That’s also how the FPA judges saw things, awarding a Gold Award for Packaging Excellence. Each Restaurant Creations Sauce comes packed in a unique hourglass-shaped stack of two jars unitized by a shrink sleeve label. The two separately prepared sauces allow the ingredients to better maintain their integrity, quality and flavor.
Barilla says keeping the sauces separate until right before preparation provides a smoother and more subtle taste than traditional American sauces that’s unlike anything else available in grocery stores.
The bottom glass jar contains the “base” sauce, while the top jar holds the “chef’s recipe” sauce.
“Our goal was to develop a pasta sauce that retains the integrity and fresh flavor of each of the ingredients,” says Judy Glass, manager of product development. “With the launch of Restaurant Creations, Americans have a new way to experience genuine Italian pasta sauce that brings them restaurant quality taste in their own kitchen.”
Production and packaging for the products were transferred from overseas to a contract packager in the United States last year. The products continue to be produced in the three varieties that were introduced in fall 2004.
Holding the stacked jar concept together is a full body shrink sleeve. Barilla turned to Alcoa Flexible Packaging (www.alcoa.com) for the 50-micron PETG shrink sleeve film that unitizes the two jars together. The material is reverse-printed gravure in eight colors. PETG was chosen for its conforming properties when heat shrunk, which is done using steam. The sleeve, which features perforations for easy removal, extends over the lid of the top jar to the base of the bottom jar to provide tamper evidence for the entire package.
Alcoa also developed an “anti-wet” overcoat to virtually eliminate the appearance of air bubbles that could become trapped between the jar and label and detract from the product’s appearance.
The contract packaging is done by Dundee Foods (phone: 585/388-4234) of Dundee, NY. A spot of glue on the bigger lower jar just before the upper jar is stacked atop it keeps it in place until the sleeve is applied using sleeving equipment and a steam shrink tunnel from NAFM (www.nafm.com). Packaging is done at a rate of 120 packages/min. —Rick Lingle