To command an upscale price, premium ingredients and packaging are a given, believes Kevin Tisdale, marketing director for the Pacific Natural Foods brand of Tualatin, OR-based Pacific Foods. That's why the company opted for a stand-up, 18-oz. pouch for its ready-to-eat line of natural soups, which carry suggested retail prices ranging up to $3.99.

Cans and microwaveable bowls were considered and rejected as inconsistent with the soups' "premium, gourmet positioning," according to Tisdale. Instead, the firm chose to use preformed pouches made of high barrier polyester, nylon and polypropylene from Maxim Flexpac, Irvine, CA. The pouch provides 12-month protection for shelf-stable products such as Hearty Chicken Tortilla and Roasted Red Pepper & Corn chowder.

Positioned as a gourmet item, Pacific Natural Foods' new Hearty Soups line comes in microwaveable stand-up pouches. Source: Pacific Foods.

So-called healthy meal options represent a $73 billion market, according to the Natural Marketing Institute, and Pacific's Hearty Soups will tap into it. The products carry the firm's proprietary Certified to the Source designation. "All suppliers must complete a 10-page disclosure form declaring that ingredients are as pure as claimed," explains Tisdale. "The process follows ingredients through washing facilities, processing plants, transportation routes and brokers-literally everyone who touches it before it arrives at Pacific Foods."

For more information:
Tom Traynor, Maxim Flexpac, 949-587-9582