November 29, 2017 Comments(0)

What is stick pack packaging? How to package your single serve product.

Posted by: John B. Reinhardt

So what is stick pack packaging?

If you have a single-serve product and need some flexible packaging options, where do you turn? How are you going to start looking for printers to manufacture your packaging? In order to help you with your search, here are some quick and easy answers on the true definition of stick pack packaging.

To get technical…stick pack “proper” is an actual film structure*.  (* A structure is a series of laminates to give a package specific barrier and sealing characteristics) Have you ever used or seen a  Crystal Light single serve powder packet? That’s a good example of proper stick pack structure.

Common stick pack structure.

Stick pack film is surface printed on 48ga PET / 10# WLDPE / Foil / 18# Surlyn. Not sure what any of that means? Don’t worry, most people don’t! It’s essentially a series of film layers that have been engineered to hold and form to a certain product.( In this case,  granulated drink mixes or nutritional powders…and to higher extents lotions and shampoos – *see cosmetic web) 

When dealing with powders (like Crystal Light) or products with high-fat or oil concentrations, you’ll need a bulletproof package to ensure proper sealing.  Printed stick pack material  is printed on a roll, then fed on an automated filling machine…not  filled and sealed by hand. To fill your product, you’ll need a co-packer or a piece of equipment like what’s in the video below.


stick pack packaging video

stick pack packaging single serve packaging

The item on the left is a true stick pack structure…the other is just a single serve package in the shape of a stick. 

What you need to know:

  • stick pack is a structure – not just a shape
  • stick pack arrives printed on a roll
  • needs to run on an automated filling machine
  • smaller packages like this have higher minimums since some many are needed to fulfill minimum footage requirements
  • total spend is great for profit margins
  • to get the most accurate quote, clarify how many lanes (or impressions) you’ll need across the film web.

Good luck on your stick pack packaging project!