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Ocean Spray goes rectangular

Ocean Spray, the firm that brought the first hot-filled PET bottle to the U.S. marketplace way back in ’85, is launching the Ripple Grip bottle, a new variation on the same hot-fill theme.
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Named for its rippling sidewalls the 64-oz PET bottle with 43-mm neck finish has a rectangular shape compared to the round 64-oz PET “grip” bottle it’s replacing. Weighing 82 g the new bottle is only 1 g lighter than the round grip bottle so the two cost about the same. But the new design has benefits galore says Ray Bourque director of packaging and processing technology at the Lakeville-Middleboro MA-based grower-owned cooperative.

“It allows for better storage in trucks supermarkets warehouses and refrigerators” says Bourque. “It allows us to store 10 rectangular bottles in the same shelf space as eight round bottles.”

The rectangular portion of the bottle makes for easy gripping in larger hands while an indentation just above the body label is ideal for smaller hands children’s in particular. “Consumers prefer the new shape” says Stu Gallagher vice president and general manager-cranberry.

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A “special” labeler from Krones (Franklin WI) says Bourque applies both the wraparound body label and the pressure-sensitive “logo label” that fits inside a recessed oval on the bottle’s front panel. Ocean Spray procures labels from multiple vendors. Supplied in a cut and stacked format the body label is biaxially oriented polypropylene printed offset in five or six colors. The BOPP logo label is printed flexo in just two colors but it plays an important role in the bottle’s design.

“The round bottle that’s being replaced also carries our logo but it’s embossed into it” says Bourque. “This label treatment on the new bottle really makes our logo jump off the shelf.”

Two structural features on the bottle help prevent vacuum deformation as the hot-filled bottle cools: the recess beneath the entire body label and the recessed oval beneath the logo label. Yoshino (University Park IL) helped design the injection stretch/blow-molded bottle and provided the initial quantity of bottles which were filled at Ocean Spray’s Sulfur Springs TX plant. Bourque indicates that other commercial blow molders will begin supplying the container as it moves into production in other Ocean Spray plants. By fall of this year the firm expects to have its entire 64-oz juice line converted to the Ripple Grip. —PR

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