Graham Packaging Company, a global designer and manufacturer of customised blow-moulded plastic containers, is using its newly developed proprietary Active Cage technology to produce two new PET plastic (polyethylene terephthalate) hot-fill single-serve bottles for the Snapple Beverage Corporation.
Graham Packaging is producing a 20-ounce hot-fill bottle for Snapple's line of iced teas and core fruit drinks that replicates the look of Snapple's traditional glass bottle. "It has a premium-class look," says John Denner, director of PET packaging development for Graham Packaging. "Side by side, the consumer can't tell the difference visually. Of course, the plastic bottle is lighter and easy to handle and, because it's shatter-proof, it can be sold or taken anywhere."
Graham Packaging also has come up with a new design for another 20-ounce hot-fill bottle for the new Elements enhanced water product. "There hasn't been a shape like this before," according to Denner. The top two-fifths of the bottle, from the label up, has a true bell profile and carries embossed Elements logos front and back.
"With increased competition in the marketplace, standing out on-shelf is essential. Simply put, Graham offers breakthrough plastic packaging," says Michael Sands, chief marketing and operations officer for the Snapple Beverage Group. "The proprietary Snapple 20-ounce and Elements Enhanced Water PET bottles help us reach the on-the-go consumer in a fresh and unique way, while maintaining our premium look and feel."
Denner says the application of the technology made it possible to "maximize the length of the upper bell and hide all conventional hot-fill features under the label panel for both the Snapple and the Elements containers. This is truly a first in the industry."
In general, Denner explains, the technology results in stronger yet lighter bottles and allows more freedom of design. Active Cage refers to a type of high-uptake vacuum panel that can be smaller in size, that does not need to be encased in a traditional rigid frame, and that can be located nearly anywhere on the geography of the bottle.
The Elements bottle also utilises a Bairocade oxygen-inhibiting barrier coating, which protects freshness and extends shelf life two and a half to three times longer than untreated PET bottles.