Small Halls, big future

January 29, 2014

4 Min Read
Small Halls, big future

Any packaging innovator would have been hard pressed to find a way to conveniently contain Halls' biggest product—reputedly the world's largest sweet when put on display in 1964 and weighing in at an amazing 167 lb. But on the opposite end of the spectrum, an innovative J.L. Clark ( package is today poised to help the tiny, new Halls Bursts™ product make a big impact. Spherically shaped Halls Bursts are small by Halls' standards to provide portable, on-the-go, soothing, sore-throat relief in great-tasting Cherry Surge, Apple Surge and Mint Surge variations. According to Cadbury Schweppes Americas Confectionery senior packaging engineer Kerri Clark, the new product required packaging unlike anything Halls had done before.

“Consumers today are used to doing everything on-the-fly, whether it's taking cellphone calls, text-messaging or eating,” says Clark. “Packaging for the new product had to be easy to hold, open and dispense, literally with one hand, and be durable enough to withstand repeated use over time, since it's designed to contain thirty drops. We worked collaboratively with J.L. Clark to create an 'anytime' package that fits nicely in a purse, a pocket or the palm of your hand.”

Consumers will find that the Halls Bursts dispenser is easier to grasp and pour with one hand because of its unique, hourglass shape and a flip-top latch precisely sized to control the flow of product. The latch, featuring J.L. Clark's “living hinge” design, requires just the force of a fingertip to flip open or click closed. Semi-transparent polypropylene makes the injection-molded container impervious to most day-to-day abuse, while still enabling the consumer to see the product inside. Red, blue and green container colors tie in nicely to the product's respective cherry, mint and apple flavors.

While the container's ultimate functionality is designed to accentuate the on-the-go image and refreshing new taste of Halls Bursts, J.L. Clark was also tasked by the customer with a myriad of more mundane, but equally important design objectives, according to J.L. Clark product manager Mike Diemer. “We opted to injection mold the product as a single piece, rather than producing and assembling a separate body, top and lid, thus effectively killing a number of birds with one stone,” he says. “For example, we reduced the customer's inventory and handling logistics and its cost for building multiple molds. We can also ship the container as one piece in the open position, making it easier for the customer to ultimately fill the container with product and then securely close and label it.”

The 16-cavity tool J.L. Clark designed for the injection-molding process is actually two eight-cavity tools mounted back-to-back in a more compact arrangement to simultaneously produce a total of 16 parts every few seconds.

Parts are conveyed to an orienting bowl, where they're positioned with the dispensing latch at the top. The flip-top latch is then pressed into the closed position, and the product is packed for shipment (the two halves of the product, joined by the living hinge, can easily be pressed together and fastened securely by pins or posts molded into the body).

Labeling is done downstream by the customer, since the label is designed to wrap around the container for tamper-evidence once the product is inserted and the package is closed.

Currently, the new molding line at J.L. Clark's Rockford, IL, plastics facility is working 24/7 to meet demand. The new line is side-by-side with another molding line producing a similar package for Cadbury Adams' Dentyne Frost Bites™ product, currently available only in Canada.

Cadbury Schweppes, parent of Cadbury Adams, is the largest confectionery company and includes brands such as Cadbury, Halls, Trident, Snapple, Trebor, Dentyne, Bubblicious and Bassett.

J.L. Clark has, for more than 100 years, been a specialty packaging pioneer in a variety of consumer and industrial markets, today offering a “material-indifferent” approach to packaging that enables the company to provide innovative design and manufacturing solutions in metal, plastic or a combination of both.

“Collaboration with J.L. Clark led to an innovative package befitting both the product's unique characteristics and the on-the-go nature of our target market,” concludes Clark. “We expect great things, both from our products and from our partners.”

More information is available:

J.L. Clark, 815/966-5911.

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