Out of a passion for natural foods and a lifelong love of peanut butter, in 2010, Adrian Reif and Matt D’Amour founded the Yumbutter brand of organic almond butter, peanut butter, cashew butter, and sunflower butter. Yumbutter is made from a variety of all-natural nut products as well as various other ingredients to boost the nutritional value of the product.
In conjunction with their natural foods business, the founders also initiated a social mission known as Buy One: Feed A Child In Need. Every time someone buys a Yumbutter product, the program helps feed a child in need through a partner non-profit medical clinic in Guatemala, where malnutrition rates exceed 70%.
Yumbutter has inspired and fueled many adventures. In fact, Reif uncovered the Spicy Thai Peanut Butter combination while trekking toward Mt. Everest Base Camp in Nepal. During the early years, Matt and Adrian continued to roam the city and country with jars of Yumbutter in their packs. Through their travels, the founders realized their product might serve customers and its social mission better if it could be packaged in lightweight, portable pouches as well as jars.
Thus, portable YumbutterGO was born in a unique, plastic squeeze pouch.
Seal integrity is vital
Like Yumbutter, YumbutterGO is a superfood designed for active, on-the-go people. It can be carried anywhere, such as sporting events, camping, biking, and in school lunches. In order to withstand rough handling on-the-go, the weld integrity of the pouch was critical both in production and at retail.
Yumbutter initially used a thermal welder to seal the YumbutterGO pouches. But the product leaked through the seal, and residual oil trapped in the sealed area caused an unacceptable level of seal failures. Yumbutter needed a solution and needed it fast.
Yumbutter’s founders turned to Branson Ultrasonics Corp. because of its reputation for plastics-joining expertise and ability to solve difficult plastics-welding problems. Branson worked closely with Yumbutter to understand their sealing requirements and production volumes. Branson demonstrated the advantages of ultrasonic welding versus other methods, including the fact that ultrasonics can seal through food and contaminants by displacing all the product and forming a quick, strong bond.
Taking into consideration this early, foundation phase of production for YumbutterGO, the team recommended a Branson benchtop ultrasonic integrated welder as the best solution to meet their production requirements.
“Branson went the extra mile to really understand where we were in our welding requirements, production needs, and business cycle,” says Reif “They showed us how ultrasonic welding could work for us now without a tremendous investment, as well as in the future as our company and our production demands grow.”
The company initially purchased a single Branson ultrasonic welder. The welder is a self-contained ultrasonic plastics assembly system that provides a complete welding operation in a compact bench unit that conserves work space, is easy to set up, and is simple to operate and service, yet provides exceptional weld integrity. Soon after, Yumbutter purchased a second unit to meet the growing demand for its product.
“The Branson welder is doing an amazing job,” says Reif. “It’s producing a very consistent, strong seal. We actually use a stand test at the end of the line, and literally stand on selected samples to ensure a quality seal. There have been no failures.”