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Fruit snacks in 'hearty' cups

New Choice Foods, Irwindale, CA, is marketing fruit snacks in heart-shaped cups thermoformed of polypropylene. Packaged in Taiwan, Squez’N’ Bites have been introduced to the United States in 10.5-oz bags that contain 10 cups and retail for $1.19.

The shelf-stable snacks are also packaged in 42- and 65-count polyethylene terephthalate jars that retail for $3.99 and $4.99; the jars are sold in club stores.

An unsealed film lip on the “tail” flange of the elongated heart-shaped cup enables a finger grip to peel off the lidding film. The products carry a one-year shelf life.

In January the company also introduced in the United States 1.23-oz thermoformed cups of FruGurt a shelf-stable “yogurt style snack” in flavors that include mandarin strawberry peach and blueberry. FruGurt features an all-plastic package that consists of a PP cup and lidstock both in three-layer structures with an oxygen barrier layer of ethylene vinyl alcohol. Due to sealing properties FruGurt’s package structure makes it more difficult to package than Squeez’N Bites according to New Choice technical director Tom Lee.

Both Squez’N’ Bites and FruGurt cups are thermoformed in Taiwan using EVOH material imported from Japan.

Lee says that both products are produced at a rate each of more than 1 million cups daily. Squez’N Bites are run at a rate of 16 cups/row 15 rows/min; FruGurt is filled at a rate of 20 cups/row 11 rows/min. —RL

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