Posted on June 18, 2019

Packaging That Works: Baby Food - From Jars to Flexible Pouches

Welcome to Packaging That Works, I’m Jo Anne Forman. Today we’re going to take a look at the closure fitments, the screw off, screw on caps, that have been added to pouches, that has enabled, baby food in particular, but other products, to move from glass jars or other rigid packages, to flexible pouches. Flexible pouches offer a more sustainable package than the glass jars.

Over the last decade one of the largest markets that has undergone the transformation from traditional glass jars to stand up pouches is baby food. This transition has been a win for consumers, baby food packagers, and the biggest win is for our environment. There are very few glass baby food jars left on retail shelves.

Let’s take a look at GoGo Yogurt, one of the easiest to use fitments. What makes this so easy to use is the wings on the cap that making it very easy to grip and turn. Easy to open, easy to close, keeping the yogurt fresh, while eliminating the need for utensils to eat the yogurt - that’s a Package that Works!

Next is a commonly used fitment for flexible, as seen on this Duncan Hines flavored drizzle. It offers an easy to open and reclosable fitment, however this very smooth cap was a bit difficult to open the first time, as my hand slipped on the smooth cap. This pouch does have a smaller footprint than a glass jar which is another advantage, since not a lot is used at any one time, and there are 4 servings in a container. One of the properties of a dessert drizzle is that it is sticky, and this package both dispenses and contains the product very cleanly. Another Package that Works!

Now let’s take a look at those baby food packages:

Notice the soft ridges on this cap on the Gerber pouch. I found this easier to open than the smooth caps and yet, not as sharp as the ridges on a soda bottle. The food is easily dispensed onto a spoon or a toddler can easily hold the pouch, and eat without utensils. It’s easy to reclose.  Packaging That Works!

Next is Earth’s Best Organic. It’s the same pouch type package, yet with the smooth cap, it’s harder to open. I really did struggle with that a bit.

There are many reasons consumers prefer the baby food in pouches:

A flexible baby food package is highly portable and perfect for travel. Parents can add the packs to the diaper bag without worries about weight, breakage, leaks or spills. Pouches don’t break like glass jars when they’re dropped. Once a child is old enough to feed themselves these pouches keep it simple.

Pouches are a more cost-effective package to produce:

There are less materials required for production, reduced manufacturing cost and reduced distribution cost.

Pouches requires less shelf space for storage and at retail locations. Additionally, pouch packaging is not limited to large volume food companies, small specialty companies can source short runs of pouches.

What is the most sustainable baby food package, glass or flexible? As you can see here, flexible pouches with fitments are a more sustainable package than glass jars with lids.

Details at: https://www.flexpack.org/assets/1/6/BabyFoodCaseStudy.pdf

Thank you for joining me today for Packaging That Works. I hope you'll check out my future blogs.

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