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Pouch brings fruit smoothies to the supermarket

Houston-based Tropeak® is banking on a stand-up pouch with zipper reclosure to make Smoothy fruit drinks an everyday beverage in homes across America.

A smoothy is a blender-produced concoction of frozen fruit plus milk water or fruit juice. Typically they're available at foodservice establishments. But Tropeak's idea is to package and freeze freshly harvested tropical fruit in Costa Rica and then ship the packages to supermarkets so that people can make their own smoothies at home. The lavishly decorated package plays a key role in this ambitious launch says general manager Mark Washburn. "Rather than concealing the fruit in an opaque package that gets buried in a coffin-style freezer case this pouch stands up has great graphics lets you see the fruit inside and is reclosable" says Washburn. Holding 16 oz of fruit-in varied combinations of blackberry strawberry raspberry banana pineapple papaya or mango-each package sells for about $2.70 as the Tropeak Supreme Smoothy line debuts in California and Florida this month. In Costa Rica at the San Pablo de Heredia plant of Tropeak's parent company Alimentos Pro S.A filling is done semi-automatically with an assist from an Ishida 16-bucket combination scale from Heat and Control (San Francisco CA). Premade bags from C&H Packaging (Merrill WI) are made from film that is an adhesive lamination of 48-ga reverse-printed polyester and 3-mil metallocene linear low-density polyethylene. Flexo printing is in eight colors. Tropeak Supreme Smoothies debuted at the recent Food Marketing Institute show in Chicago. They triggered quite a response says Washburn. "Many of the supermarket chains were excited about the product and felt it will give frozen food sections the lift they've needed for some time" he adds.

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