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Getting dressed to go out

On the West Coast, smaller sizes are continuing to stir the dairy market through big packaging ideas. In the most recent developments, Seattle-based WestFarm Foods and Fresno, CA's Producers Dairy Foods are marketing products in innovative containers aimed at, respectively, the youth and holiday sales segments.

At WestFarm, introduction of the DariGo flavored milk series under the Darigold banner is moving ahead forcefully. With shipments in Washington and Alaska–and plans to move the products into the Pacific Rim, WestFarm marketing director Randy Eronimous tells PD–the company is counting on the visual appeal and extended shelf life of its package to build strong brand loyalty quickly.

That appeal derives from full-body shrink labels decorated with amusing cartoons selling the four varieties: Smooth Milk Chocolate, Maximum Chocolate, Berry Blast Strawberry and Great White Milk. For the single 12-oz size, shaped like an old-fashioned glass milk bottle, the labels are printed on a white background that makes the entertaining graphics stand out.

Getting around
Labels also get around the bottles with full 360-degree decoration. Seal-It uses a 2-mil polyethylene terephthalate glycol (PETG), which it reverse-prints in 10 colors via rotogravure to achieve exceptional point-of-sale impact for the labels.

They're applied to PET bottles produced by CNC Containers. A two-step stretch/blow process with Husky (preforms) and Sidel equipment uses variously supplied resins to yield bottles made to the highest sanitary standards, a CNC spokesperson says. Following filling, the bottles receive tamper-evident, foil-based seals from Ceassan Flexible Packaging and are capped with 38-mm injection-molded red polypropylene threaded closures made by Alcoa Closure Systems International's Southern Plastics Division.

At the WestFarm operation, the ultra-pasteurized milks fill under tightly controlled conditions. Eronimous says, "We guarantee a thirty-day shelf life to the trade, but it's really ninety days." That's the reason behind the expanded distribution area.

Family unity
Following successful marketing of Mr. Nog, a snowman-shaped and decorated bottle for its premium old-fashioned eggnog, Producers Dairy is providing a mate in a showing of family unity for the holidays. The same high-density polyethylene pint bottle, made in-house on its Uniloy six-head blow molder, is used for both figures. This makes the expansion possible without an additional equipment investment by Producers.

All that's needed is new artwork, also generated in-house, that accomplishes the gender change resulting in Mrs. Nog. This is expressed on a full-body label that, like the original, is converted by Worldpack on a 50-micron shrink vinyl reverse-printed in eight colors via rotogravure. The marketer attaches the labels and shrinks them using a Phase Fire Systems (now American Packaging) applicator/heat tunnel.

Completing the presentations is a threaded, low-density PE closure injection-molded with a tamper-resistant tear-band. It's the Millennium model from Consumer Caps, and it's the last step before sending the happy couple on their way.

Their journey, starting last October, carries them to retail stores in northern and central California. Some honeymoon.

More information is available:

Label: Seal-It, 800/325-3965. Circle No. 205.

Bottle: CNC Containers, 360/943-2527. Circle No. 206.

Injection molder: Husky Injection Molding Systems, 905/951-5050. Circle No. 207.

Stretch/blow molder: Sidel, 770/449-8058. Circle No. 208.

Seals: Ceassan Flexible Packaging, +31 578 571 541. Circle No. 209.

Closures: Alcoa Closure Systems International's Southern Plastics Division, 903/984-6229. Circle No. 210.

Blow molder: Uniloy Milacron, 800/666-8852. Circle No. 211.

Label: Worldpack, 714/670-1661. Circle No. 212.

Applicator/tunnel: American Packaging, 888/741-2341. Circle No. 213.

Closure: Consumer Caps Corp., 866/628-0313. Circle No. 214.

Extended shelf life lurks behind full-body PET labels for four 12-oz PET bottles of flavored milk.
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