Food and Drink in Screw-Cap Pouches Let People Refuel on the Go (September 20, 2005)
A new kind of packaging is taking the food and beverage industry by storm: plastic pouches with screw-off caps. Some people consider these pouches the greatest thing since PET bottles, the plastic bottles commonly used for mineral water and other beverages. The pouches have actually been used for a while now, mainly as containers for jelly-type health drinks. What is new, though, is the wide array of foods and drinks now being sold in plastic pouches. Lately the variety has expanded to include yogurt, ice cream, salad dressing, and even alcoholic beverages. A growing number of people, mainly young people, are discovering the convenience of taking a meal or snack on the go by squeezing it from a plastic pouch directly into one's mouth.
Originally used mainly as packaging for jelly-type drinks, plastic pouches with screw caps are now being used for an increasingly wide variety of foods and beverages. In March 2005 Morinaga Milk Industry Co. began offering its aloe yogurt in a "handy-type" pouch exclusively for sale at convenience stores. Aloe yogurt in a pouch has been a big hit, mainly among businessmen.
The squeezable pouch allows people to eat with one hand, while walking to the office or while using a computer with the other hand. And unlike convenience foods packaged in cups, products in pouches do not splash or spill when the lid is opened.
Enhancing the Convenience of Frozen Drinks
A product called Nomu Aisu Coolish ("Drinkable Ice Coolish") was introduced by major confectionery company Lotte Co. in summer 2004. It is extremely popular among young people and among parents of small children, because it can be eaten without a spoon and because it does not make a sticky mess on the mouth, hands, or clothing. Meanwhile two leading manufacturers of alcoholic beverages, Suntory and Asahi Breweries, introduced sherbet-style alcoholic drinks in pouches last summer. These beverages, designed to be served at a chilly minus 8 degrees Celsius (17.6 degrees Fahrenheit), do not flow easily from a bottle or can. But thanks to the pouches, they can easily be squeezed out and drunk at that temperature.
|Drinking from a pouch
Foods packaged in screw-cap pouches have suddenly become popular since around summer 2004. The popularity of this packaging was sparked in part by a series of TV commercials. The male celebrity in the commercials, who has a wide following among both men and women, is shown in various everyday situations giving himself a 10-second nutritional recharge by sucking jelly from pouches. After these TV commercials began to be aired, it came to be considered cool to be seen walking down the street squeezing food and drink directly from a pouch into one's mouth.
Even Housewives Can't Resist the Pouch
One of the advantages of the pouch as a food container is that it gets smaller as the product is used up, making it possible to save space in the refrigerator. Ebara Foods Industry Co., a salad dressing manufacturer that packages its products mainly in bottles, has adopted the screw-cap pouch for a new dressing. The pouch is an ideal container for the dressing, which has a jellylike texture. The dressing is popular among housewives because it keeps salad vegetables crisp and because it can be used as a filler medium for canapés.
Demand for food and beverages packaged in screw-cap pouches is growing. According to an estimate by one company that makes the plastic film used for the pouches, one billion pouches of food and drink will be manufactured in 2005. Though estimates may vary, this "super fast food" packaging, made to order for hectic modern-day life, will almost certainly continue to find an ever-wider array of uses.
Copyright (c) 2005 Web Japan. Edited by Japan Echo Inc. based on domestic Japanese news sources. Articles presented here are offered for reference purposes and do not necessarily represent the policy or views of the Japanese Government.
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