Food Engineering

Laceration-free kids' snack

September 1, 2009
Technology needs to find its market, and packaging professionals at Crown Holdings Inc., along with their US food-manufacturing clients, are keeping an eye on a healthy snack launched in September in France and other European countries to see if it clicks with mothers and their children.

Last fall, Europe’s leading packager of processed vegetables introduced child-friendly meals in metal bowls with peelable lids that don’t expose any jagged surfaces. Source: Crown Holdings Inc.




Bonduelle Group, a major European manufacturer of processed vegetables, rolled out its Mais & Fruit line in Italy, Germany, the Netherlands and Spain, as well as its home country, France, last year, targeting both school children and on-the-go mothers with products that combine sweet corn with either mango and papaya or pineapple. The product debuted in Poland in 2006, but the challenge has been figuring out the right combination of customer demographics and container advantages that will sell best.

A thin, flexible foil end is heat-sealed to a rigid ring and then double seamed onto a standard container to create the package, according to Crown. Peelable metal lids are nothing new, but this variation tucks the sealing points on the inside of the can, keeping sharp edges away from tiny fingers. “The aluminum foil is 100 percent safe, and the can is safe, too,” says Hella Neffati, marketing manager in Crown’s Philadelphia headquarters.

North American food companies are interested in pilot tests using the lids, which Crown calls the PeelSeam. While small-scale successes have been registered with products like fish spread from Calvo in Spain and anchovies from Gil Comes, another Spanish processor, American firms are wondering if the school backpack or a working mom’s purse is the best place for the new packaging.

For more information: Hella Neffati, Crown Holdings Inc., 215-698-6056, hella.neffati@crowncork.com