A Honey of a Pouch: Inverted SUP Makes Honey Consumption Mess Free

New Chico Honey Squeeze Pouch provides controlled, drip-free dispensing, complete product evacuation, and a better environmental footprint than rigid packaging.

Fpa Chico Honey

The other 2020 Flexible Packaging Achievement Award Winners are Innventure's AeroFlexx (Highest Achievement)    |
  UFlex Ltd.’s 4D Bag with Handle    |    UFlex Ltd.’s FlexiTube     |     Plastic Packaging Technologies’s Hill’s Recyclable Pet Treat Bag    |     Amcor Healthcare’s Insura Seal Verification     |     Printpack’s Paqui Tortilla Chip Pouch     |      Amcor Flexibles’ Predilecta Sacciali Jar Shaped Pouch     |          ePac’s Skratch Labs Mosaic Packaging     |    Printpack’s Stacy’s Women’s History Month Package      |     Paxxus’ StreamOne  | Silver Winners

First brought to the industry and consumers’ attention in 2015 when it turned the sour cream industry upside down with an inverted, flexible pouch for Daisy Sour Cream (see pwgo.to/5464), the premade STANDCAP Pouch has continued to break new ground in categories formerly dominated by rigid packaging. So much so that Glenroy, the exclusive converter of the premade STANDCAP Pouch in the U.S., submitted three new commercial applications in the format for the 2020 FPA Awards: Yucatan Guacamole, Uncle Dougie’s BBQ Sauce, and Chico Honey. Given the similarities in their construction, FPA consolidated the three entries into one, resulting in a winning package structure ultimately selected by judges for a Gold Achievement Award.

A perfect example of the premade STANDCAP Pouch’s impact on a category with static packaging is the 20-oz Chico Honey Squeeze Pouch. Eight months in the making, the pouch provides a distinctive new alternative to glass jars for Orland, Calif.-based Chico Honey Co.’s line of pure and raw honey products. Says Mike Watson, Sales and Brand Manager for Olivarez Honey Bees, Inc., also known as Chico Honey Company, “We were seeking packaging that allowed easy access and use and that was mess free. We were drawn to the premade STANDCAP Pouch as there was nothing like it in the market, and we loved the design.”

After meeting with Chico Honey at PACK EXPO International 2018, Glenroy set about engineering a custom film construction to meet the honey producer’s requirements. The result is a clear, reverse-printed, high oxygen-barrier film lamination. Of the exact film construction, Glenroy Marketing Manager Ken Brunnbauer says that “the specific construction of the package is proprietary to each customer.”

Standard requirements met by the premade STANDCAP Pouch film, however, include puncture-resistance, oxygen barrier, and squeezability. In fact, squeezability is one of the more obvious and desirable advantages of the package. Says Glenroy in its entry form, “The easy-squeeze pouch provides optimal convenience for consumers when dispensing honey. When compared to glass or plastic bottles, the pouch is easier for consumers to squeeze honey out of the package, with nearly 100% product evacuation.”

Topping—or bottoming, as it were—the pouch is a closure developed specifically for the premade STANDCAP Pouch, AptarGroup’s Sierra polypropylene flip-top closure. The cap enables convenient, one-handed opening and closing, and with its large, crest-like shape, allows the inverted pouch to remain stable when standing—even when nearly empty. The Sierra closure screws securely onto a tamper-evident ring-pull fitment that is sealed into each premade STANDCAP Pouch during converting.

To provide controlled, drip-free dispensing for the sticky honey, the closure incorporates Aptar’s SimpliSqueeze® silicone valve technology with elastomeric flow control. Reads Glenroy’s FPA Awards entry form, “The Chico Honey Squeeze Pouch allows for controlled dispensing and clean product cutoff, resulting in a mess-free experience and happy consumer. No more sticky messes in cabinet shelving after several uses.”

Notes Brunnbauer, the SimpliSqueeze valve also works in tandem with the film’s oxygen barrier to provide a longer shelf life for the honey than achieved with glass, as the valve does not allow oxygen to enter the pouch and alter the product.

Aesthetically, Chico Honey chose simple, black-and-white graphics for the package that match the floral pattern used on its glass jars, with most of the pouch made up of a clear window that lets the deep amber color of the honey show through. Explains Brunnbauer, “The film was reverse printed with a flexographic press, in black and white. Having a clear window did not present any challenges in printing. In fact, it was a benefit as the color of the product showing through the window became the focal point in the design.”

As if enhanced consumer convenience, shelf life, and marketing advantages weren’t enough reasons to add the premade STANDCAP Pouch to its packaging portfolio, Chico Honey was also attracted to its “green” credentials. “As beekeepers, the environment is very important to us, and we are always looking at ways to improve on environmentally safe packaging,” says Chico Honey’s Watson. “With the premade STANDCAP pouch, we have a product that presents a smaller carbon footprint compared to glass packaging.”

According to Brunnbauer, a recent study by PTIS found that choosing the premade STANDCAP Pouch instead of a rigid plastic bottle results in up to:

• 61% less fossil fuel consumption.

• 62% less greenhouse gas emissions.

• 76% less water usage.

• 52% less landfill waste, even when factoring in plastic recycling rates.

To produce the pouch, Glenroy leverages proprietary technology from Volpak, available in the U.S. through fellow Coesia company R.A Jones. Watson adds that Chico Honey is both packing product in-house and uses co-packing services, with both automatic and manual processes being employed.

Chico Honey products will continue to be offered in an array of glass jars and other packaging, in addition to the new pouch, which are sold online at Chicohoneyco.com, in the company’s restaurant, The Hive Kitchen + Bar, in local independent stores, and in grocery chains, including Save Mart, Lucky’s, and Nugget Markets.

Watson says the light weight and puncture resistance of the premade STANDCAP Pouch provide benefits for the company’s e-commerce business. “We currently offer our honey on our own website and are continuing to explore other e-commerce availabilities,” he says. “The pouch will improve shipping weight and cost, along with less likelihood to have damage compared to glass products.”

The premade STANDAP Pouch is being used for two Chico Honey varieties, California Wildflower Blend and Clover, which retail for $14.99 per 20-oz pouch.

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