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Unique transparent beverage pouch has enormous potential - Ecolean

By Ben Bouckley+

03-Dec-2013

Swedish packaging systems supplier Ecolean sees huge potential for its new aseptic transparent pouch, and says it offers impressive shelf standout and consumer convenience.

Due for launch in Q1 2014, the Ecolean Air Aseptic Clear package (pictured) comes in 200ml and 250ml versions, and allows customers the opportunity to differentiate and make drinks visible to consumers in varying degrees.

Ecolean’s other packages are made from its trademarked material Calymer, which is 40% chalk by weight and 60% plastic binding agents – polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP).

Ecolean Air Aseptic Clear does not use chalk but the company says its gas barrier, and the "strong and reliable" multilayer film structure are the same, although the light barrier is not.

The company claims it has a low environmental impact due to low use of raw materials in production – it weighs around 50-60% less than cartons or PET or HDPE bottles – which has a positive effect across the product’s lifecycle.

After disposal Ecolean packages can either be recycled as plastics or incinerated.

Low environmental impact

Asked why Ecolean decided that transparency was an important selling point for consumers, a spokeswoman told BeverageDaily.com that the package offered brands real innovation.

“With consumer convenience and low environmental impact, our package also offers the producers the opportunity to decide how much to show of the product since both sides of the Ecolean package are available for printing,” she said.

The spokeswoman said the name the brand and product that will launch using the package next year were confidential, but added that the product suits a wide range of soft drinks.

“The potential range is enormous. Any product not requiring a package with a light barrier can take advantage of the new…package. Just look at the multitude of products, colours and varieties of products available in aseptic PET,” she said. “Envision this in a new innovative format.”

Ecolean’s largest markets are in China and Russia, and the spokeswoman said volume sales there had grown substantially since the early 21st century, when the firm first established market companies.

‘Eye catching’ consumer appeal

Interest in flexible packaging options generally, such as stand-up pouches, had grown greatly due to economics for brands, ‘eye catching’ appeal to consumers and a lower environmental impact, she said.

“In markets used to cartons and bottles, the stand-up pouch is something new and modern. In [established] pouch markets the stand-up pouch is well acknowledged but seen as improved with many benefits like shelf standout and consumer convenience, etc.,” the spokesman added.

Turning to cold aseptic filling – Ecolean’s pouches can only be filled using the company’s dedicated machines – she claimed that the practise was growing everywhere.

“The technology is replacing hot fill and formulations with preservatives for healthier products and a better taste – not least for on-the-go consumption,” she said.

“On an underlying level it enables efficient and safe distribution of food with minimal losses, an argument valid globally,” she added.

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