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Hartz's zippered bags: perched for success

January 29, 2014

5 Min Read
Hartz's zippered bags: perched for success

Being first to market with an innovative, new packaging style that simultaneously enhances product quality as well as consumer convenience is a powerful way to differentiate a brand and grow sales.


In the petfood market, consumer focus groups repeatedly list product freshness and packaging convenience as top priorities when selecting a product on a crowded market shelf. Responding quickly to market demands, one of North America's most recognized pet product providers, The Hartz Mountain Corp., Secaucus, NJ, recently launched the first standup petfood bag to feature slider-zipper technology for easy opening and closing.

As part of a company-wide brand redesign, in August 2004, Hartz began providing their Premium Bonanza(tm) bird and small-animal food lines for both the Hartz® NUTRITION(tm) Bonanza(tm) and LM Animal Farms(tm) Bonanza(tm) Bounti-Buffet(tm) Gourmet Diet sub-brands in creatively designed standup bags featuring a transverse-direction Zip-Pak® Slider(tm) zipper from Zip-Pak, a div. of ITW (www.zippak.com).

"The Zip-Pak Slider is a key part of our brand redesign," explains Kristin Ruff, divisional vp of marketing at Hartz. "Zip-Pak's slider technology keeps our quality petfoods fresh while adding a new level of convenience for pet owners. Already, we have seen our sales increase as a result of this innovative new packaging."

Hartz-brand petfood for birds and small animals such as rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, ferrets, parakeets, cockatiels and parrots is available in 2-, 4- and 5-lb bag sizes throughout the U.S. and Canada. Hartz's NUTRITION Bonanza Bounti-Buffet product lines are available in major grocery, drug and discount outlets, while LM Animal Farms' Bonanza Bounti-Buffet products can be found in pet specialty stores such as Petco.

Hartz has generated a powerful market position after 78 years of providing quality pet products. Hartz's high standards mean that only the freshest ingredients are used in their petfood products. To ensure that petfoods deliver their ultimate nutrient value, products must remain fresh until consumed.

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To this end, Hartz designed the Triple-Fresh Seal(tm) for their new packaging. When first opening a bag of Hartz NUTRITION Bonanza or LM Animal Farms Bonanza Bounti-Buffet Gourmet Diet petfood, pet owners encounter three different freshness seals: an airtight bag, a Zip-Pak Slider and a peel-away seal below the slider. After its initial opening, the packaging can be simply and securely resealed by closing the slider zipper at the top of the bag.

"The slider zipper represents a very user-friendly way for pet owners to ensure their petfood remains fresh," says Ruff. "Often, the owners of small pets are children. While press-to-close zippers protect product freshness, the slider zipper is easier for small hands to use. Of course, all users benefit from this enhanced convenience."

Convenience is further enhanced by the slider's ability to create different spout sizes. Opening the slider to a greater or lesser extent allows for easy pouring into irregularly sized animal food trays. This easy pourability results in superior consumer convenience and minimized product waste.

The slider technology keeps our quality petfoods fresh while adding a new level of convenience for pet owners.

Protecting product quality and enhancing consumer convenience are only two of the ways that Hartz's new packaging strengthens brand sales. The attractive and highly visible standup pouch also provides an effective platform for brand messaging.

Because many petfood bags lie flat on store shelves, consumers often have a hard time quickly spotting the type and brand of food they desire. Zip-Pak's transverse-direction slider allows the zipper to be placed at the top, rather than on the side of the package. This standup compatibility was an important factor for Hartz.

"Our standup package is an excellent billboard for brand messaging," confirms Ruff. "The enhanced visible surface area features vibrant print and logos that reflect the quality of the Hartz brand. Large color photos allow consumers to quickly identify each type of food for their specific pet. This significantly enhances shopping ease for consumers, as hamster and guinea pig food look very similar at first glance." The larger, visible surface also allows Hartz to more prominently display their ingredient lists on their packaging.

The ease of use provided by the slider zipper also means that consumers are more likely to leave the petfood in its packaging rather than storing it in plastic containers. This means that the Hartz brand messaging stays in front of a consumer for a longer period of time.

In selecting a zipper provider, Hartz needed to identify a partner with advanced technical support capabilities that could get their product to market quickly. "Zip-Pak technicians helped us set up our new packaging lines," explains Ruff. "They were extremely knowledgeable about both the machine from Hayssen Packaging Technologies (www.hayssen.com) used to run the bags and the attachment from AMI Equipment, a div. of Zip-Pak, used for applying the slider. Thanks to their expert advice, we were able to incorporate the slider zipper technology into our packaging without affecting output."

More information is available:

  • Zip-Pak, a div. of ITW, 800/488-6973. www.zippak.com Circle No. 207.

  • Hayssen Packaging Technologies, 864/486-4000. www.hayssen.com Circle No. 208

  • AMI Equipment, a div. of Zip-Pak, 800/488-6973. www.zippak.com Circle No. 209.

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