Mini-cookie pouches pack big appeal

Packaging Digest Staff

February 1, 2014

5 Min Read
Mini-cookie pouches pack big appeal

Keebler's new resealable standup pouch helps keep cookies fresh, stores them until they are consumed and is perfectly sized for snackers on-the-go.

Growing sales in a large category may sometimes call for small measures. That's the strategy of the Keebler Co. of Elmhurst, IL, which has launched the new Mini line of mini-sized cookies. Keebler, the second largest cookie and cracker manufacturer in the U.S., offers the Mini cookies in five flavors: Chips Deluxe® chocolate chip, Rainbow Chips Deluxe®, Fudge Shoppe® fudge-covered shortbread, E.L. Fudge® sandwich cookies and Sandies® pecan shortbread.

During the packaging design stage, Keebler sought a unique solution that would set the product apart. Because the Mini cookies' snack positioning called for a fun, portable package as Uncommonly Good® as the treats themselves, Keebler chose a format that would allow consumers to satisfy their sweet cravings anytime, anywhere. The end result is a colorful, durable, 8-oz standup pouch with a reclosable zipper that is generously portioned for multiple-snack occasions.

While Keebler reports that the cookies are made in a hollow tree, the packaging comes from Pechiney Plastic Packaging, Presto Products and Valley Packaging Supply.

Film enhances shelf impact, shelf life
To address the multiple challenges posed by the Mini cookie products, Keebler worked with global flexible film supplier Pechiney Plastic Packaging of Chicago. A multilayer film structure produced by Pechiney at its Menasha, WI, plant plays the leading role in the cookie line's presentation and protection.

Film requirements for the Mini cookies include enhanced barrier characteristics that keep pecans crunchy, cookies crisp, and the chocolate chips and fudge stripes firm but not dry. The laminate must resist heat during the filling process and provide sufficient stiffness to keep the pouch standing upright on the shelf. Finally, durability is essential to safeguard the Keebler® brand image–and cookies–throughout the life of the package.

In terms of product presentation, because of the impulse nature of snack and cookie sales, eye-popping graphics and category presence are critical to making the package stand out on the shelf.

To meet these demands, Pechiney laminates and prints a high-barrier, multilayer film specially engineered for cookie products: a reverse-printed polyethylene terephthalate/ low-density polyethylene/metallized polyethylene/LDPE sealant structure.

The structure bundles many benefits into one high-value laminate. The reverse-printed PET creates a glossy, eye-catching package. Because the print surface is captured between the film layers, the packaging graphics resist scuffing and scratching. Graphics, including high-resolution illustrations and photography, are printed in eight colors using rotogravure technology.

The metallic film layer contributes moisture and other barrier properties, while adding dimension and shimmer. This extra luster creates an upscale trade dress across the product spectrum, from the colorful kid-pleasing colors and Ernie Keebler character used on Rainbow Chips Deluxe package to the sophisticated golden metallic of the Sandies pecan shortbread pouch.

150705-0602keebler2.jpg Pouches form portable cookie jar
Keebler leverages internal capabilities by outsourcing premade standup pouches through Valley Packaging Supply, a Green Bay, WI-based bag and pouch converter. Celebrating its 25th year in business, Valley Packaging converts pouches for packaging film suppliers nationwide.

To create the Minis standup pouch, Valley Packaging unwinds and folds the preprinted film roll from Pechiney, forms the pouch's bottom gusset, applies the zipper in-line, seals the pouch sides, and adds the tear notch and hanger hole. The 8-oz pouch, measuring 7.5 x 9.625 in., with a 2.5-in. bottom gusset, can be pegged, clipped on fixtures or displayed standing on the shelf, providing retailers with total merchandising flexibility.

Preformed pouches are shipped to Keebler with the zipper open, a value-added convenience pioneered by Valley Packaging that streamlines in-line fulfillment. After Keebler fills and seals the pouches, the product is ready for distribution.

152285-0602keebler3.jpg Zipper closes the sale
Keebler tops off the Mini-cookie packages with a consumer-friendly reclosable zipper, a value-added feature that positions the packaging as a pack-and-snack item, and helps keep the cookies fresh until they are consumed.

The ability of a zipper to drive sales is well-documented, notes Presto Products. According to a 1999 study from Promo Edge, a division of Menasha Corp., 67 percent of consumers consider zippered packaging very or extremely important in their purchase decision.

The Keebler package uses Presto's FRESH-LOCK® Style 113 zipper. The closure style is a two-layer LDPE zipper with a thick single-zipper channel and patented ethylene-vinyl acetate sealing ribs that enhance application of the zipper to the film. Style 113's extra-wide offset flange offers an increased gripping area that makes opening the zipper easier for the consumer.

Keebler actively promotes the reclosable package to consumers with a craving for convenience. Graphics on the top of the package call out the reclosable zipper, and copy on the back panel touts the resealable pouch's convenience and portability factors.

For savvy brand packagers like Keebler that are baking up ideas to satisfy consumers' growing snack habits and on-the-go lifestyles, the reclosable standup pouch is a sweet solution. It not only defines the product concept to consumers, it becomes the delivery system that takes the cookies on the road. Move over, cookie jars!

More information is available:

Pouch film: Pechiney Plastic Packaging, Inc., 773/399-3000. Circle No. 216.

Film converting: Valley Packaging Supply Co., 920/336-9012. Circle No. 217.

Zipper: Presto Products Co., 800/558-3525. Circle No. 218.

Study: Promo Edge, a div. of Menasha Corp., 888/532-3334. Circle No. 219.

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