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.

The Smoothie Bombs are the Bomb With Their New Packaging

The Smoothie Bombs is the playful and nutritious Australia-based brand, operated by Mother & Daughter duo, Cinzia Cozzolino and Lana Hooper. Dedicated to helping people get healthier in a simple and delicious way, Cinzia, a trained nutritionist, created the original Smoothie Bomb as a solution for Lana’s fussy food preferences as a growing child. 

It evolved into a full-time business for Cinzia, the way many great ideas get their start. Realizing she had a product people wanted, Cinzia pursued her passion of turning her healthy, simple idea into a consumer business. 

Perfect Packaging, Perfect Timing

Managing every role that an entrepreneur must juggle to launch her business, she quickly turned to Alibaba to source her packaging needs. “I was a rookie to start with. I was looking at ways to find what I wanted, but I didn’t know the best way to do it. I chose that platform as the pricing was within my scope.” She was aware of the long 12 to 14 weeks lead times to have her product printed and delivered to Australia. She was also aware of the large minimum volumes she needed to get the price she needed.

Cinzia Cozzolino with ePac Australia’s General Manager, Jason Brown

Then one day out of the blue, she got a cold call from Jason Brown, ePac Australia’s Managing Director. Cinzia was excited to hear that ePac was printing locally in Australia and could match her overseas pricing. “That made me go ‘Yes!’ I wanted to buy from an Australian company, but when it comes to dollars and cents, I normally can’t.” Cinzia was skeptical of ePac’s ability to turn around her packaging needs within 3 weeks. “But they did, they pulled it off!”

With digital printing packaging, brands of all sizes are able to print small runs as they launch or relaunch products. This way they can order just what they need. And if a design or certification changes, brands can make a quick design change and do another production run without facing obsolescence. 

Trusted Partnership

From a trained nutritionist to where she is now, a respected brand owner, Cinzia is aware of the importance of packaging for her brand. “It has to stand out. Often when sourcing overseas, you have to really trust that the colors are right.” With ePac based in Melbourne, Australia, the opportunity to see her product roll directly off the production line was another opportunity that attracted Cinzia. That, and the team at ePac who she now sees as a valuable supplier committed to helping her business to grow. 

From their first trial order, to repeat orders that will support the launch of Cinzia’s new product launches in 2022, a trusted partnership has been formed. “When you are in business, you want to have good relations with who your suppliers are. It’s really tough running a business and you want to know that you’ve got partners that are on the same page. That you are supporting each other.”  

With digital printing, brands like The Smoothie Bombs can leverage short runs & flexibility to order just what they need and then order more as the brand grows. Plus, they can make changes on the fly, update the stand up package before each run & take advantage of variable data printing to create new and unique designs all year long. 

Curious about how ePac can help you launch or grow your brand? Call us today.

How 6AM RUN Uses Sample Packaging to Supercharge Their Growth

You don’t get Floyd Mayweather to promote just any brand. Mayweather is one of the greatest boxers ever to lace up a pair of gloves, and getting his co-sign means something. In the case of 6AM RUN, the brand got that coveted endorsement from one of the world’s greatest athletes. With over twenty thousand members of their Facebook group, it doesn’t look like the brand is slowing down any time soon. 

Solving the Runner’s Energy Dilemma

Started by passionate running enthusiast Hami Mahani in Wilmington, Delaware, Mahani had been looking for a way to run regularly as he was approaching his 40th birthday. After discussing it with his wife, he realized the best way to run an hour a day, without cutting into family and work time, was to run at 6am.

Hami Mahani, Founder and CEO, 6AM RUN, at the 50th New York Marathon, November 6, 2021.

But Mahani needed a way to boost his energy, as 6 in the morning is pretty early. There was nothing on the market that had that perfect combination of energy-boosting caffeine and healthy nutrients that didn’t give him that jittery feeling or left him feeling bloated. An entrepreneur at heart, he realized he had to create it himself.

The timing was perfect. Mahani had been looking for an alternative to his marketing consulting career. 

“I was a marketing freelancer,” Mahani said. “I worked as a contractor in the tire industry (I love cars). I would go work for these companies, get a six figure marketing job, set up their marketing, and then what would happen 4 months later I’d get laid off, because the marketing I did was set it and forget it.”

Mahani did the hard work of setting up complex marketing processes at companies, but worked his way out of the job. “I would set up their social media, Pay-Per-Click advertising, this and that, and then a college kid could run it.”

Mahani needed a more sustainable situation, and the running supplement was the perfect answer.

Started in 2018, 6 AM RUN took off, well, running. With a career in marketing, Mahani wanted to create a company that reflected his interests, one of which was running. 

The idea behind the 6AM RUN formula was to give runners the performance boost they needed, without the side effects. Their flagship product is the Marathon formula, a pre- and post-workout formula that “…was designed to help you run faster, longer and recover fast.” 

There’s also the Sprint formula, designed to give you that immediate energy boost “…to enhance energy, focus, power and stamina,” an immediate power surge, with no jitters or bloating. 

“We started in 2018, and by June, we’d already sold the first bottle. We didn’t have a massive budget or anything, we were doing $20 Facebook ads, but marketed toward a specific audience with the right keywords. Smart marketing is what kicked this whole thing off.” 

Mahani knew immediately that his brand had to be stronger and represent an ethos that was uniquely theirs. They knew their logo mattered, that it meant something psychologically. 

“We wanted an animal. There’s a kinship that humans feel with animals, but we knew it had to be the right animal. Everyone uses a lion. It’s an overused icon, same with the cheetah because of their speed. After thinking about it, we settled on a snow leopard, which is fast, agile, and can run in cooler temperatures. Studies have found runners perform better in cooler temperatures.”

The Sample Size Lightbulb Moment

After an experience at the Boston Marathon exhibition, Mahani had a breakthrough, “I’m talking to my friend Rob Miller, who’s a photographer and schoolteacher, not a marketing guy, and we noticed the guy next to us with a booth. He’s selling these elastic laces that you pop in your shoes. You never have to tie them again. His product is $5 and he’s selling them like crazy. I’m trying to sell a $49 product and we’re getting a few sales, but not like this guy.’

That’s when Mahani realized the power of sample sizes. “So, we created a bag that was affordable.” Mahani was selling 30 scoop bottles for $39.99, and a half size, 15 scoop bottle for $29.99. 

“But people loved the trial size at $1.99. Working with ePac is great because the price point makes it affordable for us, so we can lure new people without them taking a major hit.”

The Pandemic Sales Boost

The sample size idea was very serendipitous, because when COVID hit it’s what took the company to the next level.

“I remember It was a Friday, Friday, March 13th, 2020. My daughter came home from school, and the school tells us FYI, the kids aren’t coming back. We’re closed for two weeks, when this passes over, we’ll reopen. But her school never reopened.”

“COVID kept people out of the gyms and forced them to find new ways to get exercise. People put on the COVID 15. It’s like College 15.” said Mahani.

“The one thing people can control is their health. You can’t control the virus, but you can take ownership of your diet and fitness. And that’s what people did.” 

Mahani realized COVID removed that face-to-face selling situation. The sample size offering was perfect. “With COVID you couldn’t get a taste in a face-to-face situation anymore. The sample portions were a perfect solution to that.”

So what happened to 6AM RUN when COVID hit? The business exploded.

“That Saturday morning we sold two tins of product, then Sunday was a little more, and Monday was better. I told my wife ‘buckle up!’ Our site blew up!”

Flexible Packaging as Clickbait

Their first packaging were plain black bags sourced from Uline.com. “We used these 

Uline baggies which we machine packed and heat sealed,” added Mahani. “We were using Dymo label makers to create labels by hand and we stuck them on the side of the Uline bags. I’m buying $50 of dymo labels, $200 of uline bags, everyday.”

Then a friend suggested ePac. “He said, ‘If you want to manufacture professional-looking bags for smaller initial runs, ePac is the way to go,’ he told us.”

Since working with ePac, Mahani has been a fan of how our packaging looks and feels. Thanks to our sustainable, flexible packaging, many of our customers around the country, both big and small, are enthusiastic about what they get, especially at the cost. “I love that ePac is digital. If we want to do a short run of something, do a special release, ePac can handle it. All of our packaging is black, so you’re going to notice the label. It might not be an obvious thing, but people inherently notice quality, even if it’s just being pulled out of the box, how something feels.”

And their new packaging has been the star of 6AM RUN’s new advertising. “The ePac bags blow all of that basic stuff away. We saw an instant boost in sales because people were impressed by how the product looked. And our ePac trial bags are great as marketing material as well. Our ePac bags are at the forefront, they’re the clickbait for our best performing ads.” 

What’s Next for 6AM RUN?

For every entrepreneurial success story, there is never a happy ending – just milestones in this fascinating race to a constantly moving finish line. There are mishaps, failures, exhilaration, and incredible successes.

As this story was going to print, we just got word 6AM RUN has inked deals with GNC.com as well as Texas running franchise Fleet Feet. Hami Mahani is a man on a mission, and while he’s ecstatic with the wins, we know he’s not standing still. 

As more and more runners adopt 6 AM RUN, the brand only gets bigger and better, and ePac couldn’t be more excited to partner with such a consumer-minded company that genuinely wants the best for its people. We can’t wait to see what they do next. 

If you’re thinking about packaging for your brand, drop us a line. We’d love to see how ePac can help. 

Why You Should Choose Custom Vitamin & Supplement Packaging

This may come as no surprise, but the vitamin, supplement, and nutraceutical markets are on an impressive growth trajectory. 

Consumers have long been interested in healthy products like vitamins, energy supplements, protein, and other supplements. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a greater push for better overall health and wellness as consumers turn to products that provide preventive care, immune support, and an overall health boost.

In a recent report, ReportLinker stated that size the global supplements & nutrition packaging market was estimated at $20.52 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach $21.40 billion in 2021, and then $26.93 billion by 2026 (Supplements & Nutrition Packaging Market Research Report by (globenewswire.com).

In response to this growth, many manufacturers of nutritional products, nutraceuticals, and biomedicals are offering additional product options by taking advantage of some of the more convenient features of flexible vitamin packaging to improve the consumer experience and compete in this growing market. 

Why Flexible Packaging

Flexible packaging has long been a favorite of both manufacturers and consumers. One key differentiator is the environmental benefits of flexible over rigid plastic. 

Considering the complete lifecycle of packaging materials, flexible packaging requires less energy to manufacture and transport, reduces product waste, and sends less material to landfills.


Additionally, consumers prefer the convenience of flexible packaging― they’re lighter than their rigid counterparts, and they’re easier to handle, carry, and store. Plus, many are simple to open and stand up for easy scooping. Many of these containers are equipped with convenient reclose options to make the packaging resealable for convenience and extended product freshness. 

Most importantly, flexible packaging maintains vitamin, supplement, and nutraceutical potency by addressing specific needs such as:

  • Barriers that prevent extreme temperatures, oxygen, and moisture penetration to protect the product..
  • Resealable, child-proof zippers that keep the package sealed in between use and eliminate accidental ingestion. 
  • Spill-proof functionality to prevent powders or liquids from accidentally escaping. 


Considering these differentiators and benefits, it’s no wonder that flexible packaging is preferred by the segment. And by choosing custom flexible packaging, you can set your brand apart from the competition. 

What does ‘custom’ mean?

To create ‘custom’ bags, you work with a partner to create fully branded packaging with the exact size, shape, and functionality you specify, be it in single-serve, multi-use, or even family-sized pouches.

Options for custom supplement packaging include stand-up or lay flat pouches with digitally printed branding and graphics. As you look at creating the right pouch for your vitamin and supplement application, consider that you have many size options: 

  • If you’re looking for a single dose package, consider stick packs or single-serve tear packs that allow you to create either a sample or travel-sized sachet for portability, as part of your marketing, promotional or brand awareness efforts. Single-use packs are generally easy to open and work well with drink mixes, protein powders, vitamins, collagen, and even energy gels. 
  • You can develop stand up pouches in sizes ranging from a handful of doses to a large pack that offers multiple servings, with easy open, reseal capabilities that stand up for convenient storage and product use. They work well with a variety of vitamin mixes, hydration drinks, protein powders, and collagen supplements.

Partner with ePac

Partnering with ePac means you get a trusted packaging partner that can provide you with a variety of options for your nutraceutical, vitamin, or supplement package. We utilize digital printing technology that allows for short runs, fast turnaround, and even high-level perks like product authentication, track and trace, and variable data printing that allows you to print a unique design on each SKU in your print run. 

With variable data printing, you can add a unique, serialized QR code to each package that allows you to do several things: protect your products from counterfeiters and product authentication. Consumers are able to scan digitally printed codes on your packaging to verify that the product they’ve purchased is authentic, which can be necessary with the rise of third-party eCommerce platforms.

Then there’s track and trace applications. With full visibility into the product journey from inception to end-of-life, consumers have the ability to learn how and where their product was sourced, and brands can gain insights to strengthen their supply chains. 

And lastly, variable data printing allows you to boost package aesthetics. You can create fresh and interactive content to increase brand awareness and consumer engagement. And with digitally printed high-definition graphics, mosaic, and collage designs that differ for each SKU, plus features like glossy and soft-touch finishes, and spot embellishments, you’ll be able to create a totally unique and custom package to stand out from the competition.

Ready to get started? Call us today and let us walk you through how to create a custom pouch for your next vitamin, supplement, or nutraceutical product.  

Skratch Labs Gold

Going for the Gold: Skratch Labs Prints Limited Run Olympic Packaging

Since 2012, Skratch Labs, a Boulder, CO company, has been selling sports nutrition products designed for athletes to reach peak performance and health without sacrificing on taste.

This year, the brand is taking a new design approach with limited-edition gold packaging in honor of the Tokyo Olympics.

Olympics Inspired Packaging

The company, which sells hydration and recovery mixes, as well as energy bars and chews made from real ingredients, decided to revamp its packaging in 2017 to upgrade to fully custom, high-quality stand-up pouches from ePac to deliver a better customer user experience.As part of their continued collaboration with ePac, they created the special edition gold packaging for Skratch Labs’ sport hydration mix lemon & lime. The multi-serving, resealable stand-up pouch is all gold with a soft touch finish and a metallic appearance. It is signed by Olympic Gold Medalist Gwen Jorgensen, one of the brands’ sponsored athletes. 

When asked about the inspiration and motivation behind the new design, Elliot Freeman, VP, Marketing at Skratch Labs, said it was all about enthusiasm for the games. He said the brand is ready to bring some hype to sports fans everywhere after the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic put a freeze on sports, especially with the postponement of the 2020 Olympics. 

“This past year has been so different. We are so excited to see top athletes come back, and we wanted to share that excitement with our fans and customers,” stated Freeman. “We want to rally some excitement around some of the best athletes in the world getting back to the stage.” 

The Digital Printing Difference

The execution of the limited-edition package was only a few months in the making. Skratch Labs was able to add the limited run to an existing order, which was only possible because of ePac’s innovative digital printing technology.

“We have worked with them [ePac] a ton and have a great relationship with them. Essentially, we had the idea to do a short run of this limited-edition package and because they have the capability, we added it on to an existing run. We did not need a 10,000-bag commitment. This allows us to do more fun ideas,” asserted Freeman. 

With digital printing, there are never any plates, and brands of all sizes can take advantage of short runs for seasonal and promotional packaging.

“As a marketer, having the capability to do short runs of packaging allows us to bring more ideas to market with less risk. We do seasonal flavors, design changes…great packaging isn’t a hurdle with something like that. If we want to test a new flavor or experiment, it’s convenient that the packaging isn’t a hurdle,” said Freeman. 

This isn’t the brand’s first time utilizing ePac’s innovative digital printing technology to create aesthetically pleasing and unique packaging. In 2019, as an official sponsor of Team EF Education First Pro Cycling, Skratch Labs created limited-edition pouches for its hydration mix that resembled the team’s pink argyle jerseys. 

Each pouch featured pink and blue color-shifting patterns and designs thanks to variable data printing and mosaic print technology. The entire print run of all 10,000 pouches featured a distinctive design, exclusive to that specific pouch. 

“We have done a couple of limited-edition packages in the past, and working with ePac enables us to do that because we can do short runs and not pay for plate fees,” added Freeman.

Variable data printing (VDP) is only possible using digital print technology. Brands are able to create customized and personalized designs on each package. Each of the thousands of hydration mix packages in an order can have a unique design without slowing down printing. The technology also allows for the ability to guard against counterfeiting, provide track and trace, drive digital consumer engagement, and enhance product shelf presence.

“Design is so important, especially for a brand like ours with passionate fans that love our products. Great design helps to elevate the meaning of our brand and allows us to do something different than grocery store brands,” concluded Freeman. 

Looking for a better way to create customized packaging?

ePac is built around state-of-the-art digital printing technology, with a focus on fast turnaround times and short to medium runs. 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. 

Call us today to see how we can help you with your next project!

Amvor takes control of its packaging with digitally printed pouches

Amvor Health & Wellbeing entered the health nutritional market with its range of vitamins and supplements four years ago when founder, Amrik Singh, decided to take matters into his own hands. Rather than relying on prescribed medications to improve his health, he wanted to find supplements that could help him take control of his life.  

“I realised that one way or another I had always wanted to help others who just wanted to live well and not get stuck with medications,” says Amrik. “But when I looked at what was out there, I found that although there’s a raft of vitamins and supplements, there just wasn’t what I required nor had the convenience I wanted.” 

Launching new products into a highly competitive market is a challenge, but Amrik and the Amvor team knew that they could offer something better in terms of quality and also deliver a more cost-effective solution. The result was a product line that comprises seven types of supplements and one testosterone booster, all made in the West Midlands, UK, with the finest ingredients sourced from all over the globe.

“I wanted the quality and performance of the vitamins and supplements to have the best chance of helping, without customers having to pay over the top prices. Similar products to what we sell are up to three times the price, while many others are just an inferior quality and dosage,” he explained.

He added, “We now have a really great range, which includes an excellent testosterone booster. Our range is suitable for anyone over 18, and we’ve formulated our products with premium quality active ingredients combined with a high performing dosage efficacy to ensure you get what’s on the label.”

Direct line to top quality packaging

When it came to specifying the packaging for Amvor Health & Wellbeing’s new line of health supplements, the team came up against a few obstacles. The family-run startup wanted the pouches to convey the high quality of the ingredients but just couldn’t find a supplier that could meet their criteria for short runs coupled with top quality print and finishing. 

After researching the market, they found that the minimum order quantities (MOQs) varied from supplier to supplier, as did the print quality. None of them fit with the Amvor business model until Amrik discovered ePac UK Silverstone during a web search and found that he could call them directly and speak to one of their packaging experts on the phone, rather than playing email tennis with a salesperson.  

“The biggest problem for us was the size of the pouches, as what we needed weren’t a standard size,” says Amrik. “However, all our issues were resolved when I had my first call with ePac. Then when I got a sample, I immediately realised that the material and the print quality were the best I had come across, plus I really liked the way things were done. That was it, we had found our packaging supplier!”

Digital printing makes life simple

Since its launch, ePac UK Silverstone has quickly made a name for itself as a packaging company with a difference. Customers come from many different markets and in many different sizes, but all have one thing in common: they want high quality, impactful supplement packaging that stands out on shelf or online, and as a result elevate their branding. They need flexibility, fast delivery and an understanding partner that can accommodate changes to design, print run and number of SKUs.

The technology that fulfils all those demands is the same for all customers, namely digital printing. ePac UK is leveraging the power of HP Indigo 20000 Digital Presses in combination with state-of-the-art pouch-making machinery to offer a multitude of options. This was exactly what Amvor Health & Wellbeing needed to get to market, and Amrik wasted no time in putting in his order for stand up pouches to be printed and converted at the Silverstone facility.

“I was already aware of the benefits of digital print, but it was how ePac explained the process and made it so simple, plus the fail safe for me to keep checking everything before the pouches were made, that really made the difference,” said Amrik.

Choosing a local partner is another major plus for a startup, not only because it makes delivery super-fast, but also because they know the market you are trading in and can advise on any of the packaging issues that you might come up against.

Solving the packaging headache with custom pouches

In total, eight SKUs were produced by ePac, all packed in state-of-the-art stand up pouches for a professional look and feel that can rival any of the big, established brands. They include Apple Cider Vinegar, Korean Ginseng, Turmeric with Black Pepper, Vitamin D3, Vitamin B Complex, Apple Cider Vinegar Complex, Zinc, and the 19 Alpha Blue Testosterone Booster. 

The material chosen for the pouches was a high-end soft-touch PET with press-to-close zippers and excellent barrier properties to keep the contents safe and dry. Amvor also required a bespoke size for the products, with the best print and material selection. “But,” said Amrik, “that was not a problem. ePac met all our needs and they did it without any fuss, so we knew we were onto a good thing and the result is absolutely fantastic!”

Nick Monk, managing partner at ePac UK Silverstone said, “Starting up a new business is stressful enough without the packaging turning into a major headache. We are always at the end of the phone ready to guide you through the whole process to find the format that best fits your purpose. And it doesn’t stop there: we are a true partner, and our mission is simply to help you grow with our custom-printed flexible packaging.”

Once the design has been decided, the pouches take less than 15 days to be produced, saving weeks if not months compared to traditional workflows. Amrik concluded, “Our products are ready in an instant, they look so good, and we have the correct material to ensure the safety of our products from damage and their performance quality. What more could we want?”

Are you looking to get your products into stand-up pouches with photo-quality print in bright, clear colours, but finding it difficult due to high minimum order quantities? Get in touch today to hear how we can help you.

Scotty’s Everyday Finds Big Success with Digital Printing

Scotty’s Everyday is a new keto and gluten-free bread mix brand out of San Diego, California. Scotty’s is all about bringing the familiar taste of bread and the joy of baking back to people with keto or gluten-free needs. The brand officially launched in late December 2020 and is sold on Amazon and their website scottyseveryday.com

Beginning of a Brand

After over 30 years as a food scientist in the product development space for better-for-you brands, Scott Sturgill, Co-Founder of Scotty’s Everyday, decided the time was right to create his own product.

When asked about why he chose to launch a keto bread mix during a global pandemic, Sturgill said it came down to the right opportunity at the right time.

“We saw an opportunity,” said Sturgill. “A couple things were happening. With COVID-19 and people staying home, a new trend was emerging of people getting back in the kitchen, baking and experimenting. Baking at home really took off, and the most popular item to bake was bread.”

Sturgill explained that as the pandemic progressed, people began looking for better ways to make their own healthy food and many started to experiment with different diet lifestyles. 

“Keto has been a trend that has been growing, and certainly even during the pandemic,” said Sturgill. “But the two trends didn’t go together. We thought, ‘Is there a way to put them together?’”

A Bread Mix is Born

While it was a major challenge to create a keto friendly bread mix that was also gluten-free, easy to make that actually tasted delicious, Sturgill says he was up for the task. 

“We found there were keto bread mixes out there, but they weren’t great, and they contained either nuts or vital wheat gluten. I tried many different recipes for months and finally created a keto-friendly, zero-net-carb bread mix with the aroma and texture of fresh baked bread,” said Sturgill.

The result of his hard work is a bread mix that is easy for the user to prepare. 

Digital Printing for Baking Mix Packaging

While creating the right recipe was a challenge, finding the right printer for the flexible stand-up bread mix pouches was easy. Sturgill and his partner both had experience working with ePac and knew of the benefits of digital printing. 

“Digital printing was really important to us. As a new brand, we had to learn how to be nimble and flexible. We didn’t want to invest in a heavy inventory of printing plates that we would have to change,” said Sturgill.

With digital printing, brands no longer need plates, and are not forced into placing a massive order. As designs are updated, or recipes change, brands can change their packaging quickly and easily.  

“Digital is the way for us to remain flexible as we evolve, or we get consumer feedback. We can make changes on the fly. We love the flexibility of digital printing!” said Sturgill.

After originally ordering their first run from ePac’s Los Angeles office, the digital printer suggested they move to their Wisconsin plant since it was closer to the brand’s co-packer. This helped Scotty’s to have a faster turnaround and save money on shipping freight. 

“ePac has been great. We will continue to use digital printing as we grow and evolve,” said Sturgill. “We like the better lead times and small runs. We aren’t forced into ordering tens of thousands of packages. Plus, already we have made changes to many back-of-bags items like instructions and callouts, and it’s so easy to get that changed with ePac.” 

Baking Mix Bags

Today, Scotty’s Everyday has two SKUS: the original keto bread mix and the keto pizza crust mix. They are both sold in convenient stand up pouches from ePac. The pouches feature a matte finish for a premium look with minimalist graphics that are clean, modern, and keep the keto selling point front and center. 

The original bread mix is currently the #1 bestselling bread mix on Amazon, a standing that the company established only six weeks after launch.  The success was only possible because the brand’s delicious product is in a great package that speaks to a lot of people following a Keto, low carb, or gluten-free, lifestyle. 

“You can have the best product but if you don’t have the right package, right branding, and right message, consumers won’t put it in their cart,” said Sturgill.

Dry Food Packaging Supplies Partner

Are you looking to make a switch from your package printer? Ready to hear what digital printing can do for your brand’s baked goods packaging? With ePac, you’ll enjoy the ability to print short runs and a fast turnaround, and most importantly work with experts in the field to help you determine the right film for any project. Call us today for a free quote. 

Printed Pouches Deliver For Plant Protein Powder Entrepreneur

Spotting a problem and solving it through innovation is one of Aaron Siwoku’s many strengths. The former tech entrepreneur founded health nutrition brand The Honest Earth to develop next-generation plant-based protein powders when he couldn’t find a satisfying alternative to whey protein. 

Wanting to bring the new products to market in high-quality packaging that matched his brand standards and sustainability goals, Aaron has partnered with flexible packaging specialist ePac UK Silverstone.

Room For Improvement

As a multi-sports athlete, Aaron has come across many types of nutritional supplements, and he has been using plant-based protein powders before and after workouts for over 10 years. His dream was to create his own range of products completely free of dairy and soy that didn’t contain any artificial additives or preservatives, but instead included other natural ingredients that would supplement the plant protein. 

“Athletes and other people with active lifestyles are becoming more aware of the benefits of reducing or eliminating dairy, and they are realising how that translates into greater feelings of wellbeing and health,” he says.

While there were already products on the market with those same attributes, none really hit the spot. Aaron wanted to offer a more sophisticated and better-tasting alternative to help optimise the benefits to the human body and reach higher workout and lifestyle goals. 

He says, “Since I started to fuel my body with plant protein instead of whey, I have found some ‘ok’ plant protein powders out there, but I have always felt there was room for improvement. Our new plant-based performance protein has less than 10 ingredients and is probably the first of its kind that doesn’t taste like sand mixed with water!”

Premium Packaging For Premium Product

Having teamed up with his sister to found The Honest Earth, Aaron set about creating his advanced formula, plant-based protein powders. To partly finance the venture and garner support, he set up a crowd-funding campaign on the Kickstarter platform. This was a great success raising over $10,000 and the company launched in May 2020.

“Having spent nine months researching, creating, sampling and testing this formula, it was super exciting to finally launch the company and get this new product into people’s hands,” says Aaron. 

The result of all the hard work is a high-quality blend of golden pea protein isolate that contains all nine amino acids with added digestive enzymes and a black pepper extract, called Bioperine, for easy digestion and absorption. The powder has great mixability and comes in three delicious flavours – Raw Cacao, Vanilla Coconut and Just Natural.

As the idea slowly became reality, thoughts naturally turned to branding and packaging. Aaron already knew that he needed to take advantage of digital print technology to best achieve his vision, remain agile and create maximum impact.

“We needed short lead times, but high-quality packaging. Our Honest Earth plant-based protein formula is a premium product and the packaging needed to reflect that,” explains Aaron. 

Digital Print Production Does the Job

ePac UK Silverstone is a full-service provider that works with brands of all sizes. The company delivers flexible packaging products, such as high-quality roll stock and pouches, printed on its HP Indigo 20000 digital presses and converted using class-leading finishing equipment. 

The company has a special affinity with start-ups and excels at helping them get to market fast with premium packaging delivered in just 10–15 business days, once artwork has been approved. The mix of low minimum orders, no printing plates costs and the ability to print multiple SKUs in one print run enables even the smallest business to burst onto the market with fantastic looking products that rival those of big global manufacturers.

“I first came across ePac after being let down an overseas supplier,” says Aaron, “and after speaking to Nick, I felt comfortable that the level of care and professionalism at ePac was going to meet my specific requirements.”

Aware of the flexibility digital print could give him, Aaron needed no convincing that he should choose to go down that route. “As a new brand, I knew that we would be adjusting our formula slightly on the first few runs, so we needed a solution that would allow us to change the information on pack without incurring huge costs,” he says. 

The protein powder packaging design format chosen for Honest Earth’s plant-based protein powders was stand-up pouches. Fully printed, they are ideal for maximising brand impact and present a truly professional look. And with lots of nutritional information needed to go on the protein powder packaging bags, having the whole surface available for decoration, rather than just a small label, is another big plus.

Meeting of Minds

ePac has a strong sustainability ethos – its digital printing platform uses less energy, produces less waste and has a smaller carbon footprint than conventional printing technology. Customers can order on-demand, which helps keep obsolete packaging out of the landfill and this really resonated with Aaron: “We are very eco-conscious and I didn’t want to be subjected to huge MOQs and then end up with packaging wasted, so the ability to do smaller runs per flavour profile was a huge plus point when it came to be working with ePac.”

Having the protein powder pouches produced by a UK-based company was another key factor in the choice of supplier. “ePac matched my brand standards, which I felt could we could elevate further by not only making our product in the UK, but also by having the packaging made on home soil at ePac’s new Silverstone facility,” he explains.

As he gets ready for launch, Aaron sums up his experience with ePac UK Silverstone: “They have a fantastic team, make quality products and they bend over backwards to stick to lead times. Without a doubt, ePac will be our long-term packaging partner and we explore more opportunities.”

“It has been a privilege to support The Honest Earth and work with Aaron to bring his vision to market,” says Nick Monk, Sales Director UK & Ireland and Managing Partner of ePac UK Silverstone. “This is a great example of how locally-produced digital print combined with our flexible packaging expertise offers the perfect solution for new innovative brands. We look forward to continuing the partnership with Aaron as he continues to grow his company.”

Do you want to make a big impact with professional-looking nutritional supplement packaging  produced by a company with a strong sustainability ethos? Get in touch today to hear how we can help you.

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 colour-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 colours 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 flavours 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 flavours, 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!