Packaging company Ampac has recently introduced the Ampac Pull Tab beverage pouch to the marketplace. Ampac's Pull Tab beverage pouch provides an alternative format to the traditional straw-punch through beverage pouch. It is a new beverage pouch to the European and North American beverage market which provides hygienic protection of the straw hole with a tear away Pull Tab label. The premade hole on the pouch body, covered by the label that is applied by fully automatic label dispensers, is novel for this application. It combines innovative packaging with technology to enhance marketing and allows for hot filling on start-up machines as well as high-speed lines. The Ampac Pull Tab label can be custom designed, allowing for printing on the label which is a great way to enhance the marketing message or branding and share new information in an attractive way.
Features and benefits of the Pull Tab beverage pouch include enhanced convenience in the "smart" opening of the pull tab as a result of the straw being glued on the label. By removing the straw, the label gets "pre-opened" at the same time and therefore the opening of the tab is facilitated versus "piercing" through the pouch membrane as in other beverage pouches. A stopper on the label is in place to prevent it from detaching completely from the pouch, creating an option to re-close the label if the pouch is not fully consumed.
Another advantage to food manufacturers includes the option of larger straw hole diameters as the straw no longer has the function of piercing the laminate as with existing beverage pouches, therefore larger diameters are possible up to 8mm. This is beneficial when it comes to smoothie products and thicker drinks. Ampac's Pull Tab product offering can reach customers with low volume requirements as they validate their products' market potential as well as those with large volume needs that will run on high speed filling equipment.
The first customer launch of the Ampac Pull Tab was October 2013 at the Basel Autumn Fair, with a second customer on board for a mid-2014 introduction with a t-shirt designed Ampac Pull Tab pouch. Both applications are being sourced from Ampac's Kirchberg, Switzerland manufacturing site with plans for developing capabilities for North America. Standard sizes for the Ampac Pull Tab include the smallest 90ml size, a 180-200ml size and a 200ml size. The film is a PET/FOIL/PE structure with applications for fruit juice, smoothies, stabilized milk, non-alcohol and non-carbonated beverage markets.
A version for the alcohol market is currently under development. Ampac's Andrea Lazzara, business development, marketing & innovation director Europe, states, "The Ampac Pull Tab adds a new twist to the beverage market by offering an innovative pouch with unique features and benefits not available in the industry today. Ampac's Pull Tab pouch provides our customers a fully customizable pouch solution to enhance their marketing with a differentiated appeal for the consumer."