Food Engineering

A Sleek figure to die for

April 2, 2007
Nourishment and replenishment from food is so last century: modern man and woman crave food and drink that consume more calories than they contribute. Fortunately, one of the industry’s biggest suppliers is joining the growing pool of beverage companies with products that do just that.

The antioxidant EGCG in concentrated green tea works with caffeine to help burn calories with Enviga, a new entry in the category. The slimming effects are reinforced with the Sleek can’s profile. Source: Beverage Partners Worldwide.



Enviga, a calorie-burner from the Coca-Cola/Nestle joint venture Beverage Partners Worldwide (BPW), began appearing on store shelves outside its New York and Philadelphia test markets in February. Concentrated green tea and caffeine in the beverage stimulate body metabolism to burn more than the five calories contained in each 12-oz. can. Studies suggest three cans may help consumers burn 60 to 100 calories, the company claims.

The container reinforces the slimming potential of Enviga. BPW is using the Sleek can from Rexam Beverage Can Americas. Introduced in 2005, the aluminum cans use a 202 end to highlight a thin profile. The 9-oz. version is as tall as a conventional 12-oz. can, while the 12-oz. can stretches 6-1/8 in. high. Several energy drinks and hangover cures, as well as beer and mixed drinks, have adopted the Sleek package.

“Demand is very strong,” reports Greg Brooke, vice president-communications for Chicago-based Rexam. “We’re adding capacity in our Winston-Salem, NC, plant and will soon begin producing Sleek in Whitehouse, OH, as well.” Despite the sleek profile, the can fits in a conventional vending machine. BPW will roll out Enviga in Europe later this year.

For more information:

Greg Brooke, Rexam Beverage Can Americas, 773-399-3362, greg.brooke@rexam.com

Say goodbye to the vacuum panel

Forget the marketing blather about “improved gripability” and other contrived benefits of vacuum panels on polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles: beverage companies, quite simply, dislike them because of the clunky look they give to labels. Now that PET container fabricators have figured out ways around the panel, round PET bottles for hot fill are all the rage.

Vacuum panels were a necessary evil to prevent warping and deflection of plastic when containers are filled with 185

Bend me, shape me

Small is beautiful, particularly for companies that have spent too many years as commodity suppliers. Glass supplier Owens-Illinois Inc. (O-I) is finding small is not only good, it is also big business.

Perrysburg, OH-based O-I is transplanting the specialty capabilities of its Holzminden, Germany, operation to glass plants worldwide to satisfy the differentiation and quick turnaround needs of customers, particularly those in the distilled spirits business. The Holzminden specialty department handled 136 inquiries last year, resulting in 69 projects in the US and other countries. To keep up with demand, O-I’s Zanesville, OH, facility began making the 700-ml and 750-ml bottles for the relaunch of Brown-Forman’s Gentleman Jack brand. Similarly, a unit in Columbia is fabricating a specialty flint-flint clear glass for Jack Daniels Single Barrel whiskey.

One of the most striking examples of Holzminden’s craftsmanship is Jekyll & Hyde, two interlocking bottles. Produced for Long Tail Libations, the spirits division of Anheuser-Busch Inc., the bottles hold a 60-proof berry-flavored liquor and an 80-proof  licorice-tinged concoction. Specific gravity variations prevent the liquors from mixing when combined in a glass.

“Within three weeks, we developed a design in North America and produced the package in Holzminden,” says Michael Lonsway, O-I’s director of product development. The bottles are targeted at bars skewing toward a 20-something clientele.

Corporate rationalizations have stripped most manufacturing centers of their turnkey service capabilities, Lonsway points out, and O-I is no exception. By creating new-product development teams that can tap engineering and manufacturing competencies scattered across multiple sites, the company hopes to demonstrate that it can provide eye-catching designs and shapes in small quantities and with quick turnaround. 

For more information:

Kelley Yoder, O-I Inc., 567-336-1388, kelley.yoder@us.o-i.com