Shelf-stable fruit juices hot-filled into heat-set PET containers have steadily grown in popularity since they first started appearing about five years ago. Especially popular of late is the 128-oz or 1-gal size which offers significant lightweighting and ease-of-handling advantages compared to a gallon glass container. Citrus juices however have been conspicuously absent among the ranks of the PET converts primarily because the juice is so temperature sensitive. In this regard it's a lot like tomato juice another latecomer to the hot-fill PET club (see Packaging World Apr. '96 p. 2). Perhaps the only juice packer to be successful hot-filling citrus juices in PET is Tropicana of Bradenton FL. It launched its Season's Best orange juice made from concentrate in August 1995 in a 1-gal stock PET bottle that's injection stretch/blow molded via heat-set technology by Graham Packaging (York PA). Sold nationwide the bottle which weighs 139 g has been a big success. Season's Best grapefruit juice is now being launched in the same package. Thus far only club stores are receiving the 1-gal containers which are coded for a six-month shelf life. "We're looking for fast turns and from a manufacturing and distribution standpoint the club stores are more effective at turning inventory" says Rob Weick who works in Tropicana's research and development group as manager of package development. Copackers fill the bottles for Tropicana one in the east and one out west. "Not all copackers could meet the stringent set of specifications our product development and process group put together for this line" says Weick. "There's not much room for error in processing or filling."