Aptar Food + Beverage’s flip-top for the Daisy Brand Squeeze-Flexible sour cream pouch is one of the more notable fitments integrated into flexible packaging. It has earned multiple industry accolades and has also become a favorite of consumers. Perhaps most notable of all, however, is its proof of the positive impact that fitments can have on flexible packaging formats.
To talk new opportunities for fitments, why brands and consumers like them and what’s next in this market segment, we caught up with Dave Johnson, Aptar’s strategic business development manager.
Q: What are some of the latest markets that fitments are moving into when it comes to flexible packaging?
A: The salad dressing market recently added a spouted pouch to its traditional PET bottle grocery store aisle space. In 2016, Kraft Heinz introduced a top-spouted pouch with a unique hourglass pouch shape and a top-center resealable fitment. It’s perfect for the on-the-go health conscious eater who is seeking portion control packaging.
Continuing the trend of condiments moving into the flexible package, Silver Spring introduced the first spouted gusseted pouch to the deli-style mustard category in 2016. Like Dukes-branded mayonnaise, it emphasizes pouch convenience for on-the-go mealtime activities like picnics and tailgating. Adding to the mayo-in-pouch trend, Chez Victor, a Quebec company, is selling a lineup of various mayo flavors in standup pouches in Canada.
Other relatively new entries over the past year or so in the spouted pouch market include dog gravy in the pet food category, and hummus and yogurt in large package formats. These markets have been traditionally dominated by rigid packaging. Not only are most of these food categories new to fitments, but also the standup pouch. I also believe that fitments will be finding their way into markets where the standup pouch is already common, and where adding a fitment will provide directional pouring, less mess and improved resealability. The pouch fitment will give the brand added value and a competitive edge. Markets that could certainly use a better dispensing solution include sugars and sweeteners, pet food bags, lawn and garden products to name a few.
Q: Why fitments? What makes them so attractive to brand owners and consumers?
A: Fitments bring needed functionality to the standup pouch to match and improve the performance of its rigid counterpart. For example, multi-serve liquid products that require a dispensing fitment that reseals the pouch for future use. Pouches with fitments provide better pouring performance and improved no-mess dispense, especially when having to pour directly into smaller containers or squeezing onto your favorite dish. Fitments provide added security with intuitive tamper-evident designs that you can see, hear and feel if the package has been tampered with.
Fitments even make the on-the-go convenience of pouches more convenient. One example is Proteo, Aptar’s new complete solution offering. Proteo is a unique, thin and sleek flexible package with a delightful design. The package integrates a secure locking fitment that makes it ideal for all on-me and on-the go products like sun care, hair care and body care.
Fitments can also add to the overall aesthetics of the package, helping it to stand out on the shelf. Fitments can even bring new meaning to the standup pouch by allowing the fitment to take on the responsibility of keeping the pouch upright, even when all of the product has been squeezed from the pouch.
Q: The Daisy sour cream pouch fitment is arguably Aptar’s most significant (or at least best publicized) contribution to date. Have you seen this development open the door for other products/markets?
A: Absolutely. The benefits of the Daisy Squeeze are undeniable. No dirty spoons to clean, no mess and precise dispensing directly onto your favorite taco, along with an innovative closure and unique inverted pouch design, just to name a few.
Multiple brands see the opportunity to take this same format into different markets where the consumer will benefit from the same conveniences that are now offered in the sour cream category. I also believe the Aptar dispensing system, including valve technology for Daisy Squeeze, has opened the doors for brands to consider not only this same functional inverted format, but to give a wider consideration for other creative flexible and functional designs. With the launch of Daisy Squeeze, the brand’s vision for pouches is not limited to the traditional top-center or corner-spouted pouch. The pouch supply chain continues to ideate and innovate around making the standup pouch the most functional and sustainable packaging format. There are many innovative ideas and technologies just waiting to be brought to the market.
Q: What does the future of fitments when it comes to flexible packaging look like?
A: Let me first say this: The future of the standup pouch looks even stronger with a fitment. Flexible packaging, as confirmed by all of the research packaging companies, is the fastest growing format. Cost, sustainability, on-the-go convenience and low startup investment are just a few reasons behind the growth. Where there is growth, more opportunity and more innovation will follow. Here is where fitment technology will be a strong proponent of future strong flexible packaging growth. As brands look to convert from rigid or extend their lines to include a flexible format, consumer needs will dictate that the flexible format meet or exceed the dispensing characteristics of the bottle, tub, carton, jar or whatever rigid package they have grown used to. This is what Aptar’s marketing, and research and development is strongly focused on: understanding dispensing challenges that brands want to solve along with improving consumer user experience.
There are three key product platforms Aptar is developing and commercializing products globally:
Dispensing spouts: Solutions that allow the consumer to conveniently pour or squeeze their favorite products with the ease of flip-lid technology.
Child-friendly closures and spouts: Unique designs that allow brands to differentiate themselves on the store shelves. Designs that incorporate tamper evidence that the user can see, hear and feel if the overcap has been removed.
Inverted pouch: Aptar is bringing the inverted pouch format to additional markets that provide the same value as what Daisy Squeeze has brought to the sour cream category.
Aptar Food + Beverage
(262) 363-0362; www.aptar.com