Uncle Dougie’s has recently taken steps to become a leader in sustainability, with plans to reduce its carbon footprint by shifting to alternative package options. The company will be serving up its new line of USDA Organic barbeque sauces in an eco-friendly flexible pouch. In a category dominated by glass and plastic bottles, Uncle Dougie’s claims to be the first condiment aisle company to debut a flexible squeeze pouch.
“We wanted to understand our environmental impact from a holistic standpoint and look for ways to reduce our natural resource consumption as we launched these organic items,” said Rob Johnson, CEO of Uncle Dougie’s. “It’s important to make an impact where we can, and our fans expect us to do so. This package is a huge upgrade for convenience and usability, and proves you can bring meaningful innovation to consumers and do good for the planet at the same time.”
Uncle Dougie’s has partnered with Glenroy to produce the squeeze pouches, and has also worked with the Natural Marketing Institute (NMI) to analyze the environmental footprint and sustainability of the new pouches, compared to typical glass barbeque sauce bottles.
The results of this study found that squeeze pouches:
“We commend Uncle Dougie's for spearheading this study and being a thought leader and change-maker in the category,” said Amanda Dahlby, Marketing Manager at Glenroy in a press release. “The Environmental Protection Agency considers source reduction to be the single most effective method of waste management because it’s a true preventive measure and addresses pollution at its source. At Glenroy, we equally support this vision.”
The study used state-of-the-art software to measure the impact of the raw materials, manufacturing processes, transportation, and end-of-life disposition (where the package will end up). The software, which was developed in collaboration with the Sustainable Packaging Coalition in 2006, evaluates environmental performance criteria to guide the package development and design process.
Though not yet recyclable, the pouches are much more sustainable than glass due to its significantly lower carbon footprint and natural resource utilization. Unfortunately, recyclable, food-grade plastic has not yet been developed, but Uncle Dougie’s remains poised and ready to immediately adopt this type of plastic once it becomes available.
“We did take recyclability into consideration, but glass recycling is becoming more and more difficult for consumers, and in a lot of cases it’s worse for natural resource consumption,” Johnson commented. “Examining our sustainability practices from a holistic standpoint allows us to make smart decisions that will more significantly reduce our carbon footprint and do better to leave the world a better place than we found it.”
With sustainability such a hot topic these days, Uncle Dougie’s is wise to alter its packaging processes sooner rather than later, and the company’s efforts have not gone unnoticed.
“Congratulations to Uncle Dougie’s for conducting the analysis and taking this tangible step toward more sustainable packaging,” said Diane Ray, VP of Strategic Innovation and NMI.
Deli Market News will continue to report on sustainable packaging programs that have an impact on our industry.