SaddleSprings’ hourglass-shaped pouch proves
to be a fit for flavored water beverages
Fruit Rapids is a new line
of naturally flavored spring water from American Beverage Corp., Verona,
Pa. The no-calorie, no-carb beverage bucks the carbonated soft drink trend
with the addition of calcium and vitamins B, C and E, as well as its unique
package presentation — an hourglass-shaped pouch that’s
portable, grippable and gulpable.
The GoPouch, manufactured by SaddleSprings Beverage
Co., Torrance, Calif., is constructed of clear, multi-layer EVOH, a
high-barrier material that allows a see-through view of the beverage
inside. The ergonomic shape fits comfortably in the hand and is visually
distinctive alongside traditional square-sided pouches currently on the
The beverage pouch industry is expected to reach
global units of 24 billion in 2006, more than double 2002 volumes, making
it the fastest-growing form of packaging. But for years, intellectual
property and trademarks have prevented most beverage companies from
entering this burgeoning market.
SaddleSprings, the largest
independent provider of stand-up beverage pouches in North America,
originally conceived of the GoPouch in an effort to provide a generic pouch
for beverage companies that endeavored to replicate the success of Capri
Sun, according to Ron Berman, Saddle-Springs’ president and chief
executive officer. “Capri Sun has been the dominant player in the
pouch business, however their traditional straight-sided pouch is highly
protected intellectual property,” he explains. “Starting in the
mid-’90s, contract manufacturers were able to start shaping the
pouch, which got around the protected intellectual property issues.”
Although SaddleSprings’ core beverages are fruit
juice brands such as Mott’s, Hawaiian Punch, Hansen’s and Apple
& Eve, Berman says pouches are an ideal vehicle for water beverages as
well. “Pouches are less expensive than the customary bottle with a
cap, and the mass of the pouch is considerably less for recycling
purposes,” he says.
Fulfilling the need for innovation
Berman says many companies have experienced firsthand
the benefits of pouches, which include lower unit cost per pouch as
compared to drink box packaging, lower shipping costs, convenience, and
— most importantly — increased consumer demand.
Tim Barr, director of marketing at American Beverage,
says the GoPouch fulfills a variety of objectives as the package of choice
for Fruit Rapids. “Primarily, we chose it because it is the preferred
format for today’s kids,” he says. “It has soft sides to
make it easy to handle for small kids as well as travel in lunch bags. The
6.75-ounce is just the right size for 6 to 12 year olds. The graphics also
really pop on this material.”
Fruit Rapids is packed in eight-pouch cartons and
comes in three flavors: Tropical Punch, Strawberry-Kiwi and Berry Blend.
While the line began appearing on store shelves this summer, at press time,
it was being selectively tested throughout the United States in key markets
in preparation for heavy promotion during the all-important back-to-school
“Sales of kid’s fruit drinks in pouches at
retail are nearly $1 billion,” Barr says. “The clear plastic
[packaging] helps position our product as a water beverage and not a fruit
drink. SaddleSprings also had the patented size and shape that would be perfect for our needs as well as the expertise to
help us enter this packing category.”
Another beverage company, Aqua Vie Beverage of
Ketchum, Idaho, is currently in the developmental phases of using
SaddleSprings’ see-through pouch for its new flavored and pure spring
water. “The new clear pouch technology offers many advantages over
bottles,” says Aqua Vie’s Tom Gillespie, president and chief
executive officer. “It’s compact, fits easily into lunchboxes
and small hands, has a drinking straw attached and is more environmentally
Berman says SaddleSprings is currently in negotiations
with several other water companies that have also expressed interest in
this type of packaging.
“We offer a solution for any size manufacturer,” Berman
states. “Our customers are welcome to
employ Olmarc Packaging in Chicago, our co-packing facility, for filling
and other production purposes. Or if a company is interested in filling the
pouch in its own facility, SaddleSprings could install the specialized
equipment to meet their production needs.
“This is a very complicated business, and having
a knowledgeable integrator and manufacturer is essential into the overall
success of a project like this,” he says. “Economies of scale
are critical in this business. A company has the advantage of working with
us, they’re going to tap into a pool of core business and enjoy those
economies of scale.”
Berman says SaddleSprings plans to take the pouch into
bigger and better directions in 2005, with the introduction of a pouch
featuring a removable, screw-top fitment. The fitment would be capable of
accommodating a pouch ranging in size from 325 ml. up to 500 ml., enabling
it to be more than just a single-serve delivery vehicle, putting it on par
with a bottle, but boasting the unique flexibility of a pouch. BI
I want to hear from you. Tell me how we can improve.
The February 2020 issue dives into Essentia water, their high-pH and high aspirations for ongoing innovation. Speaking of innovation, this issue also features a special report on how (and why) the zero-proof functional beverage market is growing. Also, check out what types of rifts and shifts are shaking up the wine category and discount variety stores, as well as the latest ingredient highlights (hint: exotic fruits make an appearance). To cap it off, peruse new product releases, the latest appearances in packaging, and holistic approaches to cognitive health. Thirsty for more? Subscribe to get the latest stories delivered right to your inbox.
Check back throughout the month for additional content.
Check back throughout the month for additional content.