"Yes, the carafe is a bit of a departure from current juice packaging, but it's kind of a return to our origins," says Kristine Nickel, Tropicana's director of communications. She says Tropicana had considered carafe-style containers for years. "We think it has a retro look, much like the glass milk or juice bottles of earlier years.
"We call this our Golden Carafe, because this year represents the 50th anniversary of our not-from-concentrate orange juice," says Nickel. She refers to Tropicana founder Anthony Rossi's development of a quick pasteurization process and providing juice in bulk to licensed dairies to fill and market under the Tropicana brand.
The carafe is reportedly the first commercial PET container with a blown finish with screw-on threads that's suitable for cold filling, according to John Denner, Graham's director of PET packaging development.
It also exhibits other plastic advantages: a no-drip finish, easy gripping and handling, light in weight and is virtually unbreakable. The design is also stackable: the cap of one bottle fits into the base of the bottle above. It's significantly lighter than a similar carafe molded by conventional injection-finish technology, Denner says.
Tropicana's Nickel predicts the container will retail for $3.29 in Northeast markets where it's being rolled out. Broader distribution will commence later this year or early in 2004, she says. The graphics of the pressure-sensitive paper/film label were supervised by in-house designers, though Nickel declined to provide specifications for either the label or the closure, which she says is plastic with a metal top.-AO