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Welch Foods launches coated PET bottle

Coated monolayer PET bottles are replacing glass for 16-juice drinks, juice cocktails and 100% juices. FDA-approved coating is said to cost less than multilayer barrier bottles. The heat-set PET bottles will be sold in vending and C-store channels nationwide.

Pw 19318 Welchs

Welch Foods launches coated PET bottle Barrier coatings on polyethylene terephthalate bottles are catching on. The latest to get in on the act is Welch Foods of Concord, MA. In vending and C-store channels nationwide, the firm is replacing glass bottles with Bairocade®-coated monolayer PET bottles for 16-oz juice drinks, juice cocktails and 100% juices. Weighing 38 g, the heat-set, hot-fillable bottle is injection/stretch blow-molded by Graham Packaging (York, PA). Graham uses the Bairocade organic epoxy/amide exterior spray coating technology developed by PPG Industries (Pittsburgh, PA).

Light weight and shatter resistance are, predictably, the benefits Welch marketers see in the new bottle. Also, it’s tall (7.6”) and slender, so it fits car cup holders.

Other barrier coatings, both interior and exterior, were evaluated, says Welch’s Ed Lerner, manager of R&D packaging and process development. Multilayer structures were explored, too. But no other barrier coating has gotten the nod from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. And while multilayer structures were certainly an option, “costing issues led us to the Bairocade bottle,” says Lerner. Shelf life, he adds, is one or two months less than the 12 months provided by glass.

Injection-molded of polypropylene, the 43-mm closure from Kerr/Suncoast (Sarasota, FL) has a barrier liner. It’s a six-layer coextrusion that includes nylon and ethylene vinyl alcohol. Full-wrap labels are 3.2 mils thick and are “PP-based,” says converter Walle (New Orleans, LA). They’re printed flexo in nine colors.

Lerner readily admits the new package costs more, but he won’t say how much. “But,” he adds, “consumers clearly prefer it.” Suggested retail price of the 16-oz drinks is $1.09.

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