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Fresh French soup takes shrink-film label

Boldly decorated and full bodied, shrink-film labels have captured beverage marketers in a big way. Now Soup Ideale, a soup manufacturer in Saint Laurent, Blangy, France, is using a shrink-film label for 1-L bottles of fresh, refrigerated soup in high-density polyethylene bottles.

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The ready-to-eat soups aim to provide three or four servings and sell for about $2.00 per bottle.

"We're the only ones with this kind of package for soup," says Soup Ideale's Charles-Henri de Montsabert. He goes on to explain that his company has sold fresh soup in self-manufactured 1-L HDPE containers for many years. But until February the firm relied on a more traditional paper label around the body of the bottle. The new label, says de Montsabert, covers the entire bottle with dramatic graphics, thus delivering far greater shelf impact.

Supplied by Fuji Seal Europe, Ltd. (represented in the U.S. by American Fuji Seal), the labels are 50-micron (1.6-mil) polyvinyl chloride gravure-printed in up to nine colors. Topping the bottles are 40-mm threaded closures injection-molded of polypropylene by Beplast SA (Sera, Spain). An inner membrane of foil ensures seal integrity. Filling takes place at about 85°C (185°F), which is close to but not quite at the range at which the HDPE bottle would deform. The package provides a 21-day refrigerated shelf life.

De Montsabert wouldn't compare costs of old and new labels. But he does say that sales have increased since the new label debuted.

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