Sachets Strive Forward
The sachet market is continuing to heat up. According to Stratistics MRC, the global sachet market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 7.8 percent from 2017 to 2023, with the most popular pack sizes being the single-serve 1-10 milliliter variety.
One of the key players in the sachet space is India-based Uflex Ltd., and two of its recent sachet innovations – a Nescafe Sunrise Instant Coffee sachet and Shudh-Plus Tactile Sachet for a mouth freshener product – are two examples of how the market continues to evolve. Here’s a closer look at each of these new packages, both of which recently earned Flexible Packaging Achievement Awards.
Nescafe Sunrise Non-Foil Instant Coffee Sachet
Nescafe Sunrise Non-Foil Instant Coffee Sachet is a portion-controlled unit pack of a coffee chicory mixture. Instant coffee chicory mixture is extremely hygroscopic and has always been packed in flexible packaging where aluminum foil provides the functional barrier. In order to eliminate the use of aluminum foil to provide a sustainable packaging solution, engineers worked on a high-barrier metallized polyester film that could effectively replace it. The new packaging development for the replacement of aluminum foil was tested with a similar shelf life of 12 months.
Consumers are able to get the same product delivery with lesser packaging material and are able to simply tear, dispense and consume the product in its entirety. The new packaging consists of 10-micron polyester (reverse printed) and is laminated with 12-micron high-barrier metallized polyester and 20-micron polyethylene using a tandem extrusion lamination process. This was done to achieve two major objectives: avoid metal cracking during manufacturing and distribution, and to provide easy tear-ability on the machine direction thereby providing easy access to the end user.
The development has also resulted in a 45 percent weight reduction, which helped it earn a Silver Flexible Packaging Achievement Award in the sustainability category. The weight reduction significantly reduces carbon footprint through all three critical phases of the packaging product (i.e. manufacturing, transportation and disposal).
Because of the packaging structure, the overall cost of the sachet is about 15 percent less than a conventional one. This enables the brand to pass on the cost savings to the consumers, thereby increasing the value for money proposition.
Shudh-Plus Ultra-Sparkling Tactile Sachet with 3D Embossing
Shudh-Plus Ultra’s sparkling tactile printing is the real achievement with this sachet. This printing technique deposits high-strength solids onto flexible packaging substrates for aesthetic packaging options. Also, this development offers new possibilities in creating packs that can be offered for the visually impaired market with Braille printing through tactile functionalities.
This printing technique is achieved with a specialized laser-engraved rotogravure cylinder with customized cell geometry to trap the high solid content of the glitter ink. Pigments of the glitter ink have poor release characteristics from the cells of the cylinder. When the printing surface is sandwiched between the impression roller and the gravure cylinder, high solid contents of the glitter ink transfer from recessed cells to the substrate with the help of capillary action and the tangential force of the roller.
Surface printing of the base design is done on coated paper using a combination of rotogravure and flexographic print transfer technologies. Apart from the printing technology, the printed substrate is processed through electron beam coating to create the embossed effect on the brand name.
Being that visibility is key for sales, the tactile effect, glitter and ink used for this package help catch the attention of the consumer. This is especially true with mouth freshener products with various “me-too” brands that mimic the packaging of others.
The Shudh-Plus Ultra sachet earned a pair of Flexible Packaging Achievement Awards. It scored gold in technical innovation and a silver honor in the printing and shelf impact category.