Paper bags are indispensable in your customers’ daily interactions. Whether they buy groceries, food, or apparel, providing a paper bag is a sign of courtesy. Understanding the common types of paper bags, sizes, and functions may not be an interesting subject for a business owner. However, if you’re armed with enough information, communicating the specifications to suppliers will be much efficient.

This Infographic below provides basic knowledge of paper bags and predictions about the market in the years to come.

Paper Bag Type

With various paper bag choices in the market, your ultimate goal is to find the right size, quality, and handle to match your business needs. That said, below is a rundown of what to consider:

Color: Brown vs. White Paper Bag

brown and white paper bags

Brown vs. White Paper Bag

Most establishments such as grocery stores, cafes, and restaurants use brown paper bags to pack items and takeaway containers or those brown food boxes. For brands that want to include the company logo, white paper bags are the best options to make the design more prominent. Whether you choose a brown or white paper bag, both are made from environment-friendly materials and resistant to tears.

Different Types of Paper Bag Handles

On top of your choice of color, you also need to know what type of paper bags with handles to use based on their purpose, whether for carrying food, gifts, or bulky materials.

  • Twisted paper handle — an excellent alternative to a plastic handle, the paper twist can be as thick as 120GSM, which is ideal for carrying heavy products. Although it doesn’t look elegant, this is durable.
  • Flat paper handle made from eco-friendly paper, more economical than the plastic handle, and appropriate for lightweight items.
  • Rope handle — comes with a touch of elegance and is often used at retail stores, boutiques, and gift shops. It’s more durable than twisted and flat paper handles.
  • Die-cut handle— the paper bag has a cut on the upper middle and is commonly used in carrying takeaway containers from cafes, bakeries, and restaurants.

Printing: plain paper bag vs printed with logo

A plain paper bag serves its purpose of carrying items, and it’s more cost-efficient than a colorful paper bag or printing a version with a logo. If you will only use the bag for packing items, the plain paper bag is enough. However, if you want to use the paper bag as your marketing collateral, you may print it with a logo, tagline, and name.

Weight: heavyweight paper bag vs lightweight paper bag

Heavyweight paper bags are ideal for carrying grocery items, food, snacks, and take-out containers as they are more durable than lightweight paper bags. What’s more, the heavyweight paper bag is much thicker than the lightweight version. Lightweight paper bags can carry light items and gifts, souvenirs, and packing small things.

Bottom: flat vs pinch paper bags

Pinch bottom paper bag’s bottom is similar to an envelope and ideal for carrying lightweight items like documents, small gifts, money, and cards, to name a few. Some air sickness bags are pinched bottom paper bags, which can also be used to keep the trash while onboard the plane or boat. Flat bottom paper bags can carry medium to big-sized items manufactured with or without a gusset. Its stable bottom can carry materials and stand firm as you put in heavy materials.

Purpose: General paper bags vs food-grade bags for waterproofing

General paper bags may have flat bottoms with a gusset, making them more spacious inside. For instance, if they will be used for carrying out grocery items, these are brown bags that may or may not have handles.

However, some paper bags are made to pack food and are waterproof. Some brands use these food-grade paper bags as packages for food, pet food, seeds, and animal feeds with airtight sealing to secure the materials.

Paper Bag Size:

There are different sizes of paper bags, and they can be identified by the dimensions: height, width, and the gusset, which is an extra piece of paper added to the sides or bottom of the paper bag to create a larger cubic area of space. As a result, the paper bag is stable with or without items inside.

Paper bag size measurement

  • Width: To get the width, place the paper bag facing you and measure the bottom from left to right.
  • Gusset: For the gusset, measure the distance between the front and back panels.
  • Height: For the height (depth), measure the paper bag from top to bottom.
  • Paper grammage: It means the weight of one square meter of kraft paper or grams per square meter (GSM), That being said, the higher the GSM, the thicker and more durable the paper.

The Predictions for Paper Bags Market in the Next Years

The demand for paper bags for business use is expected to rise in the next few years. Countries such as Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, Taiwan, and others have banned plastic bags. Thus the use of paper bags as an eco-friendly alternative to carrying and packing items is expected.

Aside from that, the global paper bags market was valued at 5 billion dollars in 2019, and it’s expected to grow at 4% CAGR until 2029. The most lucrative paper bags are the pinch bottom and open-mouth paper bags, used for groceries and take-out food. Moreover, as people choose to take away their food on the go, this will also result in more demand for paper bags.

On top of that, paper bags are not limited to carrying or packaging items, but it’s also the best way to promote your brand. You can include your company logo, tagline, and other bold messages to catch customers’ attention.

Final Thoughts

As a brand owner, choosing the right paper bag for your business is critical in providing customer service. You wouldn’t let your customers carry out paid items with bare hands. So, whether you weigh out the pros and cons of plastic bags or choose a brown paper bag or a white paper bag, deciding its ultimate purpose for your business is essential. If you will use it to pack items, a plain paper bag is a good option, but if you want to maximize your bag and use it as a marketing tool, printing it with your logo will suffice.

Now that you know the different types of bags and sizes and how to choose the right handle, we hope you’d be able to select the one that suits your business needs.

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