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Blister-equipment advancements aid pharmaceutical packagers

Blister-equipment advancements aid pharmaceutical packagers

Pharmaceutical brand owners and the contract packagers that serve them are driving advancements in blister-packaging equipment that include faster changeover, compatibility with multiple blister formats and ease of operation.

Packaging Digest learned about these trends—and more—in a Q&A with experts from several leading blister-packaging equipment companies. The participants are:

• Tim Saarinen, chief operating officer for Maruho Hatsujyo Innovations (MHI);

• Brad Feldman, senior sales engineer at Thomas Packaging; and

• Michael Wagner, sales manager for Applications Support, Rebuilds and Aftermarket at Uhlmann Packaging.

What recent advancements have you seen in pharmaceutical blister-packaging machinery?

Saarinen: Prototype tooling for preliminary blister-card assessment of design, child-resistance, stability and market appeal is now available at a fraction of the traditional cost by utilizing 3D printing. Prototyping the blister cards allows design optimization prior to making the large investment in production tooling. Also, modern blister equipment is considerably more automated and easier to use.

Wagner: The clear tendency is toward even smaller batches. High-potency products and very expensive products are, more and more, what is packed in blisters. Therefore, the main goal is no rejects. “Easy to clean” is absolutely mandatory.

Feldman: As far as advancements,the feeders are better. There used to be just one kind of dedicated feeder, but now different companies are making feeders for various products. So you just get the change parts for tablets, capsules or whatever you’re filling, and it flows right into the cavity.

Is the emergence of more child-resistant carded blister packs having an impact on the development of blister-packaging equipment?

Feldman: Not the main blister machine, and that’s what we deal with. It’s all in the after-equipment—the card-sealer machines and the cartoners, things like that. The blister machine is just kicking out the blisters, and then the company does something with the formed blister, like putting it in a special machine for blister cards.

Saarinen: For products that have the volume to support integrated systems, more blister lines include integrated carding systems.

Wagner: Not necessarily. The machines are already capable of running child-resistant (CR) blisters. Peel-and-push, push-through or peel are doable on most of the machines.

How do the new advanced pharmaceutical blister-packaging systems compare to the existing standard equipment?

Saarinen: Modern blister equipment offers precise control of production parameters, which are typically PLC-driven with adjustment of values on the Human Machine Interface (HMI) for easier setup and adjustment. Setups are primarily recipe driven, and today’s machines are more capable of adjusting and compensating automatically to small changes in materials, print and other manufacturing variables. Format-part changeovers are faster and, frequently, tool-free.

Wagner: Smaller footprint and easier, faster changeover are musts. Smaller batches are requiring more changeovers and more blister-packaging formats.

Format pricing is therefore becoming more and more of a topic. This pricing speaks to how versatile you need the machine to be. The more formats (different types/shapes/sizes of blisters) you potentially need, the more versatile the equipment needs to be; that may entail purchasing optional add-ons with the machine.

The Eagle-Omni blister-packaging machine from Maruho Hatsujyo Innovations (MHI) can be used to fill solids, gummies, powders, liquids or devices. It is compatible with various feeding equipment and offers straightforward format changes.

What are the benefits of these advancements for packaging machinery buyers/users?

Wagner: Smaller machines are usually cheaper. The market is moving more towards basic (simpler/smaller) blister machines, which is a highly competitive market, and that is additionally impacting pricing.

Also, the users are becoming less and less trained, and the machines must be easier to use and to maintain.

Saarinen: Lower cost for prototyping and easier, more reliable operation with faster changeovers.

Feldman: The benefit of a dedicated feeder is that it’s more accurate, and it’s quicker. You’re getting a better fill rate, better speeds and better output.

What areas in pharmaceutical blister-packaging machinery still need work and why?

Saarinen: The need for faster, easy-to-use, reliable equipment that maximizes value will always continue. Simplified integration with auxiliary equipment such as feeder systems and cartoners, along with systems that have artificial intelligence built in to help in setup and reliable operation, are areas that continue to receive attention.

Feldman: I think liquid feeding still needs improvement, but is getting better.

Wagner: Expensive pharmaceutical products, particularly if they have a very high sensitivity to humidity. Also low-volume products.

The compact Blister Express Center 300, from Uhlmann, is an integrated system with blister and cartoner modules. Quick changeover makes the machine suitable for frequent blister-format changes.

Have aluminum tariffs spurred pharmaceutical companies to switch from all-aluminum blisters to plastic blisters with aluminum lidding?

Wagner: Alu-alu is used to create a really high moisture barrier, and it will still be used. Honeywell Aclar, with similar capabilities, is also very expensive, so no real change should be recognizable.

Saarinen: While the MHI machines are used to make blisters with plastic lidding and forming films, we have not seen a large shift away from aluminum in the market. While cost is always a factor, customers are selecting their forming and lidding materials primarily based on required functionality such as barrier properties, child-resistance and physical protection, along with marketing considerations such as shelf appeal. There are certainly new higher-barrier films available that compete with cold-form products.

What’s next with pharmaceutical blister-packaging machinery, and when might we see further improvements in this type of equipment?

Feldman: There are some advancements among materials suppliers. One of the vendors we work with is coming out with a new material designed for gummy hot-fill, where they fill a hot, gummy liquid into the blister; it cools and is nonstick. So the end user can just pop it right out of the blister. It’s very popular, especially in the cannabis market. That’s where a lot of our new business is at—the cannabis market.

Saarinen: Easier-to-use equipment with rapid changeovers is likely to continue to be a focus. Streamlined integration of accessories and peripherals will continue to be important. The use of artificial intelligence in the equipment to make the equipment easier to use, more robust to variations in the materials used, and to provide more efficiency will also be a focus.

Wagner: The next step might be single-dose serialization.

The Sepha EZ Blister, available from Thomas Packaging, is a tabletop blister machine that is suited to research and development, stability studies and small batches.

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EastPack 2019 (June 11-13) is the region's premier packaging event connecting professionals from companies like PepsiCo, Pepperidge Farms and Mars with suppliers offering the latest packaging technologies, including a range of automation solutions, from semi-automatic equipment to sophisticated "smart" systems. Register to attend today!

Labeling/Claims

Best If Used By date code recommended for food labeling

Best If Used By date code recommended for food labeling
Standardizing on "Best If Used By" for date-code labeling might reduce food waste as consumers become more educated about voluntary date codes for quality, not food safety.

Three U.S. regulatory agencies agree. We should standardize the voluntary date-code labeling for food sold in the United States as part of a new strategy to fight food and packaging waste.

In April 2019, the federal government announced the launch of an interagency effort called the “Winning on Reducing Food Waste FY 2019-2020 Federal Interagency Strategy.” The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are working together on the strategy.

The agencies have identified six priority areas, which are to:

1. Enhance interagency coordination.

2. Increase consumer education and outreach efforts.

3. Improve coordination and guidance on food loss and waste measurement.

4. Clarify and communicate information on food safety, food date labels and food donations.

5. Collaborate with private industry to reduce food loss and waste across the supply chain.

6. Encourage food waste reduction by federal agencies in their respective facilities.

Food-brand owners and their packaging suppliers will be watching the fourth priority area—specifically food safety and date labeling—the most carefully.

In a written announcement with details of the strategy, Frank Yiannas, FDA deputy commissioner for Food Policy and Response, stated, “The issue of food safety and food waste are intertwined, with research showing that there is confusion over the meaning behind date labeling terminology on food packages that have an adverse effect on food waste. Contrary to popular beliefs, date labeling on food packages are often intended to communicate time ranges for optimal food quality, not safety.”

He added, “With more than one-third of all available food uneaten through waste or loss and one in six Americans suffering a foodborne illness each year, it’s clear that many people are unnecessarily discarding food in fear of food safety issues. This is why the FDA is focused on taking steps to make date labeling on foods clearer and easier for consumers to determine when a food should be discarded. We remain committed to working with the EPA and USDA to better educate Americans on how to reduce food waste and how to do it safely.”

In the following exclusive interview, Yiannas answers Packaging Digest’s questions about the interagency strategy and its potential effect on packaging.

With regard to food date labeling, what are the next steps as the agencies implement the food-waste-reduction strategy?

Yiannas: FDA is supporting the food industry’s efforts to standardize the terminology used on voluntary quality-based date labeling on packaged foods. Consistent with the voluntary industry standard that was put forward by GMA (Grocery Manufacturers Assn.) and FMI (Food Marketing Institute) in 2017, we are encouraging manufacturers that choose to apply a quality-based date label to packaged foods do so by using the introductory phrase “Best If Used By.” Studies have shown that this terminology best conveys to consumers that the date label is about optimal quality, not the safety of the food, and that it does have to be discarded upon reaching that date if it has been are stored properly and shows no signs of significant spoilage. This is also consistent with a 2016 recommendation by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Do you expect the ultimate guidance from the agencies to include changes to on-pack food date codes?

Yiannas: Not at this time, because neither Congress nor FDA has mandated the use of open-code date labels on packaged foods. With a few exceptions, the practice of putting date labels on foods for quality evolved at the will of the industry and remains voluntarily.

How might food date codes change?

Yiannas: Over time, we expect to see the multitude of various date labels used to be reduced as industry aligns upon a more standardized best practice—the Best If Used By terminology.

When would changes to food date codes take effect?

Yiannas: These changes are already underway and being adopted by many food producers. We hope that FDA’s support of this approach serves to further accelerate industry adoption.

Would any changes to food date codes be regulated by the federal government, or will these be voluntary changes by food manufacturers?

Yiannas: At this time, food date labels for quality reasons are industry best practices, not regulatory requirements. Nevertheless, FDA supports the standardized terminology.

How will USDA, EPA and FDA educate consumers and food manufacturers about food date codes?

Yiannas: Having a standardized date label for quality is good, but it’s not enough. That’s why FDA is encouraging the food industry to educate consumers about the meaning of information it provides on packaged foods, including open-code date labels.

FDA is also working with EPA and USDA to develop consistent and uniform consumer messages. We’ve done this through development of consumer educational materials, such as tip sheets and infographics. These materials provide simple, actionable tips to consumers on how to reduce food waste when cooking, grocery shopping or eating out.

Each agency has information on its website. For example, a web page on FDA.gov houses all our materials for consumers on how to reduce food waste and links to more information from EPA and USDA.

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EastPack 2019 (June 11-13) is the region's premier packaging event connecting professionals from companies like PepsiCo, Pepperidge Farms and Mars with suppliers offering the latest packaging technologies, including a range of automation solutions, from semi-automatic equipment to sophisticated "smart" systems. Register to attend today! 

Tabletop label printer uses white toner to boost quality, versatility

Tabletop label printer uses white toner to boost quality, versatility
Printing with white toner gives brand owners flexibility in selecting label facestock color and allows additional design creativity.

AstroNova Inc. is giving labeling an intriguing twist with its new QuickLabel QL-300 printer. The electrophotographic (EP) printer uses white toner, in addition to four colors, and can print on a variety of label materials.

The QL-300 prints high-resolution graphics in a single pass, creating durable print that is water-fast and UV-resistant. Although the digital printer has a compact size, it is designed for full-production label printing. It can print on a range of colored materials, ranging from black to metallic to transparent.

Label widths range from 1 to 5 inches, and the printer can operate in roll-to-cut or roll-to-roll mode. Mohit Bhushan, director, global product management, at AstroNova answers Packaging Digest’s questions about the QuickLabel QL-300 printer and the technology driving it.

How does the addition of white toner open up creative labeling opportunities?

Bhushan: The desktop solutions in the labeling industry today are limited to four colors: cyan, magenta, yellow and black. These colors generally combine well together to offer a decent gamut of colors; however, they cannot mix to produce a white color. As a result, the customers are limited to printing on white-colored label material that allows white to be indicated only by the absence of color. White toner allows printing with white on a variety of label materials with different colors and textures. In the past, this was only possible in a commercial print shop with large presses costing several hundred thousand to a few million dollars. With the QL-300, it becomes an option for businesses, manufacturers or brand owners.

What change was necessary to be able to add white toner to the printer?

Bhushan: Toner-based printing has existed for some time and is a relatively mature technology. However, desktop-based solutions with this technology have revolved around sheet-fed printing, like you would see with your office document printer or copier.

Label printing is a more complicated process where you need to print rich colors on continuous rolls of media. Printing on die-cut labels adds another level of complication around sensing gaps or reflective black marks. Printer manufacturers themselves have looked at label printing as a niche that is difficult for them to understand or serve.

AstroNova used its 25 years of experience in desktop labeling with the inherent reliability and maturity of toner-based printing to produce a tabletop label printer exclusively designed to print beautiful labels with vibrant colors.

How is the QL-300 designed as a full-production label printer? What’s different from other tabletop label printers?

Bhushan: There have been attempts in the past by label-printer manufacturers to design a toner-based printer for labeling. These attempts have revolved around taking an office document printer and making some modifications to allow it to print on continuous media.

This approach is very much like taking a horse cart and trying to turn it into a car by fixing an automobile engine in front. The results with the office-printer process were inefficient, with weak print quality. And large amounts of unnecessary waste were generated in the process. The overall customer experience was not great with any of those attempts.

The QL-300 was designed from the ground up to be a robust label printer for day-in and day-out operation. Allow me to point out a few unique design characteristics:

• The transfer process used in the printer was designed keeping in mind the unique needs of printing on continuous-roll media.

• Fusing temperatures are better regulated to match the unique needs of printing on different label substrates.

• A smartly designed built-in cutter allows printing labels with zero waste.

Do label substrates need to be porous to accept toner printing without smearing?

Bhushan: The EP toner-based printing process forms an image on paper by taking precise amounts of toner in different layers and “fusing” them with heat onto the material. The dry toners used in the QL-300 printer ensure excellent image quality and durability that is resistant to abrasion and UV light. Unlike water-based inkjet technologies, which require inks to penetrate the top coat, dry toners do not require the substrate to be porous.

Why is the QL-300 printer able to print on any color of label material?

Bhushan: It is a combination of the versatility of its dry toner-based printing and capability to print with white toner. On colored media, the QL-300 printer allows printing of a layer of white toner and simultaneous layering with a precise amount of CMYK [cyan, magenta, yellow, key/black] colors to produce the desired color output. More advanced designs can include gradations of colors and white, as well as a spot-UV sheen or varnished appearance when printing black onto a dark-colored material.

What is the printing speed of the QL-300, and how does this compare to your other 4-color printers?

Bhushan: The QL-300 is capable of printing at speeds of up to 6 inches/sec at 1,200 x 1,200 dots per inch (dpi) resolution. The QL-300 printer speed is comparable to our other 4-color, digital inkjet label printers when printing at similar print resolutions.

Why is it critical that a label printer print all colors in a single pass?

Bhushan: Single-pass printing refers to printing that produces a completed copy in a single “pass.” In other words, the page is fed into the printer, printed and ejected immediately from the other side. It doesn’t spend any extra time in the printer, because all the ink is applied at one time. That may seem obvious, but it’s an important distinction.

With single-pass printing technology, the cyan, magenta, yellow, black and white-toner cartridges all have their own drums, which allows each to dispense ink at the same time. The apparent advantage of this is it produces much quicker results. A somewhat less obvious advantage, but critical for label printing, is that single-pass printing eliminates the possibility of image distortion due to shifting of drums or label media.

Multipass printing requires multiple “passes” under a single drum that can only dispense one type of ink at a time. Many office document printers are multipass printers using four colors; a sheet of paper has to pass beneath the drum four separate times to produce full-color results. This makes the multicolor printing process excruciatingly slow, and that can have a significant impact on productivity in a fast-paced environment. Multiple passes also make it prone to image distortion errors due to shifting of either drum or label media when making those passes.

How does single-pass printing reduce label waste?

Bhushan: Single-pass printing ensures accurate image placement, so customers can get perfectly printed labels without worrying about distortion caused by shifting. Those distortions can result in a lot of waste of labels and toner—and the valuable time of customers, as they try to achieve the print quality they find acceptable.

What label applications are suited to roll-to-cut rather than the roll-to-roll operation?

Bhushan: Typically, customers using automatic applicators prefer the roll-to-roll label printing operation, because most applicators expect roll-based input. Customers who typically print smaller batches and manually apply labels find it easier to use the printer in a roll-to-cut mode.

Also, when customers are printing small batches for initial proofing samples, to validate print quality and image, they may find it easier to produce those in the roll-to-cut mode before switching to the roll-to-roll mode for production runs. The QL-300 printer has a built-in, automatic cutter to allow printing in the roll-to-cut mode. The printer can be run in the roll-to-roll mode by connecting it to a rewinder unit that may also be purchased from AstroNova.

AstroNova updated CQL Pro label software in time for the QuickLabel QL-300 launch and offers a free software license with purchase of the printer. How did you improve the software, and why?

Bhushan: CQL Pro software’s uniqueness lies in its simple and user-friendly design, which allows users with limited or no experience to design and manage their labels.

Before the QL-300 launch, our software team ensured that the Windows driver for the printer works seamlessly with CQL Pro, so our customers find it easy to install and work with this printer without having to go through training on a different label-management software. The same ability to easily add barcodes, QR [quick-response] codes or serialized data that customers enjoy with other printers will be available to them when they start working with the QL-300.

Also, customers that use third-party labeling software (like NiceLabel or BarTender, for example) will be able to use the QL-300 printer without any changes.

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EastPack 2019 (June 11-13) is the region's premier packaging event connecting professionals from companies like PepsiCo, Pepperidge Farms and Mars with suppliers offering the latest packaging technologies, including a range of automation solutions, from semi-automatic equipment to sophisticated "smart" systems. Register to attend today!

Digital Printing

Single-pass digital printing delivers double-duty labels for distiller

Single-pass digital printing delivers double-duty labels for distiller
Award-winning labels on the back of Deviation Distilling's gin bottles are digitally printed, front-and-back in a single pass, with different graphics.

Deviation Distilling is elevating beverage packaging with digitally printed labels that are applied to the back of its gin bottles but are visible from the front of the bottle. In this striking packaging design, consumers look through the product inside the bottle to view decorative graphics on the back label. But upon turning the bottle over, they see completely different graphics—on the same label.

American Label, located in Salt Lake City, UT, prints Deviation Distilling’s large pressure-sensitive labels using an HP Indigo WS6800 Digital Press.A sandwich-print technique enables the converter to print two sets of graphics, those viewed from the front of the package and those viewed from the back, in a single pass through the press.

The “sandwich” starts with a clear biaxially oriented polypropylene (BOPP) substrate, onto which a four-color reverse print, a layer of HP Indigo Premium White ink and a second four-color process separation are printed.

“Up until a few years ago this probably wouldn’t have been possible. HP changed its formulation of white ink, and that really was helpful in this. The premium white is more opaque, and it helped us get where we needed with the opacity,” says Rob Bullen, digital label specialist at American Label.

“The side of the label that you’re seeing through the bottle is the adhesive side of the back label” with the reverse-print, he says. “From the back of the bottle, you see a solid color with the Deviation Distilling logo and regulatory information.”

Thor Rasmussen, sales manager at American Label, adds, “Normally this would be done on a flexographic press, and it would be two layers of material. You would start with a clear layer and you would print four-color process, and then you would laminate onto that a white substrate and then print on the white substrate again using four-color process." In contrast, Deviation Distilling’s labels are digitally printed in “a single layer, single pass,” which is essentially doing “the un-doable.”

The front of the distiller’s tall, rectangular glass bottle is decorated with a more conventional pressure-sensitive label made from metallic BOPP. The small front label is printed with brand name, percentage alcohol, proof and product flavor. Deviation Distilling launched this line of gins—the company’s first products—in January 2019. The three flavors are Citrus Rosé, Mountain Herb and Spice Trade.

The packaging has been turning heads not only at retail but also in the packaging and spirits industries. In March 2019, the package won an Excellence in Packaging gold medal in the American Distilling Institute’s Craft Sprits Awards competition. That same month, at the Dscoop Edge 2019 conference, American Label won the HP Inkspiration Award for the Deviation Distilling gin labels.

Cindi Wiley, co-founder of Denver-based Deviation Distilling, answers a few questions from Packaging Digest about her company’s new gins and its unusual packaging.

Who created the graphics for the Deviation Distilling labels?

Wiley: These gin labels were a collaboration between myself and our business partners. We also worked with an extremely talented graphic artist who brought the ideas to life.

What is the closure made from?

Wiley: The cap is a clear plastic material. It is made from a cutting-edge technology without using adhesives to secure the cap to the leg.

Are the labels applied manually or automatically?

Wiley: These labels are all applied by hand.

Where is Deviation Distilling gin sold?

Wiley: We are currently in 80 liquor stores in and around the Denver area. We are working hard to get distribution all over the state. We are also in some high-end restaurants and bars around the Denver area. We recently partnered with a distribution company here in Colorado to assist us in widening our reach.

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EastPack 2019 (June 11-13) is the region's premier packaging event connecting professionals from companies like PepsiCo, Pepperidge Farms and Mars with suppliers offering the latest packaging technologies, including a range of automation solutions, from semi-automatic equipment to sophisticated "smart" systems. Register to attend today!

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

Inverted pouches upend food packaging: Uncle Dougie’s and Glenroy
The StandCap premade pouch has a first user: Uncle Dougie's organic BBQ sauces hit the market in 13.5 ounces packs.

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

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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. ___________________________________________________________________________________

From a marketing view and shortly after Daisy’s 2015 launch, it became apparent that the upside-down variation of the familiar stand-up pouch had tremendous upside potential.

“After Daisy Squeeze was launched, Daisy reported that this line extension resulted in a 69.7% increase in sales,” marketing manager Amanda Dahlby points out. “Notably, 18% of the total volume sold was incremental to the sour cream category, which means this pouch didn't cannibalize Daisy’s traditional sour cream tub sales. And they managed to achieve all this while charging approximately 25% more per ounce for Daisy Squeeze than sour cream sold in traditional packaging.”

Based on the many inquiries Glenroy has experienced over the past six months, there’s obviously pent-up demand for the premade inverted pouch.

Company's most successful launch

Arnold reports “we’ve had an incredible amount of interest; in fact, half our booth leads at Pack Expo 2018 were for this format, which post-show has had more interest than any product we've ever launched.”

Glenroy reports a common theme for interested brands across all product categories: most want the packaging to do more than just contain their product.

“The attraction for brands is not only the shelf impact, but improving the customer experience; the pouch provides clean, controlled dispensing, while eliminating the need for a utensil, and even extending the shelf life of products,” says Arnold.

Dahlby notes further benefits of the gravity-assisted dispensing that’s always at the ready. “There’s no dirty utensils to clean afterwards, no cross contamination, and dispensing is incredibly convenient. Products that were once shoved to the back of the refrigerator end up being stored prominently within the refrigerator door and used more frequently as toppings; this package widely expands the usage occasions for many products.”
She also feels the format is sustainably beneficial.


Sustainably beneficial

“Consumers can access and remove virtually 100% of the product from the StandCap pouch, which makes consumers feel like they’re not being cheated, and they’re getting their money’s worth. This also reduces food waste,” Dahlby explains.  “The easy, utensil-free dispensing also saves time for consumers; this package is essentially a lifehack, and consumers are willing to pay for convenience.

“And for brands attempting to capture more market share from millennials, this package is a no brainer. Mintel’s report Global Packaging Trends 2018 states that millennials are increasingly shopping the periphery of stores, turning their backs on the center aisles. The Global Packaging Director for Mintel points to flexible packaging as one way to attract millennials back to center store aisles.

“And according to research firm Freedonia Group, millennials—more so than any preceding generation—‘adore pouches’," Dahlby continues. “They aren’t bound to traditional packaging. Millennials are looking for new, exciting types of packaging that they can use in their everyday lives. A Freedonia analyst referred to the generation’s affinity for pouches as ‘millennial embrace’.”

Dahlby notes that squeezable products ideal for this package include condiments, sauces, honey, dessert toppings, greek yogurt, preserves, jellies, spreads, dips, salad dressings, and the list goes on.

“Even products with chunks are candidates,” Dahlby adds. “The list of products that are well-suited for this package is pretty exhaustive.”

In short, anything pumpable is in play.

Pouch materials and options

The pouch itself offers a range of options. Although Glenroy declines to share pouch film specifications, it indicates that the structures is similar to FFS options in offering product protection, barrier and options that prevent flavor scalping. The durable pouches can withstand the rigors of distribution whether traditional on-shelf at retail or for ecommerce, Arnold says. The premade pouches are available in clear, opaque white and metallized-look packaging in a current size range of 12 to 14 ounces. Processing options are either hot-fill or ambient filling.

The stock fitment from Aptar is available in a range of colors along with hundreds of valve choices that are engineered according to the product requirements.

“There are many different closure options that the brand can take advantage of for customizing its own unique packaging,” summarizes Arnold.

What began with Uncle Dougie’s BBQ sauces will soon spread to other brands and products.

“We have several other companies that are now placing commercial orders for this new package,” Dahlby discloses. “We’re seeing a lot of interest in the food category, especially within sauces and condiments, but we have active StandCap projects in personal care and household products as well. This promising format solves many annoyances consumers experience with current packaging, and in the age of life hacks and ecommerce, the premade StandCap Pouch really is the next generation of packaging.”

Glenroy posted an informative StandCap video at its website.

This is the third in a series of reports on inverted pouch packaging for foods and other products that began with Inverted pouch trend upends food packaging: Chobani, published December 2018, and Inverted pouch trend upends food packaging: ProAmpac, published January 2019.

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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. ___________________________________________________________________________________

7 remarkable reads from the first half of 2019

7 remarkable reads from the first half of 2019

Shifts in sustainability focus, ecommerce challenges and food packaging issues continue to lead the trends we’ve been tracking this year. With half of 2019 behind us, let’s look at the packaging stories our global packaging community deems most important.

Based on page views from Jan. 1 to June 30, 2019, here are the top seven articles your peers are reading on PackagingDigest.com (in reverse order):

5 emerging trends

7. 5 packaging trends emerging in 2019

In March of this year, CEO Charles Haverfield of U.S. Packaging & Wrapping LLC identified five predictable packaging movements and their drivers:

• Flexibility: Flexible packaging is set to become more popular in 2019, Haverfield predicts, due to new developments in sustainability and consumer functionality, as well as from its cost benefits. 

• Changes in ecommerce: Ecommerce is set to grow faster than ever in 2019, and packaging can help brands stand out, either with personalized packaging designs or by right-sizing packaging to protect products adequately without being excessive.

• Environmental awareness: Sustainable packaging has steadily become more important to consumers over the years—and many brands have changed their packaging accordingly, in various ways, to great success.

• Less is more: Minimalism will continue to maintain its relevance throughout 2019—partly due to minimalist styles being linked with the reduction of materials. But its greatest strength today is clarity. As Haverfield explains, “Consumers are more skeptical of what brands are trying to sell them than they once were; being bombarded with information will make them feel like brands are trying to distract them from a hidden catch.”

• The power of nostalgia: Vintage or retro packaging taps into the consumers’ rose-tinted emotional response to trusted brands, partly because of the package’s air of authenticity.

NEXT: Nestlé’s sustainable packaging vision

For those curious about the top articles from just last month (June 2019), here’s that list:

1. Most food cans no longer use BPA in their linings (SPOILER: also a top article in this half-year list)

2. 8 impressive developments in packaging automation

3. 10 tasting trends: See what’s ahead for snacks and sweets

4. 3 food-packaging matters spring up in early 2019

5. 5 packaging trends emerging in 2019 (also a top article in the half-year list, as you already know!)

Nestle-Pure-Life-bottle

6. Nestlé clarifies its sustainable packaging vision

Nestlé USA packaging sustainability manager Walt Peterson comments on the company’s sustainability vision and goals. By 2025, the world’s largest food company plans to make 100% of the company’s packaging recyclable or reusable.

Peterson also talks about their focus on avoiding plastic waste, saying, “Our vision is that none of our product packaging, including plastics, should end up in landfill or as litter, including in seas, oceans and waterways.”

Additionally, Peterson shares more about the company’s participation in Loop, a new circular shopping platform built around reusable packaging, in his 28-minute presentation given at WestPack 2019.

NEXT: Ready for a bunch of sustainable packaging surprises?

Sustainable surprises 2018

5. 10 sustainable packaging surprises in 2018

At the end of the year, Packaging Digest editors compile lists of topic-based top articles. One of our most popular reviews is about sustainability—no surprise considering how ingrained it is in the minds of most packaging professionals today.

Here were the top 10 articles about sustainable packaging from last year:

1. Amazon incentivizes brands to create Frustration-Free Packaging

2. L’Oréal’s paper bottle: Easy on the earth but tough in showers

3. 4 sustainable truths impacting food packaging today

4. P&G’s PureCycle cleans recycled PP to ‘near virgin’ quality

5. How Conagra rewards packaging line workers for cutting waste

6. How packaging recyclability can shift sustainability expectations for startup beauty brands

7. Japan’s Kao Group makes sustainability look raku raku (‘so easy’)

8. 5 factors affecting sustainable packaging moving forward

9. 5 environmental advantages of corrugated packaging

10. Sustainable packaging innovators earn kudos

NEXT: An early adopter of high-end reusable packaging

Delici-reusable-cup

4. Decadent Delici dessert packaging designed for Costco

An early adopter of reusable, high-end packaging—which is seeing a resurgence of interest these days—Delici engineered its packaging design to best present the visual beauty of these decadent desserts. Even though this article was posted Apr. 19, 2016, it continues to enjoy high readership to this day for its relevant messages about packaging design.

NEXT: Packaging engineers speak out! Again!

Pkg-Engr-blank-stare

3. More ‘packaging engineer’ quips: Gallery

How do you know if you are a packaging engineer? When we asked, you told us! Our original entertaining slideshow revealed insider quirks and pet peeves of you and your peers.

We followed it up with a sequel (which made it to #3 on this list!) and are still getting great new responses. (Do you have one?! Add it here!) Stay tuned for a threepeat!

NEXT: The biggest packaging news of the year…

Haagen-Dasz-Loop

2. Loop and big brands boldly reinvent waste-free packaging

The biggest packaging news of the year (so far) has been the development and launch of Loop, a new ecommerce shopping site totally designed around reusable packaging. The brainchild of TerraCycle CEO Tom Szaky, Loop has the backing of major brand owners like Nestlé, Procter & Gamble, Unilever and Seventh Generation—all of which have created special upscale packaging designed to be refilled.

Packaging Digest also got feedback on the Loop concept from packaging professionals, who are some of the most sympathetic supporters and some of the harshest critics.

NEXT: Are you still worried about BPA in packaging?

Food cans no BPA

1. Most food cans no longer use BPA in their linings

This was the best-read article in May 2019, despite the fact it was originally posted Feb. 20, 2018. Last month I wondered, “Where can it possibly go from here???”

Well, even higher, it seems! It is now our top article of the year.

Honestly, I think people are clicking on this because it has been appearing in our lists of “Top Articles” for several months. However, the underlying interest is valid: Because consumers are still concerned about chemicals in packaging that might migrate into their food (and thus into their bodies), food companies and their packaging departments need to be concerned too.

Sustainability drives the top five in food and beverage packaging

Sustainability drives the top five in food and beverage packaging
Sustainable packaging unites this quintent of diverse articles involving date coding, Nestlé, foodservice and snacks.

Our mid-year review of what articles are trending shows that sustainable packaging dominates the top-read features, two of which involved Nestlé.

We depart from the regular monthly reviews of the top-read articles to assess the top-read food and beverage features of the first half of 2019 that provide a broader snapshot of what topics are hot and trending.

In this case, it’s a single topic, sustainability, that’s drawing keen interest—it permeates all five articles in whole or part.

So let’s get to it in traditional reverse order: the #5 article is all about dating products, though there is a sustainable angle here too, related to reducing food waste. It’s been proposed that standardizing "Best If Used By" for date-code labeling might reduce food waste as consumers become more educated about voluntary date codes for quality, not food safety, which is a fundamental distinction. Three key U.S. regulatory agencies agree, and have identified six priority areas, which are to:

1. Enhance interagency coordination.

2. Increase consumer education and outreach efforts.

3. Improve coordination and guidance on food loss and waste measurement.

4. Clarify and communicate information on food safety, food date labels and food donations.

5. Collaborate with private industry to reduce food loss and waste across the supply chain.

6. Encourage food waste reduction by federal agencies in their respective facilities.

Pay special attention to #4, which is the one that food brands and their packaging suppliers will be watching most carefully.

Get all the information in Best If Used By date code recommended for food labeling, published in May.

Next: An exclusive video brings the world’s largest food and beverage company’s sustainability story to your screen

In this 28-minute presentation given at WestPack 2019 in February in Anaheim, CA, Walt Peterson, Nestlé USA’s manager of packaging innovation and sustainability, talks about the company’s ambitious goal of moving to 100% recyclable or reusable packaging by 2025. In How Nestlé is innovating its way to 100% recyclable or reusable packaging, hear and see how the global consumer packaged goods company is harnessing partnerships and cutting-edge technology to get there, including its participation in the ground-breaking Loop initiative.

Next: Plastics or paper? This on-trend foodservice company offers a half-dozen choices

#3 A crucial aspect of the $62 billion plus restaurant and catering business is the increase in regulations to ensure that the raw materials used are recyclable, such as plastic, paper and paperboard, and cellulose. A recent study notes that the challenge is that these sustainable materials are often higher in cost higher than their non-biodegradable counterparts.

A case in point: supplier Novolex product lines are seamlessly aligned with the ongoing foodservice packaging shift toward economical sustainable solutions. Six products from the company’s portfolio that exemplify effective solutions for eco-minded food and beverage purveyors include:

  • A pair of fresh options featuring a tamper-event carryout bag;
  • Bagasse as a food packaging source;
  • No-foil sandwich wrap options.

Check out these and two bonus options in Paper or plastic? 6 sustainable foodservice packaging options for both.

Next: This food category’s design story trends toward minimalism, atypical tactics, nudes and no plastics

#2 Encompassing everything from traditional treats and indulgences like chips and cookies, to wellness products and meal replacement bars, the snack industry is expansive. Brands are responding to this demand by offering more products and snack choices than ever before.

With this in mind, snack package design is playing an increasingly important role to communicate what the product is, who it’s for and projects a value proposition to the consumer. The article looked at how some of 2019’s hottest packaging design trends are influencing the world of snack packaging.

1. Minimalism is the trend that keeps on giving, and for good reason. When it comes to compelling packaging design, less can definitely be more.

2. Atypical designs

3. Nude color palettes

4. The future is plastic-free

Read February’s 4 design trends shaping the snack industry for the whole story.

At #1, this big CPG company’s big sustainability story is told by the company’s manager - packaging sustainability

2019 has already been a banner year for the introduction of ambitious sustainable packaging initiatives, programs and collaborations with major brands playing a prominent role. Exemplary of these is Nestlé, which in mid-January laid out its vision and plans for accelerating the global packaged food provider’s sustainable packaging goals in the most popular food and beerage packaging story of H1 2019.

The company’s packaging sustainability manager, Walt Peterson, told Packaging Digest this: “Our vision is that none of our product packaging, including plastics, should end up in landfill or as litter, including in seas, oceans and waterways. To achieve this, our ambition is that 100% of our packaging is reusable or recyclable by 2025.”

Peterson discloses his vision in Nestlé clarifies its sustainable packaging vision from March.

More ‘packaging engineer’ quips

More ‘packaging engineer’ quips
Look! We've got more creative comments on what it means to be a packaging engineer.

The No.1 article of 2018 on PackagingDigest.com was the entertaining slideshow of audience answers to the lead-in sentence “You know you’re a packaging engineer when…” In that piece, we invited additional comments and we received some great ones! Enjoy version 2.0, with 18 more insights into what it means to be part of the packaging club.

Click the “View Gallery” button above, at the bottom right of the image, to start the slideshow.

Didn’t get a chance to submit your description yet? No worries: You can still share it at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/PkgEng.

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In addition to leading suppliers showing the latest solutions in labeling, automation, food packaging, package design and more—WestPack 2019 (Feb. 5-7; Anaheim, CA) gives you access to the industry's leading educational offerings with the 3D Printing and Smart Manufacturing Innovations Summits, the MD&M Medtech Conference and free industry education at the Expo. Register to attend today!

You know you’re a packaging engineer if...

You know you’re a packaging engineer if...
Packaging-engineer-quote

Do you cringe when you hear someone say cardboard? Or have an irresistible urge to scold a person when you see them rip open a package in a way that ruins the reclosable feature? Does it take you forever to shop in a store because you’re looking at products you’d never use just because they have interesting packaging? Face it. You’re a packaging engineer.

Take heart, though. You are in good company. Here are some entertaining answers our Packaging Digest audience submitted when we asked them how they would finish the sentence “You know you’re a packaging engineer if…”

Have all these answers spurred your creative juices? You can still share your description at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/PkgEng.

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Did you know? Our parent company Informa owns these popular packaging events: WestPack, EastPack, PackEx Toronto and PackEx Montreal. Click the links to learn how you can connect in person with leading packaging technology partners, expand your professional network, hear experts analyze key packaging trends and gain a better understanding of today's critical issues.

Packaging peers react to Loop’s daring reusable-packaging model

Packaging peers react to Loop’s daring reusable-packaging model
Packages sold through Loop must be reusable, and durable enough to withstand agressive cleaning between uses.

Last week’s announcement of Loop—a circular economy shopping platform with durable reusable and luxury packaging at its core—gained massive media attention from around the globe, including numerous packaging and sustainability publications, as well as Forbes, Bloomberg, CNN, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, BBC News, Reuters, Le HuffPost, Fortune and many more. So now that packaging professionals have heard about this ground-breaking initiative, what do they think about Loop?

Since the news broke, Packaging Digest has been monitoring reactions across social media. The majority of posts have been positive. For example…

Adam Peek says, “Imagine a world in 50 years people look back and say ‘that garbage thing was an odd idea. I’m glad we are over it.’ I LOVE the idea of moving from packaging from something someone owns to something someone borrows and returns. This could honestly revolutionize our industry.”

Cole Bowden posts, “This is an exciting shift toward reusability. I hope that Loop outgrows home delivery, and partners with local groceries and big box stores.”

Gunther Brinkman shares, “Our grandparents could manage to leave the bottles outside for the milkman, and our children re-use growlers at their favorite micro-brewery. If the economic incentives are there, this is an idea whose time has come.”

Brian Eddy sees value in the numbers: “…Measuring the impact from the plastic waste and packaging not going to landfills will be nice metric.”

Robert Lilienfeld says, “Back to the future. And, premium brands are the way to do this, as they have both the margins and interested customer base to be successful.”

Jon Rodberg wonders, “Not sure about the overall practicability of using containers over and over…then tossing…vs. just sending original package straight to recycling facility.”

Sara Dunn says, “…it would be very interesting to know how many consumers continue on with Loop after the testing process because they genuinely prefer the system. Such a paradigm shift! I am watching this closely to see how well it’s adopted in the launch markets.”

John Reed posts, “I like this…but will they lower their pricing from the savings gained by not having to manufacture disposable containers?”

Steven Gregory comments, “We’re coming full circle, thankfully.” And “This ‘new’ approach will save marine life.”

David Ward says, “Really looking forward to seeing this grow :)”

 

Packaging Digest also wanted to hear from key packaging and sustainability professionals, so we reached out to a few. Their comments analyze Loop’s pros and cons:

Jason Foster

Jason Foster, founder/chief reuser, Replenish: “It’s long overdue that reusable packaging is becoming the answer to solving waste, driving greater customer loyalty and creating a better branded experience for consumers. The next step in the evolution of how we design products is to recognize that the main ingredient in almost any consumer product is water. So to make the economics of ecommerce or any take-back packaging model sustainable, we need to design for liquid concentrates and allow the consumer to add the water at home. This simple act cuts the bulk and weight of many products by 90% and will make the biggest impact to fulfilling the promise of a circular economy.”

PlasticsToday contributing writer Clare Goldsberry asks, “Will consumers buy into the ‘milkman model’ to reduce plastic packaging waste?” Then she answers, “I have my doubts, given the fact that much research has gone into determining whether people will pay more for products packaged in more expensive biodegradable plastic. The answer is mostly no, but sometimes maybe.”

And, while Loop is not being promoted as a total solution to disposable plastic packaging, Goldsberry opines, “TerraCycle’s Loop platform is not a mass-market idea. It will most likely work in New York City and Paris, as well as in other cities such as London, where it will be introduced later this year, and Toronto and Tokyo, where it will roll out next year. However, most of the plastic waste—80% by some estimates—in waterways and oceans originates in developing nations that have little to no infrastructure to handle trash of any kind, whether it’s metal, glass, textiles or plastic.”

Brian Wagner 

Brian Wagner, co-founder and principal, PTIS LLC: “This week, PTIS and Leading Futurists are kicking off the latest in 20 years of Future of Packaging programs, with several leading companies, including some involved in Loop. So the timing for this announcement is awesome. Whatever the outcome, Loop will look different in 2030 than it does today and will inspire new ways of thinking!

“Somebody unknown said, ‘necessity (need) is the mother of invention.’ Amazing how direct-to-consumer delivery has started a chain of innovations…add to that a need to reduce food waste, a future where growth and demand will outstrip supply, and for many reasons environmental sustainability creates increasing pressure on all of us to make changes. I also like to believe that responsible/conscious capitalism is the way forward for all successful organizations. 

“This new supply chain model appears to incorporate some new (data and analytics) and old elements (milk delivery and returnable/refillable beer bottles). Loop is starting with great companies, with really smart people and deep pockets—that alone should help drive potential success. Maybe it will be right for millennials and Gen Z consumers, and anticipated future urbanization.  

“Just some things to think about from some of our team:

“Pessimism:

• We didn’t read much about the role of the consumer, their responsibility and what will change their behaviors. Is a deposit system enough across hundreds of SKUs [stock-keeping units]?

• Consumer insight—What they say is not what they do.

• Highly experiential packaging—Great for highly experiential brands, but overkill for basic products and brands. Human decision-making about brands is not purely logical and rational.

• Damage—What will be the impact of dents and scrapes on refill and reuse, and cost?

• Infrastructure challenges—Including…UPS is not great at hyper-local delivery…will they hand off to USPS? Uber and Lyft drivers? Bicycles? Really need lots of system thinking and design and material considerations.

• Food safety, cleaning, contamination, sanitation at consumer level prior to returning—and lack of convenience.

• Big equipment, line, shipping, distribution implications.

• Environmental impact—more vehicles, added weight, reverse logistics, GHG [greenhouse gas] emissions, energy to clean containers, and more.

• Nestlé obviously did the research, but what if I don’t want stainless steel ice cream packaging that’s heavy, cold to the touch, slippery and drops/breaks on the floor?

• Might play a niche role but not for everyone, everywhere…ecommerce is making all the headlines but still is only 5% of U.S. retail sales.

• Over the next 20 years, population shifts will focus attention on new markets, with possibly lower spending power and bigger environmental issues. This could be the model they evolve to, or it could be too cost prohibitive to be realistic.

• If really a niche, what will the market value be of the substrates for recycling? Reducing high recycled paperboard and corrugated, and replacing with reusable totes, and potentially undesirable materials in the waste stream may not be the best answer. What are end of use providers (such as Materials Recovery Facilities or MRFs) saying about Loop?

“Optimism:

• Love the new reuse business model. If we want to move toward a true circular economy, we need start exploring new models. Kudos to the companies that are doing this and going out on a limb.

• Deposit system—Great! Incentivizes consumers to return the package. That’s why Michigan has a 98% return rate on carbonated beverage packaging, and everywhere else in the U.S. is 30%.

• Highly experiential packaging—Simple graphics and high end materials. Millennials will be posting this all over social media. (Us Boomers and Gen Xers already have.)

• Only works in dense population centers—Otherwise people will be paying too much for shipping. That could be a whole new reuse model with consumers going to a vending machine (with solar power) to refill small bottles instead of pouch. Reuse model, but for a whole different audience.

• Cleaning will be interesting—But we drink from glasses in restaurants all the time and all I see them do is dunk them into a bath and immediately start pouring a beer. Not a lot of cleaning taking place, but enough to make the consumer feel fine, I guess.

• Overall, it’s exciting—A new collaborative effort coming together to make a difference! We should all celebrate that instead of just waiting for something to happen or worse yet, legislation! 

• Low trust in the “washing and sanitizing” of the package and probably would only use for certain package types/materials. Glass would be one that I would trust more.

• Need to focus on measures preventing plastics from littering the land and sea.

• Consumers love convenience which drives a lot of excessive packaging—consumers need to change behaviors.

• Like Frito-Lay reusable DSD [Direct-Store Delivery] corrugated totes, I assume there is an algorithm that makes sense regarding initial investment, and five uses versus payback over some number of years.

• Opportunities to understand and develop closed loops and be smarter about the right products in the right packages for the right brands—for economics and consumers, and the entire value chain.

“It will be great to follow the progress, especially with our year-long Future of Packaging program starting this week, looking out to 2030. We will be following the discussion!”

Two representatives from the Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC)share their quick takes:

Kelly Cramer

Kelly Cramer, senior manager at GreenBlue and the SPC—where she leads one of its fastest growing projects, the How2Recycle Label program—says,It’s a welcome relief that brands are starting to experiment with reusable packaging—the time is beyond ripe. I hope that exploration of new systems like this that reframe the packaging/product relationship continue and succeed.”

Tristanne Davis

And Tristanne Davis, SPC project manager, comments, “I do believe the time is ripe for reusable with all the global and industry commitments emphasizing this option. We just need the business models to be appealing and convenient to make it work.”

What do you think of Loop? Comment below, please!

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In addition to leading suppliers showing the latest solutions in labeling, automation, food packaging, package design and more—WestPack 2019 (Feb. 5-7; Anaheim, CA) gives you access to the industry's leading educational offerings with the 3D Printing and Smart Manufacturing Innovations Summits, the MD&M Medtech Conference and free industry education at the Expo. Register to attend today!