Dow Packaging has launched pacXpert at Interpack with plans to roll the product out across Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) this month.
The flexible stand-up pouch is being promoted as an alternative to rigid containers for edibles such as ketchup, soups, rice and grains, breakfast cereals and dry baking products.
Fabrice Digonnet, new business development leader, EMEA, pacXpert told FoodProductiondaily the company is in talks with several brand owners including Nestle, Mars, Danone and Unilever, to put the product on shelves before the end of the year.
He also said it has signed its first converter partner, packaging producer Okleiner in Switzerland.
Okleiner has bought the rights to manufacture and produce the product.
“The purpose of pacXpert is to replace and create an alternative product for people that want collapsible packaging. Today if you take a rigid bottle, it’s not collapsible before or after use,” said Digonnet.
“In the market there are about 50bn containers in Europe that are shipped empty. The advantage of pacXpert is that when it’s empty its 10 times less volume so it’s more efficient regarding space.
“We are positioning it as an alternative of rigid packaging of a similar size to optimize on transport cost and give a different printing feature.”
He added the product can feature different images on the four sides of the cube and it can play around with the structure to meet the requirements of the brand owner if it’s for a food or non-food product.
“We’ve been developing this technology with Pack Studios – a platform for development at Dow,” said Digonnet.
“It was called Smart Bottle in the past. It was invented as a bottle originally. It’s a cube that is flat when it is empty and becomes a cube when it is filled. We have been developing the package with brand owners, machine manufacturers, converters and packaging producers.”
Digonnet said pacXpert was launched in Latin America last year and the European launch is now.
“We don’t limit ourselves on the product type because the structure is very flexible,” he said.
“We have had lots of interest from small to mid-sized companies but we can’t say who just yet.
“It’s very exciting because one of the principle features is the product is stackable so you don’t need any secondary packaging.
“We have a licence that confirms this is the first pouch on the market that is stacked on a pallet, six or seven layers up and resists transportation tests. It’s thanks to the structure of the film, its sealant, design and solidity of the neck and closure that it doesn’t break or get damaged during transport.
“We are not a packaging producer, but a resin producer - but Dow wanted to show we can develop technology and licence it to our converter partner. Our aim is not to produce and compete but to design new packages that can go on the shelves.”
Dow has four Pack Studios in the world; it’s HQ in Horgen, Switzerland; Sao Paulo, Texas and Shanghai.
“Next we are getting a lot of interest from the value chain, we are evaluating our options and possibilities,” added Digonnet.