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Nutraceuticals pouches: practical packaging: pouches present an appealing and highly portable packaging option for beverages, powders, gels, yogurts and other probiotic products.

As a nutraceuticals packaging format, pouches offer some unique advantages when it comes to portability, brand diversification and preservation of product freshness. Together these benefits create many opportunities for nutraceutical manufacturers to deepen their connection with consumers and build brand loyalty.

The Progressive, Portable Package

For so many health-conscious consumers, living on the go is a defining lifestyle choice. Associating movement and activity with health and wellness, these consumers proactively plan to take nutritious foods, beverages, snacks and supplements with them wherever they go.

In the past, this might have meant packing probiotic powders, drinks or water, yogurts and other foods in multiple plastic bags, reusable lidded containers, thermoses and bottles. Today, those same healthy products can be purchased straight off the retail shelf in single-serve or reclosable pouches--making it more convenient than ever for consumers to simply grab-and-go. Pouches are flexible, lightweight and very strong. Their slim profile makes them easy to carry in school backpacks, clothing pockets, briefcases, bags and purses.

Pouches present a viable option for delivering single-shot servings of probiotic yogurts, beverages and other nutraceuticals products. No longer the sole domain of elite athletes and astronauts, these quick-to-consume "power foods" can be made easily available to busy parents trying to ensure their children get ample nutrients or to time-pressed professionals who want an especially healthy pick-me-up.

Spouted pouches, both hot fill and retorted, offer extended shelf life and durability when carried by children or adults. Some pouches are equipped with a fitment and a screw cap so there is no need for the consumer to carry a spoon. They can simply suck out the pouch's contents.

Consider this comparison. Transporting a banana to school or work can be challenging because the fruit is bulky and may be damaged under pressure. However, pureed bananas and fruits can easily be packaged into a pouch. The consumer doesn't have to worry about spoilage, even if the product sits for days in a duffel bag, and can enjoy the same vitamins and other nutrients in a very convenient way.

Some pouches feature special "spoil safe" spout designs. If a child squeezes the pouch or it is unintentionally compressed in another way, the pouch's contents will not spill out. The pouch is designed so that the contents are only released when they are sucked out rather than squeezed.

As investment in modern pouch fill/ seal lines has become more widespread, nutraceutical manufacturers and their packaging suppliers can accommodate diverse pouch designs on the same product packing lines. This ability to transition between pouch styles gives nutraceutical brands the option to provide consumers with different pouch sizes, closures, pour spouts and other features, depending on the product end use. For example, a nutraceuticals maker may want to produce a run of reclosable snack pouches and then use the same line to fill larger standup pouches with pour spouts and caps. By being able to economically produce both types of products, the company can meet consumers' demands for portable foods as well as products that are easy to use, reseal and store in the home.

Brand Innovation: Image Is Important

No longer relegated to the dusty back aisle of the grocery store, nutraceutical products are taking center stage at progressive grocers and retail chains. As these merchants court the discerning consumer, they know product presentation makes a powerful difference in profitability. In turn, brands must vie for the best real estate, or shelf space, by offering compelling package design.

Stand-up pouches are gaining strong momentum in this competitive retail environment. Typically made of laminated films, pouches can be easily preprinted with colorful eye-popping graphics that wrap around the package's exterior. Whether a brand wants to convey an earthy, natural feel or an avant-garde new-age vibe, pouches present graphic artists and brand specialists with the flexibility to interchange or combine matte and high-gloss print finishes. Brands can experiment with layered, textured looks as they strive to capture the interest, and loyalty, of consumers looking for an upscale product experience.

Beyond interesting graphical treatments, pouch configurations also present opportunities for brands to differentiate their products from competitors. For example, the bottom of a pouch can be made of a clear barrier structure to allow the consumer to see the pouch's quality contents through the bottom gusset. In this type of pouch design, a foil layer in the front and back panel protects the contents.

Purity & Freshness Guaranteed

Nutraceuticals are uniquely positioned at the intersection of mainstream foods/beverages, organic/alternative products and medical nutrition/pharmaceuticals. As such, consumer expectations are extremely elevated. They want to know that their products are made of the most pure and advanced ingredients under the highest-quality manufacturing conditions.

As a packaging choice, pouches can give both consumers and manufacturers peace of mind that their products meet the most stringent standards for health and safety. Many pouch contents can be pasteurized, even sterilized. Moreover, some leading pouch suppliers provide 100% inspection for all retort and hot fill pouch orders. This means they test every single pouch before delivering it to customers to ensure pouch integrity, including proper seals and barriers to prevent bacteria from entering and contents from being compromised.

The latest hot fill pouches can accommodate foods and beverages with acidity of more than 4.6 pH and processing temperatures up to 205 degrees Fahrenheit. In other words, pouches provide manufacturers the ability to safely package a very broad range of products.

This article in a nutshell:

* The Progressive, Portable Package

* Brand Innovation: Image Is Important

* Purity & Freshness Guaranteed

By Reinhold Franke

Mondi Jackson, Consumer Goods Packaging

Reinhold Franke is president & COO, Mondi Jackson, Consumer Goods Packaging. He can be reached at
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Author:Franke, Reinhold
Publication:Nutraceuticals World
Date:Oct 1, 2014
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