On-the-go packaging solutions pick up speed to accommodate modern consumerism

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05 Jul 2018 --- Much of the modern consumer market lives life on-the-go, consuming higher volumes of drinks and snacks outside of the home than ever before. The convenience and functionality of on-the-go packaging can be the difference between one product and another at point-of-sale. Packaging suppliers are responding to the on-the-go challenge with an increasing range and diversity of innovative mobile packaging solutions and technologies.

Click to EnlargeIn light of increased consumer demand for on-the-go packaging options, the industry has witnessed growth in resealable and reclosable packaging. Between 2013 and 2017, an average annual growth rate of +103.1 percent has been observed for new food and beverage launches tracked with “resealable/reclosable” packaging (Global, CAGR 2013-2017), according to Innova Market Insights.

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Fizzics Chill-Can

Self-chilling cans
A recent success story is the world’s “first-ever” self-chilling can, patented and licensed by the Joseph Company International and currently used for cold brew coffee. Hitting the US market in May, the Chill-Can has a built-in Heat Exchange Unit (HEU) which contains the technology necessary to chill the drink in about one minute. Upon activation, the technology kick-starts the environmentally safe reclaimed CO2 in the HEU that leads to the chilling of the beverage. The can utilizes a twist-activation method.

“Because the self-chilling can technology is so groundbreaking, we wanted to introduce it with a super innovative beverage,” says Tim Cogil, 7-Eleven Director of Private Brands, who are trialing the can. “Sparkling coffee sodas met all the criteria. The Chill-Can brings a new level of convenience to customers who want to enjoy a chilled drink whenever and wherever they are.”

Wine, wherever you want it
Just as packaging solutions are facilitating the rise in iced and cold brewed on-the-go beverages, consumers also now expect to be able to enjoy wine out and about. The trend is driving alternatives to the traditional glass wine bottle.

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Amcor's PET wine bottles

“Rather than reserving wine for dinner, people are taking it as they explore the outdoors, barbecue with friends or relax at the beach,” Emily Work, Senior Marketing Manager, Amcor Rigid Plastics, Wine & Spirits, tells NutritionInsight. “Our wine customers have found a lot of opportunity with on-the-go packaging. There’s been a steady increase in offering wine at sporting events, concerts, parks and community events, where glass is prohibited.”

“Amcor’s PET wine bottles make enjoying wine in new locations easy. They are portable, lightweight and shatterproof. PET also has a premium look: the design flexibility means brands have the opportunity to develop a bottle that is truly unique and stands out on the shelf. Amcor’s PET 187ml wine bottle is 93 percent lighter than glass. The 750ml wine bottle is 90 percent lighter. Our customers have shown a lot of interest and its clear consumers are preferring these options,” Work adds.

“Magic” straws and more
Like Amcor, Ball is another large supplier finding creative packaging solutions for on-the-go beverages. Balls’ Strawster is a modern gadget available exclusively in Ball’s 25cl slim can. The technology, which features a self-activated straw that “magically” appears once the tab of the can is engaged, has the potential to excite the consumer. To further advance its appeal, straws can be lasered with logos, simple images or messages. Due to its spill-proof technology, Strawster is also ideal for the bumpier journey.

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Ball's Strawster

Meanwhile, SIG is also targeting busy consumers, partnering with Pfanner to offer a range of lifestyle juices in the innovative carton bottle combidome 500ml. “The slim, sturdy combidome carton bottle sits very comfortably in the hand, with a raised, central and easy to open and close single-action domeTwist screw cap for quick and convenient consumption,” a spokesperson for SIG explains to NutritionInsight. “At 28mm, the inner diameter of the closure is particularly large, enabling consumers to drink conveniently on-the-go straight from the carton pack. Fully resealable, combidome can be easily and safely stored in bags or rucksacks.”

In another example, Tetra Pak is enabling Yili, a Chinese dairy manufacturer, to launch the “world’s first” ambient drinking yogurt with large fruit and cereal pieces with its Tetra Top 200ml bottle with large re-sealable screw caps. “The new Tetra Pak TT/3 AD filling system has been designed to allow the particles to pass through seamlessly, and the new Tetra Top package uses a large re-sealable opening that makes it easy for consumers to drink the yogurt with large fruit pieces on-the-go,” says Charles Brand, Executive VP, Product Management and Commercial Operations at Tetra Pak.

Convenient snacking 
Beyond beverage and dairy products, there is also a growing list of packaging solutions for the on-the-go fresh and healthy snack market. “Hectic lifestyles are forcing consumers, especially younger generations, to frequently eat out of the home,” Paulina Dudkiewicz, Marketing Segment Manager Snacks and Nuts at Amcor tells NutritionInsight. “Our customers come to us for packaging that makes on-the-go more appealing, convenient, and less messy.”

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Amcor's PushPop

“We’ve seen increasing demand for our PushPop pouch in response to current snacking trends. PushPop was designed for snacking directly from the pack. Brands use it as an alternative to pillow pouches or stand-up pouches as it offers consumers more on-the-go convenience with a unique ‘pop-open feature,’ a wide opening and stable base,” she says.

PushPop is used for snacks such as crisps and nuts, fresh snacks like cheese cubes and pre-cut fruits and vegetables, as well as ready-meals.

“Brands can make standard packaging formats more on-the-go friendly with better opening features. It’s a familiar experience of having a bag tear open unevenly in the car or train, spilling its contents everywhere,” Dudkiewicz adds. “Frustration-free opening features like EasyPeel and UniPerf are easy upgrades. For example, the UniPerf clean opening feature has been used for sports bars because it allows cyclists, hikers and runners to quickly and cleanly tear open the bar with one hand while on the move.”

The market for on-the-go packaging solutions continues to expand and suppliers are evidently responding with a range of creative innovations which enable a functional and convenient experience for the active consumer. It will remain a key focus for R&D within the packaging industry as customers and the public continue to reimagine the comforts and freshness of home food and beverage for on-the-go consumption.

By Joshua Poole

To contact our editorial team please email us at editorial@cnsmedia.com

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