Food Engineering

Product integrity drives container switch

November 30, 2009


A glass jar with snap-on lid replaced a conventional plastic tub for cottage cheese from organic dairy Traders Point Creamery. Source: Crown Holdings Inc.


Attracting shoppers’ attention requires every tool available, especially for small food companies. For a suburban Indianapolis dairy processor and restaurateur, an unusual container choice turned the trick, though superior product protection was the main motivation for the switch.

Traders Point Creamery, located in Zionsville, IN, began distributing 8-oz. tubs of cottage cheese in a plastic container three years ago, but management was concerned that petrochemical leaching would degrade the product. Last fall, the company made the switch to glass jars and metal closures, with a tamper-proof shrink sleeve enveloping them. A similar container is used for the dairy’s Fromage line of one-day-old milk cheeses.

“We couldn’t wait to move to glass,” reports Gail Alden, marketing manager, adding shopper response has been exceptional. “The look is so appealing, and it’s much better for recycling and reuse. We have people using (empty containers) for wine glasses.”

To be resealable, press-on metal closures require glass jars with a bead of material around the top for the lid to lock down upon, notes Sheila Heath, marketing director with Crown Closures America. Metal caps over a glass bead once were common-think jelly jars that doubled as juice glasses when empty-but now they have a whiff of nostalgia. Only one other food product, McCormick cocktail sauce, still uses Crown’s 77 mm press-on lid.

Crown worked with Traders Point to create closure graphics depicting a cow in a field. The four-color printing process uses conventional and UV inks. The design recently garnered an Excellence in Quality award from the International Metal Decorators Association.

For more information:
Sheila Heath, Crown Closures Americas, 740-681-6577, sheila.heath@crowncork.com