Food Packaging: Package promises fresher coffee

Seattle Coffee Co., manufacturer of Seattle’s Best Coffee (SBC), is a processor in transition, and customers and employees both will benefit from those changes.

Fresh-Close bags are easier to open, but Seattle’s Best Coffee switched to them because the reclosable seal locks out oxygen to maintain freshness.

The 31-year-old firm is preparing to move from Vashon Island, its home since 1983, to the Seattle suburb of Fife, Wash. For long-time employees, the romance of the morning ferry ride to work gave way to commuter tedium long ago, and relocation to a new 228,000 sq. ft. plant and distribution center will be a welcome change.

More spacious quarters also will allow expansion of its Fresh-Close bag closure system to packages other than 12 oz. gussetted bags. “We’re looking at the extremes you can push our new GL-26 machine to,” says Dan Wood, director of manufacturing and plant manager. “Can you put it on a 2 lb. bag’s web? A 5 lb. bag’s web?”

The eight most-popular coffee flavors in SBC’s 65-SKU line converted to the new resealing system in September, and the plan is to expand applications as more new machines come on line. “The consumer who goes to Costco wants a lot of coffee, and a tin tie isn’t going to keep it fresh,” says Wood.

Tin ties that can’t form a positive seal were a necessary evil until the new closure was developed. Mail and female strips of rigid polypropylene are hot melted along the width of SBC’s four-ply foil film bags during forming. Later, when the filled bag is opened, the C-shaped female strip accepts the male prong, snapping together to form an airtight seal. “Shelf life is dramatically increased,” Wood says, “and it makes it easier to open and close the bag.”

The GL-26, which outputs 38 bags a minute, is manufactured by Goglio Luigi SpA of Milan, Italy, and distributed domestically by Fres-co System USA. According to Fres-co’s Kevin McRae, the modular design of the machine allows the replacement of tin-tie units with machinery for the new closure.

“We had a leased GL-26, but this is the first machine with the closure system, and it runs circles around the old one,” Wood reports. The servo-driven unit boasts PLC controls, a touch screen and integration software. Once the new plant is up and running, the manufacturing team can begin experimenting with different dye heads and other modifications to apply the closures to bags of both ground and whole bean coffee and to larger package sizes.

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Food Engineering Magazine.

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

Plant of the Year 2015

Mars Chocolate was chosen as Food Engineering’s 2015 Plant of the Year. The first new Mars candy plant in North America in 35 years is not only LEED Gold certified, it’s highly automated as well.


Burns & McDonnell project manager RJ Hope and senior project engineer Justin Hamilton discuss the distinctions between Food Safety and Food Defense as well as the implications for food manufacturers of the Food Safety Modernization Act.
More Podcasts

Food Engineering

Food Engineering April 2015 Cover

2015 April

The April 2014 issue of Food Engineering features the Plant of the Year: Mars Chocolate. The first new Mars chocolate candy plant in North America in 35 years is not only LEED Gold certified, it’s highly automated as well.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Plant Facility/Site Issues

What issue about your current plant facility/site keeps you up the most at night?
View Results Poll Archive


Food Authentication Using Bioorganic Molecules

This text provides critical tools and data needed to augment routine food analysis and enhance food safety by aiding in the detection of counterfeit, and potentially deleterious, foods.

More Products

Clear Seas Research

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications,Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.


FE recent tweets

facebook_40.pngtwitter_40px.pngyoutube_40px.png linkedin_40px.pngGoogle +

Food Master

Food Engineering Food Master 2015Food Master 2015 is now available!

Where the buying process begins in the food and beverage manufacturing market. 

Visit to learn more.