Pouches for sports nutrition
Ease is the name of the game when it comes to sports nutrition packaging, with functionality, convenience and nutritional integrity as main priorities. This is according to Joe Hansley, CEO and Founder of Go Mix, a ready-to-drink (RTD) pouch producer that stands out from the crowd thanks to its shaker ball for enhanced mixing. Hansley speaks with PackagingInsights about partnering with product manufacturer Viva 5 earlier this month. Viva 5 now purchased a stake in Go Mix and is using the pouches for sports nutrition applications.
“The engineering of the Go Mix pouch really impressed us. It’s petite, lightweight, portable and fully recyclable – plus the integrated shaker ball ensures smooth mixing every time. This combination resolves the consumer challenge of preparing functional beverages away from home without the bulkiness and inconvenience of traditional shaker bottles,” Stewart Brennan, Chief Marketing Officer, Viva 5 Corporation, tells PackagingInsights.
Taking note of the fast-paced lives of modern day consumers, Innova Market Insights pegged “The Right Bite” as its fourth top trend for 2020. Balancing the benefits and costs of busy lifestyles raises the demand for nutritious foods that are easy to prepare, convenient and portable.
“In the past, most innovative products in sports nutrition have given people more steps to consume, rather than less. Go Mix delivers on the functionality and convenience end with minimal steps to consume while also being very portable for travel,” Hansely explains.
“I say nutritional integrity when referring to the product that’s being delivered from the packaging. You do not want a delivery system that compromises the nutrition and health of the consumer by adding unwanted preservatives or unfavorable ingredients to make the product stable. Go Mix hits on these three essentials, and that’s why it’s going to be a staple insports nutrition spaces,” he adds.
An “addictively convenient” pouch
Go Mix is a customizable, RTD delivery method that provides consumers with targeted mobile nutrition – from protein to probiotics. Customers can choose between 10 oz, 12 oz and 16 oz pouches, which cater to standard liquid volumes for sports nutrition while still being portable and easy to travel with. Meanwhile, the packaging designs’ colors, varnishes and closures are all customizable.
“From a production standpoint, there are no issues with producing a clear, matte, or glossy finish. We have had multiple accounts release products with these finishes and they turn out phenomenal. The only thing to consider is media content, such as pictures and video, and different glares that will come off of a gloss finished pouched. Photoshopping some of the glare out can be difficult, but it’s doable,” Hansley affirms.
In terms of suitable applications, Brennan sees protein as the “big market opportunity.” Indeed, Innova Market Insights data underscores that sports nutrition launches with Added Protein and High/Source of Protein claims accounted for 47 percent of all global sport nutrition launches in 2019. However, the ability to add practically any powdered nutrient into the Go Mix pouch, such as probiotics, prebiotics, collagen, fiber, beetroot, green foods, vitamins and minerals “makes the possibilities endless,” he highlights.
Before reaching the end-consumer, one of Go Mix’s major environmental sustainability credentials is its reduced weight, which consequently also translates into reduced shipping costs and CO2 emissions. “Without shipping liquid and minimizing the air space within the boxes – the pouches lay very flat – the overall weight and volume are drastically decreased. What previously took four pallets to ship 10,000 RTDs now takes one.” Reminiscing about Go Mix’s first 10,000 pouch units produced, Hansley recalls that it was on a single pallet and light enough for him and his business partner to unload it from the truck by hand.
Go Mix makes use of its options around different plastics or aluminum and conducts stability testing to ensure the product inside will be unaffected from outside elements, remaining safe and shelf stable. Looking ahead, the company aims to further its environmental sustainability strides by developing a fully biodegradable pouch, spout and cap in the future. Taking sustainability into account for standard plastic packaging has become a common practice throughout the packaging industry and is gaining speed in the nutrition industry as well.
“Sports nutrition is a space where individuals need packaging that fits seamlessly into their lives. Together, we’re filling a real consumer need. As our lives get busier and our need for on-the-go solutions intensifies, the Go Mix pouch becomes increasingly relevant. With this technology, we’re well poised to gain market share,” Brennan concludes.