With several customers at various stages, one “aggressive” user, according to Cryovac’s Frank Bauer, is Conservas La Costeña, which operates an Onpack machine at its plant in San Luis Potosí, México. It uses a 6-mil Flavour Mark film, according to Bauer, Cryovac’s marketing manager for vertical pouch packaging.
Cryovac notes that the pouches are more efficient to retort than cans, resulting in less heat abuse of the product. Pouches also require less space, are one-tenth the weight, and can be disposed of much easier than cans.
What distinguishes Flavour Mark from other #10 can replacement pouches that have been around for some time is that it is a coextrusion, not a lamination. According to Cryovac, that means no problems associated with delamination or with pouch-flexing issues that can affect the oxygen-barrrier properties. It also incorporates a lap seal that reduces failures associated with traditional four-side-sealed packages, Cryovac states. The structure withstands 250° F temperatures and provides impact resistance in drop tests. Unlike cans, the clear pouches also work with metal detectors and provide product visibility.
Conservas La Costeña began introducing the packs in 2Q 2006, Bauer says. The pouches hold 105 oz or about 6 lb of retorted refried or whole beans. The pouches should provide a one-year shelf life, but Bauer says that Conservas’s fast distribution means packs are used within three months. The retorted beans are currently primarily sold to one Mexican restaurant chain.
Conservas La Costeña is one of several Flavour Mark users. Another end user, based in the United States, is supplementing its frozen vegetable offerings with shelf-stable Flavour Mark packs.