Branding Beat - Cut Through the Noise

The Power of Pouch Packaging: Drink Pouches Are Making a Comeback

If you were a kid growing up during the nineties or if you had a kid during this time, then you probably vividly recall how important it was to pack a Capri-Sun at lunch. All the cool kids sipped and slurped that delicious fruit flavored juice drink blend out of those awesome pouches and then played with the empty pouch when they were done — it’s okay to admit you did it, too.

If you’re taking a trip down memory lane, then great news for those of you out there who have noticed a lack of pouches filled with tasty drinks in your life. Pouches are coming back and are being incorporated into all age groups from toddlers to adults. The year of the pouch is upon us, so get ready!


Happy, smiling toddlers are always better than sad, crying ones

Gerber, a major baby food brand and all-around ‘baby’ company features Graduates Grabbers which are squeezable pouches filled with fruit or fruit & veggie combos. They’re great for toddlers because it’s easy for them to feed themselves (who hasn’t heard a toddler some time in their life say, “NO! I wanna do it!”?) and they’re easy to throw in a diaper bag or purse and go.

Parents love that their little one is eating something delicious and nutritious and the kids are excited they can do something without an adult needing to do it for them. Sounds like a quiet car ride instead of one filled with a child screaming about being hungry.


The company that has become synonymous with soup has been trying to attract the millennial group to their brand with a new and unique product: Campbell’s Go. These pouches are filled with soup and they were created to win over this sometimes tricky age group in the soup market.

Pouches keep Mother Nature alive and thriving!

How are pouches going to win them over? One of the major concerns this generation has is the environment. According to editorial director of Packaging Digest, John Kalkowski, [pouches] reduce the amount of materials that are required for packaging,” which is something environmentally-conscious consumers will applaud.

Another reason why marketers are a-okay with this new packaging design is that pouches “also gives you a pretty good surface for advertising, for marketing the product.” Hmm, reduces materials used while still proving ample advertising space? Seems like a match made in packaging heaven! Oh yes, it does exist.

Why the sudden popularity?

Alcohol marketers have discovered that consumers seem to enjoy the ‘pick up and go’ mentality of this packaging. Arbor Mist and Smirnoff saw the sales of their pouched beverages jump 153% to over $150 million in the financial year ending June 23, according to Nielsen and is only expected to continue to grow.

“So, who wants to make me a drink?” (crickets chirping)

Consumers love them because a single-serve 10-ounce pouch retails for around $1.99, which means they’re a favorite among penny-pinchers. This style of packaging also saves the consumer time being the party “bartender”. Buy a couple of these pouches for a get-together and instead of having to make a trip to the liquor store, a trip to the grocery store, and dirtying up your blender, you can rip ‘em open and pour into a glass. Bing. Bang. Boom. Done.

Who’s jumping on/off the bandwagon?

  • Arbor Mist rolled out frozen wine cocktails and will soon add the fast-growing Moscato variety to their product offerings
  • Brown-Forman, maker of Jack Daniel’s, “tried this packaging once with Tropical Freezes in 1995 and the product was not a success,” said a spokesman. They were burned once and have no plans to jump again in the pouch pool. Perhaps consumers weren’t ready for this style of packaging? I think another try wouldn’t hurt.

Labor Day has come and gone and Autumn is just a few weeks away, but whether you’re giving your toddler a snack, heating up some soup for lunch or catching up with friends after a long day of work, pouches are there and ready to be ripped open and enjoyed!

What do you think of this latest packaging craze — are you on board? What other food or drink would you like to see in pouch form? Did you have a favorite flavor of Capri-Sun? Sound off below!

Header Picture Credit: kendalkinggroup.


Bubba is the Quality Logo Products mascot. He may have started out as "just a stress ball," but he's come a long way since the company's launch in 2003. Bubba has been immortalized in numerous vector artwork designs for internal and external promotions, and you can see him change outfits on the Quality Logo Products homepage whenever a holiday rolls around. Oh, and he thinks pants are for the birds. You can connect with Bubba on


  1. Jill Tooley

    I’ll drink anything out of a pouch. I’m not sure why! It makes me feel like a kid again. 🙂

    You know, any brand could jump on this trend with roll-up water bottles. I don’t know how well they’d work for hot drinks, but any kind of cold drink would work well!

    Great writeup, Amy! I’ll be on the lookout for pouches the next time I go to the store. It’ll be like playing I Spy, marketing-style!

    • Amy Swanson

      Haha! I know exactly what you mean about feeling like a kid drinking from a pouch. It’s fun for some reason, I don’t know why but it is.

      Glad you liked the post Jill, and I love your idea of “I Spy- Marketing Style”! Totally gonna get on the bandwagon on that game 😉

  2. Mandy Kilinskis

    I haven’t drunk anything out of a pouch in a while, but I certainly wouldn’t hesitate to try it. (Side note: those Arbor Mist frozen wine cocktails sound delicious). Less time and less materials to package? That’s great!

    Gogurt has been making use of the pouch for years. I’d love to see applesauce do the same. No matter how much you try to scrape the inside of those little cups, some of the applesauce always escapes you! 🙁

    • Amy Swanson

      Excellent idea with applesauce companies getting on the pouch wagon (Mott’s are you listening?!). Same idea could be applied to pudding as well for the same reasons, those tricky nooks and crannies that no spoon can get into 🙁

      I’m thinking at the next after-work QLP event we should “try out” those Arbor Mist frozen wine cocktails. Y’know, for the good of the blog. Right? Haha!

  3. Eric

    As a camper, these also would seem a lot simpler to pack, and have a smaller imprint when put in a trash bag. Double bonus!

    • Amy Swanson

      Haha, double bonus indeed, Eric! They’d certainly take up less space in a cooler too and you freeze them and use them as an ice pack as well.

      I think we’re up to a quadruple bonus?

      • Eric

        YUSS! Major points for ingenuity, Amy!

  4. Rachel

    Having looked into those Arbor Mist frozen cocktail pouches now that you mention them … um, those sound crazy delicious. Count me in! I am all about drinks in pouches, though I’ve always been hesitant about stuff like Gogurt … I don’t know, something about eating from those packages freaks me out — kind of like licking the lid of a pudding cup freaks me out. But I’m weird, haha. 🙂

    I would have never thought of pouch packaging as its own pseudo-industry — thanks for giving us a rundown, Amy! Interesting stuff. 🙂

    • Amy Swanson

      Haha, those Arbor Mist frozen cocktail pouches do sound “crazy delicious”. I mentioned to Mandy above that they should be sampled at the next after-work event 😉

      As a kid I loved Gogurt, but I can understand how some people may not like them. Do they still make them? I’m so outta the loop on what the kids are packing in their lunches nowadays…

      I’m glad you found this post interesting, Rachel. Learning about packaging is certainly the extreme form of marketing, but it’s still important 🙂

  5. Jenna Markowski

    This is a very interesting trend, Amy! As a kid I loved juice pouches, but not the Capri Sun brand. I always thought knock-off brands of “fruit flavored juice drink blend” tasted better! I don’t know if it’s just a coincidence or if it’s a direct correlation, but the fact that us 90s kids are now old enough to drink alcohol could have something to do with the alcoholic beverage in a pouch’s popularity!

    I don’t know if I could stomach soup in a pouch. Just thinking about it gives me the heebie jeebies. However, I am on board with Mandy’s motion for apple sauce pouches! 🙂

    • Amy Swanson

      That’s very true, Jenna about millennials who loved Capri Sun as kids now want to relive those days with a more “adult” beverage. I know that’s the case for me at least…

      I haven’t checked out Campbell’s idea yet in person, but I’m with you- sounds weird.

      All the apple sauce!!

  6. Craig Cordes

    Great Article! Have you tried Cordina? We were out way before Arbor Mist. Cheers!

Leave a Comment

Copyright 2003 - 2015 Quality Logo Products, Inc., Registration No. TX7-524-201. All Rights Reserved.