CHICAGO — You're not likely going to see denture cream in Clear Lam Packaging Inc.'s latest breakthrough. Or Circus Peanuts for that matter.
That's just not the target audience for what the company is calling the “first of its kind flexible, stackable, recloseable package.”
“What we're trying to do here is we're delivering a sustainable technology that also provides cost savings in an intuitive, consumer-friendly packaging program,” he said.
PrimaPak, which combines attributes of both rigid and flexible packaging, is being aimed squarely at younger folks — including millennials and those in Generation X — and the products they seek out. PrimaPak is designed as an alternative to containers such as rigid cans, bottles, jars and trays as well as certain flexible packaging.
Skewing younger as part of its target demographic is all part of the plan to help Clear Lam make PrimaPak a success, according to Roman Forowycz, chief marketing officer for the Elk Grove Village, Ill.-based company.
Areas of focus include food, personal health care, and detergents as well as some nutriceuticals and pharmaceuticals, Forowycz said.
“We're also focusing in food markets where there is significant growth happening. The millennials and Generation X'ers in America today are moving away from salty snacks and high fat foods and they are moving more towards low carbohydrate, low fat, low sodium solutions. And this PrimaPak technology really leads itself to deliver in a mobile format these new food options,” he said.
“We are seeing that clearly younger generations are accepting this faster than older generations. But I think that could be said with a lot of consumer package goods,” he said.
Forowycz, as chief marketing officer, has spent plenty of time developing a way to describe this new packaging approach. Picture him sitting at the company's booth at Pack Expo in Chicago recently, surrounded by PrimaPak examples:
“It takes into account multiple disciplines. So we produce material that's called cast sheet. It's cast sheet extrusion of recycled polyester. We make an exoskeleton out of it. This is die cut in a particular shape to fit an application. And this label is then applied over lamination.
“It's wound on a roll of film, a core, and unwound on a form-fill-seal machine. It creates a pop-up box from a roll of film,” he explained.
PrimaPak currently is focusing on dry products as it rolls out this new packaging approach.
“Obviously, this technology doesn't work for every particular product. But we will see over the next two to three years a variety of dry products moving into this technology and ultimately moving into liquids,” Forowycz predicted.
The exoskeleton on the outside of the package creates a sturdiness that allows filled packages to be stacked and palletized. The approach also allows for cubing, which eliminates wasted space between individual packages.
And that, the chief marketing officer said, allows PrimaPak to shine.
“Cubing in the next decade is going to be very important. Developing packaging that satisfies the need of the retailer through cubing, satisfies the need of the CPG through efficiencies and cost savings, and satisfies, quite honestly, sustainability initiatives,” Forowycz said.
Cubing allows manufacturers to ship more product per truckload and allows retailers to stock more product on the same amount of shelf space.
“It's really hitting trends that are occurring today,” he said.
PrimaPak, Forowycz said, also provides sustainability advantages over empty rigid containers when being shipped to manufacturers.
Because PrimaPak arrives on rolls, Clear Lam can ship 20 times more empty packaging per truckload compared with rigid containers.
That's a lot of trucks being taken off the road, a lot of fuel not being used and a lot of greenhouse gases not being emitted, he said.
Clear Lam, as part of its PrimaPak push, is investing $2 million to create a co-packing facility and innovation center at the company's Elk Grove Village, Ill., manufacturing site.
The new 25,000-square-foot facility will support products using the company's PrimaPak system and employ 23 workers, the company said.