This year was an odd year, to say the least, but flexible packaging carried on. There’s been an ever-growing shift toward flexible packaging, especially pouches. As you’ll see, pouches are exactly what Flexible Packaging’s readers wanted to see throughout 2020.
We have to let it be known that there was no voting, at least not in the traditional sense. We didn’t have call-in numbers or use social media for voting, nor did we ask people to submit products for consideration. We instead did a tally of the products that garnered the most interest via our website and digital editions. It’s that simple.
So what qualified as a product? Anything that was considered a flexible packaging product, ie, material, graphic design, film, bag, etc., from a company was fair game, as were the machines used in the packaging process. We left out articles about a packaging type not tied to a brand and other non-packaging-related items. For example, the most popular article we ran this year was about the best material for protective medical face masks. While totally relevant given what went on this past year and involving some packaging suppliers who pivoted to produce materials for mask making, it didn’t count because it wasn’t specifically a packaging product.
With all that said, here are the top 10 products based on reader interest in 2020.
John Frieda Hair Care’s new packaging uses 50% less plastic while also reducing product waste. Named the Tube-Like-Pouch (TLP), the packaging was developed and commercialized by Cincinnati-based Kao USA Inc, the company says the packaging structure uses 50% less plastic than an 8.45-oz tube, and the flexibility of the material allows for greater amounts of product to be squeezed out compared to the tube.
Hershey’s Kit Kat’s latest flavor, Birthday Cake, was the third new limited-edition flavor announced in 2020, following the success of Raspberry Crème and Lemon Crisp. These offerings are from the Kit Kat flavor innovation team which is constantly working to create new flavors throughout the year. Kit Kat Birthday Cake was created to deliver on the “universal love” of the layers of birthday cake flavor and aroma of frosting paired with the surprise crunch of sprinkles.
The CPPouch family of film solutions from Profol provides flexible packaging pouch structures that are 100% recyclable and don’t require the use of foil or solvents. The films meet the packaging industry’s need for highly functional, single-material solutions that can be more easily separated and recycled. CPPouch solutions include a coextruded, polypropylene-based film material. There are no extra lamination steps and no need for adhesive curing.
For the first time ever, fans of Lucky Charms were able to enjoy a pouch of magically delicious Just Magical Marshmallows. This was the first time Just Magical Marshmallows were available for purchase nationwide at select retailers. The special 6-oz resealable pouch featured all eight of consumers’ favorite charms in a limited supply at retailers, but became more widely available in September.
Bizongo launched a partnership with Sparkplug Foods Pvt Ltd for Flavure — India’s first brand to offer olives as a snacking option. Bizongo suggested FDA-approved retort pouches for packaging the olives after deep market research. These heat-resistant laminated plastic pouches have a shelf-life equivalent to that of foods in metal cans. Since the product had to be positioned as a quick, easy-to-eat snack, pouches were chosen over cans. This was guided by a structural benchmarking followed by the development of an innovative packaging format.
SÜDPACK Verpackungen GmbH & Co. KG received a certificate of recyclability from the Institute cyclos-HTP for its packaging film concept, combining a Skin Multi SV top film (150 µm) and base film Ecoterm VP (250 µm). The combined top foil/base foil skin packaging concept can reduce material consumption by about 18% compared to tray packaging and MAP (modified atmosphere packaging).
Gerber’s single-material baby food pouch is designed to increase recycling value and promote the circular economy. Developed in partnership with Gualapack, a manufacturer of premade spouted pouches, the pouch is 100% recyclable through Gerber’s national recycling program with TerraCycle. The pouch was made available exclusively on TheGerberStore.com for Gerber’s Organic Banana Mango Puree in May 2020.
Nordmeccanica launched a solventless lamination solution designed especially for on-demand, flexible packaging production on HP Indigo digital presses. Developed in collaboration with HP Indigo, the Super Simplex e800 Laminator is optimized for the HP Indigo 20000 Digital Press. The 762 mm (30 inch) HP Indigo 20000 can print on-demand virtually any sized flexible packaging application with unlimited variation and support demand for growing SKUs.
Outstanding Foods, creator and innovator of plant-based foods, kicked off 2020 with a brand new product lineup. Known for its highly acclaimed, celebrity-endorsed debut product PigOut Chips, the company introduced PigOut Pigless Pork Rinds. The rinds are baked (not fried) until light and crispy, and seasoned carefully to create an authentic pork taste. The rinds are available in four flavors: Original, Nacho Cheese, Hella Hot and Texas BBQ.
Mondi partnered with Reckitt Benckiser Group to launch a fully recyclable, mono-material flexible plastic packaging portfolio for the premium line of its Finish dishwasher tablets Quantum Ultimate. This product line had previously used a multilayer, PET/PE laminate pouch construction that was not recyclable. With RB’s commitment that 100% of its plastic packaging must be reusable or recyclable by 2025 that had to change. RB has a “4 R” approach to using plastics — reduce, reuse, replace, recycle.