JAPAN – Expanding applications for stand-up pouches, Takigawa Corporation recently showcased a range of new stand-up pouch formats that highlights the company’s innovation and attention to customer needs.
With a total manufacturing capacity of over 80 million units / yearly (or which two-thirds is sited in Japan), Takigawa Corporation is the country’s largest flat-bottom or quad-seal pinch bottom pouch producer. Expansion over the past 18 months has been impressive by any standards with an additional manufacturing site opened up in Vietnam, and sales offices in North America and Europe.
In addition to its economical use of material, key to the success of the flat-bottomed bag and its enduring appeal to the brand marketing community is its five-panel merchandising capability to ensure that whichever way it might be displayed on-shelf, its messaging will always be visible on-shelf, whether in a vertical or horizontal position.
Highlighting an extensive range of stand-up pouch (SUP) formats on show at the recent Tokyo Pack 2012 exhibition (2 – 5 October, Tokyo Big Sight) was the new ‘E. Z. Shake’.
A flat-bottomed pouch, E.Z. Shake can be used either as a single use shaker or with a detachable tear-base that once removed leaves a series of perforations through which herbicide / pest control powder can be dispersed – alternatively, insects such as ants can crawl inside and then take small particles of poison back to their nest. Within about ten days the bag is completely empty, and the nest entirely destroyed.
Made of PET on the outside / PE on the inside – so the bag is reverse printed and laminated – there is a release slacker between the layers, so although the detachable PET bottom strip is part of a two-ply lamination it still easily peels off. The format is fully commercialised in Japan, with a first UK application due to be rolled out in the next few months.
Also new is an SUP application for 500ml and 1ltr size tester packs for paint, which the company hopes will replace the existing metal or rigid plastic format. A trend gathering momentum in Japan, the flexible option has already proved to reduce waste by 80%; is less expensive to operate and produce; and takes up less space in-store because the pack is square-shaped rather than round, says North American director Steve Coulson.
“Another visible benefit is that the SUP can incorporate a side window that enables the consumer see the colour of the paint, which can’t be done with a can or a rigid plastic bottle. No changes are required for the paint mixing equipment because the final container is still that same 1 gallon can that gets shaken up, but is then redistributed into smaller packs. It’s an example of a cost saving that provides a consumer benefit that isn’t necessarily seen,” explains Coulson.
“Some of the other things that are driving innovation out of sight as it were are machinery improvements designed to make handling more efficient; bags that are less expensive to produce; and of course bags that are easier and faster to fill.”
Tokyo Pack 2012 took place between 2 - 5 October at Tokyo Big Sight. The next show will be held from 7 - 10 October 2014.