Packaging Digest is part of the Informa Markets Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Crunchy snack brownies debut chic new packaging

Crunchy snack brownies debut chic new packaging

Sheila G's Brownie Brittle is unveiling sleek new packaging this summer that offers a fresh, sophisticated look. It is debuting in Costco in a 16-oz stand-up pouch (shown) and will roll out to other retailers in late June. The upscale new packaging marks the continuation of an exponential new era for the once small-scale chocolate treat.

“The art deco-inspired design and matte metallic finish were developed to improve shelf appeal, contemporize the brand, and help differentiate the flavors within the product line,” Chris Pruneda, chief marketing officer, Brownie Brittle tells Packaging Digest. “The new design also provides a brand platform for Sheila G. to introduce new flavor and product innovations.  The uniqueness of our new design will help consumers easily identify new Sheila G. products and flavors to come.”

Key changes from the previous design, which had been in use for the past three years, according to Pruneda:

  • The product photography was reshot for all flavors in order to feature the product in a stack arrangement. This arrangement helps the consumer fully understand Brownie Brittle’s product proposition – a chocolate brownie in a thin artisan cookie format. It is like eating the crispy edge of a gourmet brownie.
  • Each flavor is delivered in a flavor indicating matte metallic color, with a custom flavor inspired watermark, and a dramatic top to bottom gradient which draws the eye down to a “knocked-out”, gloss finished product shot. The “120 calorie per serving” tab and flavor tab are also knocked-out gloss for visual impact.

The newly designed packaging is being printed through a new arrangement with Emusa Peru S.a.c. (emusa.com.pe) and exported to Dama Packaging and Export Inc., Miami, FL. The packaging uses 8-color flexographic printing on PET/metallized PET/low-density polyethylene.

Pruneda credits Ammirati (Ammirati.com) for the new design. Reproducing the package vision by Ammirati and Pruneda involved printing a multi-layered, gradating, metallic substrate, with matte and knock out gloss finishes. “That proved to be quite a challenge at the printer press,” Pruneda adds."Ammirati and the Brownie Brittle design and operational teams worked tirelessly to accomplish this cutting edge design and print project".

One of the key consumer benefits in the redesign is that Brownie Brittle decided to add 25 percent more product to the core grocery 4-oz bag at no increased cost to the company’s consumers and trade partners.

“Now consumers can buy a 5-oz bag of Brownie Brittle at the same great suggested retail price of $3.99,” says Pruneda. “While we believe our product is ultimately enjoyed by the whole family, women aged 25-54 are the core target consumer for Brownie Brittle,” he says.

The product is available in four pack sizes: 5oz is the core grocery package, 16oz is the core club package and 2- and 1-oz packs are sold for on-the-go/single-serve indulging.

Canola oil launches in 3-L PET jug with an integral handle

Canola oil launches in 3-L PET jug with an integral handle

A 3-L PET bottle with a molded handle has been successfully launched in North America as a result of the collaboration efforts of three progressive packaging companies. The “T” handle technology developed by SIDE  (sopladoraspet.com) , located in Barcelona, Spain, has brought long sought after innovation to the market.

The application was edible oil and the challenge was issued by one of Canada’s largest grocery retailers to its Canola oil supplier: Richardson Oilseed, Canada’s largest privately owned agro-business. The challenge was a market demand for a value priced 3-L clear bottle with a consumer friendly grip feature. Richardson invited their partner IntraPac, a Canadian division of the privately owned IntraPac Group (intrapacgroup.com), to develop packaging alternatives to meet customer objectives.

The need for clarity narrowed choices to polypropylene or PET.  PP can be blow molded with a handle for larger bottles, but the clarity, impact resistance and oxygen transmission rate for PET is much superior. PET technology has so far only been able to offer indented “easy grip” features for 32- and 64-oz juice bottles, but this design is insufficient for larger bottles. Some larger bottles have a “snap in” or “molded in” handle normally made from PP. This technology has improved to a reliable commercial state, but is considerably more expensive for tooling, specialized equipment and particularly the unit price of the package itself.

SIDE developed a unique machine that offers the patented ability to compression-mold a “T” handle (SIDE designates it as the “T-hanDle”) into PET during the molding process to meet the required functionality and has sold numerous machines in the European market. This automated equipment will produce up to 1,000 bottles per hour per cavity oriented at the exit for easy palletizing. Richardson required a specific design for compatibility on their existing line and cartons at a price point that would be attractive to the competitive grocery retailers. They also required minimum weight and maximum top-load capacity targeting not less than 35 lb.

This became a challenge for IntraPac as preform design, optimum stretch rations and top-load requirements needed to be force fit into restricting design parameters with very little allowance on dimensions. The 43mm thread finish developed by Pano Cap  (panocap.com)  specifically for this application worked extremely well, but did place some limits on preform design. After nearly one year and several iterations on both preform and bottle design, the 90g “T” handle mold made by Compact Mould (compactmould.com) was ready for production and market trials.

Subsequent consumer acceptance, performance and cost effective structure has resulted in substantial sales for Richardson and growth opportunities for a package that will open new markets in North America and abroad.

SIDE has since continued to innovate and evolve the T-hanDle system to apply to other market sectors, such as detergents, juices and bottled water. In these sectors, container weight is of critical importance in order to reduce the total cost of the package. SIDE has managed to produce T-handle for 2.5L bottles with only 54g. 

It has also expanded the applicability of the T-handle system for up to 4 cavity machines and can provide an output of up to 4000 bottles per hour, depending on the size of the containers.

For more information contact:  Craig Lucas, IntraPac Canada Ltd,403-207-7701; Bo West, Richardson Oilseed, 204-934-5633; Gaston Petrucci of Compact Mould who also represents SIDE in Canada, 905-851-7724 x241; and Hugh Sendel, Pano Cap, 519-893-6055.

David Birkby is a freelance writer with a degree in polymer chemistry and a certificate in business from McMaster University. He spent 17 years with Shell Oil Co. in various research and business development functions followed by 10 years with Graham Packaging as manufacturing manager of the Canadian operations. For the past 15 years, he has been the owner operator of Westbridge Containers in Calgary, a manufacturer of plastic bottles that was sold to private equity two years ago. He can be reached at [email protected]

Laser scoring/marking-equipped stick pack machinery lowers operating costs

Laser scoring/marking-equipped stick pack machinery lowers operating costs

The Inever BY300 multilane stick pack machine from Matrix, powered by Pro Mach, offers combined laser scoring and marking to lower operating costs through savings in consumables versus continuous inkjet printing. It also improves the overall appearance and consumer friendliness of the stick pack.

The cost-effective system, which will be seen at EastPack, June 10-12, at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City in Booth #3025, is aimed at low-to-medium production of quality stick pack seals of dosing powders, granules, solids, liquids, and pastes.

Highlights:

  • The perfectly straight score line scores the outermost layer of film without damaging the inner layer;
  • The patented CO2 laser-based system performs both scoring and marking operations with an estimated operating life of 45,000+ hours;
  • Output ranges from 150 stickpacks per minute for a three-lane operation to 350 per minute with seven lanes;
  • Widths range from 1.8 inches for a three-lane operation to 0.67 inches for seven lanes; lengths range from 1.18 inches to 8 inches;
  • Inkjet or thermal printing and embossed coding for variable data can be specified;
  • It features a touchscreen HMI, PLC control, and brushless servo motors;
  • Available options include collating/counting conveyors for cartoning, dust aspiration for powders, integrated top load or end load cartoning, and mechanical cam drive.

Cereal topper ‘shakes’ up yogurt aisle

Cereal topper ‘shakes’ up yogurt aisle

Breakfast just got tastier with the recent introduction of the YoCrunch Cereal Bowl – collaboration between powerhouse brands YoCrunch and Kellogg’s.  The YoCrunch Cereal Bowl unites cereal favorites from Kellog’s such as Frosted Flakes, Froot Loops and Special K in an innovative dome-shaped top with YoCrunch’s tasty yogurt making it easy for consumers to combine the two breakfast items and shake to get that perfect blended mixture.  

Packaging Digest caught up with Elliot Shifrin, senior brand manager for YoCrunch to get exclusive details on the innovative packaging.

What design trends does your packaging set in the breakfast category?

Shifrin: The packaging for YoCrunch Cereal bowls is all about convenience and is something completely new for consumers.  On their own many Americans are combining cereal with yogurt, and we’ve simplified that greatly with the YoCrunch Cereal Bowl. We believe it is the most significant innovation in the yogurt category since the introduction of Greek yogurt. The product has the largest dome in the yogurt aisle, creating an end product that has equal parts cereal and yogurt. In addition, consumers “shake” the two components together versus the traditional pour and stir in.

What is the motivation behind the recent activity in introducing new products/packaging?

Shifrin: Yogurt category growth, to which we are deeply committed, is in large part about finding new ways for Americans to enjoy the benefits and versatility of yogurt.  The YoCrunch Cereal Bowl’s large dome provides consumers the best way to achieve a perfectly blended yogurt and cereal flavor combination. As two thirds of Americans are currently mixing in a topping or other ingredients to their yogurt, this packaging makes it even more convenient for consumers to enjoy the yogurt and cereal combination.

Consumers have been mixing cereal into their yogurt on their own for years, what’s taken so long for this concept to come to fruition?

Shifrin: There are certainly companies that could have created this product before we did, but no one had yet. It’s the type of product that once you see it, it just makes perfect sense. We’re proud to partner with Kellogg’s to bring its strong brands and great tasting cereals to the YoCrunch family. Once we started the conversation with them, we were able to bring the products to market in just over 6 months, which is a testament to our collective agility.

What were the key goals and requirements from a marketing view? From a packaging view?

Shifrin: We wanted to make the lives of yogurt and cereal lovers easier and bring added value to the retailer with a truly novel concept.  Simultaneously, we are delivering the delicious flavor, convenience and nutrition consumers have come to expect from YoCrunch with the strong Kellogg brands.

Describe packaging components of bottle, closure, label (other?) by vendor(s) and specification (or structure/polymer, size, style). To what degree is each custom?

Shifrin: The design of the cup and the bowl are both custom.  The cup is made from PP and is thermoformed, while the dome is also PP and injection molded. Both the cup and dome are sleeved to deliver the premium look warranted by the respective YoCrunch and Kellogg’s brands.

What challenges were encountered from a packaging production standpoint and how were they solved?

Shifrin: YoCrunch was the first to pair creamy, vanilla and fruit-flavored yogurt with crunchy granola in a dual container and has been creating fun, wholesome yogurt combinations for more than 25 years. We already had the technology in place to create the topper, and we expanded it to create the largest dome ever to hit the yogurt aisle.

Were there any other unexpected results and/or pleasant surprises?

Shifrin: Thankfully there were no unexpected events during the development of the YoCrunch Cereal Bowls, which accounted for our getting the product from concept to market in just over 6 months.

Where are the products packaged?

Shifrin: At the YoCrunch plant in Naugatuck, CT.

Did sustainability play a role in the package development?

Shifrin: Sustainability is a factor in all of our decision-making and the larger dome is necessary to accommodate the cereals as well as facilitate the unique method of combining the cereal and yogurt.