Kids love it. That's the main reason behind the introduction of a new beverage packaging concept known as Squish Paks(TM). Extrusion blown of low-density polyethylene the squeezable containers will make their commercial debut next month when they appear in the refrigerated cases of Publix supermarkets in paperboard six-pack carriers in the Orlando FL area. Each container will hold 8 oz of fresh white or chocolate milk and will be marketed under the milk-it!(TM) brand by Thompson Beverage Systems the Ft. Lauderdale FL firm that invented and patented the package. Filling the 8-oz packages for Thompson is Franklin Park IL-based Dean Foods at its Orange City FL facility. Bottles are to be blown by Constar Intl. (Atlanta GA). Strictly speaking these new packages are only a work in process as PW goes to press. But they attracted a lot of attention at the recent MegaShow in Chicago even as one of the packages they're designed to compete with shelf-stable aseptic brick packs of milk and other beverages commanded center stage at MegaShow. Richard Thompson the inventor who holds a patent on the package design believes Squish Paks are the first truly innovative new dairy container to come along in ages. Designed specifically for children they're easy to open they're portable and most important they're fun. But they also appeal to parents because they're tamper-evident spill-resistant and they encourage children to drink milk. Squish Paks are designed with dairies in mind too because they're said to be compatible with standard rotary fillers currently used in today's dairies. That makes them distinctly different from the fun-to-drink beverages in squeezable packs already marketed by firms like General Mills and Kraft Foods. True entrepreneur that he is Thompson is convinced that the milk-it! line will be so successful in Orlando that dairies will flock to his door for the rights to fill and market their products in his patented container. He expects to hear from juice marketers too. In fact he already has: Houston-based Coca-Cola Foods plans to test Minute Maid and Hi-C in Squish Paks beginning next month. They'll pay Thompson Beverage Systems a royalty to do so. Should the container take off as Thompson envisions dairies may elect to blow mold their own bottles. "A six- or eight-head extrusion blow molder will make them" says Mel O'Leary of Meredith-Springfield (Springfield MA) the design and engineering services firm that played a key role in the bottle's design and development. "On the other hand dairies without blow molding capabilities may want to tap into a central molding source."