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Bags and Pouches: How Are They Different in the Food Packaging Industry?

Updated: Jan 18

When it comes to packaging for food products, many business owners use the words "bags" and "pouches" almost interchangeably. But, while these terms have a similar meaning, you'll see that they're pretty different if you look closely at them. In general, “bags” have a broader meaning and can be used to refer to a wide range of food packaging containers, including pouches, grain bags, flat-bottom bags, and more. "Pouches," on the other hand, refer to a particular type of container that's often rectangular in shape and is used for packaging both solid and liquid food products. Need more information about food bags and pouches? Refer to our guide below:


Pouches are easy to identify due to their unique feature: a bottom gusset that expands as the pouch is filled with products. Depending on the design and material, the bottom gusset allows food packaging pouches to stay upright without any support from nearby objects. This means they take up less shelf space while allowing the brand and the product to be more visible to customers. Pouches can be made with zippers (to make them resealable and reusable), spouts (to easily pour out liquid products), handles (to make them easy to carry around), and other design features. Bags, on the other hand, are offered in various designs. Side gusset bags, for example, have expandable gussets on two sides that allow the bags to accommodate more weight or volume without being too tall or too wide. Meanwhile, flat-bottom bags have both side and bottom gussets, giving them a highly attractive appearance and providing a bigger space for more interesting branding and advertising artwork.


Pouches are made with several layers of materials (usually linear polyethylene resin) to protect their food contents during shipping and distribution. Most pouches have at least three layers: an inner food-graded layer that keeps food fresh and safe to consume, a middle layer where all advertising artwork is printed on, and an outermost layer that protects the rest of the pouch from the external environment. Just like pouches, many food bags are made of linear polyethylene resin. However, many manufacturers also offer alternative materials, such as paper bags, which are ideal for tea, rice, and coffee packaging. Food packaging bags are also made of renewable wood pulp starch and have proven to be biodegradable and compostable, which are ideal for companies that want to market themselves as eco-friendly businesses.

Get in Touch with Us

While bags and pouches might differ in design, materials, and other factors, they are both important in the food manufacturing industry. The good news is that buying high-quality food pouches and bags is now easy, especially if you reach out to Rapid Food Solutions. We offer world-class custom food containers, such as stand-up pouches, soft-touch zipper pouches, and more. Whether you want to get eye-catching packaging for coffee bags or you're looking for durable portion-control pouches, you won't go wrong with choosing our team. Learn more about our products and solutions by giving us a call today!

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