Food Engineering

A mitsubishi from DuPont

September 3, 2004
The DuPont Awards Competition for innovative plastic packaging set a precedent two years ago when two entries were deemed worthy of the top award. Judges in the competition's recent 17th edition went one better, bestowing Diamond Awards on three entries, including two food packages.

Easy gripping and one-hand opening and closing helped International Delight coffee creamer regain the upper hand in the non-dairy creamer market.

Call it a mitsubishi, the Japanese contraction meaning "three diamonds."

The whoosh is gone, but lightweight design and a built-in handle let Procter & Gamble break the coffee packaging mold with Folgers.
Procter & Gamble Co. and Dean Foods' Morningstar division were the big winners in the food competition, sharing top honors with an anti-counterfeiting holograph for pharmaceutical blister packs. P&G's award recognizes the high-density polyethylene canister that has replaced metal cans for Folgers coffee. The six-layer, co-extruded container from Liquid Container/Plaxicon has a molded-in handle and is stackable. Lost is the reassuring "whoosh!" that was heard when a vacuum-sealed can was opened. On the other hand, the Peel Seal from Amcor Flexibles keeps the ground coffee fresh, and plastic canisters are significantly lighter than metal cans.

Similarly, Morningstar's International Delight non-dairy creamer was at a convenience disadvantage when competitor Carnation rolled out Coffee Mate with an easy-open dispenser. With International Delight's market-leading position in peril, Morningstar asked closure supplier Owens-Illinois to go one better. The solution: a toggle-closing end that can be both opened and closed with the press of a thumb.

Other award winners in the food category include:

  • Kraft Foods and Printpak for Ritz Chips in a stand-up pouch with a peelable, easy-open feature (gold award)
  • Ross Products and Owens-Illinois for Ensure nutritional drink with a six-layer barrier bottle to withstand thermal processing (gold award)
  • Spain's Nutrexpa SA and EDV Packaging Solutions for La Piara pate spreads in a polypropylene thermoformed cup that withstands sterilization and minimizes ultraviolet oxidation and oxygen migration (gold award)
  • Plumrose USA and Curwood Inc. for Danola brand deli meats in a horizontal form, fill, seal thermoform package with a Zip-Pak Slider reclosable feature (silver award)
  • Alcan Packaging for cheese film featuring controlled atmosphere that retains moisture while allowing some gases to escape and preventing oxygen from penetrating (silver award)
  • Heinz and Alcan Packaging for a standup condiment pouch for foodservice applications (silver award).

For more information:

Bill Williams, Liquid Container/Plaxicon, 630-562-5800

Timothy McAshlan, Owens-Illinois, 419-247-8223,
timothy.mcashlan@us.o-i.com