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Innovation Opportunities

Snack Densification

RFI-170118

This opportunity is closed

Xinova seeks the disclosure of inventions for the design of densely packaged snacks.

The cost of a snack product is highly dependent on its packaging. Fragile snacks with irregular shapes are typically packaged in flexible, gas-filled bags. While this type of packaging exclusively uses inexpensive materials and is efficient for high speed filling, the large volume of air reduces the efficiency of shipping and storing the filled bag. 

Additionally, air-filled flexible packaging solutions create excess dead space, allow for the settling of the snacks over time, and result in unavoidable damage to the product before reaching the consumer.

There are some notable designs for densely packaged snacks. For example, some fabricated snacks have been designed to overcome the above issues by minimizing snack breakage and the amount of air, as in sheeted potato chips such as Pringles® and Stax®. These snack products are specially crafted for regularity in size and shape.

Xinova seeks inventions for the design of regularly shaped snack products that eliminate the packaging issues caused by irregularly shaped snacks.

Problem Definition

The cost of a snack product can be highly dependent on its packaging. Fragile snacks with irregular shapes are typically packaged in flexible, air-filled bags. These flexible bags protect products from being crushed, such that when an external pressure is applied, the bags don’t burst but rather use the air in the bags to act like a pillow, cushioning the snacks. This method of random packing is widely used because it enables high-speed production at relatively low cost and requires minimal energy. However, randomly packed, gas-filled, flexible packages have numerous disadvantages, such as the following:

Dead space – Snack products packaged in randomly packed bags filled with gas often contain more than 50% dead space (i.e. air/inert gas), which primarily serves to minimize product breakage during transport, while maintaining product freshness. However, this dead space results in a much lower snack net weight per unit volume, which is one key indicator of the quantity of goods delivered to the end-consumer; consumers often complain about purchasing a “bag full of air”.

Settling of snacks over time – Randomly packed snacks settle along the bottom of the packaging during shipping, handling, and display of the packaged snacks, thereby creating a large void in the package.

Damaged product – Even when a pillow design is used, the bags are pressurized, and the merchandise is carefully packed and transported, a large portion of packaged fragile snacks can be broken before the product reaches the consumer (with this figure being in excess of 50% for some products, based on the distribution chain).

Inefficient transportation and storage – Randomly packed snack packages typically contain more than 50% gas by volume and are therefore highly inefficient for transport and storage on trucks and shipping containers. These gas-filled snack packages also require large volumes of shelf and storage space relative to the net weight of goods that they deliver. 

This opportunity comes from the efforts of Xinova’s R&D Consulting and Innovation team.

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Our Worldwide Locations

USA

Xinova
311 ½ Occidental Ave S
Suite 300
Seattle, WA 98104
USA
+1 (206) 800-2678

Japan

Xinova Japan GK
Yaesu Mitsui Building 6F
2-7-2 Yaesu, Chuo-ku
Tokyo 104-0028 Japan
+81-3-6478-6120
xinova.jp

China

Xinova Innovation (Beijing) Consultancy Co. Ltd.
Room 2494, Level 24, Tower 3
China Central Place
77 Jianguo Road
Chaoyang District
Beijing, 100025 China

Singapore

Xinova Asia Pte Ltd.
150 Beach Road
#08-06/08 Gateway West
189720 Singapore
+65 6408 5080

Korea

Xinova Korea
10th floor, Golfzone Tower
735, Yeongdong-daero
Gangnam-gu
Seoul 06072, Korea
+82 2 6952 8840
xinova.co.kr

Australia

Xinova Australasia Pty Ltd.
223 Liverpool St
Darlinghurst, NSW 2010
Australia
+61 2 8093 4850

India

Xinova India
Suite No 208, 2nd Floor
Survey No 414
PSR Complex
Govinda Reddy (GR) Layout
Bannerghatta Road
Karnataka, 560076, India

Finland

Xinova Finland
Erottajankatu 5 A 4
FI-00130 Helsinki
Finland

Affiliate offices in Tel Aviv & Vienna