Since its establishment, Liqui-Box has been at the forefront of bag-in-box packaging. Beverage Packaging Innovation talks to Paul Kase, vice-president of marketing and strategy at the company, about how it is continuing that legacy of research and development to provide efficient and sustainable liquid packaging solutions for its customers.
If Paul Kase's 11 years at Liqui-Box have taught him anything, it's that success doesn't come from obvious places.
"Our business is led by a seasoned management team with deep industry experience and a long track record of success," he says. "Each one has experience in areas like sales and marketing, finance, product development and packaging. With so much cross-functional experience, we've really fostered a culture of teamwork, accountability and innovation."
Liqui-Box has been a market leader in the segment since pioneering the bag-in-box and flexible-pouch packaging technologies that make the industry what it is today. As the company's vice-president of marketing and strategy, Kase knows how important it is to continue that tradition of innovation to stay ahead in the marketplace.
"We're always developing new designs and functionality to meet our customers' needs," he explains. "We offer a wide range of aseptic and non-aseptic fitmented bags and pouches ranging from 180ml to 370gal. We also developed and patented evacuation technology that can extract over 99% of the liquid out of the bag."
It is in aseptic packaging that Liqui-Box has seen the greatest increase in demand among its product line. "It's largely down to the fact that no cold chain is required to store or transport these goods, [making them] an especially popular solution throughout Latin America and parts of the US," says Kase. "Some of the additional demand that we're seeing is derived from a large part of our customer base adopting healthier lifestyles. Aseptic packaging, after all, is primarily used to house liquid products, where there's no need for preservatives or chemicals."
"We're also continuously trying to lightweight our bags and pouches in order to reduce the amount of materials expended in production and lessen the burden on our environment," Kase adds. "We have a non-landfill mentality at our facilities that prompts us to continuously evaluate green technologies for applicability within our products. The nature of our complete product line is at the height of environmental sustainability."
This dedication to efficiency and responsiveness to customer needs has led Liqui-Box to develop a brand new solution for water packaging and dispensing. "We've launched our new Aquapur bag-in-box water package where our team has perfected a multilayer construction film that delivers a robust outside layer and an interior contact layer that's fully optimised for packaging water and preserving its natural taste," explains Kase. "It ensures the superior-quality product preservation - a tricky goal to overcome without affecting the taste of the water. Yet, our work has led to a formulation that has minimal impact on the taste of the water, something that truly sets it apart from other such products in the marketplace."
This was only made possible through the company's sustained commitment to its in-house R&D programme.
"Recently, we've augmented and enhanced the team's personnel and its equipment," says Kase. "Last year, we opened up a new research facility with full-service bag and pouch-testing equipment in Ashland, Ohio. We've also invested in 3D prototyping capabilities that allow us to decrease our cycle time on new fitment, connector and tap developments."
It has led the company to be stringent in its search for partners in the liquid packaging industry. Only those companies that have adopted the same ethos as Liqui-Box on the importance of modern equipment and continual innovation find a place in the corporation's supply chain.
"It's important to us, as is the supplier having the availability of resources and pilot equipment so that we can run tests and continue to adapt as the market changes," says Kase.
The advantages of working with Liqui-Box, according to Kase, come back to one factor: experience.
"We're always working on what the customer needs in the most efficient and effective manner possible," he says. "Our cross-functional expertise and knowledge help us drive that success, and keep us integrated at the cutting edge of the marketplace - and that allows us to adapt to continued developments in the liquid packaging sector with the tremendous speed that our customers deserve."