The report observes that spouted and inverted stand-up pouches are gaining wider acceptance among major retail sauce and condiment brand owners, with several introductions in recent years.
It also predicts that non-food markets will experience increased stand-up pouch usage, particularly in applications that benefit from spouted pouch use. Further growth opportunities exist in refill pouches for hand soaps and other cleaning and personal care products, topical and liquid pharmaceuticals, and motor oils.
The report authors ascribe stand-up pouches’ popularity to four factors. The first is product differentiation among commodity goods, with new packaging enticing shoppers who may have otherwise overlooked the product.
The second factor is on-shelf visibility due to the larger on-pack ‘advertising’ space and quality graphics, including easier-to-read labelling compared to bag formats.
The third factor is convenience with features such as spouts for pouring liquids and semi-liquids, contoured shapes to aid grip, handles for heavier items, and resealable closures to maintain freshness.
The final factor is ease of distribution – pouches are lighter in weight and more efficient to transport than rigid packaging.
For more information about the study, visit:
Identifiable and recyclable mono-material pouches
A European pilot project aims to demonstrate that harnessing the collaborative R-Cycle concept can optimise the pouch recycling process by storing recycling-relevant production data and affixing a clear identification mark on the packages.
R-Cycle partner, Reifenhäuser, has selected two film recipes for the stand-up pouches – based on PE raw materials that are easier to recycle than commonly-used PE/PET laminates – and then produced on an EVO Ultra Stretch blown film line.
‘The patented Ultra Stretch inline MDO, designed for sustainable all-PE pouch solutions, is proven worldwide. A typical all-PE pouch consists of an inner layer PE film (lamination layer), adhesive layer and a stretched 20μm PE outer/surface layer that is suitable for reverse printing on rotogravure, flexographic and digital presses,’ explains Ralf Wiechmann, Reifenhäuser’s head of Film Innovation.
The films are converted by Comexi and the pouches (pictured above) produced by Wolf Packaging Machinery.
According to Ralf, the secret is storing recycling-relevant data from each production step so that it’s easily accessible during the recycling sorting process.
Traditionally, state-of-the-art sorting plants equipped with customary near-infrared sensors are only capable of scanning the packaging’s surface and sorting it in predefined fractions such as PE, PP, mixed plastics, or beverage cartons. Additionally, information about the packaging’s exact contents, including the various plastic layers, printing inks, and adhesives has remained with each producer along the converting chain.
Now that the project’s PE pouches are marked with individual machine-readable identities (invisible to consumers), sorting plants can allocate them to separate recycling fractions to recover the high-quality recyclate.
‘This is the only way to avoid downcycling these pouch applications and achieve a genuine circular economy for plastic packaging,’ Ralf concludes.
Passionate about pouches
Flexible packaging industry stalwarts, Patrick Munyembate and Ian Victor, established Pouchman as a division of Crownman in July 2020, following enquiries from industry friends for specialist pouches.
Ian explains that Pouchman is driven by a passion for packaging, entrepreneurship and customer service to ensure that companies can conquer their toughest challenges through fit-for-purpose, cost-effective products. ‘We have, therefore, partnered with a network of associates in Asia, Europe and North America to bring the best global solutions to the South African market,’ he reports. ‘Pouchman is now the second-largest importer of specially-shaped pouches, pouches with spouts, and two-compartment pouches for the food and chemical allied industries in the country.’
Pouchman has partnered with Santova Logistics to make it simple for customers to order pouches – supplied by Coveris, Glenroy, Rongyi or Skyline Union Pack Solutions as 100% recyclable, biodegradable or compostable versions or with post-consumer recycled content – with lead times of three weeks via air freight and nine weeks via sea freight.
Other divisions in the group of companies are Flexman for reelstock, Biopack for biodegradable packaging, Crownman for importing crown corks, Ammo Man for specialist ammunition packaging, and Trademan as a distribution arm for South African FMCG brands into the rest of Africa.
Pouchman provides the full spectrum of pouches, from simple to complicated, including those with post-consumer recycled content or 100% recyclable, compostable and biodegradable versions. Pictured here are CEO, Ian Victor (left), and category head of pouches, Stephen Philip.
Recyclable microwavable rice pouch
Mars Food is launching the initial pilot phase roll-out of its recyclable mono-polypropylene (PP) microwavable rice pouches during the first half of 2021, and scaling up the volumes across its portfolio during the second half of the year.
Fiona Dawson, global president of Mars Food, Multisales and Global Customers, explains that the breakthrough is a result of a three-year partnership between Mars Food and Amcor. ‘This is a huge step towards our 2025 commitment of 100% recyclable, reusable or compostable packaging. The mono-PP material enables Mars Food to retain the shape, shelf life, functionality and high safety standards needed for branded packaging, while ensuring pouches can be mechanically and chemically recycled where infrastructure exists, and designed for future recycling where it doesn’t yet.’
Michael Zacka, president of Amcor Flexibles EMEA, adds: ‘This upcoming launch builds on Amcor’s recent AmLite HeatFlex Recyclable retort packaging breakthrough, which offers excellent barrier properties to ensure long shelf life and high-performance under heat treatment.’