Simply Functional LLC, a supplier of specialty health foods, has launched its ChiaSmart line of salsas in new 12-oz ring-neck PET bottles from Amcor Rigid Plastics. The stock hot fill container is engineered to deliver the look of glass with the significant performance and cost advantages of plastic packaging. The new packaging has increased portability, lightweight, and reduced transportation costs of the condiments for distribution via Simply Functional's online fundraising channel and at retail and natural food stores.
The ChiaSmart line of salsas, salad dressings, and barbecue sauces are based on chia, a naturally grown grain that is rich in Omega-3 oil, antioxidants, dietary fiber, complex amino acids, calcium, and potassium. For the salsa, Simply Functional opted for the 12-oz PET bottle instead of glass or PP. The company plans to transition later to ambient 12-oz PET containers for its salad dressing and hot fill 12-oz PET bottles for its barbecue sauce products, replacing competitive plastics.
"Amcor's 12oz PET bottle is a premium option that uniquely meets our distribution needs," Alex Sedlecky, chief operating officer for Simply Functional, remarks. "It is lightweight, break-resistant, recyclable, and mimics the appearance of glass."
The 29 g bottle weighs nearly 90 percent less than glass, resulting in a weight savings of 6.8 lb per 12-pack case, or approximately 1,100 lbs per pallet load, according to Sedlecky. The 12-oz ring-neck bottle is recyclable and offers pleasing aesthetics and strong shelf appeal for the ChiaSmart brand, which is targeted for health- and eco-conscious consumers. In addition to its online distribution channel, the salsa products are sold at Hy-Vee, a chain of 232 retail stores throughout the Midwest which focuses on healthy lifestyles and nutritional foods.
The ChiaSmart salsa line is co-packed by Bodine Etc. Specialty Foods, a leading co-packer in Clearwater, FL. Greg Watkins, vp of Bodine Etc. Specialty Foods, said the 12-oz PET bottles are seamlessly integrated into existing glass lines with minimal adjustment. Amcor sells the containers to Bodine in 12-count re-shippers which are convenient for filling and a cost saver for retail re-packing.
The 12-oz ring neck bottle features Amcor's PowerFlex technology-a patented panel-less design which takes hot fill (185-deg F) bottle options to a new level. The structural design eliminates the panels, and unlike competitive containers, provides a large, completely panel-less label panel. Amcor uses design and manufacturing techniques to create a bottle that absorbs vacuum via a patented designed base. A diaphragm within the base draws upward as the liquid cools. It has the geometric characteristics to enable the inverted cone-shaped diaphragm to deflect upward as the vacuum is created.
Unlike conventional hot fill PET alternatives, PowerFlex bottles are designed to be easier to label because they don't have sidewall vacuum panels. Packers don't have to worry about mislabeling, that is; missing the vertical bars in applying labels. Nor do they have to deal with the ripple effect that occurs when labeling over panels.
The 12-oz ring neck container comes in two versions: one has three horizontal ribs for hot fill (185-deg F) applications and the other has smooth walls for ambient fill or warm fill up to 140-deg F. The stock bottles are available in a 38-mm 400CT finish and also a 38-mm tamper-evident finish for beverage applications. They are designed with modular molds which allow customers to customize their package at relatively low cost. PET formulations can include up to 100 percent food-grade post-consumer resin.
Simply Functional is considering 12-oz ring neck PET bottles for a range of new food products that will be introduced over the next year, according to Sedlecky.