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Hormel debuts retort carton in U.S.

Hormel Foods Co., Austin, MN, is canning the can in favor of the Tetra Recart™ retortable carton for its Hormel and Stagg brands of chili.
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The six-layer paper/film/foil Tetra Pak cartons will reach store shelves starting in August.

“It’s hip to be square” is the brand’s tagline for the 14.3-oz cartons which Hormel calls its “Smart Pak.” The carton offers laser-scored easy opening.

“Our consumer research shows a clear preference for this new packaging concept” says Larry Vorpahl Hormel’s vice president and general manager of grocery products. “The Smart Pak carton offers consumers a variety of advantages including portability easy opening and pouring and convenient space-saving stackability.”

The carton’s laminated structure inside to out is: polymer/tie/aluminum foil/tie/fiber board/printed ink with lacquer coating. The printing is via proprietary heat-resistant inks.

The cartons are packaged at a rate of up to 24/hr or 400 cpm. While additional details were still sketchy at press time it is known that carton forming from blanks is done on one machine built by Tetra Pak while high-speed filling is done on another machine that is not manufactured by Tetra Pak. Hormel also benefits from space savings—one truckload of blanks replaces the equivalent of 16 truckloads of cans.

Retorting typically brings product temperatures to 120° C and provides the cartons with a two-year shelf life. The two previous applications for the Tetra Recart have been in Europe first by Nestlé Friskies Italia in 2001 for petfood (see and in 2003 by Bonduelle France for premium vegetables (see

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