you’ve got all types represented: standard non-perforated, perforated, returnable and expandable mailers with gusseted bottoms.
You know us — we specialize in packaging, which means plastic. Lots and lots of polyethylene. Plastic. The good (and admittedly bad) thing about plastic polymers is that they’re tough and durable, and seemingly never biodegrade.
When it comes to PCR content, this works in plastic’s favor.
It actually takes less energy and resources to sort and recycle post-consumer plastic than to polymerize new. This makes 25% PCR a more sustainable option than virgin plastic. Plus, it keeps this indestructible stuff out of landfills (and out of the ocean).
This is where the material integrity of recycled plastic resin shines. If recycled, the urban tumbleweeds known as plastic bags can have more lives than a cat. PCR can be recycled again and again. And again. And again. And a lot of agains. They’re not the only thing that’s going to save the sea turtles, but they’re a clear step forward.
Customers like PCR content too. After all, unlike some other sustainability initiatives, there’s virtually no debate about its environmental value. True, the cost is a bit higher due to the extensive cleaning and sorting it takes to reclaim recycled resins, but reprocessing is growing and scale drives a lot of cost efficiencies. These days, it’s competitively priced with virgin materials. It’s also less prone to price fluctuations due to tariffs or the price of petroleum.
Scoot Over, PCR Needs a Seat at the Table
The folks already using PCR in their packaging include your favorite soda makers, whether you’re Team Pepsi or Team Coke or wondering why anyone considers those options when there’s Dr. Pepper. The retailer with a red bullseye. Organic snackmakers. The folks who make consolation prizes in the form of ice cream. Not to mention our partner and parent, Berry Global, and other packaging manufacturers.
These companies and others are already on board. Most have commitments to increase the amount of PCR they use in years to come. Customers were ready for PCR long before we joined the party.
The apparent value of PCR is so high that some states are banning single-use plastics altogether. California has put an outright kibosh on single-use plastic bags at retail stores. The state simultaneously required that all reusable plastic bags be made with at least 20% post-consumer plastic. Maine and Vermont have followed suit with a bag ban.
Requiring recycled content is starting to domino on multiple levels. So, distributors have a ready market.
PCR Comes to NFC Bags
With PCR, now everyone can feel good about shopping. Laddawn’s suite of merchandise bags is expanding to include four common sizes with 25% PCR. Die-cut or patch handles depending on what your customer needs. Plus, six of the most commonly requested sizes in traditional LDPE, clear or white.
These new bags take advantage of PCR sourced from existing Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE). We all agree, any plastic that gets recycled and reused is a win. But recycled LDPE turned into PCR resin happens to be one of the most versatile, and it’s perfect for packaging, film, and bags (among other stuff).
Armor Protective Packaging® has been a trusted name in corrosion management systems and inhibitors since 1979. They specialize in VCI, as well as other rust preventative and removal products. The combination of their technical expertise and NFC Bag’s transactional excellence creates a “rust prevention powerhouse” that takes the stress out of sourcing corrosion protection products.
What is VCI? Vapor corrosion inhibitors (VCI) are a class of chemical compounds that emit rust inhibiting vapors into an enclosed air space to prevent corrosion on a metal surface.
There are 5 ARMOR poly VCI films available at NFC Bags: ARMOR Poly®, Defender™, SEA Film™, Foundry Film™ and ARMOR SHIELD® Stretch Film.
Desiccants draw moisture from the environment they are placed in to control humidity. Emitters are foam products and chipboard that are infused with the ARMOR VCI formula. Both are used in areas where VCI poly and paper cannot be (i.e., electrical cabinets).
ARMOR Metal Rescue® BATH rust remover is water-based and easy to use. Rust can be removed easily in 5 minutes to 24 hours depending on severity – no scrubbing or brushing. ARMOR Metal Rescue® GEL rust remover is a highly adhesive formula which is ideal for controlled application on tough or hard to reach spots.
At NFC bags, we believe in getting the most bang for your buck. It’s not only a wise course of action but necessary for a successful, thriving business. When it comes to packaging costs, saving a nickel here or a dime there can amount to dollars later, dollars you can apply to growing your business in other areas.
A little business savvy, mindful ordering practices, and some forward thinking may very well provide the jump-start you need to take your business to the next level. Let’s break it down in a way that makes sense and, most importantly, in a way that will save YOU some cents.
While some may say packaging costs a pretty penny, we have five tips for you that will save your money over time.
Tip # 1: Consider Flexible Packaging
Every product requires a package. We rely on packaging to provide necessary labeling and protect the products that we use. Unless you are personally delivering your product directly into the hands of your customers, your product needs packaging. You could use a box, a bag or perhaps even a glass jar to package your product. The question is which of these options will help save you money?
A product like bath salts, for example, could be packaged in a glass jar or in a clear stand-up pouch. The stand-up pouch option offers some clear advantages.
The lightweight material of the stand-up pouch material weighs less and, thus, costs less to ship. A stand-up pouch made from quality material offers a durable, puncture-resistant option that protects your product so that it may arrive safely into the hands of your customers.
The material of the stand-up pouch readily conforms to the shape of the bath salts so this product is easier to store. It takes up less space in your warehouse and on a retailer’s shelf allowing more products for your customers to buy.
A stand-up pouch offers great shelf appeal as well. Customers often choose a product based on how a package looks and feels. A clear stand-up pouch showcases your product, inviting customers to see the color and consistency of the bath salts before they buy it. There is plenty of available space on the package for your company branding to draw in customers. Flexible packaging packs your product with an emotional punch that is a win-win for you and your customers.
Tip #2: Take Advantage of Price Breaks with Bulk Ordering
While flexible packaging has clear benefits, buying in bulk is another way to save on your packaging costs. For example, maybe what you need is 800 plastic bags for your product, so you play it safe and order exactly 800 bags. That’s what you need after all. Consider ordering a little more to get a much-deserved price break. Let’s look at this example with one of our popcorn bags (POP2). The breakdown for pricing is as follows: 800 bags @$ 0.07 = $56.001,000 bags @ $0.038 =$38.00 Here, the customer is saving $18.00 and getting an additional 200 bags. If you put some planning in place and increase your ordering quantities in these slight amounts, you stand to save dollars over time and grow your business.
Tip #3: Try the One-Bag-Fits-All Approach
Ordering stock bags in larger quantities guarantees price breaks. Another trick to saving money is to use one size of a stock bag to fit multiple products.
Say, for example, your business is cookies. You may have multiple types of cookies with similar sizes that require separate packaging. Ordering one bag size in a larger volume will reduce the number of SKUs and, consequently, give you price breaks. Ordering more bags does not guarantee price breaks when you have multiple SKUs. The key to getting those price breaks is to place an order with fewer SKUs.
Limiting your bag to one size will also reduce your printing costs (if you are printing) as well since each packaging size requires separate upfront, set-up and design costs. When your business really takes off and you can afford more elaborate designs, go for it. In the meantime, a focused approach with less packaging options is one solution for saving those nickels and dimes.
Tip #4: Start with Labels
A label can help distinguish your product branding and is a special part of packaging. You may already print you own sticker labeling from your home office or perhaps you haven’t even contemplated using them for your product. If you are experiencing an increase in volume of orders, outsourcing the printing and design of a label may be an opportunity for you to take your product to the next level with a more polished look.
Investing your resources in packaging may entice new customers you didn’t know existed. What kind of finishing will you choose? Matte, gloss or metallic? What about a fancy holographic image? Many websites offer design services at reasonable rates where you can obtain a professional look for a smidgen of the cost of a full-fledged creative service.
You can minimize your design costs by limiting the number of colors in the design. While this is important, you may also want to weigh the value of capturing the true essence of your brand and what it represents going forward.
A great way to trim your labeling costs is to start with a single-sided label. While food products require specific, nutritional labeling, a single-sided label can work for other products. Stationery and photography come to mind.
In time and with increased volume, you may consider double-sided labels and employ a service to apply the labels to your product(s).
Just think, not too long ago, you were doing all the work of designing, printing, and applying labels. Now your product looks more polished and you have more time to spend on other areas of your business. Outsourcing the printing of your labels may be just the ticket for jump-starting your business and enticing new customers.
Tip #5: Move to Custom Printing When the Time is Right
Your product’s shiny new look has paid off and now your orders have increased even further. Congratulations to you for reaching this wonderful stage of your business.
As your orders have increased, managing all aspects of your product packaging may be taking more and more of your time. You may have even outsourced the application of your labels to another party so you can head-up more rewarding activity, like fulfilling more orders or growing your business on social media. But with an increased volume of orders, is this the most efficient way to package your product?
Have you convinced yourself that you can’t afford custom printed bags because your volume is too low to justify it? Well, think again. In fact, dream again and dream bigger. It may happen a lot sooner than you think! Custom printing makes it possible for you to enjoy a professional look at an affordable price.
If you are ordering quantities between 10,000-15,000 pieces, the time may be right for custom printing. With increased outputs and better technology, custom printing is within reach for small business owners now more than ever. Custom printing requires that you pay plate fees. However, provided that you do not change your bag size and print-ready art, this is only a one-time startup fee. Your plate fee costs are determined according to the number of colors you choose. So, limiting your design to fewer colors will help save money.
Let’s now look at an example. Consider a 5” x 7” laminated heat seal bag:
The stock price for 10,000 piece per bag is $0.034The custom price for the same quantity is $0.098
As you can see, it is only pennies extra per bag. Sounds great, right?
Don’t forget about the one-time printing plate fees. A 4-color printing process costs an additional $260 (@ $65/color).
Now, as you increase quantities, you spread that cost out over multiple bags. It looks like this:
Setup price per 1,000 = $0.26/bagSetup price per 5,000 = $0.052/bagSetup price per 10,000 = $0.026/bagSetup price per 25,000 = $0.0008/bag
As you can see, spreading that cost over larger quantities is better. It keeps the added cost per bag down to pennies, rather than almost doubling your cost.
The question you must ask yourself is how will your costs for custom printing compare to the costs of stock packaging, labels, labor and production and, of course, your time? You might find that if you weigh all these factors together, custom printing is more cost-efficient for your business.
Gone are the associate printing and labor costs from labeling. When your packaging arrives at your doorstep, it’s ready to be filled and shipped to your customers. Your product will hit the shelves ready to rock and roll.
Whether you are putting your product onto retail shelves or shipping it directly to your customers’ homes, how your product is packaged is an important piece of your business and marketing dollars.
Packaging that maximizes a product’s value and visual appeal, while minimizing shipping, transportation, and storage is a winning combination. Striking this balance is easier said than done. As you can see, there are many factors involved when it comes to your packaging requirements from the material you choose to use to inventory and printing costs.
Packaging can be the difference between standing still and moving forward. Just think, how much these nickels and dimes add up to. All of these tips may not apply to your business right now, but we hope something here will help you gain a cost-cutting edge!