Indian River | Eastman Innovation Lab
Projects

Indian River

Coming to grip with clarity

Overview

We take it for granted, but fresh-squeezed juice is one of the wonders of the modern world. It’s healthy, nutritious and ubiquitous on the shelves. Competition is fierce; shelf appeal crucial. Producers know that the best advertising for juice is juice itself, and a clear container lets that goodness shine forth. But in a large container, an ergonomic handle is an absolute requirement for consumers.

And this is a problem. Conventional packaging materials will provide either the beautifully transparent plastic or be flexible enough to be molded into a handle. They won’t do both, so you can’t have both. Producers are faced with either hiding the product within dull, opaque containers, or marketing clear containers that are difficult to carry. It’s a classic packaging dilemma: we call it the tyranny of the ‘or’.

Freshco, marketers of Florida’s Indian River juices used a snap-in handle but this proved ineffectual and generated numerous customer complaints. They experimented with other materials, but found these to affect the taste of the product.

Fortunately, a solution presented itself in the shape of Eastar™ copolyester. Freshco selected the material for single-serving 16-ounce containers and, most significantly, 64-ounce family-sized containers.

Extrusion blow molded by CKS Packaging, Eastar™ delivers glass-like clarity and a balanced, ergonomic handle. “It made sense to use a resin that is more credible for extrusion blow molding. Eastar™ has both superb clarity and extremely high melt strength, making it an excellent choice when manufacturing this type of bottle,” says Dewayne Philips, director, new business development for CKS.

It’s proved to be a real competitive advantage for Freshco and a big hit with consumers. The Indian River orange and grapefruit juices are instantly distinguishable on the shelves, standing out from the lifeless opaque containers that until recently represented the best compromise to a knotty, intractable dilemma. “It helps enhance our position in the marketplace,” adds Bernie McBee, executive vice president and general manager at Freshco.