As the countdown to Global Pouch Forum 2023 continues, the event has continued to release details for what will be one of the most anticipated industry gatherings of the year. A two-day event that provides attendees with valuable networking opportunities and essential content from experts who develop, supply, buy or recommend flexible product packaging materials including pouches, Global Pouch Forum will take place in Rosemont, Illinois, from June 6-8, and will feature a wide array of panel discussions, innovative exhibitors, and guest speakers.

One of these speakers is Sal LaMartina, CEO of Big Easy Blends, who will be discussing category innovation when it comes to flexible packaging. Big Easy Blends is a diversified flexible packaging food and beverage product manufacturer that today offers innovative products across multiple categories, including smoothies, alcoholic beverages, pet treats, hot-fill sauces, and more.

Leading up to his presentation, Packaging Strategies was able to ask Sal a few questions about Big Easy Blends, flexible packaging, and industry changes. His answers and insights are below.

PS: What does Big Easy Blends do, and how are they providing innovation within the flexible packaging industry?

SL: Big Easy Blends is a food and beverage manufacturer making products solely in flexible packaging. We started the company 15 years ago by putting frozen alcoholic beverages in pouches, and were the first company to do so. Four years ago, we entered the frozen fruit space with the first ready to eat smoothie for on-the-go consumption, and two years ago, we launched the first dog popsicle.

PS: What sparked Big Easy Blends’ decision to embrace flexible packaging for the first time?

SL: We were sitting on the beach…kids with juice pouches and adults with frozen margaritas from our kitchen with a blender and chopping board mess looming over our heads. We thought, “Why isn’t there a frozen margarita in a pouch?” I guess you can say it was the portability and ease of use that attracted us to flexible pouches.

PS: You’ll be discussing the “disruptive power” of flexible packaging during your session. What do you mean by that?

SL: Flexible packaging can really make the consumer think differently about what they need and want from a product. Take applesauce for example. As consumers we thought we were fine with applesauce in a cup, we put in our kids’ lunches and took that cup AND A SPOON around for years. Then we got applesauce in a pouch. Wow! The pouch is so much easier to pack and take as a snack to feed to my toddler on the go. Kids can hold it themselves and eat directly from the pouch, alleviating the hassle of a cup that spills and a spoon.

PS: How do you see the flexible packaging market changing in the near future?

SL: I see 2 things happening that are going to change the flexible packaging market. First, we are becoming more aware as consumers of the effects of packaging on the planet. I see this driving the refill trend in liquid products. While the original purchase may still come in its glass or rigid plastic bottle, we are seeing a refill culture develop where the refill comes in flexible pouch packaging. I see this refill trend continuing to grow and expand to more categories of products. Second, because consumer demand continues to increase for flexible packaging alongside the consumer demand for sustainability, I see advances in the recyclability of flexible film and the ability to use post recycled materials continuing to advance in the space.

To register for Global Pouch Forum, click here.

To learn more about Big Easy Blends, please visit