Tree Top has launched its applesauce in clear, see-through pouches, making it the first company to launch a transparent pouch in the applesauce category.
The company worked with Sonoco to create a pouch that would allow consumers to see what they're eating without any surprises.
Bryce Godfrey, director of marketing for Tree Top, and Pete Gioldasis, director of marketing for Sonoco, recently took some time to answer some questions about how and why the pouches were developed.
Tell me about the new pouches and why it was important to create clear packaging?
Godfrey: The new pouches were created as a response to a greater need for transparency in food packaging, and to address the concern about not being able to see food before consuming it. Like all packaging, if the seal is compromised and air gets in, it can ruin the good food inside. We knew there was a way to give people more confidence with transparent packaging.
Tree Top believes everyone deserves good food, so we searched for a solution to return power to the people by allowing them to see our quality applesauce before eating it.
What were the challenges that came with creating a clear packaging in this format?
Gioldasis: The packaging structure had to be engineered to provide the appropriate barrier requirements for shelf life and Vitamin C retention, while being robust enough to withstand high filling temperatures, all while providing excellent machinability to meet production efficiency requirements.
Tree Top evaluated packaging from multiple suppliers, a process that included several rounds of shelf life testing as well as machinability trials.
Sonoco’s ClearGuard film structure was selected based on the results of these evaluations. ClearGuard film exhibited excellent machinability, with the best barrier and highest levels of Vitamin C retention.
What are some other applications beyond pouches that this type of packaging could be good for?
Gioldasis: The ClearGuard family of high-barrier structures has application in a variety of flexible packaging, as well as lidding applications.
Because ClearGuard packaging has exceptionally low oxygen and water vapor transmission rates to protect the food inside and preserve its shelf life, these structures provide a clear alternative to aluminum foil or metalized films — an important differentiator in an age when nearly half of consumers would choose one product over another simply because they can see the product inside its packaging.
Consumers are demanding transparency, not just with ingredients and labeling, but also with a desire to actually see what they are buying. ClearGuard films offers a way to satisfy consumers, without sacrificing quality.
ClearGuard structures are already commercial with applications like trail mix, jerky and snack bars. Tree Top is the first to market utilizing this technology in a more demanding application like fitmented pouches, which perform in more robust processing conditions.
And then is there anything else you wanted to add?
Godfrey: We want everyone to have a great experience with our fruit products, and it’s nice to bring a little more clarity and goodness to the food world. We wanted something that could appeal to a wide-range of consumers, be it moms on-the-go or those looking for a fast, healthy snack.
Tree Top’s Apple Sauce Pouches are made with 100 percent USA Apples from the local orchards of the Cooperative's grower-owners along with other fruits and with no artificial ingredients. They come in six flavors, including: Apple (and Organic Apple), Cinnamon, Strawberry, Mango, Tropical and Mixed Berry. Currently the pouches come in 4-count and 12-count cases and are available at retail stores throughout the western U.S. The suggested retail price for the 4-ct pack is $2.39 and the 12-ct pouch retails at $6.49.
For more information: Sonoco, www.sonoco.com