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Stand-up pouch momentum builds worldwide

Innovative shapes and reclosable fitments and zippers were among the more noteworthy advances on display at a two-day stand-up pouch educational clinic sponsored by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (Dearborn, MI).

Among the more unusual pouches seen by PW at the mid-December clinic in Monterey CA were: * a four-sided pouch with a pour fitment at the top used for a car window wash sold in Europe * a pouch containing Dulux paint with a closure that attaches to an applicating machine for residential and commercial use marketed in France * a stand-up pouch with diagonally cut bottom corners with a top corner that the user tears open to consume a gel-like yogurt that's squeezed out of this opening * hot-filled pouches of soups sold at upscale grocery stores in the United Kingdom with eight-color gravure printing and a window * hershey Canada's 1-kg Pour N Store chocolate chips in a resealable pouch and * nestlé's Smarties candies in a 3-lb resealable zipper lay-down pouch in Switzerland. The fact that these samples are from outside the U.S. should not come as a complete surprise. as several speakers mentioned European and Asian companies were instrumental in first marketing stand-up pouches primarily because they're considered "greener" than the rigid packages they often replace. Stand-up pouches continue to gain popularity in this country as reported in previous issues of PW. And many innovative pouches from the U.S. were displayed at this clinic as well. While many of the clinic's speakers focused on pouch f/f/s speed one offered another perspective. "You can form/fill/seal a pouch or use a preformed pouch. In Japan and in much of Europe most stand-up pouches are preformed" explained Gary Bell president/CEO/owner of Kapak. "The emphasis is on pouch benefits such as flexibility and functionality. In the U.S. we continue to be driven by line speed of equipment. Speed is not always the answer. If you're producing pouches at machine speed capabilities but there's no zipper or a bad seal speed can sometimes kill. What's critical is throughput."

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