How Body Energy Club Took Hold of its Sustainable Future

If one thing folks who live an active lifestyle know, it’s that the right supplements matter when you’re trying to reach specific fitness goals. When Dominick Tousignant created Body Energy Club, he was tired. He was tired of going on the hunt, trying to find all the supplements that would impact his workouts because no one was selling everything he needed in one place. At one point, he was making three stops in a day. And because of that, a business was born. 

Starting back in 2001, Body Energy Club was a simple vision: one place for all the needed products for a healthy lifestyle. The company started with a tiny shop in Vancouver, but the people had spoken before long. They wanted stores all over the city and in the suburbs. And soon, there were lines out the door of thirsty customers ready to grab one of Body Energy Club’s signature smoothies. (The company soon expanded to the States, too.)

Soon after establishing themselves as the premier supplement source in British Columbia, Tousignant took the next logical leap of faith: he started his own branded supplement line, including protein powders and creatine. Tousignant wanted the brand to be something everyone could feel good about, not only with what they were putting in their bodies but also with how the company saw its place within the more meaningful conversation regarding world impact. What started as a simple store became a community of health-driven evangelists who wanted to keep up with taking their health to the next level and championed a more verdant approach to caring for the environment. 

A vision for wellness 

As the brand grew, so did the concerns about how the company affected the earth. Tousignant didn’t want his brand to be complicit with how it affected the environment; he wanted to be a mission-driven company to rally against climate change and not be another contributing factor to more plastic sitting in landfills. 

That’s where a relationship with ePac made the most sense. 

It was a natural fit – Body Energy Club liked the options ePac provided with PCR, biodegradable, and compostable packaging, especially the PCR bags with flat-bottom gussets to make stand up pouches. They could display the product in a meaningful way and do it with far less guilt. Because ePac can help companies do exactly what they want, Body Energy Club was able to play around with options, as they did with CreaPure creatine powder, at first and then move into different sizing options with their three other powders. 

One thing that Body Energy Club wanted was a clean look, which ePac was able to provide. Because the ingredients are simple in the product, they wanted a similar look and feel to their packaging. If they were going to commit to using fresh ingredients and avoid using preservatives and other unnecessary, unhealthy ingredients, everything down to the look and feel of the packaging had to hold the same ethos. 

A brand dedicated to sustainability 

But Body Energy Club wanted more. They wanted to remain dedicated to their values. Hence, members of the company’s C-Suite got together and pledged: They’d create a closed-loop recycling system by incentivizing clients to bring their used bags and drop them off in the special bins at the store. Doing this works twofold: the customers get 50% off at the smoothie bar, and it brings them back into the store, which lends itself as a premium opportunity to continue to cross-sell additional products. 

This method has given Body Energy Club the ability to control their supply chain. Body Energy Club controls the process with so many packaging products and raw materials delayed due to international logistical problems, maintaining their packaging with local manufacturing through ePac’s Vancouver plant, and filling their bags. They remain in stock with their most popular products, increasing customer satisfaction.

Body Energy Club wanted to contribute to positive world influence, and even by just taking control of their recycling and packaging, they’re doing just that. If more brands thought like them, we might see more positive change, one half-priced smoothie at a time. 

If you’re a company looking to lessen your environmental impact, we’d love to help you navigate what your future looks like. We’ve worked with big and small brands, and every conversation and collaboration count.

Skratch Labs and ePac Deliver A Truly Unique Package Experience

As an official partner to EF Education First Pro Cycling, Skratch Labs wanted to create limited-edition packaging to celebrate the team’s competition in the Tour. To show team pride, they crafted stand-up pouches for their lemon & lime sports hydration drink mix that featured the metallic pink and blue look of the EF team’s jerseys. 

Since 2012, Skratch Labs has been selling sports nutrition products, always made from all real ingredients, designed to help athletes perform their best. To give its customers an even better user experience, the company began working with ePac Boulder in 2017 to revamp its packaging, upgrading to fully custom, high-quality stand-up pouches. This year, they took their dedication to sports performance a step further.

“We believe our customers will think this design is really special. They know the EF team and are excited about the Tour. We hope to drive excitement for the Tour by launching this limited-edition packaging,” says Elliot Freeman, VP, Marketing at Skratch Labs.

Limited-Edition Packaging Uses Mosaic Technology to Generate 10,000 Unique Designs

What really brings the drink mix’s packaging to Tour-level is the collaboration between ePac and HP’s Mosaic print technology. With Mosaic, each pouch in the entire print run features an exclusive color-shifting design, similar to the EF Pro Cycling jerseys, giving each individual pouch its own unique look. No two pouches are the same. 

Mosaic print technology is an algorithm that automatically generates a high number of unique graphic patterns from a single design, called a seed file. It works by rotating, zooming, and transposing the colors of that file to create unique individual designs. With the EF Pro Cycling jersey-inspired pouches, ePac was able to create 10,000 unique designs from just one seed file. 

This is the first time Skratch Labs has created packaging to match a sports team and the first time ePac has showcased the cutting-edge Mosaic technology. The response has been overwhelmingly positive, with customers and fans expressing their delight in the unique, limited-edition packaging. Skratch Labs and ePac both sell their products internationally, making this an ideal partnership to celebrate the Tour this summer.

“ePac technology and digital printing enables us to order short runs of limited-edition packaging, which gives us an edge over the competition,” says Freeman, “This is a great trial to see what short runs, limited edition, and special package printing can do for us.”

Because ePac is built around state-of-the-art digital printing technology, the company is focused on fast turnaround times and short to medium runs. And since there are never any plates to set up, brands of all sizes can enjoy custom variable printing, ideal for special, limited-edition projects like this one.

The new Skratch Lab packaging is only available for a limited time and is currently sold at select local Colorado bike shops and various retailers in the Boulder area, as well as online at Skratch Labs’ website.

Contact ePac today to see how we make your packaging a unique consumer experience.

CASE STUDY: Primal Noms

Custom Packaging Positions Primal Noms Keto Mug Cakes As The Market Leader

Primal Noms owners, Matt and Alli Owen, are on a quest to be the healthiest versions of themselves, and part of that quest is following the ketogenic, or keto diet. Because sweet cravings can be hard to ignore regardless of the type of diet you follow, they created Primal Noms, keto and paleo mug cakes that cook right in the microwave. Matt and Alli started the brand in Bakersfield, California in 2017, to bring healthy treats to people following the keto lifestyle. Today, they operate out of the sunny Denver, Colorado.

So, what are Primal Noms exactly? They are individual cake mixes sold in single-serve pouches. To make the mug cake, consumers simply tear open the pouch, pour the mix into a mug, add butter and an egg, and then microwave. 

In less than 2 minutes, a keto-friendly cake is ready to eat. We think it may be magic.

Today Primal Noms are available in four flavors and are packaged in single-serve digitally printed lay-flat pouches from ePac. They are sold on their website and on Amazon, as well as at some local stores in Denver.  

Choosing A Better Pouch Package

While initially designing the packaging for the cake mixes, Alli Owen knew that the lay flat pouch was the best option, especially for the single-serve market. Unsure if the brand was ready for custom packaging, Primal Noms was first sold in standard foil bags with self-applied sticker labels. The packaging worked for the time, but soon the company received some big news– it was chosen to be included in two different subscription boxes. While this was great news for the business, it meant that the company had to make a packaging upgrade.

Primal Noms’ original packaging: a foil pouch with a hand-applied sticker.

“We got into two subscription boxes, which gave us a huge boost in order amounts! It also gave us the confidence to go for custom packaging, which we had been wanting for a while. We weren’t sure we were ready for it, or big enough… but getting these big orders meant that the time was right,” says Alli Owen.

So upgrade, they did. What was once a standard bag with a hand-applied sticker label became a custom, high-quality, digitally printed, single-serve pouch. The pouch is created with tear notch film for easy and clean tearing. The matte, soft-touch finish provides a tactile experience for the user and the simple and clean design captures attention.

 “Since going with custom packaging, we’ve seen a huge shift in brand perception,” says Owen.

And as they say, perception is reality. 

“Especially with food, people eat with their eyes in a lot of ways. Having a beautiful package helps people to understand the value of your product. Of course, you have to have a good product, but packaging increases the perceived value of the product,” says Owen.

In addition to the positive change in brand perception, the company is enjoying time and cost savings with the custom packages, as well as a simpler process overall. Before, the team was printing the stickers and applying them by hand, which took up a lot of time. 

“Now it’s as easy as just placing an order. It’s saving us time and money, with a large decrease in staff hours. It’s also more cost-effective now, if you count the time it would take us to sticker each pouch,” says Owen.

The custom pouches from ePac feature an easy tear notch at the top of the pouch and a soft matte finish for ease of use and brand differentiation. And it’s not just the Primal Noms team that has noticed a difference. The brand receives a lot of feedback from consumers telling them how much they love how the package feels. They also see many consumers taking photos with the packages for Instagram. But most importantly, the custom packaging allowed the brand to branch out into other markets and gain exposure through the subscription boxes.

“If we hadn’t made the switch to custom, this wouldn’t be happening. And we wouldn’t have been able to be featured in subscription boxes,” notes Owen.

The Future is Bright for Primal Noms

Today Primal Noms is the leader in the market of keto cakes and is an actively growing brand. The company has big plans for the future, including taking the brand nationwide, selling the cakes in stores, launching three new flavors, and distributing the cakes in more subscription boxes. Even though the space is small, owner Alli Owen contributes their leader position to the packaging.  

“Custom packaging looks so much more professional and adds a lot of value that you don’t have in a foil bag. The new package has been great in terms of sales and brand development,” she says.

And Alli Owen knows that brand development is key to helping brands resonate with consumers, and keep them coming back for more. With digitally printed pouches, brand owners like Owen can enjoy 360° of graphics over the entire pouch, without being limited to a label, as well as better graphics overall.

“Now with the custom pouches we are able to include some of our brand story, which we weren’t able to with the stickers. Now people get to learn about the motivation, heart, and movement behind the brand. The pouches gave us a space for that,” says Owen.

The ePac Difference

Because ePac is a local company (with locations all across the U.S.), and the quality of the pouches is second to none, Owen says that working with ePac has been a breeze. She was even able to go and pick up her pouch order from the Boulder, Colorado office, which helped the brand get to market even faster.

“We were able to pick up our pouches earlier than they quoted us, which was great. And the quality control is really on point. Also, we had to change our package size last minute and ePac worked with us… The customer service has been wonderful,” says Owen.

With digital printing, companies like Primal Noms can get a quality package to market in a fast and cost-effective way. Simply put, high quality, digitally printed pouches deliver a better experience for packagers, and consumers. 

Ready to learn more about the digital difference? Contact us today!

The Design Features that Make Pouches the Best Option for Nutritional Supplement Packaging

An aging population and growing health concerns, including simply adopting a healthier lifestyle, are pushing the nutritional supplement market toward more growth. Consumers are busier than ever, and looking to easy ways to add better nutrition to their diets in the form of proteins, herbs, fatty acids, vitamins and energy supplements. The rise in lifestyle diseases, such as diabetes and obesity, are also ramping up sales.

The “North America Nutritional Supplement Market (2018-2023)” report from states that the nutritional supplement market was valued at USD 40.17 billion in 2017 and will experience a CAGR of 7.5% over the forecast period. North America is the second-largest market in the global nutritional supplements market after the Asia-Pacific.

The rise in demand for these types of products presents the opportunity for both product and package innovation.

Perfecting the Nutritional Supplement Package Design

Scour the nutritional supplement aisles and you’ll notice an uptick in pouches lining the shelves where the PET (polyethylene terephthalate) jug or bottle once reigned. Why? Pouches pack in a lot of benefits for packagers, consumers, and retailers alike. Not only are they taking up less prized shelf space, but they also have a slew of other benefits that we’re going to dive into.

First things first, pouches keep the product fresh.

The key to packaging nutritional supplements is maintaining potency and long shelf life. In order to do this, supplements and nutraceuticals have special packaging requirements, such as:

  • a dry environment
  • airtight closures
  • protection from humidity and light.

Enter the pouch. Pouches deliver barrier properties to keep the product inside safe from odors, and vapors and can be equipped with a tight seal. What’s more is that the availability of dark colors enables the packaging to be opaque, reducing exposure to light.

Supplement Package Features You Can’t Ignore

In addition to ensuring product freshness, a great package should communicate what the product is, how to use it, be tamper-evident, and when necessary, be childproof.

Package add-ons like a scoop or dispensing closure, help consumers engage with the brand and assist in the package standing out from the competition. The ability to add spouts, sliders and sliding zippers, resealable and press to close zippers or simple tear-notches offers cost-effective flexibility that sets flexible packaging apart from other forms of packaging.

Packaging Developed for Convenience On & Off the Shelf

Digital flexible packaging also delivers a strong shelf presence. Because of their slim design, pouches allow for maximum shelf space, generally fitting more product on the shelf than a rigid package. With more on the shelf, restock becomes less frequent. What’s more, pouches’ unbreakable and lightweight properties mean that they’re easier to ship, handle, store and restock with no risk of breaking the containers.

Consumers benefit from these attributes as well, as pouches take up less space at home, in the pantry, in the car, in a backpack, briefcase or purse. Pouches are easy to travel with to the gym, school or work and they’re easy to open and reclose.

To further feed the convenience that consumers crave, consumer-packaged goods companies are offering products in multiple sizes and formats: a large multiple-serving pouch for home use, and single-serve, pre-measured pouches for on-the-go consumption. These easily fit in the consumers’ pocket or bag, are easy to throw away, and they remove the effort of measuring.

Considering E-Commerce, Design & Sustainability

It’s no secret that consumers are buying more and more online. The grocery market, including fresh foods and supplements, is only growing as more consumers opt to shop from the comfort of their home.

In fact, according to Rakuten Intelligence, online vitamin and supplement sales are increasing 12% faster than the e-commerce average. Seventy-seven percent of vitamin and supplement sales are made through Amazon alone. With more and more sales coming from online, packagers must consider how their package is portrayed on a screen as well as on a shelf.

Whether purchased online or in store, a product’s packaging must stand out from the competition. The design should be eye-catching, informative and interesting. Digital package printing on a flexible package allows for 360 degrees of high-quality graphics, colors, and design. That means more room for supplement manufacturers to include nutritional information, branding, high impact colors, QR codes, and to share the company story.

Finally, packagers of any product are looking at sustainability as they make package material and process decisions. Consumers are aware, too, of how packaging plays a role in the conservation of resources. Nutritional supplements in pouches deliver the flexible packaging benefits of less waste, both in the disposal of the container and the production of the package. For more information on the sustainable benefits of flexible packaging, go here.

How Small to Medium Sized Supplement Businesses Can Stand Out

As more health concerns arise across all generations, and consumers look to make healthy and balanced nutrition a part of their routine, the supplement market will only grow. With this growth comes much opportunity to deliver more innovation to consumers, all while being cost-effective and maintaining a low inventory. How?

The manufacturing of flexible packaging uses less energy and fewer materials than pill bottles, blister packs and rigid containers, which makes them less expensive to produce, transport and store. Not only that, but digital printing enables small to medium-sized organizations to compete with large, more established organizations as short runs can be printed cost-effectively, as there are no plates or over-runs for inventory.

At ePac Flexible Packaging, we help Nutritional Supplement brands bring their packaging to market. Contact us today to get a quote.

CASE STUDY: Skratch Labs

After 5 years in business, Skratch Labs renamed its entire line of products and created entirely new packaging to make it easier for the customer to understand the product, as well as establish brand consistency. Although development took 10 months, this new product packaging offers many benefits:

  • Increased moisture barrier with enhanced zippers
  • Enhanced graphics and material
  • Single-serve packaging
  • Consistent structure of design cues and naming hierarchy
  • A brand refresh to focus on science and nature

Challenges Faced in the Redesign

Skratch Labs—a sports nutrition company based in Boulder, CO—had 35 SKUs involved in the redesign, including new products and products that were being reformulated. In the original design, the focus had been on the science of the product, highlighting the “Labs” in Skratch Labs, while only touching on the real fruit used as an ingredient. Today’s consumers are more focused on natural elements, which is why the new packaging had to reflect both science and nature. The goal of the new packaging was to make it easier for busy athletes to understand the product and be able to process the information on the packaging much quicker.

Consumer Feedback Inspired Design Attributes

Skratch Labs relied heavily on consumer feedback in the redesign. According Jeff Donaldson, VP of Marketing for Skratch: “It wasn’t only about the outside of the packaging, but about the usability and storage. Consumers wanted a more “grippy” zipper and better functionality out of the packaging, such as stand-up pouches and single-serve bars. We also wanted to make the design as refreshing and inspiring as we could. There was an opportunity to improve the appearance and functionality of our packaging, so Skratch Labs partnered with Zach Lee Designs and ePac Flexible Packaging, both local Boulder companies”.

Selecting the Right Partners

Donaldson highlights the decision to choose the right designer and packaging manufacturer in the redesign success. Added Donaldson: “The overall brand style was designed by Zach Lee, founder of Zach Lee Designs in Boulder, CO. Zach is not only a designer, but is a cyclist and lives the lifestyle of the core audience. By switching to ePac to manufacture the packaging, Skratch Labs has the ability to print digitally and use multiple textures on the design”.  The new product packaging includes several unique features that enhance the consumer experience, including:

  • Zippers that improve the moisture barrier
  • Packaging that’s easy to tear open
  • Contrasting soft-touch treatment with metallic patterns
  • Bold colors and imagery to make the flavor identifiers more visible

“We work with multiple packaging manufacturers because of the variety of SKUs, but the bulk of the packaging was manufactured by ePac, a company that offers digital printing, laminating, and pouch making. The biggest reason we selected ePac was their ability to print digitally and avoid the cost of plates on 35 SKUs, while having the ability to use multiple textures with the designs. This was a new relationship for Skratch Labs and one that resulted in expectations being exceeded.”

About ePac

ePac is built around state-of-the-art digital printing technology, focused on rapid turnaround time and short to medium run length jobs. ePac’s printing process is eco-friendly, uses no printing plates, and enables customers to print to demand, thus reducing inventory and obsolescence.

Redesigning a Colorado Sports Nutrition Company, Skratch Labs

Skratch Labs in Boulder, Colorado, launched in 2012 with the mission to produce natural sports drinks and energy bars free of artificial ingredients. By 2017, the startup was ready to take its brand to the next level and invest in a total packaging overhaul. Skratch Labs wanted to showcase the science behind its products and tell its whole story, which previous designs failed to do. The brand also aimed to improve the functionality and aesthetic of packaging.

The company turned to ePac Flexible Packaging to meet its goal. Skratch Labs was initially attracted to the converter because of its proximity, as it had recently opened facility in Boulder. Additionally, Skratch Labs was interested in ePac’s high-quality, short-run, and all-digital service delivery platform, and how it could help. The brand also wanted ePac as a partner for the ability to create multiple designs while avoiding plate charges. Ultimately, ePac exceeded Skratch’s expectations with unique packaging features that boosted both appearance and customer experience. ePac plans to further assist domestic brands in meeting their packaging needs with new locations in Houston, Miami, Chicago, and Los Angeles set to open in 2018.

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