Why are side gusset bags so popular for food packaging?

When it comes to food packaging, side gusset bags are one of the most popular choices across every sector. Flexible, practical and attractive, these bags are low-cost to produce and offer good shelf life for all kinds of edible goods. Plus, the design of the bags allows for a readable design to be printed on not just two, but four sides – perfect for maximising your branding and marketing.

Self-standing pouches and box-bottom bags may offer advantages for certain types of products, but it’s unlikely that they will ever overtake the side gusset bag in terms of popularity. Let’s look at the four key features that make side-gusset bags the first choice for so many food products in wholesale and retail.

Durable, low-cost construction

Side gusset bags do an excellent job of protecting the edible goods inside them, thanks to a sturdy, air-tight construction. The primary factor in this is the foil barrier that provides excellent closure once heat sealed.

The design of a side gusset bag means that each unit is formed from a single reel of material. Each bag can be printed quickly and accurately, laminated and cut in a straightforward process before being formed into individual units. It’s simpler (and cheaper) to construct than comparable options like stand-up pouches or box-bottom bags, meaning that buyers – and their end customer – can benefit from a lower cost per kilo of their coffee, pasta or snack.

Tamper evident

Tamper evidence is a critical part of food packaging, ensuring not only the quality but the safety of the goods contained within. From indicator tabs or buttons, to self-destructing seals that reveal when a packet has been open, it’s essential that you and your customers can identify a damaged and potentially unsafe packet.

When it comes to protecting your product, the heat seal of a side gusset bag bakes it immediately apparent if the packaging has been compromised and the contents exposed. This goes for accidental damage that lets in moisture or oxygen, as well as deliberate tampering (although the material itself should be strong enough to prevent accidental damage).


The simple design of the side gusset bag is perfectly functional, but also lends itself to customisation in order to provide the most flexible packaging for your end-customers. One-way valves and tin ties can easily be integrated into the design, for functional bags that keep their contents fresh.

Tin ties do not offer a completely air-tight seal but are ideal for securing bag in case of spillage or short-term air exposure. This is particularly valuable in retail environments, where goods are used up relatively quickly but may need to be stored in high-traffic areas.

One-way valves are designed to accommodate the degassing requirements of products like coffee beans. These allow carbon dioxide to be safely released from roasted beans without oxygen entering the bag and affecting their quality.

Variety of materials

Side gusset bags are available in a huge range of materials to match the persona of any brand. Natural kraft is a popular choice for brand identities with a rustic feel, but a more luxurious finish can be achieved with shiny PET or matt MOP.

In terms of printing, you can maximise the four sides of real estate with colour and text on all four sides, using spot UV to provide a partial matt/gloss effect to help your bags stand out on the shelf.


Side gusset bags are a simple and effective way to package most dried foods, sweet and savoury snacks, coffee beans and many more edible products. The offer a classic design with plenty of marketing real estate at one of the lowest prices available per-pouch, without compromising the quality and shelf life of the good inside them.

You might be drawn to the novelty of other packaging designs, but is there really any reason to make it more complicated than it needs to be?


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