Category Archives: Industry News

Chill-Can presents a new twist in on-demand cold beverages

Nothing is quite as refreshing as a cold drink. Yet with consumers’ busy lives, always on the go, we don’t always have access to refrigeration when we need it. New technology for a self-chilling can improves its manufacturability, making it a viable option for more brands. And, without the need for ice cubes, self-chilling beverages don’t get watered down, giving consumers a better flavor experience.

The updated technology also simplifies the activation process—from the previous push button to a twist—and changes to a safer activation ingredient. The new two-piece aluminum Chill-Can from The Joseph Co. now uses liquefied CO2 as the active coolant.

Instructions are pretty simple: Turn can upside down, twist the can’s plastic base (which is now at the top) to activate the Heat Exchange Unit (HEU), wait about 75 to 90 seconds for the cooling process to complete, and then turn the can upright, open and enjoy. Watch the video above.

Chilling time depends on the package and the HEU can be sized and shaped appropriately for a package/product. The HEU weighs approximately 150 grams and, once activated, lowers the product’s temperature about 30 degrees.

The Joseph Co. has 31 patents that cover the basis of the technology, the manufacturing process and the HEU coatings. The self-chilling cans are made in The Joseph Co.’s Irvine, CA, manufacturing plant, where they also do research and development—and have access to an ideal test market. A new plant in Youngstown, OH, for light production and distribution, is scheduled to open fall 2018 and is expected to be fully operational in summer 2019. The company also does research and development and small production for Western Europe from its U.K. facility.

Mitchell Joseph, chairman/CEO of The Joseph Co. Intl. and West Coast Chill, explains more about the trends driving the need for a next-generation self-chilling package.

 

What consumer trends point to the need for self-chilling packaging?

Joseph: Trends that are both socially based and economically based have increased the demand for a self-chilling can. The globalization of smartphones and high-speed internet have created societies that have become accustomed to having what they want, on demand. It has not only changed how people consume, but where they can consume. This type of mindset has translated over into the world of convenience.

The Chill-Can answers the call and is the only commercialized package that chills on demand and stays colder longer than a can taken out of a conventional refrigerator. Conversely, there are many economic regions around the world—in areas as close as 20 miles outside of major metropolitan cities—that lack proper refrigeration. The Chill-Can offers the opportunity to provide an ice cold drink on demand in those areas without major investments in refrigeration infrastructure. Major beverage companies view this as a huge opportunity to reach markets that desire their products but are unable to consume due to lack of refrigeration.

 

How is this Chill-Can technology different from previous self-chilling packages? Specifically, your company developed the self-chilling can for West Coast Chill energy drink in 2012. What has changed from that development?

Joseph: The first iteration of the Chill-Can, which was licensed to Pepsi, used HFC134A as its main activating agent. Production of that technology was halted over concerns regarding the global warming potential of HFC134A.

The “Activated Carbon” technology that was introduced in 2012 was environmentally friendly but presented a few barriers in mass production. First and foremost, there were pressure profile limitations within the Heat Exchange Unit (HEU) for this version of the technology. Secondly, the activated carbon was ascertained via pulverized and incinerated coconut shells and there was a concern about the long term supply of that source for our activated carbon. Lastly, there was a concern if the pricing, even with large volumes, could be decreased over time using this technology.

Therefore, after 25 years of research and development, we are excited to present our current, patented liquefied CO2-based Chill-Can. Although it has been a long journey, we would have never achieved what we have today without the previous two versions as they unlocked the steps that led us to where we are today.

 

What is the pressure exerted on the contents of the can during the chilling process? Does this limit the types of products that can be chilled with this technology?

Joseph: Given that the beverage never comes in contact with the inner part of the HEU, there is no pressure exerted on the contents of the can during the chilling process.

Secondly, there are no real limitations to the type of liquid we can chill. Really anything that can be humanly consumed can be packaged in a Chill-Can. In some extreme cases, we may need to make some adjustments based on the viscosity of some drinks, but that is an easy adjustment to make.

 

Instructions say to twist the bottom cap clockwise to activate. What happens when the cap is twisted to trigger the process?

Joseph: Once the can is fully activated, and any time after that, the cap can still be twisted in a clockwise manner, but the movement is inconsequential and will have no effect on the can following activation completion.

 

Why change to a twist activation from the earlier push button?

Joseph: Consumer focus test results showed that a twist activation was superior to a push button for two main reasons. First, the twist activation requires a simple clockwise twist to activate, where the button required a slightly more pressure push of the button which left people confused on how much pressure they needed to apply to activate. And second, consumers with long fingernails felt that the push button would be too hard to activate. The twist activation resulted in a better engineered system that required fewer parts during manufacturing.

 

Will West Coast Chill be switching over to the new twist-activation cans?

Joseph: Yes, all products will use the twist activation going forward.

 

The bottom cap only twists in the clockwise direction. Is this to make it more intuitive to activate or is there another reason(s)?

Joseph: Yes. This is to make it more intuitive and straightforward for activating.

 

You say the can will stay colder for longer than a can taken out of a conventional refrigerator by more than 30 minutes. How? Why?

Joseph: When a can is taken out of the refrigerator and/or a cooler, it is immediately warming up based on the outside temperature of the air/atmosphere. The Chill-Can, because it is chilling from the inside-out, continues to chill the beverage by more than 30 minutes. Despite the air temperature, the outside walls of the HEU, which stay in contact with the beverage until it is consumed, are ice cold and will continue to cool the beverage. This feature is viewed as just as revolutionary as the chill on-demand aspect of the Chill-Can. It’s especially appealing to consumers who are continually frustrated that, if they don’t drink an entire can quickly, the last third of the can is undrinkable because the beverage is too warm.

 

What is the product-to-package ratio of an 8.4 fl-oz can?

Joseph: The HEU obviously causes a displacement factor in the can. We chose 8.4 ounces of fluid originally for West Coast Chill because, for an energy drink, that amount was standard for the market leader at the time. The can samples provided to Packaging Digest were 16-oz cans. We certainly could provide more liquid in the can as needed. However, the HEU will cause about 4 ounces of displacement in a 16-oz can.

What types of containers can the HEU be incorporated into? Aluminum, obviously. Steel? Plastic? Paper? Glass?

Joseph: Currently, aluminum and steel, but ongoing research and development is being done on all types of containers and materials.

 

The 8.4-fl-oz sample can is about 6.5 inches tall. How does this fit on most store shelves?

Joseph: The sample provided was in a standard 16-oz can and would fit on a shelf or display just as easily as any standard, conventional 16-oz can would.

 

How does the HEU change product filling? Slower speeds?

Joseph: HEU necessitates only slight modifications to any standard filling line and can be easily done in conjunction with The Joseph Co. This will only result in a minor slowing of production speed.

 

How well does the Chill-Can run on automatic packaging lines? It seems like the weight of the can is pretty balanced.

Joseph: Currently, the Chill-Can is only assembled on our manufacturing lines. Product filling can be done on outside filling line as just described.

 

What applications can best benefit from this technology?

Joseph: We feel we can apply our self-contained, self-chilling technology to all aspects of the beverage industry, as well as to sports medicine, the medical field as a whole, and every corner of the packaging world that requires any kind of cooling. The Joseph Co. can provide the solution for any business application that requires cooling without outside energy.

Can this be used for carbonated beverages?

Joseph: Yes. Carbonated beverages and any and all beverages that are suitable for human consumption.

 

How is the Chill-Can recyclable?

Joseph: All parts of the can are aluminum with about 5% of the parts being plastic. Both materials are 100% recyclable.

At this time, we are crafting a Recapture Program modeled after similar successful programs in Sweden. Someday we hope to be able to recapture large percentages of the cans and reuse some of the parts in production of new Chill-Cans.

 

The technology is ready for commercialization. Do you have any customers lined up yet?

Joseph: The technology will be licensed to Joseph-owned West Coast Chill and private-label beverages produced under the Joseph banner, such as Panther Punch, which is currently sold in a conventional can in South Florida via licensing with the Florida Panthers of the National Hockey League (NHL).

Mutual non-disclosure agreements prevent us from sharing with you at this time the multiple global beverage companies and retailers whom are under license or under consideration for a license at this time.

 

How much does the Chill-Can cost? Have you done any calculations on possible savings from eliminating the need for refrigeration during shipping/storage/display?

Joseph: Volume will always dictate price. Consumer focus tests have yielded results that show the consumer is willing to pay a premium for the opportunity to have their favorite beverage in a chill-on-demand package. [Editor’s note: For the West Coast Chill energy drink can, on-demand chilling added $1.50 to the cost of the product and, according to Joseph, “We couldn’t keep them on the shelf.”]

Two life cycle analysis studies do indeed show the huge, positive impact that the elimination of refrigeration will provide.

 

How are you able to guarantee 100% product / package safety, and what does “100% guaranteed safe” mean?

Joseph: This is why it has taken 25 years to get here. In that time, we have been given awards by the United States EPA [Environmental Protection Agency], gained Department of Transportation approval for shipping the Chill-Can, and have subjected the Chill-Can to years of safety testing to assure the safety of the product. In fact, the can itself is equipped with a safety mechanism that if somehow the can was put in a situation where it could “fail” (which is highly unlikely), it would simply self-activate 100% safely.

 

Development and refinement of the Chill-Can has taken 25 years. What key lessons have you learned during this process?

Joseph: Excellent question! We have learned patience and resiliency. We have learned that safety must be our highest priority followed by activation reliability, and of course cooling performance. We believe the consumer will think it was worth the wait!

Original Source: http://www.packagingdigest.com/beverage-packaging/chill-can-presents-a-new-twist-in-on-demand-cold-beverages-2018-04-12

Original Date: April 2018

Original Author: Lisa McTigue Pierce

Working towards a Sustainable Packaging Revolution

The global movement to highlight the enduring environmental and potential health impacts of plastics has kick-started wide-ranging programmes to reduce use and improve recyclability of single-use plastics, and many companies are now exploring sustainably sourced and recyclable materials in a bid to consider the end-of-life impact of their packaging.

Sam Jones, Customer Sustainability Manager at DS Smith explores how thoughtful design can streamline the supply chain and reduce overall carbon emissions. and what should businesses bear in mind when they review their packaging choices with regards to sustainability?

Problematic lifestyles

We live increasingly fast and busy lifestyles with a focus on convenience and disposability and we have little time to buy in bulk, cook from raw ingredients, reuse or recycle. Items such as drinking straws, water bottles, coffee cups, lids and stirrers, cutlery and takeaway packaging are particularly problematic from an environmental perspective.

All is not lost though – governments, retailers and brands are now taking action. The EU has recently developed a European Strategy for Plastics in a Circular Economy and some supermarkets are pledging to go entirely plastic-free or have plastic-free aisles.  In February, Europe’s first plastic-free supermarket aisle was launched by Dutch supermarket chain Ekoplaza. The company hopes to roll out similar aisles in all of its 74 branches by the end of the year. The plastic-free aisle offers more than 700 products with plastic-free packaging, including meat, rice, sauces, dairy, chocolate, cereals, yogurt, snacks, fresh fruit and vegetables.

The challenge of going plastic-free

While there are some straightforward moves retailers can make such as changing plastic egg cartons to pressed fibre cartons and charging for plastic bags, there are some areas that will require much more consideration. Plastics have a key part to play in transporting produce and keeping it fresh for longer and when this plastic is also returnable and recyclable, the case for using plastics is compelling.

For example, fruit and vegetable producers fill plastic trays with produce which then travels through the supply chain, is placed in fixture in store, emptied, cleaned and goes back to the packer for re-use. The plastic trays offer excellent supply chain efficiencies, and ensure the produce is protected. The trays have a long life span, being used time and time again.

In this example, the use of the plastic is arguably the most sustainable option. However, in general there is much more scope for companies to pioneer better design of plastics, supporting reuse, easier recycling and also encouraging the use of recycled plastics where possible. Stronger incentives to simplify, collect, sort and recycle all plastics would undoubtedly lead to a more sustainable future.

The proliferation of plastics over the last sixty years has in part been driven by its practicality. Plastics are light, strong, impermeable and cheap. They can be flexible or rigid, inflated and extruded. Innovations in fibre packaging are increasingly offering alternatives.

Easy alternatives

One area ripe for change is in on-shelf packaging. Some retailers use clear plastic trays that hold packs neatly and present them face-on to customers. The clear plastic makes the product visible and enables strong marketing of the product, however there are plastic-free alternatives available. DS Smith offers retail ready packaging (RRP) made from recyclable corrugated cardboard which has small upstands in the base and holds the product vertically. At 81 per cent, paper and board packaging is the most widely recycled material in Europe. It is designed with the whole supply chain in mind and offers cube efficiencies, meaning it fits perfectly within pallets whereas plastic trays often contribute to space loss of 20 per cent on average.

Another innovation is Bag-in-Box flexible packaging solutions. Bag-in-Box packaging offers an environmentally friendly alternative to packaging solutions for transporting liquids. Not only are all the components recyclable, Bag-in-Box produces five times less waste than rigid container alternatives. It is perfect for detergents, wine, juices and other fluids. Some are considering whether shaped bottles could be eliminated entirely as they are not cube efficient in the supply chain. Instead Bag-in-Box would be the more sustainable alternative.

Outside of the retail sector, European manufacturers are also considering their part in the plastics revolution. Many currently use plastic to transport their products when corrugated board could work just as well. For example, Finnish company Puustelli Group Oy manufactures high quality kitchen furniture and supplies customers in Finland, Sweden, the Baltic States and Russia. It recently worked with DS Smith to change from plastic to recyclable and environmentally friendly corrugated board packaging. The end result generated significant savings in terms of ordering and warehousing and an increase in distribution speed. It will reduce plastic packaging disposal by 32,000kg, enjoy substantial cost savings through improved protection and strengthen its brand; consumers recognise corrugated board to be recyclable and associate this with a sustainable, responsible brand.

As the environmental and potential health impacts become more apparent, regulatory and consumer attitudes towards excessive plastic packaging are changing rapidly. Many companies are now reviewing their approach to single-use plastics. In many cases, plastic packaging solutions may still be the most sustainable option. Regardless of material, we should focus on moving towards a more circular economy, where we minimise the use of raw materials, reduce waste, reuse and recycle.

Original Source: https://packagingeurope.com/working-towards-a-sustainable-packaging-revolution/

Original Date: May 14 2018

 

Consumers’ shifting shopping habits create packaging challenges

The internet puts product information in the hands of shoppers. Is the SmartLabel the best way for brands to connect with consumers as they shop, either in-store or online? Consider the pros and cons.

 

Consumers’ shopping habits are rapidly shifting, and those changes are making waves for consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies. The always-accessible internet in the palms of our hands provided by mobile devices, tablets and other computers drives these changes. Consumers increasingly order groceries and CPG products online and use online information during offline in-store shopping. On top of that, federal regulations requiring all CPG companies to be compliant with requirements related to the nutrition panel take effect by 2018, and many companies will have thousands of products affected, across disparate markets, product lines, channels and product variations.

To address these changes, many companies are turning to the SmartLabel, an initiative championed by the Grocery Manufacturer’s Assn. (GMA) to provide more transparency to consumers via web pages accessed through a search, quick-response (QR) code, app or retailers’ customer service desks. As with most new technologies and initiatives, however, there are pros and cons to SmartLabel. Let’s take a look at them.

 

SmartLabel Pros

The top benefit, of course, is that consumers seeking information on allergens, calories, ingredients and even the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) have everything they need at the scan of a QR code. This enables them to make quick, yet confident decisions about which products to purchase.

For CPG companies, while there will be some required items to include on SmartLabel landing pages, for the most part, they still control what appears on each of the five designated website tabs. This helps ensure information is delivered to the consumer in a brand-friendly way.

Finally, the SmartLabel provides companies with a reliable and informative online presence, which is important for reaching the modern omni-channel consumer who shops both in-store and online. While it’s unlikely that SmartLabel landing pages will be the only web presence for a product, it’s still a reliable source of information for consumers provided in a standardized format, and big companies including Unilever have embraced them as part of their transparency initiatives.

 

SmartLabel Cons

While the SmartLabel provides consumers with what they want (transparency), most CPG manufacturers would prefer a dialogue with consumers, in which consumers come to them to discuss the product. The idea of a standardized SmartLabel doesn’t thrill some CPG companies today for a number of different reasons including:

• Making so much information available accurately and quickly can be a huge undertaking.
• CPG companies work hard to differentiate products through branding; standardized reporting of ingredients across a category may not offer the same opportunity to differentiate.
• While some brands want to shine a spotlight on their ingredients list, others would rather not.
• Many retailers want—and some are demanding—manufacturers to turn over all of their product information, – even drawings and specs, to enable them to build the best possible shopping experience; manufacturers are wrestling with the question: how much is enough?

 

A balancing act

There’s no getting around the changing federal regulations, but the SmartLabel movement isn’t mandatory. So how should CPG companies determine whether to join up and decide how much information they should share?

For most, it’s a balancing act. With changing consumer habits, it’s important to have an easily accessible online presence to sway consumers in their purchasing decisions. At the same time, providing too much information can distract from the preferred interactions/conversations brands would prefer.

These are the questions companies, specifically many marketing teams who have become responsible for the consumer experience, must answer. For many, changing federal regulations may be the impetus for companies to adopt the SmartLabel since a new load of information must be made available for consumer transparency anyway.

By carefully weighing the pros and cons of SmartLabel, CPG companies can begin to determine whether easily accessible product landing pages can be a boon to sales, as well as exactly what information should be included—beyond federal mandate—to ensure everything remains brand compliant.

Of course, for companies who decide to jump into the SmartLabel game, label and artwork management (LAM) technologies can help ease the burden by simplifying asset management, design and approval processes across all affected stock-keeping units (SKUs). CPG companies of all shapes and sizes can turn to these automated tools or leverage those they already use for a competitive advantage today or to catch up with competitors tomorrow. As the software as a service (SaaS) model emerges with this type of technology, many smaller manufacturers now have access to many of the same tools as their behemoth competitors.

Orignal Source: http://www.packagingdigest.com/labeling/consumers-shifting-shopping-habits-create-packaging-challenges-2018-02-12

Original Date: Feb 12 2018

Written By: Stephen Kaufman

Lamb Weston packaging delivers hot and crispy french fries

The patented Crispy on Delivery solution brings hot, crispy french fries to a consumer’s door, thanks to an optimized packaging design and structure.

 

When you order french fries, you really want them to be fresh fries as in hot and crispy, which is no small feat when you order them from a restaurant to be delivered conveniently to your door.

In fact, when can you recall eating home-delivered fries that were anywhere close to restaurant fresh? It would seem to be a Herculean task to make that possible in an economically feasible way.

However, with nearly seven decades’ experience making fries and just weeks after a previous breakthrough (Lamb Weston unveils sustainably optimized food packaging) Lamb Weston (Eagle, ID) believes it has achieved that feat using a combination of factors including packaging. The company’s new Crispy on Delivery solution ensures that fries are delivered to customers’ homes still hot and crispy.

Crispy on Delivery started with extensive research focused on customer satisfaction for home fry delivery. Lamb Weston identified three key areas that can impact delivered fry quality—the product, the packaging and best practices for from store-to-door delivery.

“There’s nothing better than hot and crispy fries—one of the most loved foods in the world,” says Mike Smith, SVP Growth & Strategy, Lamb Weston. “We know we’ve got a solution to help our customers deliver on this. No one knows fries better than Lamb Weston – and our comprehensive approach to hot and crispy fries truly goes from the store to the door.”

Traditional fries start to lose their appeal after only five minutes. The lightly battered Crispy on Delivery fries maintain heat and crispiness for thirty minutes.

Crispy on Delivery fries travel in style—in a patented paper-based fry cup container with venting technology. The cup leverages strategically placed vents to keep fries warm while also preventing condensation from collecting in the packaging and dampening the fries—and consumers’ experience.

Jason Allen, director of global product management and innovation, answers Packaging Digest’s questions.

 

What led to this development?

Allen: The primary objective while brainstorming the packaging was to keep fries hot and crispy through the delivery process.

Studies show growth in the delivery category/segment so we anticipate this will open up new business opportunities for our company, and will help our customers solve one of their pressing challenges – how to improve the quality of delivered fries.  We also feel our “Store to Door” support—preparation and packing tips, to door—optimal delivery strategies and care and handling directions for our operators is a valued feature of the Crispy on Delivery solution.

 

This works through a combination of fries’ coating and packaging?

Allen: The packaging and special batter recipe work together to keep the fries crispy longer and to help maintain heat. Neither by itself is as effective as both working together.

 

What’s the specific packaging structure?

Allen: The packaging is made from virgin food-grade paperboard and specially designed with air vent features that keep the fries crispy while transporting them to the customer. The package is a patented/pending design.

 

Is this a patented packaging design?

Allen: It is patented in several markets around the world and patent pending in the United States.

 

How long was this in development?

Allen: We worked with our European partner, Lamb Weston/Meijer, to develop the Crispy on Delivery technology. Although this looks like a simple cup design, from concept to execution of the packaging took more than a year.

How critical are the die cut holes and design?

Allen: The size, position, and number of vents in the package are all designed to deliver on the Crispy on Delivery promise. This has been optimized with that end in mind.

 

What is the serving size or range of sizes available?

Allen: Using the Crispy on Delivery straight-cut fry, the cup packaging is 5.5 oz.

 

Who are potential customers?

Allen: Potential customers include restaurants who are actively participating in food delivery or who have interest in exploring delivery. We cannot share which customers are currently testing or investigating this option.  Early reaction to Crispy on Delivery fries was positive with restaurant operators rating them higher for overall satisfaction versus traditional fries.

 

Assuming this specialty potato carries a cost premium, what’s the justification for operators?

Allen: The operators now have the capability to provide crispy fries to their customers, which they have not been able to do in the past. Good products (crispy fries) = happy customers.

Original Source: http://www.packagingdigest.com/food-packaging/lambweston-pkg-delivers-hot-crispy-fires-1803

Original Date: April 2 2018

Original Author: Rick Lingle

 

PrimePeel® Provides Easy Peel And Re-Seal With Tamper Proof Features

Our increasingly fast moving lifestyle, together with the growing tendency to eat-on-the-go, are driving packaging manufacturers to develop concepts which will provide consumers with more convenience in the way that they purchase and use fresh products.

Helping the industry keep pace with these ever changing demands are lasers. Their flexibility and precision are at the heart of new and innovative flexible packaging concepts such as the PrimePeel® peel and re-seal process. This allows packages to be opened and re-sealed whilst maintaining the quality of the contents. Crucially, this process also incorporates a tamper evident security feature to protect the packaging and product integrity.

The PrimePeel® process, developed by LasX sister company FlexPack Services, clearly demonstrates how lasers are driving the development of new and innovative packaging concepts, many of which would be impossible with alternative technologies. PrimePeel® is used to preserve perishable food items including produce, cheese and cookies. The concept however is such that it can also be easily applied to applications in other industries including medical, pharmaceutical and cosmetics.

The opening feature on the film, produced using a LasX LaserSharp® CO2 laser and scanning head, can be of any shape or size. This allows product designers greater scope to develop unique patterns and designs to suit individual product types. Other benefits of the laser include the ability to make design changes quickly if needed, and also cater for small batch runs. The finished result is safe, convenient and reliable, easy to open and close, and can be re-sealed multiple times. The concept can be used on printed or clear labelling and importantly, incorporates a tamper evident security feature to protect the package contents.

The PrimePeel® process is ideally suited to pouches, trays or flow wrap applications and can generate significant cost savings and material reduction when compared to similar applications, including clamshell.

The laser technologies used for this innovative packaging concept are part of the comprehensive range of LasX laser processing systems which TLM Laser now have as part of their portfolio. These systems are able to cut, score and perforate a wide range of flexible packaging materials for applications across “Breathable Packaging” and “Easy Open” applications.

Original Source: https://packagingeurope.com/primepeel-provides-easy-peel-and-re-seal-with-tamper-proof/

Original Date: Mar 26 2018

A Holistic View of the Role of Flexible Packaging in a Sustainable World

Peel and Reclose Packaging – New and Growing Feature in the Flexible Packaging Industry

The flexible packaging industry is arguably the fastest growing segment for propelling the packaging industry to astonishing heights. Peel and reclose packages are the new and growing feature in the flexible packaging industry. Innovative packaging is being offered by peel and reclose manufacturers which enables the package to be easily opened to access the product and easily reclosed for storage. Peel and reclose packaging is light weight, which is considered to be the most attractive feature, helping in reducing transportation costs and resources

Peel and reclose manufacturers are focusing on upgrading the new technology and implementing it in packing material. Peel and reclose solutions are used with the packaging on the products on food and beverage products such as cheese, snacks and cereals. Peel and reclose films are also eco- friendly and are available in the biodegradable form which is helpful for protecting the environment.

Growth in demand of the peel and reclose market is anticipated to remain steady for various reasons. Peel and reclose packaging market comes under the category of the convenience packaging. Convenience packaging features such as easy opening, reclosability are some of the prominent features that are driving the market of the global peel and reclose packaging market. Peel and reclose packaging application is a growing feature in the flexible packaging industry.

Peel and reclose packaging market have seen an increase in the penetration of the retail outlets in the Asia pacific region which is driving the demand of the global peel and reclose packaging market. With the rise in population, the need for packaging of fresh food and vegetables is increasing which has created a significant opportunity for the peel and reclose packaging market.

Original Source: https://businessservices24.com/393160/peel-and-reclose-packaging-new-and-growing-feature-in-the-flexible-packaging-industry/

Original Date: April 6 2018

Original Author: Nitin

Recycling Needs Drive Innovation in Sleeve Labels

Materials suppliers and film processors have been hard at work creating new label offerings compatible with PET bottle recycling.

Shrink-sleeve labels: You see the eye-catching designs everywhere these days on food, beverages and consumer products. Brand owners love them because they offer plenty of real estate on the container to communicate what the product is and overall messaging on a 360° marketable area of the package. And the trend isn’t slowing down—the shrink-label market is expected to grow at a 5.2% annual rate through 2021, reaching $245 million in sales, according to The Freedonia Group’s study, Stretch & Shrink Sleeve Market in the U.S.

While the labels are a success story for brands, they also present a headache for recyclers. About 20 years ago, PVC had the largest market share of shrink-film labels. But 10 years ago, the industry started shifting away from PVC shrink labels because of environmental concerns.

“It’s highly undesirable to have PVC mixed with PET in recycling,” says John Standish, technical director of the Association of Plastics Recyclers (APR), Washington, D.C. “One of the most important steps in recycling PET is called ‘float and sink’ and PVC has a high density and sinks in the water. It gets mixed in with PET and gets trapped in the ‘float and sink’ step.”

The industry started to shift to PETG-based film, but that also created issues for recyclers. According to a 2014 APR report, shrink-sleeve labels that are PVC-based or PETG-based film have a density higher than water and can’t be separated from PET flakes during the sink-float separation step of the recycling process, so they contaminate the recycled PET stream and deteriorate the quality of recycled PET (rPET) products.

With the increased usage of these labels, recyclers were experiencing a rising volume of shrink-labeled PET containers that were not recyclable. It is estimated that PET bales contain approximately 5% shrink-labeled containers. The challenge of removing shrink labels during PET recycling was brought to the industry’s attention by APR and the National Association of PET Container Resources (NAPCOR), Florence, Ky., in 2012. APR established guidelines for label manufacturers and an official Critical Guidance Recognition program to encourage development of labels that are more compatible with PET bottle recycling systems.

But the big push came from brand owners: Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Walmart, and Unilever are among those who have made pledges to use 100% recyclable, reusable or compostable packaging by 2025.

“Labels create a variety of challenges, as they add to the complexity for the PET recycler,” Standish says. “But thanks to brand-owner requirements, the recycling aspect is a must-have. We know major brand owners are evaluating the options and we believe that 2018 will be the year we start to see the new options in the marketplace.”

DESEAM & RELEASE LABEL ADHESIVE

Eastman Chemical, Kingsport, Tenn., has been in the shrink-film label market since the early 1990s. Early polyester-based shrink labels consisted of blends of several different types of polyester, but in the late 1990s Eastman developed a reactor-grade resin that had very unique shrinkage properties, says Ronnie Little, Eastman’s market-development manager, SP-Plastics Packaging. This patented resin has become the industry standard for shrink-film labels.

Eastman Embrace LV copolyester (PETG-based) enables differentiated labeling wrapped  around highly contoured, complex and thin-walled containers, and it displays 75% ultimate shrinkage. Little says that shrink labels made from Embrace resins are on some of the most recognizable brands in the world. A few examples include Method soaps and household cleaners, Malibu rum, Jack Daniels, 94Wines and Bayer garden products.

However, there is still the recyclability concern. Eastman has been very vocal about working to find a solution and in 2012, organized a consortium to collaborate on ways to solve this issue. Little says that as result of the work of the consortium, Eastman partnered with ink maker Sun Chemical, Parsippany, N.J., to advance the development of a deseamable adhesive. The result is Sun Chemical’s SunLam Deseaming Adhesive. By changing from a traditional solvent to use of SunLam Deseaming Adhesive, shrink labels deseam and release during the bottle-wash step of the wet recycling process.

Little says that for brand owners, this can be done with minimal process changes or additional investment in new equipment. The only change needed is the adhesive. The label removal occurs prior to color, infrared and manual sorting, thus preventing shrink-labeled PET bottles being removed from the rPET stream due to misidentification.

“Eastman’s partnership with Sun Chemical to develop deseaming had both companies walking into unchartered territory,” Little says. “Eastman and Sun extensively tested SunLam on labels made with Eastman Embrace LV copolyester.”

According to Little, they ran thousands of shrink-labeled containers at commercial recycling facilities to determine the effectiveness of label separation. Test variables included time in the actual recycling process, temperature of the recycle wash water, and the caustic level of the wash water. This led to optimizing the deseaming adhesive formulation to work efficiently, allowing the shrink label to come off the PET bottle prior to sortation. The result is a label-free PET container ready to be processed into rPET.

SunLam Deseaming Adhesive has received a “Responsible Innovation Acknowledgment” after passing testing outlined by APR. The tests utilized whole-bottle wash equipment at commercial recycling facilities and yielded results of greater than 95% label removal, with results typically exceeding 99%.

“Removing shrink-sleeve labels early in the recycling process virtually eliminates misidentification of PET bottles during sorting, as well as contamination that occurs in the sink-float separation process,” Little says. “Not only do labels seamed with SunLam Deseaming Adhesive release during the whole-bottle wash, the adhesive also forms a strong bond on the shrink-sleeve label that lasts through all phases of the PET bottle’s life cycle, from the sleeve shrinking, through transporting to store shelves, and consumer use.”

FLOATABLE SHRINK FILMS

Timothy Kneale, president of Topas Advanced Polymers, Florence, Ky., joined the company in 2004 and said that the company’s work in sleeve labels was already taking place with multiple commercial users of labels from various film producers. As the usage of sleeve  labels continue to grow each year, Topas became focused on a drop-in option to the current recycling infrastructure.

“We have been working on a solution that enables shrink labels to float, and we’re seeing a lot more interest in that as time goes on and consumers and brand owners get more serious about demanding effective recycling solutions,” he says. “You see the commitments from big beverage companies and Walmart—the big players are coming together and drawing a line in sand that by 2025, this must be fixed.”

Enter Topas’ cyclic olefin copolymer (COC) material for shrink applications. These polyolefin film structures will float during the washing stage to facilitate separation of label and bottle materials. Kneale said floatable labels are made by multi-layering COC with PE or PP.

Kneale says that PP has a density around 0.90 g/cc, and LLDPE around 0.92. These are coextruded with COC (1.01 g/cc) so that the final structure is in the 0.95 or lower density range.

“This means the labels will float even with ink applied,” he says. “We believe the floatable solution is the best; it’s universally applicable, and every MRF (Material Recovery Facility) can do this. There’s no additional equipment to buy; it’s a perfect drop-in for recyclers.”

Topas says that COC shrinkage can be as high as that of PVC or PETG, and the Topas COC enables label manufacturers to make low-density, flotation-separable labels that meet the APR guidelines. “The COC brings high shrink, high gloss, great ink adhesion, easy cutting of labels, and high stiffness,” Kneale says. “These are all things that ordinary polyolefins (PP, PE) do not do well by themselves.”

“Labels create a variety of challenges, as they add to the complexity for the PET recycler.”

One processor running Topas COC is Taghleef Industries of Dubai, United Arab Emirates, a supplier of films to the global marketplace. Kneale says that the Taghleef film passed all of APR’s flotation tests, which confirms that the label stock will float in water and that the label does not interfere with the color or haze of recycled PET. In 2017, Taghleef introduced its polyolefin TDS label film that is clear and floatable, with up to 65% shrinkage.

Other processors that have developed floatable solutions meeting APR’s guidelines include Klöckner Pentaplast, Gordonsville, Va., with its Pentalabel ClearFloat; and UPM Raflatac, Mills River, N.C. UPM Raflatac says that during the recycling process, its RafShrink PO MDO 40 HS film ensures clean separation from clear PET bottles by floating to the top of the caustic washing solution, unlike PVC and PETG labels, which sink with PET bottle material.

“What’s exciting now is there’s all these different options,” APR’s Standish says. “The view of PET recycling is that I don’t care which one you use —just do something different, get new materials in the market and gain experience, and let’s all move forward with recycling.”

Original Source: https://www.ptonline.com/articles/recycling-needs-drive-innovation-in-sleeve-labels

Original Date: 3/2/18

Written By: Heather Caliendo

Paper and board have key roles in the future of packaging

Paper and paperboard will continue to play a vital role in the evolving global packaging market according to the latest exclusive research from Smithers Pira.

Overall growth in dollar value terms for packaging was depressed for the years spanning the middle of the decade– although this is largely attributable to relative strength of the dollar against other currencies across that period. Still in 2017, value reached $851.1 billion, a 2.8% growth compared to 2016 at constant prices. This steady expansion is forecast to continue across the next five years – rising slightly to 2.9% year-on-year across this period – to reach $980.4 billion in 2017.

Regional perspectives

The continuing trend towards large-scale mergers and acquisitions – for example the creation of WestRock from MeadWestVaco and RockTenn – is testament to the relative maturity of the packaging industry in developed world regions, like North America and Western Europe. The analysis in the new Smithers Pira report – The Future of Global Packaging to 2022 – indicates that emerging and developing economies will contribute just over 70.0% of world packaging consumption growth during 2017–2022.

Asia is the largest market accounting for 42.1% of world packaging consumption in 2016. North America is in second place accounting for 24.3% of world packaging consumption, ahead of Western Europe with 18.4%. The emerging and developing regions of Eastern Europe, South & Central America, the Middle East and Africa account for the remaining 15.2% of world packaging consumption.

Asia is forecast to grow packaging consumption at the fastest rate, led by China and India. This is largely attributable to growing populations, rising disposable incomes, and a transition from traditional markets to the purchasing of packaged consumerist goods, especially in the food segment. China alone is forecast to represent almost 48.0% of world packaging consumption growth through to 2022 with India accounting for a further 8.5%.

Material segments

Board and paperboard (corrugated, folding carton stock and liquid paperboard) is the largest packaging material type covered in the Smithers study. It accounted for 35.7% of world packaging consumption in 2016, followed by flexible packaging (plastic, paper and foil) with 23.3%, rigid plastic packaging with 18.2% and metal with 12.2%.

Pulp and paper is represented in the two largest packaging material segments – board and flexibles –in 2017

Pulp and paper is represented in the two largest packaging material segments – board and flexibles – in 2017.

Flexible packaging is forecast to grow consumption at the fastest rate through to 2022, driven by advantages in lightweight, demand for smaller more convenient packaging and improvements in design. Growth will be strongest for flexible plastics which are already two third of the market, but flexible papers will perform only slightly less well across the five year forecast, with aluminium seeing the smallest boost, as pricing and improvements in competing barrier materials squeeze its share.

Food markets dominate flexible packaging consumption accounting for three-quarters of global consumption in 2016. Meat, fish and poultry; confectionery; dried food; and savoury snacks are the largest food markets for flexible packaging. Pharmaceuticals, medical, cosmetics and toiletries are the largest non-food markets for flexible packaging.

Flexible papers

While flexible paper packaging has been under threat from flexible plastics in some applications, it will remain an important constituent of the flexible packaging market for the foreseeable future. This is due to a combination of factors, its low cost, its perceived good environmental credentials, its use in laminations (often as a light barrier), and because consumers enjoy the tactile effect. A number of plastic films have been modified to mimic the feel and look of paper, while offering the benefits of moisture barriers inherent with plastic films. Matte finish BOPP is an example of such a film.

Papers continue to dominate some packaging applications, such as flour, sugar and some soft cheeses. Papers are still used widely in medical packaging; fast food wrap and metallised paper cigarette bundle wrap – as well as less formal developing world retail sectors. Dried food, processed meals and savoury snack markets present growth opportunities for extrusion-coated papers, along with speciality medical packaging papers.

Corrugated board

Growing environmental concern is benefitting the corrugated board market due to the perceived and real environmental benefits of cellulose-based packaging. However, lightweighting of board constructions is hampering volume growth slightly, although the impact on value is less pronounced.

Corrugated packaging companies are putting increased emphasis on shelf-ready packaging that significantly reduces the workload for unpacking and displaying products. This trend is now deepening with the rise of discount retailers – such as Aldi and Lidl in Europe – and convenience store selling, which are more likely to use less labour intensive shelving options and have fewer of their own branding priorities. This presents an opportunity for the brand to determine how their product is presented in store and gives an opportunity for them to invest in printed graphics for on-shelf differentiation.

Press builders like HP are collaborating with specialists in corrugated board handling to develop a new generation of high productivity inkjet press for printing boxes. Source: HP.

This trend dovetails neatly with the wider availability of inkjet printers for corrugated board, giving brand greatly expanded options for versioned packaging, including bespoke designs of corrugated formats for short run promotions. Flatbed inkjet systems have been available for corrugated for several years, but productivity and cost have limited these; often to point-of-sale displays, rather than packaging. Across 2017-2022 this situation will change as a new generation of high productivity inkjet presses – like the HP T1100S – especially designed for volume corrugated print are already seeing their first commercial installations.

E-commerce

The unspectacular, if steady, rise in demand for packaging in retail outlets contrasts with that in the e-commerce segment. The value of packaging demand into this sales channel was $28 billion in 2017, and will more than double by 2023. Over 75% of this is for corrugated formats, causing a surge in demand for fanfold for fit to packing applications, new designs for returnability, and lighter weight flutings that minimise the size of postal shipments.

From a packaging designer’s perspective with a customer encountering their goods away from a shop, serving staff and, other prompts such as point-of-sale displays; packaging is taking on an increasing important role as the primary touch point for brand identity. This is generating interest in new designs that create an opening or ‘unboxing’ experience.

Pack printing is also a key medium in this new arena with many e-commerce retailers and brands investing in high-quality graphics on the exterior and especially the interior of the package, for decorative impact. This in turn is creating a spur for new linerboards that can carry improved imagery.

E-commerce shipment places a premium on both protection and message communications on brand packaging. Source: Lil Packaging.

The position of folding cartons within global packaging will face competition in the future from new more streamlined pack formats – like resealable stand-up pouches – that do not require secondary cartons. Additional competition will also be seen from upright flexible packaging, e.g. shrink film for multi-packs of beverages, and corrugated boxes. Future demand will also be affected by factors such as falling sales of tobacco and cigarettes, and an increase in offshore production of toys and sports products that are shipped pre-packed.

Higher paperboard prices, which impact on profitability, may another challenge, but in the short term board prices are generally decreasing as a result of rising European board output and high exports from an oversupplied Chinese board market.

Folding cartons demand is predicted to grow in four main end-use segments. More spending is expected on luxury items, while the on-the-go eating trend will drive demand for retail carryout cartons. A larger ageing population and health enfranchisement worldwide will also increase demand for cartons in the pharmaceuticals category. Environmental factors and lightweighting is also expected to underpin faster than average growth in use of beverage cartons.

Folding cartons will also benefit from the digital print revolution. New dedicated inkjet platforms are joining toner based system in this segment, which has been targeted as the first by Landa Nanography with its B1-format S10 press now in beta testing in Israel.

Liquid packaging board

Liquid packaging board consumption is likely to be maintained over the next five years. With 70% of this market used in dairy and 20% in fruit juices it will benefit from the healthy eating trend in developed markets, combined with growing consumption patterns in the emerging markets.

There is a growing trend for liquid packaging board producers to use renewable resources in order to enhance their environmental credentials. In 2016, for example, Tetra Pak announced the launch of a new version of Tetra Brik Aseptic 1000 Edge with Bio-based LightCap 30. This is the first aseptic carton package in the world to receive the highest class of Vinçotte certification for its use of renewable materials. The new package is manufactured using a bio-based plastic film and cap.

Innovations like micro-fibrillated cellulose (MFC), being pioneered by the likes of Stora Enso, offer the prospect of a biodegradable barrier film capable of replacing aluminium foil in liquid cartons.

Carton manufacturers are also introducing new and innovative carton products. These include the Combidome carton bottle from SIG Combibloc and Elopak’s Pure-Pak Sense Aseptic carton. The novel design and functional features of Pure-Pak Sense Aseptic cartons include easy-to-fold lines and the convenient flattening of cartons to reduce volume in waste and recycling facilities.

Liquid carton producers are also responding to consumer demand for packaging suitable for on-the-go drinking. Tetra Pak launched two portion-size packages in April 2017 to meet growing demand for on-the-go beverages. The Tetra Prisma Aseptic 200 and 250 Edge with Dreamcap 26 build on the success of the Tetra Prisma Aseptic 300ml, which has more than 100 customers and packages more than 340 brands. Tetra Pak forecasts that worldwide demand for portion packages under 250ml will grow to 72 billion litres by 2019, up 10% from 2016.

Original Source: https://www.smitherspira.com/resources/2018/february/the-future-of-packaging-trends

 

What’s causing a shift from traditional materials to flexible packaging types?

Smithers Pira identifies the reasons why flexible packaging is continuing to increase in popularity with consumers and brand owners.

Consumer, retail and technology trends have contributed to a gradual replacement of rigid pack formats by flexible packaging during the last decade or so. This trend is outlined in Smithers Pira’s new report – The Future of Flexible Packaging to 2022 – which values total flexible packaging sales at $219.5 billion in 2016 and forecasts growth at an annual rate of 4.3% to $282.6 billion by 2022.

The Future of Flexible Packaging

Smithers Pira analysis examines what is driving market growth and why brand owners are switching from traditional materials, such as glass jars and metal can, to flexible packaging types.

Consumer preference

Consumers are more concerned about health and wellness issues because of greater media and internet attention to health matters. These concerns have led to growth in demand for packed fresh fruit and vegetables, dietary supplements, natural, organic and additive-free products, which has boosted demand for flexible packaging types.

Consumers are increasingly aware of what ingredients and additives go into the products they consume, which is emphasising the importance of concise labelling.

An increasingly urban society is leading to busy lifestyles in which time-constrained consumers choose products that offer convenience and portability. Demand is rising for microwaveable packaging, single-serve packs, carry-away packs, resealable packaging, easy-open packs and longer shelf lives. More eating away from home and on-the-go consumption suggest that more packaging will need to be designed for portability and less weight and resealability will need to be designed for products eaten at home.

Sustainable packaging

There is mounting public pressure on brand owners and retailers to reduce the environmental impact of packaging. Brand owners are responding to consumers’ environmental concerns in several ways. These include:

  • Lightweighting, reducing material usage without impairing pack performance;
  • Using more recycled and recyclable polymers in packaging
  • Investigating the use of bioplastic packaging.

For the packaging converter and its logistics chain, flexible packaging uses fewer resources and less energy than other forms of packaging. It provides significant reductions in packaging costs, materials use and transport costs. Furthermore it can also be constructed on the spot from roll materials at the filling location, minimising transportation of ready-formed empty packaging. To the consumer it takes up less space when empty than rigid packaging.

The John Lewis Partnership and Waitrose, for example, state that by 2020 they will eliminate all operational waste going to landfill and reduce the amount of food waste generated. They are also continuing to explore innovative solutions to reuse their own reprocessed cardboard, glass and plastic waste in operations, supporting a more circular business model.

Retail chains and brand owners also continue to adopt bioplastic packaging rather than conventional plastics in order to meet their sustainability goals and minimise their carbon footprint. They also recognise that sustainable packaging presents an opportunity to differentiate their products and to present a more environmentally friendly image to consumers.

Supermarket shopping

Packaging film demand is benefiting from the growing market share of the large retail chains worldwide. These chains have expanded the market for packaged food with their focus on cost reduction and shelf-life extension.

Retail chains have dominated food and drink markets in advanced countries for many years. Food and drink retailing in developing economies of Eastern Europe, Asia and South America, has traditionally been dominated by smaller, local and independent artisan stores, largely offering unpacked food. Domestic supermarkets chains are spreading in these regions, and are taking a growing share of food and drink consumption.

Supermarket are becoming especially favoured by consumers due to their wide product ranges and diverse choice of premium brands, usually unavailable in other types of outlets. There has also been growth in the number of discount stores and private label products, which enables those on lower incomes to purchase packaged food and drinks at more affordable prices.

Pouching machinery

Pouches, and particularly stand-up pouches, are the fastest-growing product category within flexible packaging. The new generation of vertical form-fill systems (VFFS) are capable of delivering faster production speeds, greater versatility and improved sealing techniques. In the current economic climate there is a growing need to reduce the time to market for even the most basic commodity items, a trend that is placing pressure on packer fillers to meet increasingly tight delivery schedules cost effectively.

Pouch production machinery development is one of the most buoyant areas of the packaging equipment segment. A major challenge is the fill line speeds of pouches in comparison to bottles – especially for transitioning beverages to flexible formats. One of the greatest steps forward has been the development of continuous pouch filling machines to replace slower intermittent machines. Large format pouches, previously limited to 80–100 pouches per minute (ppm), can now be run off at 250 ppm.

Original Source: https://www.smitherspira.com/resources/2018/january/shift-to-flexible-packaging