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Switching to food pouch packaging made easier by partnership

By Joe Whitworth , 16-Mar-2012

A joint venture between a packaging firm and a pouch creator will halve potential production time for manufacturers, claim the schemes founders.

US companies EnVision Flexible Packaging and Coyote Kitchen formed ‘FastTrak FlexiPak’ to make switching to flexible pouch packaging quicker and more cost effective for consumer product manufacturers.

Coyote’s products, manufactured within the US, can be available in less than four months and the joint-project ensures minimized waiting times and reduced costs for trialing packaging changes.

The environmental advantages of switching to pouch containers include using water-based inks which have less than 5% volatile organic compounds (VOCs) compared with solvent-based inks containing 40% to 65% VOCs, said the creators.

Shorter timeframe

Liesl Harder Kielp, president of EnVision, told FoodProductionDaily.com the salsa pouches (pictured) are one result of the project.

We met over a year ago when EnVision needed something filled and Coyote was able to handle the requirement

“[The partnership] enables consumer product groups to move a product from existing rigid packaging to flexible packaging in a short time frame,” said Kielp. 

Before this project it could take consumer product manufacturers well over a year in some cases to turnaround flexible pouch packaging, she said.

There are very few companies that will offer both the pouch and the contract manufacturing or packaging under one roof.”

Thorough testing

The continuous project has a number of companies currently at the focus group stage, she added.

Kielp said: “By starting in the lab we assure our clients that we’re following appropriate good manufacturing practices and that our packages are being properly tested for shelf-life, etc.

The first step is the focus group stage to see how it’s received and to make sure consumers understand how to use it because pouch cooking is different.

It’s more hands on, but that sets up the systems we need to follow when we move production to the plant,” added Kielp.  

Then we can work to minimise the time it takes to make and fill the product and gain efficiencies.”

Kielp said the US “had not got there yet” in terms of making the most out of pouch packaging.

Pouch packaging is predominantly found in the EU and we have not been as progressive, maybe because we have more landfill space and there is less space in the EU.

The younger generation know and understand pouch packaging from things like Capri-Sun and as they age the pouch will have more acceptance and they will be more willing to use it.”

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