Unfinished business

As I began to gear up for 2004, I realized that my office was littered with a whole raft of news and feature story applications that, for a variety of reasons, were not published.

Research had been done on these applications, but some individuals were reluctant to provide the final details necessary to complete the stories.

Even though some information is lacking, I think readers will find these packages intriguing.

In September, I began to gather information on Hershey Foods’ new Swoops and S’mores products that were introduced late last year. Swoops are said to be a real innovation in candymaking, in essence curvy slices of either Hershey’s milk chocolate, Reese’s peanut butter and chocolate, Almond Joy, or York peppermint varieties.

Designed for on-the-go snacking, six slices of candy are stacked into a foil-lidded thermoformed cup of polypropylene that appears to be supplied by Printpack’s Rampart group. Three of the embossed cups are stacked in a glued paperboard formed canister that holds 3.78 oz and retails for $1.99.

“Retailers have been so excited about this new product,” says Chuck Kukic, Swoops marketing manager. “They just love the packaging because it’s so contemporary. We’ve applied for a patent on the technology for making Swoops because it’s so different. It’s what we’ve been charged with here at Hershey—new products and breakthroughs from both product development and from packaging.”

Just before Swoops began shipping, Hershey introduced its S’mores candy bar, a combination of Hershey milk chocolate, graham cracker, and marshmallow—the popular fireside treat of Girl Scouts. The bar is overwrapped in a structure from Printpack that comprises biaxially oriented polypropylene, a metallized BOPP, and a cold-seal adhesive, Packaging World was told.

The outer BOPP is reverse-printed in eight colors by gravure. Graphics were created by Libby Persyk Kathman. The 1.65-oz bar retails for 65¢.

In the medical packaging area, I had planned to report in detail about the packaging implications of Bayer Biological Products anti-tampering and anti-counterfeiting initiative. In 2002, Bayer added printed seal tabs over the tuck flaps of folding cartons, particularly for its Gamimune N, 10% Immune Globulin Intravenous product that had earlier been subjected to tampering.

Last fall, Bayer an-nounced the addition of a custom-printed shrink-band applied to its Gamunex bottles or vials that are packed inside folding cartons. Although neither is a technical achievement, medical professionals have lauded Bayer BP’s initiatives because few other pharmaceutical companies have embarked on similar efforts to reduce tampering and counterfeiting. With these devices now in place, the company also has indicated there are two more undisclosed steps in its program.

So, despite the lack of some details, let’s salute Hershey Foods and Bayer Biological Products for these packaging achievements in 2003.

See an archive of Arnie Orloski's Pipeline columns at www.packworld.com/pipeline.

Arnie can be reached at orloski@packworld.com

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