Food Packaging: Beer carton stacks up
A Canadian brewer is using a new carton with a retractable handle to draw attention to its craft beers. The six-pack carrier was created by PaperWorks Industries, Inc., which received a Paperboard Packaging Council award for the design.
The West Shefford Brewing Company, located in Bromont, QC, had a number of requirements for the six-pack carton. First, the paperboard used in its construction needed to withstand high-moisture environments, as it would be exposed to the extremely wet conditions of a brewery. Also, the carton had to allow stacking on pallets or retail shelves. Consequently, a traditional one-piece beer bottle carton with a fixed handle would not be suitable.
PaperWorks came up with a two-piece carton solution, consisting of an auto-bottom base and a separate die-cut handle, made from 26-point solid, unbleached sulfate. The previously glued, die-cut structure pulls open to erect the carton and puts the base and can partitions in place to hold six 12-oz. beer cans.
Tabs at the bottom slide into channels located on both sides of the carton interior to assemble the handle. The handle can slide up and down vertically when the tabs are secured behind the sidewall flaps, allowing the carton to be stacked when the handle is in the down position. The handle blank is folded onto itself, increasing its thickness and providing the strength for consumers to carry the six-pack via the handle. Plus, because the carrier is constructed of two pieces, the brewery can change the messaging on the handle without producing a new carton design.