Prototypes are made of the Zipspout bag, the new name for the Easy Pour bag from inventor Alan Olan that optimizes pouring by locating the pour-spout on the side of the bag rather than the top.
We first met inventor Alan Olin of Olin Design Group in an article published last June, A 90-degree twist on reclosable packaging, his optimized, patented design for reclosable packaging that places the reclosure on the side of the package rather than the top. Olin recently informed us that he had prototypes of five Zipspout design variations created along with other updates on his path to commercialization. He sent along the pictures of the prototypes and responds to our questions in this Q&A:
First of all, why the name change?
Olin: The main reason I made the name change from the "Easy Pour" bag to the "Zipspout" is because several other companies also use Easy Pour for their branding and I thought it was too confusing. And, I used Zipspout 1, Zipspout 2, etc to help differentiate the assorted bag designs.
What can you tell us about these prototypes?
Olin: Virtual Packaging, an M.A. Patterson Co., provided me with great prototype mock-up samples of 5 different variations from my U.S. Patent 8,992,085. Their work was timely, affordable and very professional.
I presented these mock-ups for the first time at the Global Pouch West Show on December 7th and received several compliments on how great they looked. Also, Olin Design Group has recently changed the business plan and we've decided to assign this technology, rather than license it.
Zipspout 1 (shown above) is standup pouch with a tear strip and press-to-close zipper along the upper side of the bag. This is probably the most affordable and most straight forward of the 5 prototype samples.
Zipspout 2 is also a standup pouch with a slider zipper along the upper side and a sloped top. This variation is more unique, has better functionality and provides greater product differentiation.
Zipspout 3 is a gusseted pouch/bag with a flat bottom and a slider zipper on the side gusset fold. This design allows for more product content, more display area and a truly distinctive look.
Zipspout 4 is another gusseted pouch/bag with a flat bottom, a press to close zipper on the gusset fold and a sloped top. This concept also allows for more product, more display area, is extremely easy to use and one-of-a kind.
Zipspout 5 is standup pouch with a slider zipper along the upper side and a built-in handle along the opposite side. This is a special top-of-the-line version that includes the best functionality and greatest product differentiation.
Are there other options?
Olin: These five different bag designs do not cover all of the possibilities included in the patent. For example, one could put a slider zipper on Zipspout 1 or a press-to-close zipper on Zipspout 5. There are many options to choose from; any self-supporting type of bag/pouch with a zipper along the upper side is covered by the patent.
For what products is the design especially optimized?
Olin: I believe they would be great for a line of upscale pet food, among other things. Each product could be packaged in one of the variations, while the upper side zipper would provide the common element/feature for the foremost functionality and optimal product differentiation.
For a machinability evaluation of this invention by several experts posted in July, see Form-fill-seal machinery experts assess the Easy Pour Bag
Explore novel food packaging ideas at WestPack, February 7-9, 2017, in Anaheim, CA