CHICAGO — Package food makers are thinking outside the bottle and can. More to the point, they're increasingly partial to pouches.
Kitchen staples from Campbell Soup Co. and H.J. Heinz Co. will be joining other consumer products in pouches this year. The trend is being driven by savings on packaging and shipping costs as well as aesthetics — an upscale pouch sporting elaborate graphics offers a modernized look and premium appeal, marketers say.
John Kalkowski, editorial director of Packaging Digest, said pouches also are becoming more prevalent because technology has improved, doubling average shelf life from one year to two.
Manufacturers can cut packaging costs 10 percent to 15 percent by going to the pouch, he said.
Overall pouch use in consumer products, including shampoo and pet food, has increased 37 percent since 2007, according to research company Mintel Group, with particular growth in snack pouches.
For Campbell Soup, the move is part of a battle for credibility with millennials, people ages 18 to 34, who tend to associate its iconic red-and-white soup cans with Grandma's house. This summer, the company will launch Campbell's Go Soup, a premium line with trendy flavors like coconut curry with chicken and shiitake mushrooms.
"It's a different approach for us, but we're going to listen to consumers; we're going to develop the products that they want," said Campbell CEO Denise Morrison.
For H.J. Heinz Co., however, a flexible pouch is being used to introduce a smaller size of its namesake ketchup. The 10-ounce product will sell for 99 cents compared with $1.99 for a 20-ounce bottle.
Heinz is hoping to give budget-minded families a reason to buy its product rather than a private-label offering.