Healthy, fit, beautiful and slim …
WellU is a manufacturer and distributor of cosmetics, food supplements and special food for weight reduction and body shaping. The brand is well known and the quality claims are high. The company was not however satisfied with some of its packaging, particularly for the popular nutritional bars, which are manufactured without any additives, colouring agents or preservatives. Investment in a new packaging machine was therefore unavoidable, but the path to the optimum packaging result was not straightforward.
The demand for WellU’s products is increasing. Looking young, remaining fit and being slim – these are the needs in the market that drive the business forward. The company, which operates internationally, is currently expanding its business activities in Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Parallel to this, it is also extending its sales network in Germany, the UK and Spain. “WellU is a global organisation, in effect a marketing network, whose members can develop their own business on a healthy commercial basis with proven, high-quality products in the health, beauty and food supplement sectors,” says Tomasz Jagielski, Chairman of WellU, summarising the company’s business model.
WellU’s quality products are manufactured at three production sites. They are based primarily on the findings of Professor Andrzej Frydrychowski. He is among other things an active member of the Polish Physiology Society, an honorary member of the Polish Acupuncture Society, and the inventor of a unique method of recovering collagen hydrolysates that retains their structure and natural, active ingedients. Collagen hydrolysates are recovered from collagen, a very important protein for humans and animals, since it provides the necessary elasticity and firmness to connective tissue, tendons, ligaments and the skin as well as to cartilage and spinal discs. Collagen hydrolysates are used in cosmetics, for example in beauty creams for maintaining the natural moisture of skin, and they are also used in hair cosmetics and in pharmaceuticals. Another application is in the food and drinks industry, for example in protein powders and drinks, meat-containing products, nutritional bars and food supplements.
A healthy nutritional bar with a short shelf life
One of the bestsellers in WellU’s range is a dietetic nutritional bar, made solely from natural ingredients and does not contain any preservatives, colouring agents or refined sugar. As soon as the bars have left the baking ovens, they are quickly vacuum packed and placed into the outer packaging, before being transported to the distribution center. Because the delicate bars must arrive to the consumer as fresh as possible, the entire manufacturing and packaging procedure is designed for small quantities and frequent batch changes.
Previously the products had been sold in a paper bag, which was filled with 6 bars. “In all honesty, this pack was a very long way away from our quality claims and our ideal packaging,” recalls Thomasz Jagielski. “One of the reasons was that the vegetable oil in the bars soaked through the paper. The pack looked unattractive and the product unappetising after just a few days, and the shelf life of the bar was correspondingly short. We therefore urgently needed a new packaging concept.”
As a first stage, the main objectives were defined: the shelf life of the bar had to be extended to at least eight weeks. In addition to this, “we wanted to design significantly more attractive primary packaging and also to increase the packing output. And as a further option, we also had the idea of arranging six to eight packs in a suitably designed box, so the packs and products would be sure of arriving at their destination undamaged and in the optimum state,” adds the company boss, who at this time through word of mouth already had his eye on a machine from MULTIVAC, and who therefore sent clear instructions to the relevant subcontractor.
But things turn out quite differently
Against all expectations, there was an unwelcome interlude with another machine supplier. Despite the recommendation of the WellU management, the subcontractor opted for a machine from a market competitor. The result was unsatisfactory in every respect: the packs were not airtight and the cases of ruined product multiplied, just like the number of (entirely justified) complaints. As Tomasz Jagielski says: “We were really afraid, that the defective packs would have a negative effect on the product itself or even on the well-known brand. We therefore intervened and pressed the subcontractor to replace the packaging machine with a model that would really meet our expectations.”
Now a tabletop chamber machine from MULTIVAC delivers perfect results
A compact, robust and very flexible C 200 tabletop chamber machine has now been successfully in use since July 2016. It is suitable for packing under modified atmosphere as well as under vacuum. It ensures that products in small and medium-sized batches are packed quickly and efficiently in film pouches. Thanks to its particularly spacious chamber, the model can also be used for packing somewhat larger products. Its evacuation and gas flushing processes are pressure-controlled and guarantee a reproducible packing quality. And in addition to this, the machine is constructed in high-quality and easy to clean stainless steel. This also has a positive effect on pack safety and the shelf life of the delicate nutritional bars.
Tomasz Jagielski is also delighted with
MULTIVAC’s professional service and the speed at which the packaging machine was implemented. “We had to react very quickly – and we are now really satisfied. Our new machine is very functional and can be operated easily and intuitively. It meets all our expectations in daily working life as regards output, reliability and efficiency. But above all, it supports the value of our brand by delivering perfect packaging results.”
And consumers are delighted as well
Positive feedback has also come from consumers. Many of them carry their daily ration of six bars in a rucksack or pocket, and this means they must be able to rely on a perfectly sealed pack.
“Since the switch to the MULTIVAC machine, we have had absolutely no complaints – in the light of our previous experiences, I think this is a really great compliment,” says Tomasz Jagielski.