T.H.E.M. Stick Packs Give Beverage Industry Major Boost
Marlton, NJ–The fact that bottled water is now the second most popular beverage in America is old news. But carbonated soft drinks may not be king of the hill forever.
America’s taste for flavor is increasingly being met by a whole new phenomenon shaping the beverage industry. Enter the single-serve stick pack, and the ability to turn a bottle of plain spring water into your favorite instant beverage … on the fly.
Throughout the beverage and packaging industries, one company, Technology Help in Engineering and Marketing (T.H.E.M.), is recognized as the driving force behind the stick pack explosion. In fact, T.H.E.M. was recently singled out by Packaging Strategies magazine as one of the industry’s “Most Influential” companies in the previous calendar year. According to Packaging Strategies, T.H.E.M. “helped set in motion an innovation and consumer acceptance avalanche.”
One of the packaged good companies taking greatest advantage of the growing demand for the convenience of stick packaging is 4C Foods. The popularity of the single-serve option has boosted sales for their instant beverage brands every quarter since 4C put some of America’s flavor favorites into stick packs. According to Tony Landolfi, vice president of sales at 4C, “Our drink mix sales have more than doubled since offering the single-serve option. And we’re going to keep extending the lines in this category with new flavors on a regular basis.”
The entire 4C line of Totally Light™ Drink Mixes are now available in the popular 2Go™ single-serving stick packs. Flavors now available are Cranberry Pomegranate, Fruit Punch, Lemonade, Morning Orange, Just Apple, Wild Berry Pomegranate, and Pink Lemonade. Energy drink mixes are available in Energy Rush Citrus and Energy Rush Berry flavors. 4C’s Tea2Go™ line of iced tea mixes comes in Lemon, Raspberry, Decaffeinated, White Tea with Blueberry, and Green Tea flavors. Both brands are being promoted by 4C as “shaking up the way America drinks bottled water.”
Each single packet of Totally Light™ turns a plain 16.9 fl. oz. bottle of water into a delicious sugar-free iced tea, drink mix or energy drink. All Totally Light2Go products are sweetened with Splenda.
Has the transition to single-serve stick packs been as easy as it has been profitable for companies like 4C? According to Landolfi it has. “Our people worked well with T.H.E.M. engineers from the beginning,” says Landolfi. “And we continue to have a great working relationship as we increase production to meet the growing demand.”
The people at T.H.E.M. are making certain they stay at the forefront of that growing demand. According to Neil Kozarsky, president of T.H.E.M., his company recently expanded its facility by 25%, and plans another 10% expansion in the near future. “When combined with our previous expansions, this represents an increase in capacity of almost 50% in the last year alone,” says Kozarsky.
One reason for T.H.E.M.’s dominant influence on the growth of stick packing is the company’s emphasis on entry-level production technology. T.H.E.M. is a leading US-based provider of small volume flexible stick packaging and continues to increase the capacity of its pilot plant operations.
“Our people and production facilities allow companies to ‘test the waters’ before they dive in,” says Kozarsky. “Our pilot plant operation features small volume packaging suites dedicated to prototype stick packs. This enables marketers to evaluate stick packaging without having to commit to a major capital expense.”
Kozarsky also noted T.H.E.M.’s close working relationship with Power Packaging, an Exel company, based in St. Charles, Illinois. “When the smaller stick pack projects become larger, Power Packaging is there to move forward with the program.” He adds, “regardless of the size of the stick project, Power and T.H.E.M. can combine their forces to fulfill the needs of the customer.”
The stick packaging phenomenon is the latest technology import credited to T.H.E.M. As Kozarsky explains, “Our specialty is identifying new packaging innovations, refining them and adapting them to American operating and marketing requirements.”
Kozarsky is also quick to point out that stick packaging isn’t limited to the powders that flavor our bottled waters. “Virtually anything that can be put in a tube, a can or a traditional pouch–can also be put into a single-serving stick pack,” says Kozarsky. “That includes liquids, pastes, creams, agglomerations, lotions, and gels.”
The fact is, wherever in America you encounter a product in a stick pack today, chances are T.H.E.M. had a hand in it. The Marlton-New Jersey based company either supplied the packaging machinery, provided engineering expertise, technical support, or served as a small-volume contract packager to get the operation going.
Which brings up another industry absolute…with Americans consuming an average of 25 gallons of bottled water per person, per year, a growing amount of that water will take on flavors like 4C’s Cranberry Pomegranate, thanks to T.H.E.M.
Founded in 1973, T.H.E.M. has served as the gateway for North American companies to find innovative packaging solutions. By monitoring packaging trends globally, T.H.E.M identifies innovations from all over the world and has put them to work for a wide range of companies in North America. To find out more about T.H.E.M. and the growing demand for single-serve stick packaging, visit http://www.them.net.
For more information on T.H.E.M.’s products and services, please contact:
5A Stow Road, Marlton, NJ 08053
Tel: 856-988-8436, x47
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