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Two-handle bags salt of the earth

The Cargill Salt Business Unit of Cargill, Inc., Minneapolis, MN, determined through consumer input that two handles would be better than one to pick up, carry, and empty the 40-lb bags of Diamond Crystal water conditioning salt.

The patent-pending bag is claimed to be the first with two handles ever produced for consumer and commercial markets. The bags are from Exopack.

Both handle cut outs on seals at the bag’s top and bottom are reinforced with a patch for comfort and durability says Nancy Lucas director of marketing and pricing for Cargill. A die-cut notch at the top side edge promotes easy opening. Flexo printing of revamped graphics is in two colors including copy that says “2 easy grip handles.” The word “pellets” was vertical rather than horizontal on previous bag graphics and a waterfall graphic was used rather than the new raindrops pattern.

The two-handle bags replaced single-handle bags starting in January 2004 and are now bagged at more than half a dozen plants nationwide says Lucas. Modifications were made to bag-sealing equipment to accommodate the change from single-handled bags she says. The two product varieties are priced the same as before from $4 to $6 at DIY home centers hardware stores club stores and other outlets.

“Our promotional pitch is ‘buy one handle and get the second one free’” says Lucas. Consumers have responded favorably; sales are up nearly 10% she says. The products’ last notable makeover was in 1998. Lucas says Cargill may adapt the bag to other “value-added” product lines and may pursue licensing opportunities.

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