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Ribless Hot-Fill PET Cures Label Woes

There's a new wrinkle in beverage bottling: A hot-fill PET bottle with a smooth body panel.

Pw 9613 M Ddrinks
It’s literally what the doctor ordered for the Function line of nutrient-enhanced beverages from MD Drinks, Inc., Santa Monica, CA, introduced in April in Los Angeles.

One of the challenges to hot-filled PET bottles is that ribs or panels must accommodate post-fill cooling. That can mess with labeling, the label, and its appearance. Amcor PET Packaging’s (www.amcor .com) smooth-panel PowerFlex™ 16.9-oz bottle accepts hot filling at up to 185ºF.

The domed-shoulder, patent-pending bottle features an inverted cone-shaped diaphragm molded in the base that draws upward as the liquid cools. The bottles are topped with 38-mm Extra Lok oxygen barrier closures from Alcoa Closure Systems International (www.alcoa.com).

“Because our drinks are cutting edge, we wanted the bottle to symbolize that,” says surgeon Alex Hughes, cofounder of MD Drinks.

After a test using standard ribbed PET bottles, MD Drinks was led by its copacker, H.A. Rider and Sons (www.hariderandsons.com), to the PowerFlex bottle. Rider had been copacking Trinity Springs-brand organic-flavored water that debuted the PowerFlex technology last fall.

Currently, Function sells for $1.89 as singles in southern California markets and select national chains with distribution quickly expanding nationwide, according to Hughes. The products are available in three varieties, Urban Detox, Brainiac, and Youth Trip—with more on the way. —Rick Lingle

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