Coca-Cola has relaunched its preservative-free Powerade sports drink with a 38-mm flip-top SportGuard valve dispensing closure from Zeller Plastic Mexico (www.zelleramericas.com). Global Closure Systems R&D (GCS) and United Closures and Plastics (UCP) out of the U.K. worked with Zeller jointly on the project.
The three-part assembly consists of a black dispensing outer closure and a white drinking spout, both manufactured in high-density polyethylene. The drinking spout houses the silicone valve sub-assembly developed and supplied by UCP, Zeller’s U.K. sister company. The SportGuard design incorporates several unique features developed by working closely with Coca-Cola Export to meet the stringent demands of this hot-fill product. Patented drainage channels ensure that the cooling water, which remains after hot filling, drains away cleanly. In addition, the technological achievement of a linerless closure design obviates the need for induction-seal liners and the cumbersome removal routine prior to drinking the product, making it more convenient and more cost-effective.
The outer closure provides double security with a tamper-evident band at the base and a neat TE tear strip to the flip-top for optimal product integrity. With the tear strip removed, the flip-top is easily opened via the thumb recess and held on a flexible hinge in excess of 180 degrees from the spout for ease of use by the consumer. For child safety, the closure design complies with the Choke Hazard criteria developed by the British Soft Drinks Assoc. for sports drinks closures.
Jorge Loza, business development manager for Zeller Plastik Mexico states, “In developing SportGuard for Powerade, we have tailored the design and technical expertise available within GCS to resolve all the challenges presented by the new hot-fill formulation and Coca-Cola’s requirements for closure functionality, ergonomics, safety, and performance to produce an exceptional solution to the specific product needs, supporting the brand’s very competitive market positioning. SportGuard has been the result of exemplary team work between Coca-Cola and GCS.”
The 38-mm closure caps both the 600-mL and 1-L sizes in the Powerade product range.