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  1. Why Variety Packs Are Beneficial?

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    What are Variety Packs?

    Variety packs are a collection of individually wrapped products or flavors of a brand, usually sold in one package. Variety packs are especially popular in the food manufacturing sector, providing a unique packaging method designed to entice customers by combining several items at a lower price. Rather than having to buy multiple types of similar products separately, variety packs offer a cost-effective, flexible way for consumers to try a full product line in a single package.

    What Are the Benefits of Variety Pack Packaging?

    Variety packs offer several benefits, including:

    • Trial and Discovery
      Variety packs enable consumers to experiment with several products simultaneously without having to commit to any full-sized product. This is especially important for products with different flavors or formulations, as it allows consumers to try and discover new favorites without the risk of buying a full-sized product they may not like.
    • Cost-Effective
      Purchasing variety packs allows consumers to explore new products and flavors without spending too much. The cost of purchasing multiple single products is typically more expensive than buying one variety pack. As such, variety packs help to save money for consumers.
    • Convenience and Simplicity
      Variety packs provide a convenient and straightforward option for consumers to acquire an assortment of products in a single package. Rather than placing multiple items in their cart, consumers can simply grab the multi-pack from the shelf and continue with the rest of their shopping.
    • Enhanced Consumer Experience
      Consumers may enjoy the thrill of not knowing exactly what products or flavors they will receive in a variety pack, adding to the excitement of trying new things. This can increase customer satisfaction and loyalty to the brand.

    Advantages of Co-Packing for Variety Packaging

    Co-packing, or contract packaging, involves a third-party company that packages products for their clients and makes them ready for the shelves. These services can be utilized for a diverse range of products, such as cosmetics, household items, food, pharmaceuticals, and industrial products. Outsourcing your packaging operations offers several advantages, including;

    • Cost Reduction
      Co-packaging can reduce costs by eliminating the need to invest in expensive infrastructure for large-scale packaging projects. Co-packers have already invested in equipment, certifications, and workforce and are equipped to take on packaging projects of any size.
    • Expertise
      Co-packers have extensive experience working with various industries and can offer valuable guidance on labeling and distribution. This ensures a comprehensive and effective packaging solution.
    • Warehousing and Logistics Support
      Working with a co-packer allows you to streamline your operations by partnering with one entity that provides warehousing solutions and ensures your products are ready for shipping or receiving.
    • Benefit from Existing Certifications
      Co-packers may already possess various certifications, including:
      • FDA Compliant
      • Kosher OU-D
      • SQF (level 3)
      • Gluten-Free Certification
      • Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI)
      • Organic Certification through Baystate Organic Certifiers

      Working with a co-packer that already holds the certifications your products require prevents you from having to spend the time and money on certifying your facility.

    • Scalability
      Co-packers have the teams, facilities, and equipment to scale production quickly and efficiently, ensuring your business can keep up with its growth and production demands.

    Variety packs offer a flexible and cost-effective way to explore new products and flavors without having to purchase multiple types of individual products. In addition to their convenience and cost-effectiveness, variety packs expose consumers to your complete product line, which can potentially boost sales and improve the consumer experience. At Econo-Pak, we have the equipment, knowledge, and experience to provide custom contract packaging services for nearly any volume. Whatever your industry, we can deliver reliable variety pack solutions to meet your specific needs.

    For more information about our variety pack co-packing capabilities, request a quote today.

  2. Contract Packaging 101

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    Contract Packaging 101

    What Is Contract Packaging?

    Developing your own packaging system involves much more than investing in the right packaging equipment and materials to get the job done. It also involves warehousing and hiring an additional workforce to run your packaging operation alongside your core business. To many companies, setting up their own packaging line is simply not feasible in terms of both the cost and labor required.

    This is where contract packaging comes in. Also called co-packing, contract packaging is when a business hires the services of a packaging company to oversee its packaging, assembly, kitting, warehousing, and other supply chain needs. The contract packager can be a specialist in a certain type of packaging—like shrink wrapping, corrugated cardboard, or bottling—or offer additional services like printing, packaging design, and testing.

    Here we’ll discuss how food contract packaging in particular works, as well as the benefits of outsourcing your packaging needs.

    How Does Food Contract Packaging Work?

    Because of the strict industry standards of food processing and packaging, a contract packaging partner in this field must have the equipment, expertise, and materials necessary to protect the integrity of your food products while meeting these standards. Most food co-packing processes involve these three main steps.

    Step 1: Discuss Goals

    After identifying your co-packing needs, the first step is to reach out and discuss your product and goals with the co-packer. Some companies may require you to complete a questionnaire to learn more about your product and understand your expectations. You will sign a non-disclosure agreement before proceeding to the next phase.

    Then you will send your samples and recipes to the co-packing company, which will then analyze your products to ensure they are compatible with its production equipment. If they are, the co-packer will take you through the various packaging options, including materials and quantities. A good contract packaging provider will know how to make the most efficient use of packaging materials while maximizing the shelf life of your product.

    Step 2: Approve the Test Batch

    Before going into mass production, the co-packer will send a test batch for you to evaluate. You will also get product information that will include:

    • An allergen statement
    • A net weight declaration
    • An ingredients list
    • A nutritional facts panel

    Once you approve the final details and design of the packaging, the co-packer commences printing the packaging materials.

    Step 3: Production

    The company will begin production using your finalized recipe, packaging design, and materials. They usually have production minimums that range from hundreds to thousands of units, so consumer demand for your product must be high enough to save you money per unit.

    Why should you hire a contract food packing provider? There are many advantages of outsourcing your packaging needs. For example, a co-packer will offer the machinery, labor, and thought leadership required to deliver your products to the market in style. This allows you to focus all your energy on your core business—manufacturing your product. Other benefits of hiring a co-packer include high-quality packaging, cost reduction, and efficient management of your packaging line.

    Co-Packing vs. Contract Packaging Services

    Co-packing is the same as contract packing—they involve outsourcing the primary and secondary packaging of finished goods to a third party. While co-packing is common in all industries, it is most prevalent in the health and beauty, food and beverage, and medical and pharmaceutical fields.

    Choosing the Right Contract Packing or Co-Packing Partner

    There are a few things you should take into account when looking for the right co-packer for your food products, such as:

    • ISO certifications
    • Fast lead times
    • Transparency
    • Quality control

    Finding the right co-packer can be overwhelming, especially if you are new to the market or want to venture into a new field. Econo-Pak is a third-generation family-owned contract packaging company dedicated to serving the unique needs of the food processing, pharmaceutical, and retail industries.

    Download our eBook, “Contract Food Packaging: Supplier Expectations Manual,” for more information. You can also request a quote to get started on your food co-packing solution.

  3. Key Factors To Consider When Selecting Packaging Materials

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    Material Selection for Product Packaging

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    Product packaging is an essential step in the product life cycle. It not only protects the product from external damage but also serves as an essential marketing tool. Packaging can help a product stand out from the competition. It can also provide information about a product’s features and benefits. In this article, we’ll explore the key properties to look for when selecting suitable material for packaging your products.

    How Do You Properly Select Packaging Materials?

    There are many factors to consider when determining the best packaging material for your product. Here are five typical considerations in the selection of proper product packaging materials:

    Cost: The cost of the packaging material is an important factor to consider when selecting the best product packaging material. Some materials used for packaging can be relatively costly when trying to meet specific industries’ aesthetic standards or durability needs. It’s important to ensure you’re getting good value for your money.

    Durability: It’s a good idea to understand the product you intend to buy before placing an order. If you skip this step, you may end up with subpar packaging supplies that aren’t optimal for your needs. Select packaging materials that can withstand the rigors of the shipping process and protect your product during transit.

    Eco-Friendliness: Many businesses are switching to eco-friendly packaging materials to reduce their environmental footprint. Consider recyclable and sustainable materials, to help your business maintain a positive environmental record.

    Customization: Aim for packaging materials that you can customize to meet your specific needs. Select packaging materials that you can brand with your company’s logo and colors. This will help your product stand out from the competition.

    Security: The packaging material needs to be strong enough to protect your product from damage, tampering, or theft. Choose a material that can provide a secure seal and protect your product from any potential security issues.

    Food Packaging Material Selection Considerations

    Selecting packaging for food products comes with additional requirements and standards. Here are the key considerations when selecting packaging materials for food products.

    Functionality and Safety

    The primary considerations when selecting packaging materials for food products are functionality and safety. The packaging materials should be able to protect the food from contamination, spoilage, and other external factors. It should also be able to withstand harsh shipping and storage conditions while maintaining the product’s freshness and flavor.

    Food Packaging Design

    The design is also vital when choosing packaging materials for food products. The packaging materials should effectively convey the brand message and aesthetic. Chose a design that will capture the attention of potential customers and stand out on store shelves.

    Brand Marketing

    Your packaging material should be able to communicate the brand’s message and values to its target audience effectively.

    E-Commerce Packaging

    When selecting packaging materials for food products, it is also essential to consider the needs of e-commerce customers.

    You may need to ship products for very long distances in this scenario. In these cases, consider an easy-to-store and easy-to-ship packaging material to lower the shipping costs. Your material should also be easy to open and recycle for the recipient.

    Choosing A Suitable Food Packaging ManufacturerOverwrapping Materials

    Selecting a food packaging manufacturer requires careful research and due diligence. There are several factors to consider, including material choices, fast lead times, ISO certifications, quality, transparency, and control. It is also important to choose a supplier with a good customer service record and proven reliable experience.

    EconoPak is here to supply you with the high-quality food packaging solutions you require. With our expertise, commitment to excellence, and customer service, you can rest assured that you will be well taken care of. Request a quote today to learn more about the right materials for your product and how we can help. Also, be sure to check out our full ebook on material selection for more information.

  4. What Plastic Is Used in Shrink Wrapping?

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    For more than 40 years, Econo-Pak has provided customers with top-quality packaging materials for a diverse range of applications. As a trusted supplier of quality materials, we offer shrink wrapping materials suitable for packaging and protecting a countless array of products.

    Three primary types of shrink wrapping exist for various applications in the shipping and retail industries, among others. These include polyolefin (POF), polyethylene (PE), and polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Each type of material comes with unique properties and benefits.

    What Is Plastic Shrink Wrap Made Of?

    The three types of shrink wrap materials offer different advantages that make them compatible with various applications. The following are the specific characteristics of each:

    PVC Shrink Wrap

    While PVC shrink wrap used to be the most popular shrink packaging material used for many applications, in recent years, its lack of sustainability and potential health hazards have made it less common than POF and PE shrink wrap materials. However, many applications still use it across multiple industries, with these materials composing the following:

    • Clamshell packaging
    • Blister packaging
    • Bagging
    • And other packaging materials

    POF Shrink Wrap

    POF shrink wrap is considerably safer than PVC shrink wrap and offers superior versatility and durability compared to other shrink wrap materials. Its food-safe nature has led the FDA to approve it for use in many applications. POF shrink wrap consists of polyolefin, which provides reliable protection for a wide variety of products, including those with an irregular shape. This material is also cost-effective and puncture-resistant, further contributing to its popularity.

    PE Shrink Wrap

    For applications requiring more flexibility than polyolefin shrink wrap but with the same level of durability, PE shrink wrap offers a dependable alternative. Polyethylene is a kind of polyolefin with added ethylene that allows for increased flexibility, making it ideal for shrink wrap and stretch wrap materials. Low-density polyethylene (LDPE) and high-density polyethylene (HDPE) are available, with the increased durability and strength of LDPE offering more reliability for shrink wrap materials.

    The Difference Between Shrink Wrap and Stretch Wrap

    Although people often confuse plastic shrink wrap and stretch wrap because of their similar appearance, they each feature unique properties that result in differences in performance. In shrink wrap applications, packaging equipment places a thin film of PE over one or more products. The system then applies heat to the film, causing it to shrink over the items and forming a protective seal that’s resistant to tampering and tears. Stretch wrap applications, on the other hand, rely on a different type of formulation to allow for enhanced stretching.

    Stretch wrap offers elastic memory and self-clinging capabilities to form a tight protective layer around products. It’s often used for unitizing or palletizing several products on pallets to keep them stable during transport. Another key difference between shrink and stretch wrap is the stretch limit before breakage occurs. For shrink wrap, this limit is a 50-75% stretch while stretch wrap can stretch to around 100-300% before breaking.

    Why Polypropylene Is Less Used for Shrink Wrapping

    Many applications forgo the use of polypropylene for shrink wrapping due to its increased hardness compared to other materials. Additionally, shrinking polypropylene leads to decreased stability and it has a higher melting temperature than other more reliable materials.

    Shrink Wrap Products from Econo-Pak

    If you need high-quality shrink wrap materials for your application, it’s important to determine which material is best suited for your project. Depending on what you need, Econo-Pak can help you select the right solution.

    Reach out to the experts at Econo-Pak by emailing us for more information or calling us at 570.296.0350. If you would like to get started on a project with us, request a quote today.

  5. What Materials Are Used in Flow Wrapping?

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    Econo-Pak is a contract packaging service provider specializing in the creation of functional and attractive packaging solutions for food, pharmaceutical, retail, and specialty applications. Our packaging services include flow wrapping, a continuous, high-speed packaging process that encloses products in a clear or printed film.

    During the flow wrapping process, a conveyor belt moves the product horizontally to the forming area. The product is then wrapped in film and sealed at both ends by applying pressure, heat, or a combination of both. Similar to vertical form fill seal (VFFS) methods, the finished result is a flexible pouch secured by airtight crimp-sealed ends.

    What Materials are Used with Flow Wrapping? flow wrapping

    The flow wrapping process is compatible with the same types of materials used in VFFS methods. When choosing a material for a packaging application, it is important to prioritize product safety and quality while considering the type of packaging aesthetic that will best promote the brand and engage the target consumer. Common flow wrap packaging materials include:

    • Polyethylene terephthalate (PET): A member of the polyester family, PET is a durable and transparent thermoplastic polymer resin. This lightweight yet strong packaging material is ideal for protecting items from their surroundings while allowing the consumer to view the enclosed product.
    • Polyethylene (PE): PE, a type of polyolefin resin, is the most widely used consumer plastic today. This transparent, glossy material makes an attractive and protective package that maintains the integrity and freshness of the product during transportation and on the store shelf.
    • Metalized film: Metalized films are metal-coated polymer films with a shiny metallic appearance. In food packaging applications, these films offer reliable protection against water and oxygen permeation while conveying a high-end aesthetic.
    • Poly film: Poly film is a thin, transparent polymeric packaging material that prevents contamination and extends the product’s shelf life.
    • Polypropylene: Polypropylene is a thermoplastic polymer in the polyolefin family. This clear, glossy material is suitable for packaging everything from sensitive pharmaceutical and medicinal products to perishable food items.

    How Does Flow Wrapping Work?

    While the flow wrapping process can be customized for various applications and materials, all flow wrapping machines generally consist of the same elements:

    • Film rolls
    • Infeed conveyor system
    • Film feed assembly
    • Forming area
    • Delivery area

    These elements work together to continuously transport, wrap, seal, and discharge the packaged products. Individual steps of the flow wrapping process include:

    • Process initiation: The unwrapped products are placed on the infeed conveyor belt, where they are transported to the forming area.
    • Wrapping: The flow wrapping machine wraps the product in the sealing material and mates the two outer edges of the material.
    • Sealing: Two rotating fin seal wheels form a longitudinal seal along the mated edges using heat, pressure, or a combination of both.
    • Cutting: Using rotating cutting heads or end seal crimpers, both ends of the adjoined packages are simultaneously sealed and cut to produce several individual packages.
    • Delivery: The packaged products are transported to the discharged area.

    What Types of Products Are Ideal for Flow Wrap Packaging?

    Compatible with a wide range of product shapes and sizes, flow wrap packaging can be used for essentially any solid item that can be transported along a horizontal conveyor belt. Small granular items or liquid products are generally better suited for vertical packaging techniques that allow the product to be dropped into the package.

    Examples of commonly flow-wrapped items include:

    • Candy and confectionery products
    • Snack foods
    • Dry products such as pasta, rice, and seeds
    • Produce
    • Meat, poultry, and seafood
    • Pharmaceutical and medicinal items
    • Industrial products such as tools and hardware
    • Personal care items and cosmetics

    Custom Flow Wrapping Services at Econo-Pak

    Flow wrapping is a versatile and efficient packaging process suitable for a wide range of product types and sizes. At Econo-Pack, our flow wrapping capabilities and other packaging services allow us to create functional and visually engaging packaging solutions that maintain product quality and freshness while enhancing brand visibility. As demonstrated by our long-term partnerships with several industry-leading companies, clients trust us to consistently deliver the highest-quality products with unbeatable turnaround times and competitive pricing.

    To learn more about our flow wrapping services and other packaging capabilities, please request a quote or contact us at:


    35 Route 6 & 209
    Milford, PA 18337
    Phone: 570.296.0350

  6. The Benefits of Outsourcing a Co-Packer for Your Business

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    Growing your brand and ensuring your products get to your customers requires a reliable and timely production process. Contracting a co-packer can streamline the process for you. Co-packing companies are an integral part of the packing process. They offer packaging services for various products in retail, commercial, and trade industries.

    The most common products co-packers work with include food and beverage, vitamins, cosmetics, clothing, shoes, and others. Depending on the client’s needs, some co-packers handle the cooking, processing, and mixing of ingredients before packaging in various containers.  

    It’s challenging to find a trustworthy and reliable co-packer that you can depend on for the long term. Here are a few tips to help you find a great co-packing company, information on why you should contract with one, and how to ensure the co-packing company you choose is right for your products.

    Co-Packers: Internal vs. External

    If you’re unsure whether you want to keep your product packaging in-house or hire a co-packer, consider the complexities of packaging and labeling products. 

    Contracting with a co-packing company can solve the following problems: 

    • Selling products faster than you can package them
    • Signs of anxiety and stress in your production staff
    • Business growth and marketing falling short because of packaging demands
    • Inability to produce new products because of time spent on packaging 

    By developing a relationship with a great co-packing company, it gives you more time to build your business by creating additional products and implementing new marketing strategies.

    Also, a co-packing company has all the equipment needed for your packaging needs. This is a cost-effective solution because it doesn’t require you to hire additional employees or invest in equipment.

    Tips for Finding the Right Co-Packer  

    Before selecting a co-packer, assess the benefits of outsourcing your packaging with a company that has the equipment and qualified staff needed for all aspects of the packaging process. 

    Check several co-packing companies to see if they offer a fixed cost and hold the required certifications and FDA approval, similar to Econo-Pak’s SQF level 3 certification. Some other key considerations include: 


    If you’re tempted to hire a co-packing company that’s located in another state or country, think about the disadvantages that distance has. Distance involves additional costs, increased delivery times, and communication difficulties when problems occur.

    A co-packer located close to your location can simplify the process significantly. However, if you do select one that is in a different location, ensure that they have the ability to ship nationally.

    Safety & Cleanliness

    Keeping the co-packing facility clean and free from packing debris makes the packaging process safe and reduces errors. Choose a co-packing company that implements stringent safety and hygiene protocols.

    Quality assurance certifications are indications of co-packing company standards. Econo-Pak takes quality and safety seriously, with certifications at the state and global levels:

    • Safe Quality Food Certified (SQF Level 3)
    • Organic Certified by Baystate Organic Certifiers
    • Costco Safety and Quality Audit Certified
    • Food and Drug Administration Certified (FDA Compliant)
    • Kosher OU-D Certified
    • Gluten-Free Certified by the Gluten Intolerance Group of North America


    Ensure that the co-packer you choose has taken the necessary steps to properly certify their facility, processes, and procedures. Proper certifications will help protect the integrity of your product and ensure high-quality packaging that supports your brand reputation. Some of the most important certifications include:

    • FDA certification
    • Kosher Check
    • USDA Organic certification
    • Fair Trade


    If possible, examine the equipment to make sure the company uses modern packaging technology for enhanced control of the entire co-packing process. 


    Experienced co-packing companies offer fast product turnaround times. By using the right equipment, they ensure high-quality packaging with shorter lead times.

    Once you’ve finished researching, narrow down your list. You might not need all the services offered by larger companies. Ask if the company is flexible and offers only the services you need.

    Since your customers trust your brand, it’s important that the co-packer meets your sourcing requirements. Talk to them about their suppliers, and ask if adjustments can be made to meet your needs. 

    Contract Packaging 101: Econo-Pak Has the Resources to Help You

    Now that you understand how to find a co-packer, start your research. It might seem like a huge undertaking, but once you find a reliable company, you’ll wonder how you ever ran your business without one.

    Partnering with Econo-Pak provides you with quick turnaround times, affordable pricing, and a commitment to quality packaging. Econo-Pak offers flexible services to large and small businesses.

    Learn more about co-packaging with Econo-Pak’s ”Contract Packaging 101” eBook. Request a quote today or contact Greg Wright directly at

  7. Co-Packing vs. Private Label

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    With a growing business, you must make many decisions. One of the most significant decisions for thriving business owners is private label vs. contract manufacturing. It’s important to understand the strengths and weaknesses of co-packing and private labeling to decide which option is best for your business, as the functions and benefits of the two vary greatly. For the competitive food manufacturing industry, it’s essential to understand your options and rights regarding your products when working with third parties. 

    Co-Packaging (Contract Packaging)

    One of the most straightforward explanations of co-packing, or contract packaging, is partnering with a facility to help take your product to the next level for effective mass production. With co-packaging, your product’s manufacturing and packaging are outsourced to a third party to streamline the production process and increase turnaround times. Some co-packers may help expand your product distribution network, packaging design, and product storage solutions. Companies can even provide their product recipes to co-packers and hire them to manufacture the products, which helps smaller companies get into a highly competitive space without making a considerable investment in their own production facilities.

    Since you as the customer retain the rights to the proprietary formulation the co-packing manufacturer uses to create the product, there is typically a non-disclosure agreement between the parties that prevents the manufacturer from sharing information about formulations or creating any additional products outside the agreement. 

    Typical industries using co-packing include: 

    • Dry foods
    • Supplement
    • Cosmetics
    • Health & wellness products

    Private Label

    In simple terms, private label contract manufacturing is similar to a ghostwriter for mass-produced products. A private label manufacturer distributes their product and recipes under your brand. Therefore, as a customer, you do not own the rights to product formulation. 

    Private labeling is ideal for companies looking to expand into a new product niche or sell products without worrying about product development. Sometimes, a private label manufacturer will work exclusively with a single customer to produce a specific formulation or adjust a current formula for the customer’s private label. However, the private labeling facility retains ownership of the product formulation, process, and ingredients used to produce the product.  

    Typical uses of private labeling include: 

    • Health Products
    • Personal Hygiene Products
    • Hair Products
    • Baby Products
    • Pet Products

    Which Method Should You Choose?

    Choosing between co-packing and private label depends on your business goals, as the varying features between the two appeal to different business models. It is usually best to find a manufacturer who can do both to help you in either scenario as your business grows. To help you decide if co-packing or private labeling is suitable for mass producing your product, keep these considerations in mind:


    Since a private label manufacturer does everything from formulation to distribution, the pricing is likely higher than a co-packer who uses your product formulation to mass produce products with your pre-designed packaging. 

    Services Offered

    • Co-packing offers more varied services, which can be as simple as packaging and distributing your product. 
    • Co-packing allows you to retain the rights to your product’s formula or proprietary processes. 
    • With a private label, you work with the facility to create a product that the manufacturer produces and packages on your behalf. 
    • Private labeling assists throughout the entire process from product development, branding, and packaging. 
    • Private labeling does not promise exclusivity. 

    Experience with Your Product

    With both a co-packer and a private labeling manufacturer, it’s essential to consider the facility’s experience with your product type. Working with a specialist in your niche will ensure high-quality production and access to higher-level industry expertise. 

    Disadvantages of Private Labeling

    • Dependant on a third-party manufacturer for product production. 
    • Harder to build brand loyalty when using a private label upon first entering a market. 
    • Consumers often associate private label products with being lower quality, even though it’s not always the case. 

    Econo-Pak: Experts in Packaging

    Combining unmatched customer experience and a dedication to quality with state-of-the-art equipment and knowledgeable experts, Econo-Pak proudly creates product packaging and design services for businesses of all sizes. Partner with Econo-Pak and let our family-owned packaging company help efficiently and effectively bring your product to market. We can handle scalable growth to meet your business’s needs, as no idea is too challenging for our team. Contact us to learn more about our innovative co-packaging services or request a quote to start your partnership with a top-rated co-packer. 

  8. New Salt Analyzer Equipment

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    Salt in Food Products

    Contrary to popular belief, the majority of the sodium that Americans consume doesn’t come from regular table salt but instead comes from consuming prepared and packaged foods, such as chips, crackers, soups, pizza, deli meat sandwiches, and more. Since these foods contain too much sodium, it makes it very difficult for individuals looking to cut down their sodium intake. Because of this, the FDA has been working with the food industry in an effort to reduce the sodium content in various foods.

    Sodium is used across a range of food applications, including baking, thickening, curing meat, enhancing flavor, and more. Although these are all important uses, it is very important to monitor salt content to ensure you are not using too much or too little. The increased scrutiny over nutritional labeling, coupled with the importance of salt in taste and shelf stability, makes it essential for food processors to establish and maintain desired salt levels in product recipes.

    The Salt Analyzer: What Is It and What Does It Do?

    Econo-Pak’s new salt analyzer offers food processors a rapid, accurate, and easy-to-use method to monitor salt levels in various foods. It analyzes salt content in solutions by measuring solution temperature and conductivity. The internal microprocessor mathematically compensates for any shifts in solution temperature and translates to salt concentration, displaying the results in different units.

    Depending on the food product being analyzed, you can use the non-contact dip-in probe or a flow-through column, both of which use non-corroding internal electrodes. This eliminates turbulent flow and ensures precise sample repeatability while keeping the bore obstruction-free.

    New Salt Analyzer Equipment

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    Food Products You Can Analyze With a Salt Analyzer

    A salt analyzer can measure sodium content in several foods, including:

    • Meat packaging products
    • Processed beef
    • Sausage and similar products
    • Butter and margarine
    • Cheese
    • Packaged meats (canned, glass)
    • Prepared meats
    • Peanut butter
    • Packaged vegetables (canned, glass)
    • Eggs (frozen, liquid, or dried)
    • Vinegar
    • Packaged seafood (canned, glass)
    • Wheat flour
    • Frozen dinners
    • Cereals
    • Snacks (chips, pretzels, popcorn)

    Econo-Pak’s DiCromat IITM Salt Analyzer

    The Econo-Pak DiCromat IITM Salt Analyzer comes with several benefits, including:

    • Easy to use. Our salt analyzer is easy to use – simply prepare your sample and use the membrane keypad to program each sample’s name, testing time, and date. Unlike other salt analyzers, the Econo-Pak DiCromat II™ is easy to clean as it doesn’t need to be disassembled.
    • Versatile. The Econo-Pak salt analyzer’s compact design allows testing to be conducted either on the line or back in the laboratory, while the standard RS-232 digital output allows it to be linked to any computer or printer to produce a permanent record.
    • Fast and accurate. With the Econo-Pak DiCromat II™, you can measure salt concentrations from less than 0.1 to over 26% by weight without dilution and 100% salt with dilution and get your results within seconds.
    • Backed by quality service. At Econo-Pak, we’re dedicated to providing a high-quality product that meets customer expectations as well as rigorous regulatory standards, such as the FDA and Safe Quality Food Institute (SQFI).

    Your Partner for Your Food Packaging Needs

    At Econo-Pak, we specialize in food packaging such as bagging, wrapping, pouching, cartoning, and procurement. With our dedication to quality, we strive to help people live healthier lives by providing the necessary tools to make that happen. For more information about our DiCromat II™ salt analyzer, or to learn more about our food packaging capabilities, contact us today or request a free quote.

  9. Three Reasons Why Large Manufacturers Need a Co-Packer

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    The ideal product packaging does much more than simply protect a product during transport. It also keeps out oxygen or contaminants that might otherwise degrade consumable goods, and tamper-evident packaging adds a level of product security. Beyond that, packaging offers a great branding opportunity, marketing the internal contents and promoting your company while also providing industry-mandated information like expiration dates and ingredients. However, not every business is equipped to handle its own packaging internally. That’s where co-packers come in.

    What is a co-packer? Typically, contract packaging companies package and label products that their clients have manufactured to take that strain off their operations. In the food and beverage industry, co-packers will also sometimes work as contract manufacturers, actually handling food processing in addition to the packing. Working with a reputable, FDA-certified co-packer can help you grow your business while focusing your own workforce on what you do best.

    Co-Packing vs. Manufacturing In-House

    When determining whether to outsource your packaging to a co-packer or handle it in-house, there are numerous considerations that are crucial to the decision. The packaging process necessitates quality material procurement, specialized equipment, and a trained workforce. Some companies may have a product or recipe that they feel is too complex to outsource, or production rates are low enough that they won’t meet co-packing company minimums for production.

    If you choose to work with a co-packer, finding the right company is important. Research carefully as selecting the wrong co-packer could lead to incorrect labeling, suboptimal marketing, or even compromised product quality. For highly regulated products like consumables, you need a company that can provide the necessary quality assurance to keep from damaging your company’s reputation through a negative customer experience with your brand.

    Signs That You Should Work With a Co-Packing Company

    How do you know when a co-packer is right for you? There are three main indicators that partnering with a contract packaging company is appropriate for your business.

    1. Your facility, equipment, or workforce can’t successfully meet demand. If you find that orders are constantly outpacing your team’s ability to keep up with them, or you can’t find the space for warehousing, this is your first clue that co-packing could be advantageous for your business. A good co-packer can help you increase your production volume so that your team can focus on your core operations instead. Also, without having to invest in specialty equipment or retraining, co-packers will typically already have certifications for kosher, gluten-free, or organic food handling as well as labeling capabilities.
    2. You want to scale your operations. If you’ve determined that your operation is scalable in that there is appropriate demand for your product and you will be able to retain quality results in bulk production, a co-packer may be right for you. A reputable co-packing facility will have the necessary production capabilities, equipment, and skilled workforce to help you increase production when you need to, and fast, all without having to worry about sacrificing quality or efficiency in the packaging.
    3. You are concerned about budget and time frames. Manufacturing in-house requires a fully equipped production facility, staff with proper training, the right raw materials, and adequate storage, all of which require heavy investments in money and time. Fortunately, using a co-packer can be a solution to those challenges as packaging processes are already in the company’s wheelhouse. Also, co-packaging companies typically source their material in bulk, which often allows them to pass on more economical pricing to customers.

    Enjoy Quality Co-Packing With Econo-Pak

    Given the current economic climate, Econo-Pak is ready to partner with you to help bring your product to market efficiently and effectively. We are an innovative contract food packaging company that can handle scalable growth, and we bring a wealth of experience as a family-owned packaging company for over three decades.

    Our company serves businesses and food packaging needs of all sizes, with over 200 packaging machines in our 240,000-sqft. facility. We offer custom package design services coupled with affordable pricing and quick turnaround times.

    Our capabilities for stand-up pouches, flow and shrink wrapping, powder filling, and bulk food packaging benefit our diverse customer base of supermarkets, foodservice businesses, club/wholesale stores, retailers, and pharmacies, among other large food manufacturers. To provide you with peace of mind when it comes to packaging quality and food safety, all of our operations meet FDA regulations, and we hold numerous certifications as part of that commitment, including:

    • Safe Quality Food Certification
    • Food and Drug Administration Certification
    • Organic certification by Baystate Organic Certifiers
    • Gluten-free certification by the Gluten Intolerance Group of North America
    • Costco Safety and Quality Audit Certification
    • Kosher OU-D Certification

    We also have the capability to adjust our processes for certain dietary restrictions and allergy concerns. To learn more about how Econo-Pak’s co-packing services can support your business, contact us today.

  10. Flexible Food Packaging: What You Need To Know

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    Flexible packaging has significantly grown in popularity in the food and beverage industry. Due to its many benefits, it is often the packaging of choice for various food products on a domestic and global level.

    Flexible Food Packaging

    Flexible Food Packaging: What You Need To Know

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    By using non-rigid materials to package food, manufacturers are better able to customize the container to fit the product and the brand. Flexible packaging is available in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials, and it can be created in either formed or unformed configurations. Formed packaging is pre-shaped and can be filled and sealed in-house, whereas unformed packaging comes on a roll that is sent to co-packers for forming and filling.

    Types of flexible packaging include:

    • Sample Pouches. These small heat-sealed packets are usually pre-formed for easy in-house packing and filling.
    • Printed Pouches. These are sample pouches that have been customized with branding information for marketing purposes.
    • Sachets. These flat packets are common for single-use pharmaceuticals and personal care products. They are also ideal for sample sharing in-store and at trade shows.
    • Printed Roll Stock. These arrive in an unformed roll that is already printed with product and branding information. The co-packer forms, fills, and seals them.
    • Stocks Bags. Stock bags are blank formed bags or pouches. They can be used as-is or you can add a label with branding and product information.

    Flexible food packaging materials can be used to package a wide range of products, including:

    • Baby Food
    • Chocolate and Candy
    • Beef Jerky
    • Crackers, Cookies, and Snacks
    • Grains and Flour
    • Baking Mixes and Dry Foods
    • Cereal and Granola
    • Vegetables, Fruits, and Nuts
    • Cheese and Meat Products
    • Popcorn
    • Seasonings and Spices
    • Soups, Sauces, and Salad Dressings

    Flexible containers offer incredible versatility and flexibility. This is important in the food and beverage industry as companies strive to differentiate their products in a competitive space while ensuring the items stay fresh and protected from damage.

    Benefits of Flexible Food Containers

    Flexible packaging offers a number of benefits, including:

    • Consumers Love It. Flexible packaging is extremely consumer-friendly. Upright flexible pouches make it easy to access snacks or baking ingredients, while resealable packaging ensures freshness, prevents spills, and keeps out contaminants.
    • Simplified Shipping and Handling. Lightweight flexible packaging is easier and more cost-effective to transport. This not only helps you save money but also reduces your carbon footprint due to less fuel consumption.
    • Customizable Barrier Properties. Custom films and other barrier materials can protect your product from light, air, or moisture.
    • Good for Branding. From custom graphics that highlight your brand to clear windows that allow consumers to see the product inside, flexible containers are easily customized for effective branding. 
    • Environmentally Friendly. The amount of greenhouse gases used to produce flexible packaging is lower compared to producing traditional packaging materials. 
    • Increased Shelf Life and Freshness. Barriers and resealable openings keep out UV light, moisture, dust, and more to ensure the product stays fresher, longer.
    • Lower Production Costs. Flexible packages are easier to form and require less material than rigid packages, reducing production time, waste, and energy consumption. 

    Flexible Packaging Industries

    Along with the food and beverage industry, many other industries benefit from using flexible packaging. These include:

    • Cosmetics. Resealable packages can be used for cotton pads and make-up removing wipes while flexible sample pouches can be used for foundation, concealer, lotion, and serum. 
    • Personal Care. Sample pouches are ideal for single-use medications and personal products. 
    • Household Cleaning. Flexible packaging offers an ideal solution for single-use detergent packets, cleaning powder, and more.
    • Pet Food Packaging. Flexible pouches and packages are suitable for containing dog food and treats.

    Flexible Packaging from Econo-Pak

    For more than 30 years, Econo-Pak has specialized in contract packaging, with a focus on becoming the premier food repackaging company in the country. Over the years, our family-owned and operated company has partnered with clients both large and small, including Fortune 500 companies and independent firms, in a range of industries. With 240,000 square feet of production space and over 200 different packaging machines, we can offer packaging solutions to meet your specifications, no matter the size or scope.

    To learn more about our flexible packaging capabilities for the food and beverage industry, request a quote today.