Once playing with your food at the dinner table was discouraged-now ketchup-maker H.J. Heinz Company and Graham Packaging Company, York, PA, have joined together to create an innovative plastic ketchup bottle called Heinz Silly Squirts that actually encourages play thanks to a specially designed closure.

Heinz's new Silly Squirts ketchup bottle features a closure with three different nozzles to allow kids to "draw" on their food. Source: Graham Packaging.

Unique flip-top closure for ‘Silly Squirts' ketchup

The injection-molded polypropylene cap, developed by Seaquist Closures, Mukwonago, WI, has three flip-top drawing nozzles allowing kids to "splat," "double, double" and "draw" ketchup in different designs onto their food.

"After Heinz held focus groups on the concept, they came to us with general parameters on designing the kid-friendly package," says Joe Labadie, new product development engineer for Graham Packaging. "Heinz wanted a round container with a large billboard or label space to promote the idea of three different dispensing patterns for kids to enjoy as they applied the ketchup."

Graham then designed a 20-oz. clear PET container with multilayer barrier properties and an unusually large 43-ml neck opening. The lower half of the bottle features ribbed panels, while the upper half allows room for a wraparound label displaying graphics of the Heinz tomato characters.

"Our objective is to deliver on what we call the top three ‘Kid Insights,' which are fun, independence and control," says Jeffrey Karp, packaging project manager at the Heinz Innovation Center. "We worked closely with our packaging and design partners, Graham Packaging and Seaquist Closures, to develop a bottle that kids can hold and manipulate, so they can easily use the three different dispensing patterns to design and enjoy their very own ketchup creations."

For more information:

Paul Young, Graham Packaging, paul.young@grahampackaging.com, 717-849-8579

Barbara Laskey, Seaquist Closures, barb.laskey@seaquistclosures.com, 260-486-9105

Coke's new coffee fusion drink, Coca-Cola Blak, stands out from the crowd thanks to its curvy aluminum bottle. Source: Coca-Cola Company.

Coke's ‘coffee fusion' aims to impress with sleek aluminum bottle

The Coca-Cola Company has launched a new "coffee fusion" beverage called Coca-Cola Blak in France, the first of several countries including the US, that will see the new beverage in an aluminum bottle this year. Coca-Cola Blak is a lightly carbonated blend of Coca-Cola and natural flavors with real coffee designed to appeal to adult consumers.

The new beverage is being marketed in a black/brown aluminum bottle, shaped similarly to the company's signature contoured glass bottle. The Exal Group's Boxal facility in France is supplying the proprietary shaped 25-cl aluminum bottle. The bottle is fully offset printed in six colors in line before shaping, according to Marc Bettinger, sales director for Exal's Boxal group.

"Coca-Cola Blak is not just a flavor extension," comments Marc Mathieu, vice president, Global Core Brands, The Coca-Cola Company. "It is a blend of unique Coke refreshment with the true essence of coffee and has a rich smooth texture and a coffee-like froth when poured. We believe we have created a new category of soft drink-an adult product in a carbonated beverage."

For more information:

Marc Bettinger, Boxal, mbettinger@boxal.com, +33 474 79 2206

Nonni's Food Company's New York Style garlic pita chips are now available in a 24-oz. resealable pouch to help keep the contents fresh. Source: Nonni's Food Company.

Munch pita chips out of a resealable pouch

Nonni's Food Company, a Tulsa, OK-based company which specializes in premium deli snacks, including bagel crisps, pita chips, flatbreads and biscotti, recently upgraded its New York Style garlic pita chips to a larger sized 24-oz. resealable pouch available at Sam's Club.

Canadian converter Genpak LP, Aurora, ON, Canada, supplies the flexible pouches for the garlic pita chips. The stand-up pouch is composed of 48 g PET/WOPE/48 g PET MET/adhesive/2 mil PE.

"Our new upgraded pita chip package adds tremendous value and functionality for the Sam's Club member," says Bill Corcoran, marketing manager of the New York Style brand. "The convenience of a resealable pouch helps ensure a bakery-fresh product each and every time."

For more information:

Michael Olejnik, Genpak LP, michael_olejnik@progressivepac.com, 905-727-0121

Cool Quenchers, new frozen fruit juice concentrates from McCain Foods, are in Tetra Tops made of a paper/poly carton body for easier handling and microwaving. Source: Tetra Pak Canada Inc.

Frozen fruit juice concentrate kicks the can

McCain Foods (Canada) claims it has become the first producer in the world to launch a line of frozen fruit beverage concentrates in 250-ml Tetra Top cartons from Tetra Pak Canada Inc., Richmond Hill, ON, Canada. Called Cool Quenchers, the fruit juice concentrate has half the amount of sugar found in conventional fruit beverages, according to McCain Foods. The line, consisting of 12 flavors, is available in major grocery chains across Canada.

Unlike traditional composite cans used for concentrated juices that contain metal ends, the Tetra Top consists of a paper/poly carton body that can be microwaved for quick softening and faster mixing. The Tetra Top carton is a fiber package with rounded corners and a plastic top that is injection molded and applied inside the packaging machine. It features a specially designed plastic top that is said to be fast and easy to open.

McCain Group Product Manager Jean Lamontagne said the company decided to go with the Tetra Top because "the packages are easy to open, lightweight, and provide excellent freshness protection." Lamontagne added that the "Tetra Top machine works really well. It is efficient and reliable."

Lamontagne says he's encouraged by the research results that were part of the development program for the product, as the company tried to combine two consumer trends-more health-conscious beverages and convenient packaging. "We're offering a reduced-calorie drink that responds to trends in the market for healthier products with less sugar in a super convenient package," comments Lamontagne.

For more information:

Jaan Koel, Tetra Pak Canada Inc., jaan.koel@tetrapak.com, 905-780-4934

Ice cubes are the latest product to benefit from resealable packaging. UK-based Blue Keld introduced its spring water ice cubes in a bag with a reclosable zipper. Source: Zip-Pak.

Resealable ice package helps UK brand boost sales

Blue Keld, a British company that produces bottled natural mineral water and spring water ice cubes says it introduced the first resealable ice packages in the UK. Blue Keld Spring Water Premium Ice Cubes are made from spring water and packaged in one- and two-kilogram bags. A variant of the two-kilogram bag has been released as a resealable bag with a press-to-close zipper from Zip-Pak, Manteno, IL. According to Blue Keld, the product has exceeded sales expectations by more than 30 percent in its first months on the UK market.

Blue Keld's Managing Director Graham Cheesbrough says consumers that invest in high-quality beverages, such as high-end whisky and natural mineral waters, do not want to compromise the flavor of their drinks with ice made from "inferior water." "We use only spring water to make our ice and wanted packaging that would reflect the high-quality of our product," says Cheesbrough. "The resealable bag has helped differentiate our brand from the competition and consumers have responded very well to the additional convenience."

A form/fill/seal machine from Sandiacre Packaging Machinery, Nottingham, UK, produces the pillow bags, which feature Zip-Paks press-to-close zippers applied in the transverse direction for easy access from the top of the package.

"It is common for consumers to use bagged ice over a period of several weeks. A resealable zipper enhances packaging convenience by enabling easy storage after each use," adds Robert Hogan, director of international sales and marketing at Zip-Pak. "We are seeing more and more leading ice brands worldwide incorporate zippers into their packaging."

For more information:

Robert Hogan, Zip-Pak, rhogan@zippak.com, 815-468-6500

Michael Woods, Sandiacre Packaging Machinery, michael.woods@molins.com, +44 1159 67 8787

Tamper-evident containers with in-mold labeling

IPL Packaging released a line of retail and food service tamper-evident packaging. Suitable for the dairy industry, the containers feature IPL's in-mold labeling technology, which allows images to be designed into a label, creating a high-quality graphic look to help distinguish brands. The square and rectangle retail product line maximizes cubic space and places more product in a case, pallet or on the store shelf. The containers feature IPL's built-in tamper evident safety system to help protect the integrity and freshness of the contents. IPL's containers are suitable for a wide range of dairy food products, including butter spreads, grated and specialty cheeses, various dairy-based dips and cheese spread products.

IPL Packaging; www.ipl-packaging.com; 418-789-2880