Finding just the right packaging for an innovative product can sometimes take many twists and turns. For Lansdale, PA-based Aedan Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a specialty pharmaceutical and consumer products company, the answer was just three exits up the New Jersey Turnpike. That’s where the company manufactures XRP (Extended Release Powder)--a rapidly dissolving powder energy formula that is delivered direct-to-mouth, tastes good and, because of its microencapsulated, powder form, provides steady “time-released” energy.
In this instance, the packaging answer was supplied by T.H.E.M. (Technical Help in Engineering and Marketing). Throwing in some marketing assistance as product spokesperson is the National Football League’s (retired?) superstar Brett Favre.
T.H.E.M.’s flexible stick packaging for XRP’s 1.9-gram-per-serving size, also delivers convenience, easy opening, and direct-to-mouth powder. The portable packs, which measure 5-in.-long x ¾-in. wide, slip easily into a pocket or a purse.
Explains Bob Nance, CEO of Aedan Pharmaceuticals, “We originally tried to package the product in what were essentially fat soda straws, heat-sealed at both ends. One of my partners had seen stick packaging and thought it would work. We did a Google search and T.H.E.M. came up at the top of the list. We saw their facility and saw with whom they did business. It was fairly clear to see that flexible stick packaging was a great match for the XRP product.”
The product is available in convenience stores and mini-marts in test markets in Alabama, Mississippi, and parts of Florida, as well as Wisconsin and Minnesota (no coincidence that most are places associated with Brett Favre). In addition to caffeine, XRP includes the nutrients choline, taurine, and vitamins B6 and B12, all encapsulated. The product is available in cranberry-grape (with additional flavors being explored), with each serving containing four calories.
XRP is based on patented technologies originally developed to target the needs of young children and the 40% of adults who have difficulty swallowing tablets and capsules.
Aedan is also exploring additional direct-to-mouth products that employ microencapsulation that mask taste and control the release profile, including NSAIDs/analgesics; cough and cold, allergy and vitamin/mineral formulations, as well as an anti-diarrheal and propriety sleep compound. More information is available at the company’s Web site.
Consumer reaction to XRP has been favorable. According to Nance, “People like the flavor and the convenience, and have noticed that instead of getting a jolt followed by a slump, that, thanks to the time-release formula, there is a more sustained level of energy.”
T.H.E.M. President Neil Kozarsky adds, “Stick packs were clearly the best way to package a single-serve powdered product. For Aedan Pharmaceuticals, it means providing tamper-evident packaging that uses less materials, meaning it is also a ‘greener’ solution. For consumers, it means convenience and portability. By definition, it’s a win-win.”