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Article | September 30, 1996
Tropicana tries shelf-stable OJ in PET (sidebar)
Others like PET gallons, too
Though Tropicana's 1-gal PET container is unusual for shelf-stable orange juice PET has been very popular in that size for other hot-filled juices. In a paper presented at Bev-Pak Americas '96 last April Richard Brewer president of International Packaging Systems (Ann Arbor MI) projects the trend will continue through the balance of the decade. Bev-Pak was sponsored by Directions 21 (Sarasota FL). "The shift from glass to plastic in the 1-gal size was driven by two things" says Brewer. "First it's a no-brainer from ease-of-handling and safety standpoints. But on top of that was the club stores a few years ago saying 'Hey I don't want any more cases of glass in here.' From there PET gallons made their way into the supermarkets and now gallons are making a comeback as a growth package." As for cost comparisons Brewer figures that right now a 1-gal PET container is anywherefrom 10 to 20% less costly than glass if all cost factors including labels handles and distribution are counted. But he also cautions that the cost of PET containers can vary widely from region to region. Brewer acknowledges that 1-gal bottles coextrusion-blown of polypropylene and ethylene vinyl alcohol have done well too partly because it's possible to mold an integral handle in them. But he believes PET will continue to be the preferred package because of its clarity. "It's a better-looking food package" he concludes.
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