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Kraft teams with Sonoco for composite coffee can

Kraft Foods is making the switch from metal cans to Sonoco’s high-performance, lower cost and more environmentally responsible paperboard composite container for its Maxwell House Coffee brand. Maxwell House is the second-largest coffee brand in the United States and Kraft has chosen Sonoco to handle conversions of its one-pound containers.

Six different components make up the new Maxwell House composite can. Each component is produced by Sonoco and provided as a complete packaging solution to Maxwell House at its filling plants in Florida and California. The can itself is spiral-wound from 100-percent recycled paperboard and includes a high-barrier liner. And Sonoco’s patented Sealclick plastic closure technology produces a resealable lid for the one-pound cans that seals fresh every time. Kraft promotes this new overcap as its “Flavor Lock Lid,” which tightly reseals by simply applying pressure on the lid’s center with your thumbs.

Sonoco’s patented Ultraseal® membrane end is used for the container’s opening. Created for non-processed applications like coffee, the flexible end creates a hermetic seal but features a unique valve that releases built-up pressure that can occur in coffee packaging. Sonoco also manufactures the metal bottoms.

To help differentiate the look of the new Maxwell House container, Sonoco uses its state-of-the-art gravure cylinder engraving operations and rotogravure presses to create a premium image that enhances shelf appeal and branding. And, because there are no ribs on the can, the smooth surface provides superior graphic billboarding for Kraft’s newly created graphics. In total, seven divisions and 11 Sonoco plants are producing components for the new Maxwell House composite can.

“It is our unique ability to deliver complete and customized packaging solutions along with turn-key project management capabilities that separates Sonoco from its packaging peers,” said Charles Sullivan, Sonoco’s executive vice president, Consumer.

“For some time, we’ve had a coordinated team of employees from many divisions within the Company who have collaborated on this venture. The result is a package that successfully meets the cost objectives and performance expectations of Kraft. With this conversion, Kraft is taking a significant step in reshaping how the coffee industry packages its product.”

Sonoco’s composite containers also are more sustainable, eliminating each year more than four million pounds of raw materials in package production. And when compared to metal cans, composite cans made by Sonoco require less energy to manufacture and result in fewer greenhouse gas emissions. Additionally, the recycled paperboard that makes up most of the container’s weight is chain of custody certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, (SFI) and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC).

“In addition to performance and cost, we know that meeting our customers’ sustainability expectations is absolutely essential to the success of our total solutions packaging model,” Sullivan said. “Therefore, we’ve invested in and will continue to invest in the technology and expertise necessary to expand our products and services in the area of packaging sustainability.”

SOURCE: Sonoco

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