PepsiCo offers nutritious beverage alternative with Quaker Milk ChillersConcern over childhood obesity and the consequential push for more nutritious beverage offerings in schools are both driving the demand for single-serve milk beverages. As a result, the two cola giants have added flavored milks to their non-carbonated beverage portfolios. To compete with Coca-Cola's Swerve flavored milk drink, PepsiCo has introduced a line of flavored milk beverages called Quaker Milk Chillers. Made with two percent reduced-fat milk and fortified with calcium and seven essential vitamins, the product is available in chocolate, strawberry and vanilla flavors and hit store shelves in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states in late summer.
Because the beverages are sweetened with a blend of natural and no-calorie sweeteners, PepsiCo claims they contain 45 to 50 percent less sugar than other leading flavored milks. "Many people want the health benefits of milk, but they don't like the taste of plain milk," says Chad Dick, director of marketing innovation, Pepsi-Cola North America. PepsiCo also hopes to distinguish its flavored milk beverages by using aseptic filling, which gives the product a six-month ambient shelf life, significantly longer than that of most flavored milks and plain milk products.
For more information:
Paul Bailie, Graham Packaging,
PET water conveys purity of its Icelandic originAttempting to stand out among a slew of bottled water brands, mineral water brand Icelandic Glacial is using a striking relief design and clear label for its 50-cl and 1-liter PET square bottles. Each bottle features a unique sleeve label from Sleever International, Berkshire, UK. International brand design consultancy Design Bridge, based in London, created the branding and overall package design.
"We've used a new film formulation to provide Icelandic Glacial with labeling which conveys the high purity of its product," says Eric Masson, Sleever's European sales director. The clear-as-glass bottles feature a transparent-oriented polystyrene film from Sleever called TH-050, which offers extreme clarity in a wraparound label. A large part of the design is on the reverse of the sleeve, which includes photographic images of a glacial landscape.
Because the Icelandic Glacial logo is a metallic silver color, Sleever provided the brand with a metallized silver varnish that closely imitates the appearance of foil blocking.
For more information:
David King, Design Bridge,
+44 207 814 9922
Suzanne Howe, Sleever International,
+44 1732 875 697
Paperboard tray delivers oven-quality results in microwave timeGraphic Packaging International, Marietta, GA, has been focusing its attention lately on its "active microwave products"-microwave-friendly packaging that cooks foods quickly and evenly, while leaving them moist and tender. Earlier this year, the company introduced its Quilt Wave product for a microwaveable grilled cheese sandwich manufactured by Sepp's Gourmet Foods (Food Engineering, January 2005). Its latest offering under this umbrella is MicroRite, which consists of aluminum and polyester laminated to a paperboard base.
Raw Seafoods wanted to respond to growing consumer demand for convenience by offering high-quality seafood products that could be cooked easily and quickly in a microwave oven, says Eric Metcalf, manager of market development for Graphic Packaging. "They wanted a package that would work with the microwave to cook their products thoroughly and quickly, without making the food dry or tough."
Graphic Packaging responded by developing a deep, dual-ovenable paperboard tray that cooks food evenly, the company says, delivering oven-quality results in microwave time. According to John McDonnell, product marketing manager at Graphic Packaging, the MicroRite technology slows down the microwave cooking and redirects the energy to the center of the food to achieve a more uniform temperature. Aluminum foil is laminated to polyester film on the outside of the paperboard tray to shield the microwave energy and slow it down. The pattern on the base of the tray also helps to redirect the microwave energy through the center of the food to achieve even heating.
"We asked Graphic Packaging to provide us with an oven-ready, microwaveable tray that would outperform any package on the market, and it responded with speed and innovation," says Scott Hutchens, vice president of Raw Seafoods, who adds the project went from concept to product on the shelf in five months.
For more information:
John McDonnell, Graphic Packaging International,
Pepperidge Farm hopes to satisfy consumers' with Whims cookiesAttempting to appease the cookie lover on-the-go with an alternative to the traditional bag, Pepperidge Farm has introduced its Whims cookie line in unique 90 x 30 SonoWrap packages from Sonoco, Hartsville, SC. Whims, a "scrumptious fusion between cookie sweetness and crunchy texture," come in two different varieties-Crispy Waves, crispy-thin snacks with chocolate or toffee, and Crunchy Clusters, combinations of cookie ingredients rolled up into bite-sized pop-able clusters. Each package holds 5.3 oz. of Waves snacks or 5.6 oz. of Clusters treats.
"When developing Whims cookies, we set out to provide a bit of spontaneity for busy consumers," says Carol Degener, director of innovation at Pepperidge Farm. "The revolutionary packaging design developed by Sonoco-a new technology to the cookie market-allows Whims to meet the fast-paced lifestyle of our customers and adds tremendous impact on the retail shelf in terms of marketing and merchandising."
Sonoco's SonoWrap single wrap pack is a hermetic, single-ply rigid container that reportedly has the barrier properties of a multiple-ply round paperboard can. The package, designed to accommodate consumers' active lifestyles, fits in most car cup holders and allows for easy opening and re-closing. The Whims cookie canister features a membrane and overcap, resulting in a longer shelf life, according to Sonoco.
The SonoWrap pack used for the Whims cookies also features a reverse, seven-color, high-gloss graphic print, allowing the product to be displayed either right-side up or upside down.
For more information:
Rodger Fuller, Sonoco,
Smaller mayo canisters convert to PETAlthough Unilever Foods had already converted its 48-oz. and 64-oz. size Hellmann's brand mayonnaise from glass to PET containers, the company ran into economies of scale problems when it considered converting its 32-oz. jars to PET. However, improved economics due to a new, higher-volume, two-step blow-trim PET production process developed by Amcor PET Packaging, Ann Arbor, MI, allowed the company to also convert its smaller-sized product into PET jars.
In fact, Unilever Foods was so certain of the eventual switch to PET, it was already prepared to handle the filling line requirements for the conversion. "Many years ago, when we were updating our production facility, we had the foresight that someday we would be converting from glass to PET, so our engineers designed a line that could run either glass or plastic," notes Bansal.
Until now, the economics weren't sufficient to convert the 32-oz. size, says Bansal, explaining that converting to PET is more economical in the larger sizes because the resin weight-per-unit volume decreases as the size increases. "Amcor's blow and trim technology is what made the conversion possible at this time," he says.
Amcor PET Packaging's blow-trim production process allows a wide-mouth jar to be produced from a standard, narrow-neck preform, eliminating the need for expensive injection mold tooling costs. While smaller operations use a slower, one-step blow-trim process, Amcor has devised a high-volume, two-step version.
Consumer research conducted by Unilever before undertaking the conversion project revealed that the new PET container had to replicate Hellmann's glass jar profile, and it had to deliver the same shelf life as glass. "Our customers associate the jar shape with the Hellmann's brand. They also recognize the label color scheme and graphics. It was important to retain all of those images, and I think we were successful in achieving parity," says Bansal.
The new 32-oz. PET jar is used for four different varieties of Hellmann's mayonnaise-Hellmann's Real Mayonnaise, Light Mayonnaise, Reduced Fat Mayonnaise and Canola Oil.
For more information:
Ruth Ann Church,
Amcor PET Packaging,
Shrink sleeves sport eye-popping lookGeneral Mills' Betty Crocker brand has re-launched its Decorating Decors line with redesigned shrink labels from Farmingdale, NY-based Seal-It to update the brand's image and enhance its graphics.
Made of heat shrink polyvinyl chloride, the shrink sleeve labels are used for all five varieties of the Decorating Decors line. The labels are rotogravure-printed in six to 10 colors. The label's 360-degree image area allows space for consumer instructions on the product's use, while reinforcing the brand.
The shrink label also conforms to the shape of the canister, sealing the cap. Seal-It's combination label incorporates a tamper-evident seal with a horizontal perforation that allows the band to be released from the cap while the label remains on the canister.
For more information:
Barbara Drillings, Seal-It, Inc.,
Steam cooked food in microwaveable stand-up pouchThe StandUp Poucher with the SmartDevice valve, a patented technology from PPi Technologies, allows sealed pouches of frozen or refrigerated foods to be microwaved without opening the package first. According to PPi Technologies, a frangible seal breaks under the steam pressure and heat generated in the microwave, allowing the steam to escape through a valve in the corner of the pouch. Because the pouch remains sealed during microwave heating, the package can be safely removed without spillage. Consumers then cut a corner of the pouch to empty the contents. The target markets for the StandUp Poucher with the SmartDevice valve are ready-to-eat soups, fresh vegetables and other products requiring microwave heating, says PPi.
Paperboard container for bulk frozen dessertsHuhtamaki's new Bulkan EX paperboard container is a packaging solution for frozen dessert processors that utilize a bulk packaging system. The three-gallon package is designed for production lines that require products to go through screening processes, including metal detection. The Bulkan EX package is made of paperboard and uses a plastic rim at the top to ensure a tight seal with the lid. Formed on a newly developed Huhtamaki packaging system machine, the bottom disks, side walls and lids are printed and supplied by Huhtamaki. The components for the straight-sided, round canister are then sent to the producer, ready to be formed and filled on the production line.
Saddle pack-style multi-unit poultry packageSealed Air has developed a saddle pack multi-unit vacuum package for fresh poultry, available for club and grocery stores. The package, made from a unique Cryovac breathable rollstock thermoform film, is said to be a new packaging format for poultry parts, offering versatility for meal preparation and easy storage. The package consists of six perforated pockets, each containing two pieces of poultry, to enable consumers to easily separate portions for meal preparation. The remaining portions can be refrigerated or frozen in the original packaging and stored for later use. The vacuum packaging protects the food from freezer burn. The breathable Cryovac film material is offered both as non-forming and formable webs in multiple gauges. The saddle pack-style package is also hermetically sealed, offering leak-resistance. Easy-open options are available, and graphics and cooking information can be printed on the non-forming top web in up to eight colors, according to Sealed Air. The saddle pack is suitable for both bone-in and boneless poultry portions.
One-handed flip top closureNalgene Consumer Products has introduced its OTG (On The Go) bottle, designed for one-handed use. The OTG, made from rigid polycarbonate, resists breakage and withstands extreme temperatures. The bottle features a patent-pending flip top and a sleek profile, which combine to make it easy to carry, open, close and store with one hand. It also fits into standard-size bike cages, car cup holders, exercise machines and backpack bottle pockets. Available in slate blue or sage green colors, the OTG can hold up to 24 oz. of liquid.
Nalgene Consumer Products;