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Article | March 3, 2008
Hot pouch, highest achievement
A clever design for a pouched line of microwavable heat-and-serve sauces and gravies helped earn CLP Packaging Solutions Highest Achievement honors in this year’s FPA competition.
The Royco Pour Over Sauce brand sauces were introduced in retorted, 200-mL pouches by Cape Town-based Master Foods, a division of Mars, in South Africa in March 2007. Before microwave heating, the consumer snips the pouch corner for venting and later pouring. The “Heat & Pour” pouch design employs a wide side seal that serves as a “heat-free handle,” according to the graphics printed along the front side of the pouch. A punched hole in the contoured handle area permits consumers to get a better grip.
The pouch design suggests a gravy boat. The line contains five sauces and one gravy. Each item retails for the equivalent of $1.66 each and can serve a family of four, according to Craig Marsh, senior packaging buyer commercial of Mars Consumer Products Africa.
With the exception of a range of salad dressings, the Royco brand had been dry soups, marinades, gravies, and the like, Marsh points out to Packaging World. “This move into a pouch provides key innovation, allowing further strengthening of our brand position, and driving consumer satisfaction in line with market trends and changing demands,” he says. These products “support consumers’ need for convenience, as well as health benefits such as preservative- and MSG-free claims.”
The 200-mL pouches are formed and converted from a 139-micron lamination comprising PET/high-barrier PET/biaxially oriented nylon/cast polypropylene. The high-barrier PET layer is Toray Plastic’s Alumina Barrialox. The rollstock is preformed into pouches using Totani pouch-making equipment. Graphics are reverse-printed on the outer PET by a gravure press. An inner layer of white PP helps the graphics “pop” all the more.
The company’s contract packager commissioned Abtech to provide the pouch-filling system. The Abtech system operates at a rate of 40 pouches/min using three fill stations and two sealing stations, Marsh says. After retorting, the pouches have a one-year shelf life, he adds.
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