A new packaging solution for the confectionary segment
Walki teamed up with Rovema to make an easy open snack pouch that is. Being a monomaterial consisting of polyethylene, the pouch is easy to recycle.
We’ve all been there. Our blood sugar is running low, and we buy a pouch of those irresistible chocolate-coated nuts or sweets to rectify things. We open the pouch a bit too greedily using too much force and end up breaking the pouch altogether.
What if you could rethink the design of the pouch without compromising its original task, that is to safeguard the food content? This is a question that the team at packaging machine producer Rovema asked themselves.
We had this idea that it should be doable to create a convenient but also recyclable pouch that is appealing to consumers. We work with several materials companies and know where each company’s strengths lie. Walki was the first that came into mind for this project.
Monomaterial for easy recycling
The material had to be sustainable and resource efficient.
“That is why we created very narrow but tight seams that perfectly support the shape of the pouch. With the easy opening perforation added by Walki, it possible to open the pouch in an easy and controlled way”, explains Nadja Richter, Head of Communications and Marketing at Rovema.
The chosen material was mono PE as snacks like chocolate-coated nuts or jelly gummy is usually fatty food content and therefore require good barrier properties. But as PE is a monomaterial, the packaging can be recycled in the plastics stream.
“Laser and specially formulated PE-films allow for controlled tearing. The bag is constructed with a laminate of an MDO-PE film and a new developed LDPE- based film”, explains Rothschink, Head of Product Development and Technical Service, Consumer Packaging at Walki Group.
The laser preformation in the centre of the side gusset fold of the bag is the starting point for the opening. By weakening the laminate in a controlled way, the material is thin enough to allow for a controlled opening of the pouch but still thick enough to protect the snacks inside.
“You open the pouch in the centre, and the opening starts to tear in both directions until it reaches the cross seams that are transverse to make the pouch stable. The shape of the pouch remains intact, and the large opening makes it easy to remove the snacks from the pouch”, explains Rothschink.
The development project only took about four months to finish from idea to product. Nadja Richter attributes the success partly to the fact that Rovema has state of the art machines that have for decades been developed to be flexible and perform on innovations. Allowing individual settings for sealing force, time and temperature and thus enabling Rovema machines to process many different and particularly demanding packaging materials.
Just as important is finding the right partners. For the most intense innovation periods, Walki’s team spent time at Rovema’s headquarters in Fernwald, Germany.
“We are on the same wavelength with Walki, which makes it very easy to work together”, says Richter.
Walki’s Andreas Rothschink agrees.
“Rovema is an excellent partner for innovative projects. The collaboration ran very smoothly.”
The easy open pouch has been given a warm reception.
“We are increasingly seeing a demand for convenience from consumers also regarding mono-materials. This easy open pouch answers to this wish”, says Andreas Rothschink.
Walki’s close relations with their customers is appreciated at Rovema.
“At Walki, they know their customers very well, and can anticipate what customers want”, adds Richter.