International Paper Tackles packaging Challenge

October 1, 2004
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International Paper Tackles packaging Challenge

by Jamie Popp
The demand for small, grippable, easy-to-open packaging is nothing new in retail circles. The countless beverage options in increasingly smaller sizes that exist on store shelves prove that convenience is paramount and tiny is in. But what about packaging in the foodservice arena?
Findings from a school milk pilot test performed by national dairy organizations during the past year identified key components of the way children consume milk. Not surprisingly, kids prefer additional flavor variety and improved refrigerated displays for colder milk and more appeal. The results prompted some dairy processors to look at alternative packaging and schools to add additional cooler displays in order to find ways to increase consumption of milk.
“Paper packaging has long been the optimal packaging solution for the school milk channel,” says Jeanette Havens, assistant marketing manager, beverage packaging at International Paper. “However, we knew that we could improve this package by making it easier to open.” Identifying the consumer need for enhanced opening features that are appealing to processors who are constantly looking for cost-effective packaging solutions, International Paper’s beverage packaging business delivered.
The solution is the Eco-Pak Plus, a gable-top package with an enhanced opening feature that will be offered at schools this fall. This new development provides value to dairy processors because it satisfies the consumer demand for easy-to-use packaging that is cost effective.
With this new packaging, International Paper demonstrates that many things can still be done with paper in order to increase school milk consumption, while adhering to the schools' budget parameters.
Team members at International Paper's Product Development Center in Loveland, Ohio, and its Kalamazoo, Mich., Converting Facility developed the enhanced opening of the Eco-Pak Plus, based on testing done with children in schools in Ohio and a prominent dairy processor in the Northeast.
“Eco-Pak Plus is a unique opening feature designed for straw hole puncture. The patent-pending design is an embossed cross that allows for easier penetration without the risk of leaking,” says Stephanie Kuhar, assistant marketing manager, beverage packaging. “Our Evergreen N-8 Filling Machine is the preferred filler for this market, efficiently filling up to 340 cartons per minute (20,400 per hour).  Eco-Pak Plus is seamless to the filler and provides the processor the ability to address this consumer concern while maintaining their production efficiencies without increasing their material costs, thereby optimizing our school milk packaging solution."
But it's not only school milk channels that have jumped on the trend in new paper packaging, single- serve gable-top packaging solutions have made their way to mass merchandisers and traditional grocery channels as well. Juice companies such as Welch's and Tropicana have introduced single-serve multipacks of easy-to-open gable-top packaged beverages to retail outlets nationwide. For example, Tropicana Healthy Kid's juice is available in a multipack of six 8-ounce cartons. In addition, Welch's recently launched a multipack of eight 6-ounce Micro-Pak cartons in Concord Grape and Strawberry Breeze juice drink flavors.
Eco-Pak multipacks available in the retail environment are similar in shape to traditional school milk cartons, but have enhanced features such as high-quality graphics for shelf appeal, Tru Taste barrier boards for improved shelf life, perforated straw openings for added convenience and paperboard over-wraps that hold multiple servings in a six-pack format. The Micro-Pak, typically found in mass merchandise and supercenter channels, provides all of the benefits of Eco-Pak cartons such as high-quality graphics and multipack offerings, but has several other innovative features such as a foil patch straw hole for easier opening.
Havens attributes the success of Micro-Pak packaging in retail outlets to its product features, including its robust Tru Taste Gold barrier boards, which protect the flavor and shelf life of the product. Additional features such as the carton’s stable pyramid bottom to prevent spilling, and its ability to fit conveniently in a cup holder are important for drinkers on the go. The process print graphics capability makes the packaging more appealing to consumers, an option attractive to juice companies that are vying for more shelf attention.
Whether it’s the foil-patched straw opening on the Micro-Pak or the Eco-Pak Plus embossed opening on the Eco-Pak, consumers of all ages will benefit from the easier and portable packaging at school and home. BI
Bottled cocktails
Brown-Forman’s Jack Daniel’s Country Cocktails are now available in 16-ounce PET bottles. Constar International Inc., Philadelphia, designed the multi-layer bottle that features Oxbar, an oxygen scavenger designed to protect the product from oxygen while maintaining carbonation levels. The new PET package is available at stadiums, arenas, amphitheaters and other glass-free venues. Jack Daniel’s Country Cocktails Downhome Punch and Lynchburg Lemonade flavors were the first flavors offered in the new package.
Jim Beam Brands Co. has released a commemorative bottle of Booker’s Bourbon to honor Frederick Booker Noe II, master distiller of Jim Beam Brands for more than 50 years and grandson of distiller Jim Beam. The bourbon recipe reportedly will remain the same but the label will be different, and a portion of the proceeds from each commemorative bottle will benefit The Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest in the name of Angels’ Share, the charitable arm of Jim Beam Brands that supports local communities in which Jim Beam Brands Co. employees live and work.
Bud bottle changes
Anheuser-Busch, St. Louis, Mo., has unveiled Bud Light applied plastic label bottles nationally. Bud Light 12-ounce bottles now feature a clear label that is designed to reinforce the brand’s “active, fun and modern-day image.” The new bottle is available in all retail outlets where the beer is sold.
In other news, the company has announced Michelob, Michelob Light and Anheuser World Select will soon be available in 16-ounce aluminum bottles in several markets.
Irish character
Allied Domecq Spirits & Wine, North America, Westport, Conn., and C&C International, trademark owner of Carolans Irish Cream liqueur, are debuting a “new look... new wave” for the beverage. The redesigned package and label design include a modern, burgundy and cream bottle embossed with a celtic-knot motif, which echoes Carolans’ overall brand image and its traditional Irish character, according to the companies.
3’s new sizes
Chicago-based 3 Vodka Distilling Co. has launched two new package sizes: 1-liter and 1.75-liter bottles. While maintaining the bottle’s proprietary packaging, which features the red number 3, a contoured cap and glass embossment detail, the new 1-liter bottle is 13.4 inches tall with cap and the 1.75-liter bottle is 14.7 inches tall with cap.
making a mark
Maker's Mark whisky plans to debut a festive green and red wax-dipped 1.75-liter bottle for the holidays. The bottle is available at retailers nationwide for approximately $46.99. The 750-ml. bottle, also dipped in red and green wax, features a holiday-themed box for $23.99.
Bacardi redesign
Bacardi Rum has unveiled a new package design, which will initially be introduced in the U.S. market and eventually globally. It will feature a new bottle and label design for the Bacardi portfolio of rums, which includes Bacardi Superior and the Gold, Select and 151 labels. The new look will feature a taller, more tapered bottle with a more contemporary label design and type font.
Bottled cocktails
Brown-Forman’s Jack Daniel’s Country Cocktails are now available in 16-ounce PET bottles. Constar International Inc., Philadelphia, designed the multi-layer bottle that features Oxbar, an oxygen scavenger designed to protect the product from oxygen while maintaining carbonation levels. The new PET package is available at stadiums, arenas, amphitheaters and other glass-free venues. Jack Daniel’s Country Cocktails Downhome Punch and Lynchburg Lemonade flavors were the first flavors offered in the new package.
Jim Beam Brands Co. has released a commemorative bottle of Booker’s Bourbon to honor Frederick Booker Noe II, master distiller of Jim Beam Brands for more than 50 years and grandson of distiller Jim Beam. The bourbon recipe reportedly will remain the same but the label will be different, and a portion of the proceeds from each commemorative bottle will benefit The Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest in the name of Angels’ Share, the charitable arm of Jim Beam Brands that supports local communities in which Jim Beam Brands Co. employees live and work.
Bud bottle changes
Anheuser-Busch, St. Louis, Mo., has unveiled Bud Light applied plastic label bottles nationally. Bud Light 12-ounce bottles now feature a clear label that is designed to reinforce the brand’s “active, fun and modern-day image.” The new bottle is available in all retail outlets where the beer is sold.
In other news, the company has announced Michelob, Michelob Light and Anheuser World Select will soon be available in 16-ounce aluminum bottles in several markets.
Irish character
Allied Domecq Spirits & Wine, North America, Westport, Conn., and C&C International, trademark owner of Carolans Irish Cream liqueur, are debuting a “new look... new wave” for the beverage. The redesigned package and label design include a modern, burgundy and cream bottle embossed with a celtic-knot motif, which echoes Carolans’ overall brand image and its traditional Irish character, according to the companies.
3’s new sizes
Chicago-based 3 Vodka Distilling Co. has launched two new package sizes: 1-liter and 1.75-liter bottles. While maintaining the bottle’s proprietary packaging, which features the red number 3, a contoured cap and glass embossment detail, the new 1-liter bottle is 13.4 inches tall with cap and the 1.75-liter bottle is 14.7 inches tall with cap.
making a mark
Maker's Mark whisky plans to debut a festive green and red wax-dipped 1.75-liter bottle for the holidays. The bottle is available at retailers nationwide for approximately $46.99. The 750-ml. bottle, also dipped in red and green wax, features a holiday-themed box for $23.99.
Bacardi redesign
Bacardi Rum has unveiled a new package design, which will initially be introduced in the U.S. market and eventually globally. It will feature a new bottle and label design for the Bacardi portfolio of rums, which includes Bacardi Superior and the Gold, Select and 151 labels. The new look will feature a taller, more tapered bottle with a more contemporary label design and type font.
packageexpansion
Longneck, 11.2-ounce bottles have been introduced by Singha beer, produced by Boon Rawd Trading International Co. Ltd., a subsidiary of Boon Rawd Brewery Co. Ltd. Additionally, the packaging is expanding from six- to 12-packs. The new graphics for the six-packs and 12-packs will showcase Singha's traditional gold and black colors, and also feature Thai silk in a flowing spiral shape as the key visual..
Lager in aluminum
Pittsburgh Brewing Co., the maker of Iron City Premium Lager, recently launched the product in a seamless aluminum bottle. The new 12-ounce bottle will be available to distributors across the country and in select bars and restaurants. CCL Container, Hermitage, Pa., produced the new bottle for the launch. The aluminum was supplied by Alcoa, which also worked with Pittsburgh Brewing in 1962 to develop the snap-top can, giving Pittsburgh Brewing exclusive use of the technology.

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