For as long as we can remember, ketchup has always come in some sort of bottle, either plastic or glass. Unless you were getting the small pouches of ketchup at a fast-food restaurant, we didn’t really see large quantities of ketchup available in a large pouch. It now seems like packaged food makers are starting to become increasingly partial to pouches.

For about five years or, pouches have been prominent in Europe and Central and South America and are not just beginning to make their way to the US. Lynn Bomblaser, director of consumer packaged goods insights at Mintel said that the reason for the United States just adapting to pouches is because the United States is notoriously slow in adapting to the latest packaging trends.

Kitchen household names from Campbell Soup Co. and H.J. Heinz Co. will be joining other consumer products in pouches this year. The emerging trend saves money on packaging, manufacturers can cut their packaging costs from about 10 to 15 percent by using a pouch, and shipping while providing aesthetics. Marketers say that an upscale pouch offers a modern look with great appeal.

Improving technology has a great deal to do with why pouches are emerging as a trend in packaging, editorial director of Packaging Digest said. With the improvement in technology, the average shelf life has doubled from say one or two years ago.

Since 2007, the overall pouch use in consumer products has increased about 37 percent, especially for snack pouches.

Campbell’s is even getting in on the pouch trend. Officials at Campbell’s say that their first goal is to support its iconic can, but they are also looking to baby boomers’ children as they begin to set up their own households.

“We want to fire some bullets and if they become cannonballs, we’ll put our money down,” said Campbell’s CEO Denise Morrison. “It’s a different approach for us, but we’re going to listen to consumers, we’re going to develop the products that they want, but then they need to buy them.”

Charles Villa, vice president of the consumer and customer insights department for Campbell’s USA stated,

“They see the pouch as a very contemporary packaging alternative and they relate that packaging to a better quality experience coming from the food that’s in (it),” Villa said, adding that they expect “a better quality experience for the food” and even a “fresher” product.

H.J. Heinz Co is using a flexible pouch to introduce a smaller size of its namesake ketchup. With a squeezable pouch and nozzle, the 10-ounce product will sell for 99 cents, compared with $1.99 for a 20-ounce bottle.

The typical shopper in a developed market like the U.S., said CEO William R. Johnson, “is now intensely focused on value,” adding that buying decisions are based more on price “and less about product design.”

 

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