Single-Serve Cap™ – A New Packaging Format

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Our world is moving towards a quick and convenient way of living. But for this quick and convenient way of living the consumer is setting quite a range of requirements as condition for the products he intends to consume. Consequently packaging design has to follow suite.
Whatever packaging you design it has to convey “contemporary convenience and relevance for an increasing well-informed and health-seeking consumer in the on-the-go, in other words in the snack category”.
Isn’t that a “contradictio in terminis”, as common wisdom has it that snacking is a deleterious activity, eroding healthy eating habits?  And that, calories consumed during snack times are empty at best, crowding out healthier food portions that might be consumed during regular meals?

Market research of the NPD Group in Chicago tells us, that just the opposite is true and that, consumers following the healthiest diets snack twice as often as those with less healthy diets. The fastest growing behaviour is the morning snack time, the one most driven by healthy nutrition attitudes. Foods with a better-for-you positioning are particularly popular with this group, states the report.

130219-CapOnBottle W320 100dpiWith the number of single-person households increasing rapidly and being busier than ever before and always on-the-go, this frantic consumer lifestyle, urge food and beverage manufacturers to set their sights on the single-serve portion market.

With, according to Mintel, the definition of “meal” changing, consumers have become less regimented in their consumption patterns and consume nearly any type of food or drink at any time of day, causing the definition of ‘mealtime’ to become blurry.

This “blurriness” is overly exposed in the supermarkets, where food manufacturers fill the shelves with a range of ever-more creative single-serve food products. In this overwhelming clutter and choice, purchase decisions are driven primarily by what people see or miss to see. Thus, visual equities, including unique new usage occasions, ownable shapes, colours, and icons, are more important than ever to help shoppers navigate the expanding aisles.

Furthermore delivery systems also play an important role in food and drinks and ensure a more efficacious product. Developing more advanced delivery systems enhances the on-the-go experience of the consumer.

And that brings us to the on-the-go market. If you look at the snacking occasions, morning versus afternoon versus evening snacking, those occasions are driven by different motivations and very different choices. The fastest growing behaviour is the morning snack time, the one most driven by healthy nutrition attitudes.
And that’s logic when you look at how many times we have to run without having time to consume an old-fashioned breakfast. Consequently breakfast snacking on-the-go often is a “wet” experience consisting of a fortified, nutritional beverage or as one company defines it: It’s the ultimate morning “pick-me-up” that gets you started.

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Driven by the healthy nutrition requirements of the consumer, this “wet” breakfast “pick-me-up” category runs from fortified vitamin, flavoured beverages to teas and cold coffee and any combination (even weight loss) in between, with pro/pre-biotic milk formula in high demand, as well as probiotic juices. Consequently the shelves are overloaded with bottles and cans, with little or no differentiation in shape and design. The creativity sits in the product, but the consumer can’t see that, as they all just look like coloured waters.

And that brings us to a new packaging format, the Single-Serve Cap, setting a packaging category of its own. Let’s have a look at the single-serve cap first, before we outline its uniqueness in the market.

The Single-Serve Cap
On the face of it the Single-Serve Cap™ of the Californian company Tap-The-Cap looks like any other dispensing cap as it has to dispense a supplement (vitamins, flavours, nutrients) through a bottle neck opening and into the bottle. But it is much more than the dispensing caps as we know them.
One of the most intriguing features of the Single-Serve Cap is its configuration to automatically connect to bottle necks with a circumference between 26mm-32mm. That translates into all known water bottles and brands in the market worldwide.

And as, generally speaking, bottled water is typically sold at lower price points, companies creating a nutraceutical supplement don’t have to design and manufacture a bottle and ship heavy loads of water everywhere. They just sell the Single-Serve Cap™ holding the nutraceutical and profit from the fact that the consumer can consume its own preferred water brand, buying it around the corner. Even the bottle of premium water, positioned as a higher-end product, can be accommodated by the Single-Serve Cap.
And what do you think of a cocktail shot with a tropical flavour. Buy a Single-Serve Cap with the cocktail shot, a bottle of juice and enjoy your freshly made tropical cocktail on-the-go.

A huge improvement for all consumers, who like to add “value” to their own preferred water or juice brand! But there is much more, as I said before, the Single-Serve Cap is a category of its own, it is a unique single-serve solution with a wide range of potential applications.
Let’s have a look at a market segment nobody has thought about before.

130219-GreenCap W320 100dpiIn the medical world, hospitals, nursing homes and similar institutions where time is money and labour saving of utmost importance, it’s well known that nurses spend a lot of time in distributing medicines, as they often come as pill or capsule, needing a glass of water to dissolve and help the elderly to drink. All time consuming. What’s simpler than use a Single-Serve Cap filled with the exact quantity of medicine, a reusable PET or glass bottle, and plug the Single-Serve Cap on top, shake and let the patient quietly drink the solution in time (as if it were a baby bottle).
The nurse can spend her time doing other more important jobs.

There is another advantage
In tablet form, often, medicines pose a concentrated assault upon the stomach when swallowed. Research shows that people would rather prefer to drink their supplements, pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals than taking a pill or capsule, especially when it comes to children and the elderly. Furthermore medicines rapidly degrade in an aqueous solution. Thus, if one is to gain the maximum benefit, it must remain in a dry form immediately prior to ingestion.

On top of this, it is generally claimed that pills and capsules have a very short window of absorption when traveling through the body.  Just the intake of a glass of water, after the intake of a pill, will, if the patient is fortunate, absorb 10-15% of the medicine. Liquid absorption is much higher: around 80-90%.

130219-Single Serve ad 320x361 100dpiIn other words the Single-Serve Cap™ isn’t only a potential time-saver in the hospital world, but the patient also benefits from a better medicine intake.

We have seen that the Single-Serve Cap has a wide range of applications and with a bit of imagination every company can see one of its products in a Single-Serve Cap to conquer the growing on-the-go market.

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(This is a sponsored article)

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