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July 04, 2022 2 min read

Considering the switch from bottles to standup pouches?

For a long time, North American consumers and consequently brands greatly preferred bottles to standup pouches and both would generally turn away from even considering pouches as an alternative to bottles. But the recent supply chain snarls and ensuing massive inflation has been a catalyst for change as brands have been transitioning to pouches at scale.

This is because pouches offer the following advantages:

  • Up to 70% reduced packaging costs: with a pouch you only need the pouch! With a bottle you need the bottle, the lid and the label and then you need to ship all three instead of just the pouch to the co-packer.

  • Up to 50% reduced tolling/overhead: a high speed pouch filler fills 3-4x faster than an equivalent bottle line with less downtime and fewer machine operators needed. Reduced labor means a lower cost to you!

  • 20-30% reduction in outbound freight. A bottle/lid/label combo can add up to half-pound gross weight versus a pouch which is only a couple ounces. This translates to lower shipping costs to your warehouse and ultimately to your customer.
You’re seeing major brands switch from bottles to pouches and the trend is just in its infancy. Just look at KOS below - they were adamantly opposed to pouches since inception and now they’ve transitioned all their proteins to pouches throughout all their distribution channels.

I purchased my high-speed rotary pouch filling machine about 5 years ago after traveling in Europe and Asia and seeing almost everything in pouches instead of bottles. To my chagrin, however, the expensive machine sat collecting dust as I kept waiting and waiting for the trend to take foothold in the US. Apparently I was early by a longshot because I couldn’t convince any of my clients to switch to pouches...but the market has changed!

Beginning in 2021 as a response to COVID-related chaos, many of my private label clients began to realize that a cost savings of $2-$3-$4 per unit helped to counter the margin-squeeze of increasing ingredient costs. Plus, American consumers started being more open to pouches than before as they seek more eco-friendly packaging options. Now, my company is booked 4-5 weeks out on the pouch filler because demand is so great!

Pouches aren’t for everyone and the decision is largely dependent on quantity and factoring in your existing label inventory and the artwork switching costs. But if you’re considering the switch please consider Body Nutrition. I can help guide you with packaging design, pouch vendors and even help model the cost savings you’ll experience.