Caring for pets and livestock can be an all-consuming job. From grooming to vaccinations to mucking out stalls and cleaning chicken coops, animal owners have their hands full. Nutrition plays a central role in keeping animals healthy and happy.
From cat moms to doggie dads and horse whisperers, animal lovers depend on feed processors and distributors to provide healthy food for their feline, canine, and equine friends. What feed manufacturers decide to package their products in is every bit as important as what’s in the product. Here’s what we think is everything you need to know about animal feed bags.
Animal feed bags do several jobs. The main one, of course, is to contain and protect the feed the bag contains. But feed bags also serve as brand messengers, bearing the manufacturer’s logo and colors.
Feed bags also visually demonstrate compliance with USDA and FDA standards with proper labeling for animal feed packaging.
Feed Bag Materials
There isn’t much argument that BOPP bags (biaxially-oriented polypropylene bags) are best for feed suppliers to use as packaging for their products. These bags are made from woven polypropylene that is laminated with a biaxially oriented polypropylene film. “Biaxial” refers to two directions: the plastic film material used to create the laminate is stretched in two directions, making it exceptionally strong.
The laminated coating on BOPP bags creates a barrier that resists moisture, chemicals, and oils, keeping the feed inside the bag uncontaminated.
Another benefit of the BOPP bag is that the BOPP material accepts printing beautifully. This is essential for proper product labeling. While paper bags and paper-poly bags can be printed, logos and labeling on the exterior of those bags are subject to wear and damage.
The BOPP laminate is reverse-printed on the back of the film. The front of the bag protects images and text from damage. The quality of the film is such that the printing can achieve an almost photographic level of detail, and that detail will last because of the protection of the external side of the BOPP laminate.
It’s simply good business to make it easy for consumers to read the information on an animal feed bag. End users want to know what’s in the feed, where it came from, and how much of it to provide.
Animal feed bags must meet standards imposed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) as well as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This means they must be manufactured at facilities that maintain strict quality control systems.
Like food packaging for human beings, commercial animal feed packaging must be clearly labelled with a fairly long list of information, including:
- The product name and brand
- Animal species and class for which the feed is intended (the “purpose” statement)
- Guaranteed analysis listing required nutrients for the feed’s intended species and class of animal, and the breakdown of government-regulated nutrients (the level of nutrients required for that animal species and class)
- Ingredients in order of weight from highest to lowest (akin to how ingredients are listed in human food, starting with the main ingredient, then other ingredients in descending order of prevalence in the product)
- Feeding directions
- Whether the product is medicated, and if so, what drugs it includes and why (“medicated use statement”)
- Manufacturer and distributor information, including contact information, indicating who is responsible for the product
- Storage and disposal instructions
- Warnings or precautions
- Net weight
BOPP bags protect labels, so they won’t rub off or fade. These animal feed bags also resist punctures and tears that could damage labeling and contaminate food.
Polypropylene is less expensive than paper bags with similar properties. BOPP bags are lightweight, too, and with freight and shipping prices being what they are, every gram of weight trimmed results in savings. These bags are easy to move around, and their toughness reduces damage and product loss, saving on returns or claims for reimbursement. These bags are durable and can extend the shelf-life of the feed inside as a result.
BOPP bags are recyclable. The plastic they’re made of can be shredded and reused to make new bags or other products. Like nearly every other 21st century business, feed manufacture and distribution has adopted sustainability as a best practice. It’s cost-effective, reduces waste, and it’s kinder to the planet, as well as attractive to consumers.
End Consumer Considerations
When animal feed packaged in a BOPP bag reaches the end consumer, they need an easy way to open the bag. These bags are so strong and tear-resistant that without a built-in method of opening the bag, the consumer would have to resort to knives or scissors, risking injury and possible contamination of the feed.
The solution is that BOPP bags are manufactured with a pull-tab for easy opening. Some styles come with handles for easy carrying. The bags are stiffer than paper bags, so they stand up and store more easily.
Strong, damage-resistant, cost-effective feed bags that can reliably display both colorful, attractive images and critical labeling information are essential to any feed supplier’s business. We encourage you to take a detailed look at your feed packaging to determine if it’s truly all you want it to be.
If the bags you’re currently using have underwhelming graphics, blurred typefaces, or durability problems, contact S & K Packaging. Not only can we offer bags with terrific graphic quality that lasts, but bags that are durable, lightweight, and easy to fill.
Unlike plain paper bags, our animal-feed-appropriate BOPP bags offer a glossy appearance that stands out on feed store shelves, attracting customers. Those customers will become repeat buyers when they realize how well the bag protects the feed, how easy to store these bags are, and how recognizable they are among the other offerings out there.
We think we’ve covered everything you need to know about animal feed bags, but if you have additional questions, simply contact us. S & K Packaging supplies a wide variety of bags in various materials. If your feed packaging needs are highly specialized, or if your budget is tight, we have a solution for you.