All posts by Candace Damato

Give Consumers a Delightful Barbecue Experience this Summer with ...

Polka, Makalu and Royal are a few of Aptar Food + Beverage’s innovative snap top closures for sauces and condiments. They allow consumers an easy and convenient dispense for products like ketchup, mustard, barbecue sauce and mayo, among others.

These closures can be used on inverted or upright packages, and have the ability to incorporate Aptar’s SimpliSqueeze® valve to provide even more control and cleanliness by preventing product leak or waste. The wide finger recess and easy-open lid on these closures allows for one-handed usage, while Royal’s bi-colored design makes the product stand out on shelves. Altogether, these solutions provide consumers a delightful barbecue experience during the summer, and all year long!

Learn more about our snap top closures or contact us at info.fb@aptar.com

Aptar Food + Beverage Will Showcase the Latest in Pouch Innovatio...

Aptar Food + Beverage will be exhibiting pouch solutions at Global Pouch Forum in Chicago from June 11-13.

Aptar will display its pouch dispensing solutions, which include inverted pouches, child-friendly spouts and closures, and one-piece dispensing spouts.

The latest Aptar pouch innovation is featured on the STANDCAP Pouch. The inverted pouch features a flip-top lid, tamper evident pull ring, and SimpliSqueeze® valve. This award-winning format has brought convenience, cleanliness and product security to the packaging world. It is revolutionizing categories, and is proven through eye-tracking research to stand out on shelves, when compared with other packaging types.

The child-friendly spouts feature visual tamper evidence to promote safety for toddlers. For parents, the on-the-go convenience of pouches, coupled with Aptar’s SimpliSqueeze® valve with its anti-spill feature leads to ease-of-use and less mess.

Aptar’s one-piece dispensing spouts, featuring a flip-top lid, and built-in tamper evidence are great for dry foods, such as sugars, cereals, and grains, and viscous foods, such as sauces and condiments.

Visit us at Global Pouch Forum booth 30 to see all of these solutions, and more!

Discover our wide range of innovative pouch solutions and technologies, or contact us for additional information.

Aptar Food + Beverage Talks Trends and Functionality in Flexible ...

This article was originally published in Plastics Today on May 6, 2019.

Though caps, closures, spouts and fitments may be physically small, they are a large and growing portion of the overall packaging market: valued at $52.23 billion in 2017, the worldwide market for caps and closures market is expected to reach $97 billion by 2026 at a CAGR of 7.1%, reports the Caps & Closures – Global Market Outlook (2017-2026).

Closures and fitments are also hugely influential when it comes to consumer convenience and satisfaction, which points to their crucial role in helping brands differentiate products by adding value through packaging.

PlasticsToday gets an inside view of this dynamic market through the insights of Dave Johnson, Director of Business Development – Flexibles AptarGroup (Crystal Lake, IL). Johnson, who has been in the position since 2008, has an emphasis in new market and product development for food segments. In this exclusive interview, he discusses trends and technology in fitments, closures and spouts in the $228 billion flexible packaging market.

Comment on the overall fitments market for pouches and other flexible packaging.

Johnson: A couple of things come to mind…

  1. The kid’s market remains the largest spouted pouch market and is still growing. Larger consumer packaged goods companies are already entrenched in stand-up pouches, and now we are seeing more and more smaller-medium size companies adopting the stand-up pouch format to bring their brands to the children’s section of the grocery aisle.
  2. Many brands continue to seek innovative technology that enhance their package, product and brand perception. Aptar is receiving more and more requests to bring differentiation through closures and fitments, including:
  • Improving safety through enhanced tamper evidence that does a better job conveying to the consumer whether or not the package and product has been compromised. There’s an emphasis in providing tamper evidence that is visual and can be easily seen on the store shelf. Tamper evidence where you can feel and hear the difference when you open it by breaking the seal. Designed right into the cap or spout design conveys confidence to parents, the integrity of the package and to the brand’s image. Aptar’s patented child-friendly tamper-evident designs deliver on these attributes.
  • Providing convenience when opening and handling pouches. The emphasis is on no-spill innovation. Aptar’s SimpliSqueeze valve technology has been incorporated into closures and spouts on packaging for more than 25 years, bringing flow control and no-spill value to many packages and brands. Aptar’s valves are incorporated into the pouch spout to prevent kids from spilling product whether it’s used in the back seat of the car or on the living room’s white carpet. It’s a great way to prevent the mess that can come from these accidents!
  • We are receiving more and more requests for added functionality beyond the kid’s market. Flip-top convenience in the Ultrasound medical market: as the market leader in flip-top dispensing closures, Aptar has 40 years of experience with flip-top hinge technology from our closure line for bottles and brought it to the stand-up pouch market. Our Quick Flip spout with valve is being used on HR Pharma’s Ecovue stand-up pouch for the Ultrasound Gel market—the first of its kind for the U.S. market that offers one-handed convenience and no risk of loose overcaps.
  • One-handed dispensing is also in the laundry detergent aisle. Another example of flip-top functionality in the stand-up pouch market can be seen with the Detergel brand that uses Aptar’s EZ Pour spout for laundry detergent in Mexico (shown below). EZ Pour’s 22mm x 25mm pouring spout makes it easy to pour granulars, powders and larger particulants. The easy-to-open and reseal flip-top spout also provides more precision and less mess with its oval pouring design. Like Quick Flip, EZ Pour is a lightweight, sustainable design compared to other two-piece spouts and overcaps.
  1. The inverted pouch is another disruptive example of a flexible pouch bringing functionality and differentiation.

The Daisy Squeeze Sour Cream pouch revolutionized the sour cream tub market. Now, inverted pouches like the premade StandCap Pouch from Glenroy (Menomone Falls, WI) with Aptar Sierra closure and fitment is making its way in improving consumer experiences in other markets such as sauces, condiments, honey and many more. Aptar is leading the inverted pouch charge with many of the dispensing features already mentioned such as the flip-top convenience, product flow control and package cleanliness using our SimpliSqueeze valve, and improved tamper evidence with Aptar’s ring-pull technology. Our unique Sierra closure has been designed to enable the inverted pouch to remain standing, even when all product has been evacuated from the pouch.

[Ed. Note: You can read more about the commercialization of the innovative StandCap premade pouch here at sister publication Packaging Digest and read about its Life Cycle Assessment here.

What trends do you see in designs and polymers?

Johnson: The majority of spouts are made from polyethylene resins. For retort applications, polypropylene spouts and overcaps are required to withstand the higher sterilization temperatures needed during the filling and sterilization process.

Choosing the right resin grade is very important in the design and functionality of Aptar closures. Our EZ Pour pouch spout is a great example where the one-piece dispensing feature incorporates an easy-to-remove tamper-evident ring pull, while still providing the rigidity and strength that allows the hinge to perform optimally. In addition, the resin choice needs to be compatible with film laminates to improve security and seal integrity to the pouch.

With the use of special resins, Aptar has been successful in significantly reducing part weight by moving from a common, two-piece overcap and spout design to a one-piece, functional design.

A well-known challenge in the flexible supply chain is that multi-laminate film structures will undoubtedly need to move to a mono-polymer structure to enable pouches to be more accessible to downstream recycling. Moving to a monolayer structure will influence how fitments are welded to the new structure and may influence the type of resin we use in our fitments. We are in partnership with resin suppliers, laminate and pouch converters on multiple existing recycling initiatives.

Final thoughts?

Johnson: I believe that what sets U.S. consumers apart from other regions is that we may be a little more scrutinizing when it comes to convenient and functional packaging. A brand wants to introduce a flexible format needs to meet or exceed the functionality of the rigid package it is transitioning from.

Consumers are always looking into saving money on grocery bills, but if the new spouted flexible format does not perform the same or better than the legacy rigid bottle, a $0.20 savings may be overlooked during the consumers’ next visit to the grocery store.

I am convinced that the right dispensing solution plays a significant role in making a stand-up pouch a successful launch.

Visit us online and contact us to learn more about our flexible packaging solutions.

May 8, 2019

Aptar Food + Beverage Wins Three Marking Awards at FBIF in China

The Food & Beverage Innovation Forum (FBIF) recently announced the winners of the “Marking Awards” in China. Out of the over 500 different packaging designs from 200 different companies worldwide, three Aptar Food + Beverage solutions, BAP®, Flip Lid and Contender, received awards for the category In-Market Functional Design.

A jury of 24 selected professionals from top international brands and design institutes selected the best solutions, based on the following criteria: Commerciality, Communication, Functionality, Originality, Foresight, and Design.

BAP® or Bonded Aluminum to Plastic, is an all-in-one foil-to-closure solution that provides many unique advantages to both marketers and consumers. It features an easy-to-open pull ring, and superior sealing performance, helping to deliver an enjoyable experience to consumers, and drive repeat purchase. Its innovative and versatile technology helps brands to stand out from competition and excite consumers.

 

 

FLIP LID is a uniquely simple, consumer friendly dispensing closure designed to promote post use recycling. Flip Lid remains united with the bottle through its lifecycle, making the closure more likely to be collected and sent through the recycling stream with the container. Consumers will also benefit from the patented, wide-opening hinged lid, and the audible “click” when reclosing.

 

 

Contender is a liner-less, flip-top sport cap designed for the hot fill bottling process. The closure’s innovative bi-injected sealing system delivers product protection, without the added foil liner.

 

This unique closure also features built-in tamper evidence, and provides increased shelf appeal for brand owners.

 

Visit us online or contact us to check out all of our latest innovations.

Aptar Food + Beverage Creates a New Bi-Textured Closure for Dry H...

Aptar Food + Beverage, a global leader in innovative dispensing solutions in the food market, has launched a new bi-textured and bi-colored closure solution for the European food market for the new ‘Eurojar’ from McCormick & Company, a global leader in spices, seasoning mixes, condiments and other flavourful products.

First introduced in May 2018 in the United Kingdom with the brand Schwartz, and in December 2018 in France with the brand Ducros, the new Eurojar custom-designed closure by Aptar will awaken cooking creativity in kitchens worldwide and meet consumers’ expectations for quality, convenience, and freshness. Produced at Aptar’s facility in Torello, Spain, the new closure solution leverages bi-injection technology to deliver a multi-color and multi-texture finish, drawing attention on store shelves and giving consumers a superior dispensing experience with an easy grip, and one-hand opening. The audible “click” can help to ensure resealability and promote freshness, while the active hinge provides a hygienic pouring experience.

Aptar’s Eurojar closure and colors were custom-made for McCormick to provide a bold and modern appearance, helping with flavour recognition on shelf and at home.  McCormick spices are identified by four different colors: orange for spices, bright green for herbs, purple for seasoning mixes and grey for pepper.

McCormick was recognised for the design of its new Eurojar featuring the new closure, which won first prize in the consumer products category at a 2018 French packaging awards ceremony.

Learn more about Aptar Food + Beverage with innovative packaging solutions at www.aptar.com, or contact us at info.fb@aptar.com.

Aptar Food + Beverage will Showcase the Latest Flexible Packaging...

Aptar Food + Beverage will be speaking and exhibiting at The Association for Dressings and Sauces Technical Meeting, which will take place April 28-30 in Louisville, KY.

Aptar, in collaboration with Glenroy, will be showcasing the inverted STANDCAP Pouch. This new solution is turning the flexible packaging format upside down. Aptar supplies the dispensing solution, and the entire premade STANDCAP Pouch is made available by Glenroy. Aptar’s dispensing solution features a ring pull fitment, one piece, flip-top cap, and SimpliSqueeze® valve technology. The pouch and dispensing system together create a unique package that is gaining popularity in sauces and condiments, dairy and spreads.

To learn more about the STANDCAP Pouch, please visit our website or email us at info.fb@aptar.com

Standing Up and Standing Out - Aptar Food + Beverage's Insights o...

This article was originally published in Package Printing’s April 2019 issue.

With consumers demanding convenient packaging that matches their on-the-go lifestyles and environmental values, stand-up pouches are rising to the challenge.

Harney & Sons provides quality craft tea blends from around the world and has done so for more than three decades. But when it wanted to advance its mission to provide more recyclable and environmentally conscious packaging, it connected with TC Transcontinental Packaging to develop and innovative solution. The result was a recyclable stand-up pouch with a barrier that not only meets the tea business’s desire for a sustainable package but also provides a strong, durable solution that preserves the tea’s integrity.

Before the process with Harney & Sons could begin, Rebecca Casey, VP of marketing development at TC Transcontinental Packaging, says that the company knew that it would need to implement a multilayer, co-extruded film to “preserve the delicate flyover of the tea.” There wasn’t, however, a multilayer, flexible packaging film that could be used for this purpose, so TC Transcontinental decided to create one.

“In collaboration with Dow and Charter NEX Films, we developed one of the first commercialized packages for food that hits all notes: 100% recycle ready for in-store drop-off, EVOH barrier for product preservation, seal strength and durability,” she explained in an email. “We know that EVOH delivers an outstanding barrier to gases, organic vapors and moister, and prevents deterioration of the product and extends its shelf life.”

Sustainability Shines in Stand-Up Pouches

Although the Harney & Son’s packaging is only one example of their increasingly diverse options in stand-up pouches, it points to a trend of more environmentally conscious consumers interested in packaging that aligns with their lifestyles. Philippe St- Cyr, general manager of Hamilton, Ontario-based Rootree, a provider of digitally-printed flexible packaging focused on compostable and renewable resources, says that consumers are driving this desire for more sustainable packaging. Brands are looking for recyclable and compostable packaging that meets shelf life and barrier properties needed to guarantee the integrity of their product.

To convey the sustainable properties of its packaging to consumers, Rootree encourages its customers to highlight the recyclable and compostable components directly on the packaging.

“There is a premium associated with these films right now,” he says. “Companies are paying more money to get into them and they’re doing that because one, their consumers are asking for it, and two, it impacts the way they’re perceived in the marketplace by those same consumers.”

It’s not just consumers driving change though, according to Rodolfo Haenni, director of global business development at Aptar, a global provider of packaging dispensing solutions headquartered in Crystal Lake, Ill.

“The big CPGS are also paying a lot of attention to recyclability,” he says. “A lot of them made pledges that they want to have all of their packaging recyclable by 2025. I think that is adding a lot of pressure to the whole packaging industry, and it’s no different for the pouch industry. There is definitely a race in the marketplace for companies to come up with a recyclable solution for barrier pouches. While stand-up pouches are not yet fully recyclable, they have other sustainability traits such as improving shipping efficiencies when compared to rigid packaging, and preventing food waste.”

In terms of compostability, St-Cyr points to a similar issue. He says that although there have been major advancements made recently, compostable offerings are still in their infancy. Rootree worked with HP to add compostable ink to its 100% home compostable pouches, but there is still one aspect of the packaging that St-Cyr says is a “missing link.”

“There is work to be done on the adhesive side,” he says. “The adhesive layer represents a small percentage of the total package waste. We are at 97-98% home compostable components.”

He also explains that there are some drawbacks to using closure solutions – such as zippers and valves – on compostable packaging, since they won’t necessarily break down in home compost and may need to be processed through industrial composting situations.

Lifestyle Drives Change

One of the biggest factors driving advancements in standup pouch innovation is the need for packaging that aligns with the on-the-go lifestyle that so many consumers adhere to. Casey explains that there have been more convenience attributes added to packaging, such as easy-to open pouches, with resalable options.

“Features like zippers, handles, spouts and micro-perforation to allow ventilation during microwave cooking are good examples,” she writes.

Individually portioned products, or on-the-go snacks, are also increasing in popularity.

“Consumers are looking for products they can consumer on the go, that open and close easily,” she adds. “They want to snack quickly and healthily without sacrificing quality. Individual portions are also trendy; single-serve and controlled portion packaging appeals to several different consumer demographics.”

The increased demand for consumer convenience has led to another trend: the inverted pouch.

“The inverted pouch adds something interesting,” Haenni says, “which is the possibility that consumers can squeeze until the last drop, as sustainable feature, as it helps prevent food waste and create a much more enjoyable experience for the consumers.”

When the inverted pouch is paired with Aptar’s no spill technology, Haenni says that it is “a really powerful combination.” The silicon valve technology prevents the product from spilling out of the pouch if it is knocked over. It is commonly used in sauces, condiments, jellies, honey and spreads, but is also a sensible option for children’s drinks and baby food, he explains.

Moving past the structural aspect of stand-up pouches, it’s important to note a shift in what consumers expect to see on shelf when it comes to packaging. St-Cyr explains that traditionally, large companies would supply products in the same packaging repeatedly, but today’s consumer expects big brands to transform their products and packaging to more closely align with their lifestyles.

“Todays’ consumers want to feel like products are from smaller, craft companies, that it has more ethically sourced ingredients, or that it has something different,” he says. “There’s a big diversification in terms of what we see, companies trying to look more craft.”

He explains that it’s similar to what happened in the beer industry, where labels and marketing evolved to speak to an audience that was seeking a more local, craft experience. In fact, he says that a lot of big brands are now developing separate brands to appeal to the craft beer audience.

Adding to the desire for a more craft look, brands are also seeking increased shelf appeal with their stand-up pouches. Casey describes advancements in coating technologies such as registered soft touch matte, gloss and tactile coatings, as an interesting trend to take advantage of.

“Some of these tactile coatings add grip functionality to the stand-up pouch as well,” she explains. “CPG companies are always looking for the ‘wow’ advantage and ways to stand out on shelf and differentiate themselves within the center store.”

Market Watch

Because stand-up pouches can be a sustainable solution for brands and because they are generally easy to use for consumers, more markets are shifting to the use of this packaging format. In particular, Casey says that she has seen more nutritional wheys and powders transitioning from traditional rigid packaging to stand-up pouches.

“Flexible packaging is lighter in weight than tubs and has a large facing for branding and communicating the product’s value adds,” she explains. “The ability to open and reclose with ease also appeals to this consumer base.”

Reclosability and child resistance is something St-Cyr says has been necessary to develop in Canada, where cannabis is now legal. He explains that there’s growth in stand-up pouches for the cannabis market, but with more restrictions on this market than on others, there has been an effort to make sure there is proper infrastructure to provide packaging that adheres to the regulations of cannabis packaging.

Haenni sees a lot of movement in the home and personal care area, in products such as laundry detergent or shampoo.

“People will buy the rigid packaging and then buy the refill in a pouch format to refill the rigid packaging,” he says. “I think in the food and beverage side of the market, it’s not a trend yet, but I’m seeing more conversions now happening in categories that weren’t common not too long ago.”

5 Trends in Spouted Stand-up Pouches

Rodolfo Haenni, director of global business development at Aptar, explained that there are five trends in particular that are beginning to take shape in spouted stand-up pouches.

1 SUSTAINABILITY – Not only do flexible pouches reduce the amount of packaging needed for a product in most cases, Haenni explains they are also more lightweight than rigid packaging and thus more easily and affordably transported.

Often, transporting empty bottles is “pretty much transporting air,” he says, which isn’t necessarily the most environmentally friendly option.

2 E-COMMERCE – Haenni explains that in a typical brick and mortar store, there are a finite number of products available to the consumer. But as e-commerce grows, so do the options available for consumers to choose. As more products are ordered online, stand-up pouches become a more attractive option.

Stand-up pouches absorb impact really well, Haenni says, “If the package is dropped, the content inside is still protected, and it is less likely to break and leak.”

3 DEMOGRAPHICS AND ON-THE-GO LIFESTYLE – “The new generations grew up using pouches,” Haenni says. “They see that as a very easy and convenient packaging format to use. They feel comfortable with it.”

Working families with kids have grown dependent on pouches, especially for purees and juices. Now, he says, there are other food categories, such as protein shakes, energy gels and more beverage offerings, using the stand-up pouch to provide on-the-go value.

4 CONVENIENCE AND FUNCTIONALITY – As companies try to make packaging more convenient for consumers, it gives rise to the need for spouts and other types of closures for stand-up pouches.

“We are seeing tremendous growth in that category where companies are trying to add more functionality to their pouches and make their products more convenient to consumers,” he says.

5 DEMAND FOR NATURAL FOODS – As brands reduce the amount of preservatives that extend shelf life, packaging needs to compensate for that change.

The ability to add barriers to films has a strong advantage over other packaging formats. Haenni sees more developments in food Ailing processes for stand-up pouches that preserve nutrients and extend shelf life, like High Pressure Process and Aseptic.

Visit us online and contact us to learn more about our spouted pouches solutions.

Aptar Food + Beverage Recently Presented at AMI’s International...

Aptar Food + Beverage recently presented at AMI’s International Plastic Pouch Conference, which took place in Vienna on April 2-3. The Plastic Pouch conference is a two-day session where industry professionals from all across the pouch supply chain get together to network and discuss the latest industry trends.

At the conference, Dave Johnson, Director of Global Business Development for Flexibles, presented Aptar’s role in the advancement of functional pouches. As trends like convenience and on-the-go continue to grow, so does the need for more functional packaging. Aptar’s wide range of pouch solutions bring convenience and ease-of-use to pouches. EZ Pour and Quick Flip are great for pouring dry or liquid foods, while the range of child friendly solutions are better for foods like yogurt, applesauce, and pudding. Aptar’s latest development, STANDCAP, is turning the flexible format upside-down. This award-winning package features the Sierra flip-top closure, a built-in tamper-evident pull ring, and Aptar’s SimpliSqueeze® valve technology.

Visit www.aptar.com or contact us at info.fb@aptar.com to learn more about Aptar’s flexible solutions.

Aptar Food + Beverage Launches Range of Tethered Closures that Co...

Aptar’s new tethered closures have been designed to meet the requirements of the new European regulation called “Single-Use Plastic” (SUP), recently adopted by the European Parliament on March 27th, as well as the AB 319 California legislation in the USA. Both regulations have the goal of increasing the amount of bottles being collected and recycled, consequently reducing marine litter. As a result, the CPGs (Consumer Packaged Goods companies) have been calling upon their partners to develop solutions that not only comply with the new regulations, but also provide environmentally focused consumers with solutions that fit their lifestyles and provide them with the best packaging experience.

In-depth technical expertise in this area, in addition to industry knowledge and application experience, has enabled Aptar to develop solutions that support the new demands of the market. Aptar’s FLIP LID closure and Stay-With™ technology were both designed to promote post-use recycling, as the bands remain attached to the bottle, enabling the closure to go through the correct recycling stream.

 

 

FLIP LID: in addition to its sustainability benefits, FLIP LID is a uniquely simple, consumer friendly closure that creates a convenient and enjoyable experience,  as consumers no longer need to unscrew the cap, but simply  flip it  open to drink or pour the product. Consumers will also benefit from the patented, wide-opening hinged lid, and the audible “click” when reclosing. FLIP LID has been developed in partnership with Krones to increase filling line efficiency in a 26/22 neck finish. Other standard neck finishes are currently in development. Learn more about FLIP LID.

 

 

Stay-With™ : in addition to helping to promote recycling of the cap, Stay-With™ is a unique, patented, multipurpose technology which provides improved consumer convenience, as they no longer need to worry about the closure being misplaced. This innovative technology aligns with the Association of Plastic Recyclers “Caps-On” initiative to raise awareness of the importance of recycling the closure with the bottle. Stay-With™ is transferable to almost any application, including sports caps and flat caps. Learn more about Stay-With.

 

 

Visit www.aptar.com or contact us at info.fb@aptar.com to learn more about Aptar’s tethered solutions for PET beverage containers.

April 4, 2019

New Uncle Dougie's Inverted Pouches Feature Aptar's Sierra Closur...

Aptar Food + Beverage continues to revolutionize markets and delight consumers through innovative packaging. We are delighted to be part of Uncle Dougie’s new inverted pouch launch, which uses our Sierra dispensing solution. In a recent article by Packaging Digest, Rob Johnson, Uncle Dougie’s CEO, explained, “The packaging is a real break from the category, the inverted squeeze pouches make it easier for cooks to use our sauces in recipes or for dipping. It also virtually eliminates the mess that typically collects around the lip of typical bottles. We think it’s going to change consumers’ expectations for BBQ sauce.” Read the full article here.

Aptar Food + Beverage provides Sierra to the STANDCAP pouch, which is sold as a turnkey package by Glenroy. Sierra is a unique dispensing solution that provides the inverted pouch stability, and features an easy-to-open flip-lid closure, built-in tamper-evident pull ring and uses proprietary SimpliSqueeze® valve technology for optimal dispensing performance. This unique solution eliminates the need for utensils, and allows for 99% product evacuation. Besides Sauces & Condiments, Sierra for STANDCAP is also a great fit for Dairy, Salad Dressings, Spreads, Honey and Jellies.  Learn more about Sierra and order your samples today!

April 1, 2019

Give Consumers a Convenient and Hygienic Application with the Lat...

The 33-400 Directional Snap Top is the ideal closure for controlled directional dispensing of sauces, condiments, spreads, jellies and honey. With a stay clean lid that opens wide, consumers will not have to worry about the lid interfering or getting messy while dispensing the product. The closure has an elongated spout to direct product flow and  provide a clean product cut off with every use, delivering the ultimate in dispensing convenience.

Request your samples today.

December 12, 2018

Karma and Aptar Collaborate on Push Cap Technology for the Person...

Karma, makers of the Karma Push Cap Technology, and Aptar Food + Beverage, a global leader in dispensing, sealing and active packaging solutions, have formed a collaborative relationship to provide instant-mix technology to the market segments focused on the growing trend of personalized, fortified nutrition. Aptar will leverage its global presence along with its diverse technology platform and application experience to optimize the potential of the Karma Push Cap by providing opportunities for Karma’s design to be used in the value-add convenient packaging area.

Made of recyclable and FDA compliant materials, the Karma Push Cap is a delivery system that facilitates portion control and the ability to separate ingredients that are otherwise not shelf-stable. The closure solution includes a delivery system that can infuse either powdered or liquid ingredients into almost any substance. The Karma Push Cap was first introduced in 2011 as the breakthrough component of Karma Wellness Water, a natural and nutrient-enhanced beverage promoting wellness by delivering fresh, undiluted vitamins at the time of consumption.

Jean-Marc Philbois, Aptar’s Global Market Development President for Beverage, stated, “Karma fits well within Aptar’s mission of delivering value-added solutions that improve consumers’ lives worldwide. This design has potential to be a breakthrough package platform and answer market needs for all-natural, preservative-free, and stay-fresh products.  Today, Aptar supplies innovative dispensing solutions for the food, beverage, pharmaceutical, personal care, beauty and home care markets. We have the ability to bring this innovation to these markets and in turn, help our customers differentiate their brands.”

Karma’s founder CJ Rapp offers, “The Karma Push Cap initiative is global in scope, and large in scale, which is why we look forward to working with Aptar. They are a market leader with a global sales organization and distribution network. Aptar has a strong track record of introducing new technologies into the market with leading brands around the world.”

The impact of the Karma Push Cap has the potential to reach beyond mainstream beverages and cross into diverse industries such as dietary supplement, pharmaceutical, medical, agricultural and chemical. The possibilities for the Karma Push Cap go far beyond conventional closure technology. This patented cap technology is sophisticated, simple, and streamlined.

For more information about Karma Push Cap, visit www.KarmaCapCo.com or email info.fb@aptar.com.

November 7, 2018

Plastic Caps and Closures Market Report Interview with Dave Johns...

The interview below was originally published in the Plastic Caps and Closures Market Report by Plastics News.

Q: How have trends in materials and technology evolved over the last five to 10 years relative to the design and production of plastic caps and closures?

A: Stemming from consumers’ busy lifestyles and demand for more sustainable solutions, along with convenience, CPGs have called upon their partners to develop innovative solutions. Like Aptar, many packaging companies are offering PCR and other more sustainable resins; however, their limited offering and cost can still be a big barrier for adoption. Therefore, in parallel to these material initiatives, Aptar has also been working on technologies like “Stay-With” where the tamper band stays attached to the bottle throughout its life cycle, further ensuring it won’t get lost once the package is disposed.

Q: In 2018, what is fueling growth in the caps and closures segment in North America?

A: With consumers demanding further convenience, we see brands investing more in functional dispensing solutions. By converting non-functional packages into convenient dispensing solutions, consumers can get maximum value and functionality out of their products. When positive packaging feedback is given, it sparks continued growth in the caps and closures segment. A key example is the Daisy sour cream inverted flexible dispensing pack. Not only does Daisy stand out on the shelf, but consumers clearly appreciate the ease of use the new package brings. Another example is improving the consumer experience in moving from unspouted to spouted pouches in granular categories such as sugars and sweeteners, seeds, snacks, and others, where EZ Pour can provide great value. In addition, the caps and closure market represents a great vehicle to embed connectivity in consumers’ everyday life and further enhance brand-consumer engagement through data management and instant feedback. Aptar has recently introduced a new line of connected solutions (cDevices) for the pharma market, which provide convenience and actionable feedback to patients and providers.

Q: Lightweighting continues to be a key market trend. With a goal of getting more performance out of a cap that weighs less, what role do materials play in product development?

A: Materials play a key role in product development, closure performance, and functionality. Aptar is constantly investing in research and development both internally and through partnerships in order to have access to the best material technology and deliver top-of-the-line solutions. We tap into expertise around the world to develop custom innovations with a variety of thermoplastic resins. Given that the discussion on material weight is mainly dependent on packaging type, end-user needs, nature of each product, and distribution channels, resin reduction and light-weighting technology is an integral part of our product development process.

Q: How is Aptar able to tailor product solutions toward a customer’s specific needs?

A: Overall, we keep the end user at the forefront of our work. By studying consumer behavior, we can identify the challenges they face and create concepts to address them. Aptar has technology platforms to support customers and tailor solutions to each specific need. These concepts are then presented to consumers in order to get insights before moving onto final solutions.

Q: E-commerce is more than just a trend and processors must develop products that will ensure products arrive safely, without leakage or other issues. How is e-commerce impacting the design and production of caps, closures and fitments?

A: The fast growth of e-commerce is pushing brands to rethink their packaging, which was originally designed for the traditional and simple brick-and-mortar supply chain. When combining the new challenges packaging faces today with what lightweighting packaging went through during the past several years, it is easy to understand why many companies struggle to find solutions. In fact, most CPGs assume excessive protective packaging will solve the issue, but this approach does not address the root cause and impacts bottom lines and the environment. In-depth technical expertise in this area, in addition to industry knowledge and application experience, has enabled us to deliver solutions that address the challenges CPGs are facing. Brands should look for suppliers that focus on solutions for primary packaging that not only suit the needs of the traditional supply chain, but also of the e-commerce supply chain. A holistic approach is needed to develop simple and elegant solutions that ensure great consumer experience, and in turn, increase brand loyalty.

Q: Aptar has developed an innovative preservative-free multidose squeeze dispenser. How is this and products like it shifting the landscape in caps and closures today?

A: Science suggests that preservatives have significant side effects that can harm patients and consumers. Within its Pharma segment, Aptar has developed expertise around dispensing systems suitable to handle non-preserved formulations as well as those with a reduced preservative concentration. Aptar’s Multidose Preservative Free Dropper, for example, made a huge impact in the ophthalmic industry. Dispensing systems for unpreserved medications are a clear must-have in Europe and Latin America, but are also catching increasing attention, and shelf space, in the US. We see the Multidose Preservative Free Dropper on consumer products, such as Prestige Brands’ Clear Eyes®, but also on prescription medications, such as Allergan’s Restasis®, contributing to a shift in perception of the US consumer and patient. Restasis® is the first and only ophthalmic medication with this new technology that has been successfully reviewed and approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The unpreserved product trend is progressing to sensitive topical dermal applications as well, which is also following the trend of reduced preservatives in creams and formulations for skin. It has become an important element of brand differentiation.

Q: How are trends toward pouches impacting trends in the design of caps and closures today? What innovations is Aptar developing in this area, such as its EZ Pour?

A: Brands and consumers are increasingly preferring flexible packaging over rigid packaging and non-functional flexible formats due to the many benefits that lead to added convenience. Solutions that provide easy-to-open and reseal, hygienic and precise dispensing are good examples of solving consumers’ needs through a standup pouch format.

Q: Dispensing systems are a key area as consumers seek products that offer security and simplicity. What are some of the trends and opportunities we see today in dispensing closures to meet market demands?

A: Consumers want packaging that is easy and intuitive to use, safe, cost-effective, and sustainable. Consumers are seeking healthier products, buying online, and consuming them on-the-go. These trends are changing the way they interact with packaging. Dispensing solutions play a key role in providing consumers a safe and convenient experience with their favorite products and brands. Advancing tamper-evident designs continues to be of monumental importance, especially to food and beverage packaging. Tamper-evident designs should provide a clear visual indication if the package has been violated. In addition, having a reliable sealing system in place and adding counterfeit deterrent features also play a big role in providing product safety. Aptar’s BAP (Bonded Aluminum to Plastic) is a great sealing and counterfeit deterrent technology that is applicable to a variety of categories and packaging formats. Besides giving consumers the peace of mind of a safe product, it also gives brands the opportunity to accentuate their brands and delight consumers through packaging innovation.

Q: What is essential to driving value across the plastics supply chain today, and more specifically, within the caps and closures segment?

A: Product functionality, as well as the shape and size of the pouch, comes into play when choosing the right closure and the features it must deliver. A great example of driving value across the supply chain is found in the building and launch of the Standcap inverted premade pouch. The packaging is a result of a cooperation between film, pouch converting, closure suppliers, and co-packers to ensure a success for the brand. The Standcap inverted premade pouch provided by Glenroy is an example where the functionality of the pouch can influence the design, shape, dispensing performance of the closure system. Aptar provides the closure with the choice of various SimpliSqueeze® valves, and the ring pull tamper evident fitment.

Q: Sustainability remains a key focus on the caps segment today. What innovations are enhancing the recyclability of caps and closures?

A: Flip top solutions can provide a new sustainable option for consumers. Using the product without needing to remove the closure from the package enables the closure to go through the correct recycling stream. In addition, it supports CA Bill 319’s sustainability mission of increasing the percentage of closures recycled and reducing loose closures in nature. One example is our technology called “Stay-With” where the tamper band stays attached to the bottle throughout its life cycle, further ensuring it won’t get lost once the package is disposed.

Q: How are materials impacting design and innovation in caps and closures?

A: Choosing the right materials, especially resin grades, is very important in the design and functionality of closures. Options such as EZ Pour for stand-up pouches are a great example where onepiece dispensing features incorporate an easy-to-remove ring pull tamper evident membrane while providing rigidity and strength to the flip lid hinge. In addition, the resin choice needs to be compatible with film laminates to ensure security and seal integrity to the pouch. With the use of special resins, we’ve been successful in significantly reducing plastic by moving from the common two-piece overcap and spout design to a feature-rich, one-piece design.

Q: What is your outlook for the North American caps and closures market in the year ahead?

A: As consumers continue to demand convenience and functionality from their packaging, we expect to see a continued acceleration of the conversion of non-functional packaging to functional formats such as dispensing spouts on stand-up pouches, dispensing closures, and dispensing pumps. In addition, we will continue to see brands pursuing more sustainable packaging solutions that help them achieve their sustainability goals, as well as provide environmentally-focused consumers with solutions that fit their lifestyles.

 

 

Dave Johnson is the director of global business development, flexibles at Aptar Food + Beverage and has been with the company for more than 10 years. Dave drives new market and product development opportunities and leads a cross-functional team of sales, product development, and operations at the company. With over 10 years of industry experience, Dave is a regular presenter on packaging innovations and solutions at global conferences, such as Global Pouch Forum and Plastic Caps and Closures.

November 7, 2018

Designing for Sustainability - How to Reduce E-Commerce Waste in ...

This article has also been published in the Packaging Strategies October 2018 issue.

By Jerome Magniet, President, Global Market Development – Food, Aptar Food + Beverage

As e-commerce continues to grow, consumers are putting greater pressure on retailers and packaging manufacturers to lessen the impact that packaging has on our environment. According to GlobalData (globaldata.com), ethical packaging has become a more mainstream “must have” quality when purchasing a product. Sustainability-conscious consumers are seeking packaging that aligns with the circular economy concepts of designing out waste and pollution.

Today, excess waste from the e-commerce supply chain is piling up in garbage and recycling bins around the world. Mixed in with unnecessary tertiary packaging waste are the damaged products that did not survive the e-commerce supply chain.

Brands and retailers are taking extreme measures to protect packages that have not been designed to withstand the rough e-commerce distribution. They are taping spray nozzles, bagging liquid products and securing rigid lids to address the common issues of products leaking, caps untwisting and rigid packages cracking. Additionally, brands are using excessive tertiary packaging to protect goods. Besides creating an unpleasant unboxing experience to consumers, tertiary packaging creates waste since it is not always recyclable and often discarded upon arrival.

Energy waste is one more factor that needs attention. When products are damaged during shipping, not only are the products themselves ruined, they often end up in landfills, and the energy used to create, transport and dispose of the products is wasted. To replace the damaged item, additional energy is used to manufacture one additional item, its packaging and protective packaging as well as the additional carbon emissions generated from transportation.

Partnering for Packaging Progress

The hashtag #packagingfail has grown in popularity on social media as shoppers continually receive single items inside enormous boxes with excess air pillows or have to untape, unbag and break down excessive packaging. There are many protective layers used in today’s shipping practices but, the truth is, it’s not all needed.

E-commerce giants such as Amazon are actively working to address issues of oversized boxes and protective packaging through the Amazon Packaging Certification program. A 2017 press release stated that the program contributed to eliminating 181,000 tons of packaging and 307 million boxes since its launch 10 years ago.

While this addresses some of the waste issues, the responsibility also falls on manufacturers, suppliers and CPGs to reduce product waste and minimize excess tertiary packaging. Packaging companies can make a difference by collaborating with retailers like Amazon. One way to do this is through Amazon’s Packaging Support and Supplier Network (APASS) program. With this certification, packaging companies provide services directly to vendors, sellers or manufacturers related to packaging design and testing in compliance with Amazon’s guidelines and certification test methods. In addition, packaging manufactures also have the opportunity to partner with regulatory agencies to set standards for recyclability through public policy.

Companies should also consider partnering with waste management suppliers to better understand the recycling stream and to play a role in educating our communities about recycling practices.

A Packaging Design Mind Shift

When it comes to responsible packaging, a “Design for Sustainability” (D4S) approach is key for the development of future products. Companies need to consider how a product should be designed according to where it will have an impact along its life cycle.

Companies can also implement an eco-design approach using lightweight designs that will still withstand the rough e-commerce shipping and handling supply chain. They can also start to reduce the use of raw materials and seek opportunities to use mono-materials to improve the recyclability of the product at the end of its life. Identifying and using renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power and hydroelectric energy, are additional sustainable practices that manufacturers can implement.

CPG brands should also look to partner with packaging companies that provide e-commerce–capable solutions such as sealing technologies, locking actuators, snap-top closures and pouch fitments. These solutions are engineered to withstand the vibrations, pressure changes and drops that occur in the e-commerce supply chain, therefore reducing product waste.

By rethinking primary packaging for the e-commerce supply chain, brands can reduce secondary and tertiary packaging waste, energy and damaged products. While a primary packaging redesign is an upfront investment, brands that significantly lower charges associated with shipping damage will contribute to downstream savings and bottom-line efficiencies. By partnering to reduce e-commerce packaging waste and to create design solutions that suit both brick-and-mortar as well as e-commerce business models, brands will see fewer effects to their bottom line associated with damaged products while providing consumers with the e-commerce experience they deserve.

 

Jerome Magniet is the President of Global Market Development  – Food for Aptar Food + Beverage. He has 20 years of experience in innovation and renovation strategies, marketing, R&D, and people development. Prior to his current role, Magniet spent 17 years at Nestlé and held multiple roles with international assignments, including the innovation program director where he was responsible for breakthrough innovations across the value chain for systems and products. Visit www.aptar.com, and follow Aptar on LinkedIn and Twitter at @aptar.

 

Aptar Food + Beverage Named Daisy Brand Sour Cream's Supplier of ...

Daisy Brand Sour Cream recently recognized Aptar Food + Beverage as their Supplier of the Year for 2017.

Aptar’s site in Mukwonago, Wisconsin supplies the closure, valve and ring-pull fitment for the Daisy Squeeze Sour Cream pouch. Aptar was given the award in recognition of our outstanding working relationship in the areas of quality, delivery and customer service. Aptar departments that were recognized include customer service, quality, plant management, project management and engineering.

“The customer focus and perseverance by our Aptar teams gained us this exciting recognition,” explained Mark Kitzis, President, North America, Aptar Food + Beverage

The five-time award-winning Daisy Squeeze Sour Cream pouch is a revolutionary package design, featuring an innovative dispensing solution by Aptar. The sleek-looking closure features a SimpliSqueeze® valve, providing a clean and controlled dispense. The dispensing solution also includes an easy-to-remove tamper evident pull-ring. The new sour cream package boasts “no spoon required” further highlighting the convenience and ease of sour cream in an inverted pouch format.

October 16, 2018

Aptar Launches the New Flip Lid Beverage Closure

A Unique Drinking Experience that Promotes Recycling

Flip Lid by Aptar is a uniquely simple, consumer friendly dispensing closure designed to promote post use recycling. Flip Lid remains united with the bottle through its lifecycle, making the closure more likely to be collected and sent through the recycling stream with the container.

Flip Lid meets requirements of proposed regulations in Europe and AB 319 California in the USA, which requires plastic closures to remain attached to containers, thereby increasing the number of closures being collected and recycled.

This launch is likened to the transition from tear-off tabs to stay-on tabs for the cans market in the 1970’s. Because the tear-off tab was such a small piece, it was not being collected at the recycling facilities, leading to leakage. This problem was addressed as the industry replaced the tear-off tab with the stay-on tab, which remains prevalent to this day.

In addition to the environmental benefits, Flip Lid creates a convenient and enjoyable experience to consumers. They no longer need to unscrew the cap, but simply flip it open and drink or pour the product. Consumers will also enjoy the pleasure of drinking with its wide (270 degrees) lockage hinge, in addition to the assurance of resealablity with an audible “click”.

Convenient, simple, and hygienic, Flip Lid is set to become the preference of brands and consumers worldwide.

Flip Lid guarantees filling line efficiency as a shared solution with Krones. Visit our website and contact us at info.fb@aptar.com to learn more about Flip Lid.

October 12, 2018

Overcoming E-commerce Challenges with Strategic Packaging Decisio...

This article has also been published in the Food Logistics Magazine, Sept. 2018 issue. 

By: Mark Kitzis, President, North America, Aptar Food + Beverage

The method of transporting products to traditional retail stores has been perfected down to a science over the years. Identical products pack neatly into one corrugated box; boxes stack tidily atop one another to form a calculated cube that ships on a skid to the retailer. Seldom do products arrive damaged as they have been optimized to be shipped and sold in palletized units.

However, the game changes with the e-commerce supply chain. To reach the consumer’s doorstep, food and beverage products may go through three times as many touch points as the traditional retail supply chain, which has been proven to negatively impact today’s primary packaging.

When consumers receive a damaged product, not only can it reflect poorly on the brand, but many times, the brand is charged for reshipping, repackaging, and damages to any other product in the shipment.

To diminish the risks of damaged products during transport, brands and online retailers may implement tertiary packaging such as air pillows, bubble wraps, shrink-wraps, etc. While this does help to better protect the product, it can significantly affect profitability due to the total cost increase, while also creating an undesirable unboxing experience to consumers. In addition, the excess plastic is not environmentally friendly and makes the shipping process less effective with less items fitting in each box, considerably increasing carbon footprint.

As brands increasingly become aware of these challenges, they have the opportunity to further improve the performance of primary packaging, and in turn, improving the brand’s bottom line.

Packaging Considerations for the Online World

Statista shares that U.S. food and beverage e-commerce revenues are projected to grow to $25.9 million by 2022, which is more than double 2016’s revenue of $11.6 million. To keep up with the radical growth rate of e-commerce, it is important that food and beverage brands start to consider adopting primary packaging that is designed to withstand this rigorous supply chain.

Fortunately, brands do not need multiple packaging formats for the different retail channels as primary packaging can be engineered for e-commerce distribution and brick & mortar stores, simultaneously.

In the short term, brands will benefit from collaborating with suppliers who are knowledgeable about e-commerce testing protocols. One example is ISTA 6-Amazon.com-Over Boxing, which mimics how a package responds to shipping conditions, by simulating drop impact, vibrations, and temperature fluctuations.

Furthermore, brands can count on packaging suppliers who participate in the Amazon Packaging Support and Supplier Network (APASS). These suppliers provide exclusive services related to packaging design and tests that comply with Amazon’s guidelines in order to help vendors, sellers, and manufacturers receive certifications such as Frustration Free Packaging (FFP), Ships-in-Own-Container (SIOC) or Prep-Free Packaging (PFP).  Aptar is a leader in innovative packaging concepts and is committed to addressing the challenges of primary packaging imposed by the e-commerce supply chain. Aptar is also an Amazon APASS supplier.

As the majority of the food and beverages packages are not at a point where they can receive FFP or SIOC certifications, designing a new package that is PFP (Prep-Free) is not only possible, but also worth pursuing. Benefits of the certification include decreasing total cost per shipment, as PFP-certified products do not need excessive protection and additional labor, as well as highly increasing consumers’ satisfaction. In addition, PFP-certified packages also minimize the use of plastic, while allowing for a more efficient shipping process, with no returns due to poor performance.

The future is bright for brands pursuing primary packaging designed to sell and ship on the e-commerce channel. Embracing the new needs of e-commerce and collaborating with strategic suppliers who can help brands to rethink packaging, will not only give consumers the e-commerce experience they expect and deserve, but also help brands to improve their bottom line with a competitive advantage for many years to come.

Mark Kitzis is the president of Aptar Food + Beverage North America and has 22 years of packaging experience in both rigid and flexible packaging. Prior to his current role, Mark was General Manager, VP Global Accounts, and VP Research in the packaging industry. Please visit www.aptar.com and follow Aptar on LinkedIn and Twitter at @aptar.

 

 

 

 

October 9, 2018

Aptar Introduces the UNO 38mm Sport Closure

Aptar’s new sport cap called UNO 38mm is a one-piece closure made of PP to suit the requirements and performance of the flip-top design and to provide the option of translucent or opaque colors. UNO provides one-hand opening and eclosing and is available in two 38mm neck finishes: 3-lead and 2-lead thread starts.

The development of this larger, wide mouth neck finish is driven by the combination of three factors:

  • the continuous growth of aseptically processed, shelf stable beverages such as juices, drinkable dairy, ready-to-drink coffees and teas, preservative free drinks and water
  • the dynamic growth of on-the-go beverage consumption in single serve packaging formats, and
  • the increasing consumer demand for convenience, hygiene, resealablity and superior hydration

To address these customer and consumer needs, Aptar has developed UNO, a liner-less flip top, plug-seal sport closure for PET bottles, based on the success and market acceptance of the Original sport closure family, offering a visible tamper evident and comfortable drinking spout.

UNO 38mm is suitable for H2O2 sterilization for juice and dairy beverages, using the following aseptic equipment suppliers: Krones, Serac, KHS and GEA.

Uno also fits Claranor Puls’Full Cap® sterilization with pulsed light. UNO is adapted for ESL>60 days and high acid aseptic lines after successfully passing the testing requirements.

UNO 38mm by Aptar provides safety and convenience for on-the-go beverage consumption for children and active adults alike. Consumers looking for natural and healthy beverages can now enjoy convenience, in today’s traditional premium water brand packaging.

Give consumers a superior drinking experience with Uno 38mm sports closure. Visit our website to learn more about Uno, and request your samples today!

October 2, 2018

Aptar Food + Beverage will Present at the Pack Expo Innovation St...

“How to Overcome E-commerce Challenges with Package Innovation”

Aptar is delighted to have the opportunity to provide the Pack Expo audience with insights on e-commerce packaging. As consumers continue to demand convenience in every step of their shopping journey, e-commerce has been challenging the CPG’s to adapt to this demanding business model, where the supply chain is longer and much more complex. Besides giving the audience a thorough understanding of the e-commerce supply challenges, and how they are impacting brands in different levels, this presentation will give the audience valuable recommendations on how these challenges can be overcome with packaging innovation. Aptar will also leverage examples of products that are on the market today and talk through what makes each of these packaging successful for this demanding industry which continues to grow at an incredible rate.

Join us for this free lecture and learn more about e-commerce packaging on Sunday, Oct 14 at 1pm. The Innovation Stage is located at N-4585. After the presentation, stop by Aptar’s booth at N-6261 to meet the presenters and check out the latest in packaging innovation that is growing brands worldwide.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Contact us at e-commerce@aptar.com or visit aptar.com/e-commerce to learn more about how Aptar can help you optimize your packaging for e-commerce.

October 1, 2018

Withstanding the Rigors of the E-Commerce Supply Chain - How to D...

This article has also been published in the Brand Packaging Magazine, September 2018 issue.

By: Eldon Shaffer, President, Aptar Beauty + Home

As consumer behavior and preference rapidly progress towards online shopping, retailers aren’t the only ones adapting to change. Brands are dealing with their own growing pains as they evaluate the often rigorous journey their products take from fulfillment centers to the consumers’ home.

As important as it is for CPG’s to continue to optimize their online and mobile user experience, it is equally important to ensure consumers have a positive experience when products arrive at their doorsteps.

Most CPG packaging was designed for brick and mortar retail. It’s neatly packed with identical products on pallets and kept in backrooms and store shelves before use. What worked well for traditional retail, however, may not hold up to the tumultuous trips products take along the e-commerce supply chain.

Neglecting the need for e-commerce capable package designs means some brands are losing money as e-tailers are implementing chargebacks for the addition of protective tertiary packaging for goods that get damaged during transportation.

Amazon is at the top of the list of considerations for many brands and for good reason. According to research from eMarketer, Amazon will make up 49.1 percent of online sales in the U.S. this year, including five percent of all retail sales. For comparison, eMarketer says Walmart’s online sales will account for 3.7 percent of U.S. e-commerce in 2018. Amazon has also stated it plans to be a top five grocery retailer by 2025. Recent acquisitions and new service lines have the company well on its way.

In much the same way Walmart’s decisions regarding packaging influence brick and mortar retail standards, it is expected that Amazon will lead the way in e-commerce packaging requirements. Ultimately, a strategy that works for both traditional and e-commerce supply chains is necessary.

The good news is that packaging suppliers are developing innovative solutions to address current packaging challenges as well as designs that will take brands into the future.  In addition, the International Safe Transit Association (ISTA) has introduced a protocol known as ISTA 6 to conduct packaging testing to many requirements for its “Transit Tested” certification. At the same time, Amazon launched a network of reliable experts (APASS) to help CPGs evaluate how well primary packaging will survive this new supply chain.

ISTA 6 and the APASS Network

In 2016, Amazon and the International Safe Transit Association (ISTA) released a set of testing protocols intended to guide brands and suppliers towards designing e-commerce capable primary packaging. Amazon also launched a certification program based on the protocols as well as the Amazon Packaging Support and Supplier Network (APASS).

Packaging suppliers that participate in the APASS Network, provide exclusive services to vendors, sellers, or manufacturers related to package design and testing that complies with Amazon’s guidelines and approved certification methods.

APASS participants assist vendors, sellers, and manufacturers in achieving certification in one of three levels of e-commerce capable packaging: Prep-Free Packaging (PFP), Ships in Own Container (SIOC), and Frustration-Free Packaging (FFP).

What is Prep-Free Packaging?

PFP is covered under the ISTA 6-Amazon.com-Over Boxing protocols. It means the product and its package are certified to be shipped in a corrugated over box without any extra preparation, such as putting lotion or laundry detergent in a separate plastic bag. Amazon fulfillment center employees can remove an item from the shelves, put it in a box, and ship it to the consumer knowing it can withstand the stresses of the e-commerce supply chain.

What is Ships in Own Container Packaging (SIOC)?

SIOC packaging, for which protocols are described in ISTA 6-Amazon.com-SIOC, can be shipped without an over box. The primary product package itself is deemed suitable for transport hazards encountered in the e-commerce supply chain. Amazon can simply attach a shipping label and send the product on its way.

What is Frustration-Free Packaging?

The goal of Amazon’s FFP certification is to quell what’s known as “wrap rage,” and reduce packaging waste in e-commerce. Wrap rage occurs when consumers become extremely frustrated with excessive packaging. This makes the e-commerce supply chain more efficient, sustainable, and consumer-friendly.

Many household products, such as those in the beauty and home or food and beverage markets, are not yet at a point where package design can easily attain SIOC or FFP certification. Designing packaging that is Prep-Free, however, is achievable and worth pursuing.

The best place to begin looking for ways to improve package design and earn PFP certification is to examine the potential for two macro failure modes in the e-commerce channel: leakage and broken primary packaging. It is important to avoid having products leak during transport, which is typically connected to the seal or dispensing closure/pump. It is also important that the overall package endure shipping hazards so that it functions as intended for the purposes of consumer use.

Certain APASS Network participants operate laboratories in which official ISTA testing is conducted so that brands can submit findings to Amazon and be considered for PFP certification.

Every different combination of container, product, closure, seal, and dispensing system must be tested as a whole, as changing one of these elements can impact the overall performance during transit.

Opportunity Awaits

There are some tangible benefits to having primary product packaging undergo ISTA 6 testing and certification. If Amazon grants PFP certification, shippers will have the advantage of:

  • Reduction in damage and product loss
  • Fewer chargebacks from Amazon
  • Product-to-market time reduction
  • Improved customer satisfaction leading to increased brand loyalty

An important goal connected to focusing on the end-consumers is delivering a positive unboxing experience.  Aligning with partners and suppliers who have access to the technology used to conduct testing, obtain certifications, share best practices and solve common problems will help avoid a negative consumer experience. Aptar is one of many manufacturers committed to addressing the challenges in primary packaging imposed by the e-commerce supply chain.

Brands and manufacturers who make strategic moves concerning packaging design now are investing in the future of retail while simultaneously gaining a competitive edge and winning consumer loyalty.

Eldon Schaffer is the president of Aptar Beauty + Home and has spent more than 25 years of his career with Aptar. Prior to his current role, Eldon was president of Aptar Food + Beverage and formerly president of North America Aptar Beauty + Home. Please visit www.aptar.com to contact Aptar and learn more about innovative dispensing solutions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

September 28, 2018