The paperboard canister supplied by Sonoco Products Co. (Hartsville SC) has a conventional peelable foil lid with a proprietary multilayer valve in the center. Sonoco first pierces the membrane drops a bead of special oil on it and then uses pressure-sensitive adhesive to apply the valve which was custom-developed for Sonoco by Plitek (Des Plaines IL). The CO2 produced as a gas by the freshly ground coffee pushes open the valve and the capillary action of the oil closes the valve as soon as the pressure inside the canister is relieved. Dean Florentino liked the look of a canister and to distinguish its offerings wanted to move away from the bags it had been using. "The canister is a much more attractive package since there's more of a label area" says Georges-Henri Fortier Dean's sales vp. "Plus with the bag once it's on the shelf it can fall off or lose its shape or people can tamper with it." Fortier says that the economics of the switch are a wash. Another benefit is that shelf life has been extended from three to six months. Sold on the west coast 12-oz cans for private label accounts reached store shelves in July retailing for $4.50 to $5.50. The company is introducing a 16-oz version under its own label this month which is expected to retail for $5.99 to $7.99. Bags will be phased out for the smaller sizes though they'll be retained for 2-lb club packs due to favorable economics in the larger format.