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A Smaller, More Affordable Slider for Shredded Cheese Packaging

03/24/2017

Resealability on pouches of shredded cheese is a must-have feature. However, recent changes in package sizes have made it difficult for brands and manufacturers to feasibly use a slider system.

When Walmart reduced the width of its 8-oz. shredded cheese packaging standards to six inches, the rest of the industry followed. While this change could be considered an improvement for retailers looking to maximize shelf space, it had some drawbacks for brands and consumers.

The standardization of pouch width to six inches forced brands and private labels to abandon the use of sliders on 8-oz. packages. That’s because the reduced width resulted in a smaller useable opening. When combined with the design requirements of a typical slider system, it became difficult for consumers to get a hand inside the package and access the product.

Unfortunately, shredded cheese brands looking to add value and portray quality through premium packaging features had to change their preferred choice of closure, or risk losing business with Walmart.

Yet, this is a challenge that extends beyond cheese. Small-format standup pouches are becoming increasingly common and are popular among consumers. Many end-users also prefer the convenience of a slider. That’s why Fresh-Lock® Slider Zipper set out to design a solution.

Why the mini Slider is the Answer

We debuted the Reduced Scale (RS) Slider (now called the mini Slider) at PACK EXPO International in 2016 as a way to make slider applications user-friendly on small-format flexible packaging. Fresh-Lock® Slider Zipper engineered this innovation with shredded cheese in mind, but it also makes the implementation of sliders a viable option for other products, including snack foods and pet treats.

reduced scale slider

The mini Slider next to normal slider

With the mini Slider, brands can offer customers the practical value they expect with this type of closure while allowing for a useable opening space.

The image to the right shows a size comparison between the new mini Slider and a normal-sized Ergonomic Slider. The mini Slider has a similar functional design for ease of operation. However, since it’s a significantly smaller version, it is ideal for a variety of small or lightweight packages.

An added benefit of the mini Slider is that brands can apply a premium closure with a noticeably lower cost when compared to other slider systems. That’s because less material is used to create the closure, bringing down the cost and making this an affordable solution for resealability. It also provides industry-leading technology from Fresh-Lock® Slider Zipper.

“We are always listening to our customers and developing new products to satisfy their needs,” Brad Hansen, Presto® Products president, says. “There are opportunities in the marketplace that are not yet covered by our current product portfolio, and the new mini Slider will offer an appropriate, functional value proposition.”

We’re also working on cost-effective solutions for converters who want to apply the mini Slider during the pouch-making process. Our engineers are creating equipment designed to apply this product that will seamlessly integrate with current pouch-making systems. Contact us today to find out more.

Adding Value with Resealability

Fresh-Lock® provides other solutions for dairy and cheese brands, too. We’re proud to work with respected brands, like Sargento®, as well as a wide variety of private-label cheese manufacturers.

For example, our new DZ Double Zipper is catching on quickly as a convenient closure for natural sliced cheese.

“The new flanged double zipper offers an easy grip and superior opening-and-closing features for reliable performance. It eliminates consumer frustration that’s common with no-flange string zippers,” explains Presto® Products Specialty Commercial Director, Rick Custer.

Another consumer-friendly choice is the Click ‘N Lock Zipper, which provides sensory cues that give people confidence a package is securely closed.

While a zipper can provide the feature of resealability, some brands realize that choosing a slider can help position a product as a premium option. Consumers expect high-end products to come in superior packaging, and sliders offer extra convenience through ease of use.

Custer says adding the right closure is an excellent way to set yourself apart from the competition, especially when you make it part of your marketing.

“To help consumers understand the value of premium packaging, it is very important that the private label manufacturer or brand specifically calls attention to the upgraded closure directly on the package,” he says. “This will attract the consumer’s attention and aid in helping to differentiate the product on the shelf.”

If you have any questions about the mini Slider, our equipment for applying zippers and sliders to pouches, or any of our other flexible packaging technology, call 1-800-265-0750 or email us today.

Watch a video with more ideas on cheese packaging design

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