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Cashing in on 'school popularity.' Single-serving juices & flavored milks in clear film pouch packs make U.S. retail market debut.

Holland Dairies, Inc., Holland, IN, is rolling into food stores with a line of juices and flavored milks packaged in 8-oz clear film pouches. Called "Tasty Sips," the line includes four 20% juices (apple, grape, orange, and fruit punch) fortified with Vitamin C and calcium, a 100% orange juice, and three milks (chocolate, strawberry, and regular milk flavor). The 100% OJ and the milks all are refrigerated products. The 20% juices are hot-filled and shelf-stable for 6 months.

This product debut is notable in that it represents the first opportunity for American consumers to purchase beverages packaged in clear, flexible film, single-serve pouches. Numerous school milk programs have been serving milk in these "mini" pouches for several years in the U.S. Holland Dairies itself has been supplying such products to school systems for more than a year. In addition, about a year ago, the company ventured successfully into retail markets with 1/2-gal pouch-packed milks.

Robert Shigley, Director of Marketing for Holland Dairies, Inc., sees the "Tasty Sips" retail launch as a natural progression. He reports that shoppers have responded well to the 1/2-gal pouched milks, and that kids are crazy about the school program mini pouches. In fact, Shigley cites informal studies that show school children are more likely to drink more milk when it's presented in singleserve pouches. "It's a fun package, and there's no taste transfer from the film to the milk." The pouch also represents a packaging source reduction option, and the film is recyclable. So from Holland Dairies' point of view, bringing the single-serve size to retail made perfect sense.

The 8-oz pouches are being marketed in 6-count cartons with straws included. Asked whether the pouches might be difficult to handle--especially when inserting the straw, Shigley replied that kids have no problem dealing with the package. "It's just a matter of keeping a thumb over the end of the straw. Adults are a little slower adapting than children, but we're not getting any complaints. It's just a matter of people allowing themselves the opportunity to become familiar with the package."

The dairy is packaging all of the pouched products at its Holland, IN facility. The pouches are produced from roll-F stock (linear low-density polyethylene with special barrier properties) on vertical form/fill/seal equipment.

First market areas for the 6-pack "Tasty Sips" include parts of Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Missouri. Full national distribution is the eventual goal. Toward this end, Holland Dairies is open to discussing possible "Tasty Sips" franchising agreements with other dairies across the country.

For dairies who might otherwise be interested, but fear the possibility of cannibalizing sales of products they offer in more traditional packaging, Robert Shigley suggests they fear not. "We have an established line of products packaged in plastic jugs, and there hasn't been any cannibalization."

Holland Dairies is extremely enthusiastic about the "Tasty Sips" launch and very proud to be in the vanguard of marketers bringing single-serving, clear film pouch-packed beverages to American consumers. Already, the company is evaluating the possiblities of moving into club stores with 24-count bulk-packs of the 8-oz pouches. In addition, the dairy is studying the feasibility of developing its own recycling program for the collection and regeneration of post-consumer pouches into plastic garbage bags.

Literature about LLDPE film with special barrier properties and about vertical form/fill/seal pouch equipment (in cold-fill, hot-fill, and aseptic modes) may be obtained from Du Pont Canada, Inc., Packaging Div., Box 2200, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada LSM 2H3.
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Title Annotation:Holland Dairies uses
Author:Rice, Judy
Publication:Food Processing
Date:Dec 1, 1992
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