MIAMI — It's been more than 30 years since Robert Weick worked on his first pouch project for a fruit canner that ended up being years ahead of its time.
That packaging ultimately failed, he said, because the market just wasn't ready.
“We were going to go out and we were going to change the world with that pouch. What we ended up with was a learning event,” he said. “We took it out to the market and we really had expectations on how it was going to be received.
“And it hit a brick wall,” he remembered.
But that was then, and this is now.
Weick, now vice president of packaging systems optimization for ConAgra Foods Inc., knows as well as anybody about the growing popularity of pouches these days.
“The change in this industry has been terrific and it has been tremendous over the years,” he said at the recent Global Pouch Forum in Miami. “It has grown in a lot of different ways. I see a lot of opportunity, a lot of runway out there for future growth in the pouch industry.
“But there are challenges that go with that, and some serious challenges. How do we unlock that runway? How do we get to aligning things to be able to move forward?” Weick said.