SKU consolidation, especially with packaging components, is a popular topic as warehouse space is in high demand and streamlining supply chains is a constant goal. In fact, many CPG brands often ask the question, “How do we make our packaging components work harder for us?”
When the packaging is required to do more than just protect products, advertise on shelf and provide a good user experience, what more does one need? A large cereal brand leaned on its film supplier, Berry, for guidance in SKU reduction. This cereal brand bought five different film types for packaging cereal, which all varied in gauge thickness and barrier layers. Berry designed a single film with enhanced toughness that allowed these five films to be consolidated into one film. Layering up from a 5-layer film to a 7-layer film and strategically managing materials enabled the consolidation effort. Innovative materials engineered to specific levels in unique layer combinations drove the consolidation and gauge reduction. The customer was using 2-mil, 2.5-mil and 3-mil film, and the layering up technology drove the final gauge to 2 mil and offered improved toughness and moisture barrier properties compared to the other gauges.
Consolidating to one film reduced the total weight required to package the same amount of cereal by 5 percent. This provided a benefit in reducing the amount of total film used and also resulted in a cost savings to boot. With the 7-layer design, the film was engineered to efficiently run on the existing packaging equipment as a drop in. The consumer was not impacted with the design, providing the same opening experience and overall function even with the gauge reduction.
This same brand now uses one film with several widths instead of five different film types with several widths each. This change has improved manufacturing efficiency for Berry, reduced total inventory on both sides and improved logistics. This project proved to greatly benefit the supplier and customer, all with no impact on the end consumer.
Berry Global, www.berryglobal.com