How many times have customers stood in the alcohol aisle wishing they could just get all the parts of a great cocktail in one bottle? Well, Plastic Technologies, Inc. (PTI) has good news!

The company has launched a new Clasper bottle, which features a bottom container that snaps into the base of the larger top bottle. So the top could be orange juice, and the bottom could have the exact right amount of vodka and never the twain shall meet until the consumer takes it home, snaps the bottom off and pours it into the top.

The innovative package development was driven by brand owner Yumix’s desire to give adult consumers a great tasting cocktail, which they could mix themselves anywhere, anytime. And now it’s available to brand owners.

It features a combination of two polyethylene terephthalate (PET) containers and a shrink label. The Yumix version features a bottom holds 50 ml. of premium alcohol and a heat-applied aluminum-foil seal. The main bottle holds 6.5 oz. of hot-filled, shelf-stable juice and is topped by a 38 mm. polypropylene closure. And a shrink-label graphics label includes usage instructions.

And although the Clasper package was originally designed for a hot-fill application, modifications can be made to accommodate other process types.

The Clasper bottle concept is the brainchild of Yumix founder Alex Garner. After having gained experience working with fresh juices for a major beverage company, it occurred to him that adding alcohol to those juices would be a perfect companion for adults on a warm day. Portability, as well as taking the guesswork out of cocktail mixing and achieving a great flavor profile, every time, were just some of the objectives.

“I knew from my experience that if we tried to premix the juice and alcohol, the enzymes in the juice would quickly alter the taste,” Garner explains. “You would then have to add preservatives and sweetener, which would alter the flavor profile.  That’s not what we wanted to do and that’s why we expended significant effort to develop the right package. The end result has been driven by our quality goals.”

He quickly discovered that an “off-the-shelf” packaging solution for what he wanted to achieve did not exist. That’s when he turned to PTI, a global leader in helping brand owners develop plastic packaging solutions.

“Alex came to PTI with the concept and challenged us to create a bottle for Yumix that would be commercially viable and function in the intended way,” says Tracy Momany, vice president, product development group, PTI. “The most technically challenging part was getting the components to snap together and stay together—further complicated by the 185 degrees Fahrenheit hot-fill requirements.”

The base of the top bottle is highly susceptible to deformation during hot fill. It’s further complicated by the fact that they had to leave room in the main bottle to pour in the alcohol, which meant a larger-than-normal headspace. That increases the vacuum in the package significantly, putting stress on the bottle.

PTI needed to come up with the right geometry and bottle weight to keep the dimensions within the appropriate tolerances so that the snap fit was consistently achieved, but yet have the containers be easily separable by the consumer. Ribs, instead of vacuum panels, were used to add the necessary structural stability without compromising the aesthetics. The top and bottom bottle shapes flow together aesthetically; the graphics of the label highlight the existence of two unique packages.

“Creating the bottom alcohol-container container was also challenging because it is so short and wide relative to the size of the 20mm finish. A tiny preform had to be developed from which to blow the bottle,” Momany explains.

The end result is a bottle with a sporty, but chic look that gives consumers a lot of flexibility in how they choose to enjoy the beverage.

“We want it to resonate with consumers as ‘cool, clever, modern and premium’,” Garner explains.  “Although the package is shelf stable, most will choose to refrigerate it before consuming for a refreshing experience. It also gives consumers added safety of being able to mix their own drink, without guessing at the alcohol content. This helps support responsible drinking.”

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