Inverted pouches upend food packaging: Uncle Dougie’s and Glenroy

By Rick Lingle in Pouches on March 18, 2019

The introduction of Uncle Dougie’s Organic BBQ sauces marks the debut of the StandCap premade pouch from Glenroy.


March 1 was a doubly innovative day of packaging firsts for cult favorite Uncle Dougie’s BBQ sauces and for flexible packaging supplier Glenroy.

The former was looking for packaging that could make a difference for its new line of sauces, which have a cult following in Canada and the United States for being 100% natural, gluten-free, preservative free, non-GMO and made only in small batches “before it was a thing,” Original Uncle Dougie’s LLC founder Doug “Uncle Dougie” Tomek often says.

Vendor Glenroy sought a brand-owner customer that would be the first to bring to market the StandCap inverted pouch in a turnkey, ready-to-use low-cost-to-entry premade format. In fall 2018 StandCap was officially and highly successfully unveiled during Pack Expo Intl. in Chicago where it was featured in several vendor booths.

Both goals merged with the introduction of the USDA-certified Organic BBQ sauces in StandCap packaging that’s claimed as the first sauce in a squeeze pouch.


How it came about turned out to be a sore point with consumers: the brand specifically selected the packaging to address a consumer pain point that was identified in a market study of more than 1,000 consumers.

“We talked to men and women across the country who are heavy BBQ Sauce users,” says Uncle Dougie’s CEO Rob Johnson. “They’re a confident bunch and had very straightforward feedback. They wanted an organic product to cut through the clutter of health claims. They wanted it to be different than ‘the standard, boring BBQ sauce flavors out there.’ And frankly, they were damn tired of dealing with the messy cap and spout and never being able to get the last 10 percent of the sauce out of the typical glass and plastic bottles.”

He feels the inverted pouch is a game-changing solution in form and function.

“The packaging is a real break from the category,” says Johnson. “The inverted squeeze pouches make it easier for cooks to use our sauces in recipes or for dipping. It also virtually eliminates the mess that typically collects around the lip of typical bottles. We think it’s going to change consumers’ expectations for BBQ Sauce.”

In addition to functionality, the pouches also have a winning form—Johnson feels that the inverted squeeze pouches’ looks makes them an easier canvas for communicating with consumers. “The shape alone is fun for shoppers and makes it easier for us to communicate both our brand and our ‘no crap’ approach to ingredients,” he says. “Each flavor has its own fun, friendly, bright color making the line incredibly visible on the retail shelf.”

To open, the convenient pull-ring seal is removed after unscrewing the hinged dispensing closure that is screwed back on precisely aligned with the pouch front.  

The products are available in five unique varieties including Organic Sweet Ginger Buzz (Way More Than) BBQ Sauce. The 13.5-oz inverted squeeze pouches are in rollout and will be sold $4.99 each starting at Lowe’s Foods in the Carolinas and Weis Markets in the Mid Atlantic with commitments from other retailers. The products can also be purchased online at Uncle Dougie's website.


Four years’ packaging development

The debut culminates four years of research, development and partnership-making by Glenroy, started around the same time as the worldwide debut of inverted pouch packaging through Daisy’s form-fill-seal version for sour cream. That was 2015, which was also when Glenroy brought premade pouch production capability in-house to widen the company’s overall portfolio in manufacturing film and rollstock packaging.

The vendor viewed the inverted pouch as an opportunity to reach numerous brands, a number of which could not commit to form-fill-seal-made pouches for financial reasons.

“The premade version costs substantially less than a FFS pouch—50% or more less,” says Glenroy president and CEO Rich Buss. “If a brand chooses to contract-package the pouch, it has zero capital equipment to purchase.”

In fact, there are as many differences as similarities.

“The inverted pouch is a challenging pouch to make and very different than your standard pouches,” explains Evan Arnold, product development director, noting that complexities with FFS pouching start with the fitment loading area and go from there. “I’ve found that brands are very good at filling their product in a bottle and then putting a cap on it. Similarly, with premade pouches, brands can focus on what they do best, and we as a supplier can focus on what we do best.”

“There were bumps along the road, but we saw the driving need in the market for this packaging,” Arnold continues, “and brands needed an integrated supply chain to help them bring this to market. That meant an understanding of the film requirements and how to make, fill and seal the pouches, all of which we have done. We think our premade version is the best inverted pouch option available.”

In 2016, Glenroy officially joined forces with R.A. Jones and Volpak to create a solution for offering the premade StandCap Pouch.  Glenroy uses innovative pouch converting machinery designed by Volpak to create premade StandCap Pouches.

The other stakeholders that collaborated with Glenroy on the premade StandCap pouch were:

  • Aptar developed a unique fitment, the Sierra Closure, that provides the pouch inverted stability with an easy-to-open flip-lid closure, built-in tamper evidence and uses proprietary SimpliSqueeze valve technology for optimal dispensing performance;
  • Viking Masek provides a qualified rotary filling-sealer as do several other suppliers;
  • Manufacturing Solutions Intl. (MSI) located near Chicago is qualified as the preferred contract packager.

Next: Packaging that does more


Much food for thought for packaging will be found at PackEx Toronto June 4-6, 2019, where innovative ideas in containers and design, the latest machinery and automation solutions and free education at Centre Stage will be available. For more information, visit PackEx Toronto. ___________________________________________________________________________________

Rick Lingle

Rick Lingle is senior technical editor of Packaging Digest. He’s been a packaging media journalist since 1985 specializing in food, beverage and plastic markets. He has a chemistry degree and has worked in food industry R&D for Standard Brands/Nabisco and the R.T. French Co. Reach him at [email protected] or 630-481-1426.

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