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Article | September 30, 2002
Onions cry for resealable bag
Gills Onions is test marketing a resealable bag for four varieties of 10-oz sliced or diced onions. The Oxnard, CA-based company hopes the package will appeal to consumers brought to tears at the prospect of cutting the pungent vegetable.
All four ready-to-use products have a 16-day refrigerated shelf life that’s largely attributable to a 2.5-mil three-layer coextruded film provided by Golden Eagle Extrusions (Milford OH). As the products respire in the bag they consume oxygen and give off carbon dioxide. When the oxygen in the sealed bag is consumed the structure permits oxygen to enter. That’s done not through perforations but through the proprietary structure that includes high-density metallocenes and polyethylene according to Golden Eagle. Further structural details were not revealed.
Golden Eagle supplies premade bags for sliced red and sliced yellow onion products. For these bags Golden Eagle says it applies a low-density ethylene vinyl acetate zipper from Minigrip/Zip-Pak (Manteno IL). These varieties are hand-packed by Gills.
Diced yellow onions and a chopped celery and onion mix are filled on an existing vertical form/fill/seal unit that applies a zipper in-line to rollstock. Golden Eagle flexo surface-prints both materials in six colors.
“We launched the line in April” says Susan Schmidt director of sales and marketing for the company which touts itself as the largest fresh onion processing facility in the world. “We made a change [from a 16-oz tray pack for sliced onions] because through consumer testing we found it was what consumers wanted.” Products retail for $1.29 to $1.69 primarily on the East Coast “where we have a [supermarket] chain that’s worked with us to develop the line.” Schmidt adds that the company is “working towards nationwide distribution.” —JB
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