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Tea in a pouch is easy to use

Totally Light Tea2Go™ from 4C Foods Corp., Brooklyn, NY, is impacting the way America drinks bottled water. Just pour a single-serve packet of the powdered-tea mix into a bottle and enjoy. 4C Foods, which has been supplying iced-tea mix for more than 30 years, introduced last year the stick-shaped, laminated pouch, which contains just the right amount of flavored tea mix for a half-liter bottle of water .

The powder pouch is an old, familiar sight. Think of your table setting at a restaurant and the container of those little pouches holding sugar and sweetener. Now, the on-the-go, as-you-need-it packaging concept for single-serve has gone a step further with Slim Stick® packaging from Technical Help in Engineering and Marketing (www.them.net), Marlton, NJ. Made of high-quality, multilaminate materials, Slim Stick packaging has a slim shape that makes it easy to pour its contents into the opening of a water bottle, and it fits in a purse, a pocket or a gym bag, to offer single-serving, convenient packaging you can take with you wherever you go.

"We chose to utilize the stick-pack technology for the full line of our new Totally Light Tea2Go iced tea mixes," says Robert Goetz, 4C Foods director of purchasing. "Originally, a colleague recommended T.H.E.M. for their equipment capabilities. That was certainly a plus, but I was impressed by their level of experience." Their test lab and a small production facility convinced Goetz that T.H.E.M. could help 4C Foods introduce a new product in this package format with great ease. Says Goetz, "The Tea2Go concept is all about convenience, and the stick-packs deliver that on every level."

Slim Stick packaging is more than just a sales booster; it is also a cost-effective packaging option that saves manufacturers and marketers up to 35 percent on the cost of film versus the traditional pouch. And with its high-quality construction, it can hold virtually any product that can be packaged into a traditional shape. "The slender, tubular design of the Slim Stick package makes it easy to dispense premeasured products of all kinds," says Ken Botterbrodt, senior vp at T.H.E.M.

T.H.E.M currently produces the Tea2Go pouches for 4C at its New Jersey facility on a FC-1000 high-speed, multilane vertical form/fill/seal machine from Sanko Machinery Co., Ltd. (81-3-3733-4211), which T.H.E.M represents in the U.S. 4C is in the process of procuring a Sanko machine to run the pouches at its Brooklyn production facility.

The FC-1000 slits the web into individual lanes for precision, multilane production. Stick length is adjustable through a patented system without any part changes, while different pouch widths are achieved with optional tooling. Timing is controlled digitally, which makes adjustments easier than with conventional cam mechanisms, and a touchpanel provides immediate fine-tuning of production. The touchpanel stores timing settings in memory for instant recall and allows for quick production startups and changeovers.

4C's pouches contain 0.075 oz of product, but the package can be designed to accommodate a range of sizes from a fraction of one gram to 35 gm of product. Production can be adjusted for package sizes from 50 to 180 mm long and 12 to 60 mm wide. Totally Light Tea2Go pouches are sold in a 20-pack carton that sells for $4.99, as well as in a 10-pack carton.

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