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PET bottle flexes hot-fill muscle

DuPont Awards’ 19th editionThe 19th annual DuPont Awards Competition once again shines the spotlight on innovation in packaging. From 135 entries, 26 packs received awards.
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Amcor PET Packaging (www.amcor.com) and Tradewinds Beverage Co., Cincinnati, OH, won DuPont Gold for developing Tradewinds Tea in PowerFlex™ PET containers. PowerFlex is said to be the first panel-free, ribless PET bottle engineered for hot-filling at up to 185ºF. A patented base design uses an inverted diaphragm cone that draws upward as the liquid cools. The result is a smooth body panel for simplified labeling and an appealing label.

“We were waiting for a PET bottle to come along that would give us the ability to maintain the same look and feel of our current glass container,” says marketing manager Christy Lichtendahl. “It was important that the bottle have smooth panels so we could apply our existing pressure-sensitive label.”

Tradewinds’ 16-oz bottle was the first commercial application of the PowerFlex technology. Available in several varieties, the products are filled at temperatures to 185ºF. It was reported that sales have increased 6% since the introduction.

The bottles’ straight-wall geometry is also said to provide great top-load strength for stacking.

Since Tradewinds’ introduction last summer, several other beverages have followed its lead into PowerFlex bottles, including Trinity Springs organic flavored water, MD Drinks functional beverages, Cha Dao Tea, and most recently, Dr. Lee’s TeaForHealth® organic teas in 16-oz long-neck bottles.

Amcor is looking to expand PowerFlex into additional sizes and into hot-filled food products.

—Rick Lingle

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