One of the newest innovations in packaging was released into the market, in November 2007, by CanGro Foods of Canada. In 2007, the innovative packaging system was awarded the first position in the AmeriStar Packaging Competition.

In a bid to keep ahead of the market and give the Del Monte brand a new fresh look, the Graham Packaging Company LP of the US (majority owned by the Blackstone Group of New York) and Bapco Closures Ltd of the UK developed an innovative solution. A packaging system for ready-to-eat ‘tinned’ fruit has been installed.

The new system consists of a 540ml polypropylene jar (threads removed) with a Bapco 82mm, three-part ‘twister’ closure. The closure consists of a foil membrane welded into place, vacuum sealing the product, which can be removed by the consumer with a pull ring.

The jar can then be resealed if required by using a screw on lid; the lid screws onto the final part of the closure system, the ‘sealing ring’ attaching it to the top of the jar. Earlier, CanGro used a metal can for packaging canned fruit. The metal packaging system was costly and was environmentally unfriendly. The shift towards the new packaging system enabled the company to lower costs and develop a consumer friendly packaging solution.

“BAP closures are typically two or three piece pre-assembled injection-moulded closures that include a foil membrane.”

The name BAP comes from a combination of the words ‘bonded’, ‘aluminium’ and ‘plastic’. BAP closures are typically two or three piece pre-assembled injection-moulded closures that include a foil membrane.

After the product is filled into the jar the closure is clipped into position and the closure is welded to the container using an induction-welding process.

New Graham Packaging advantages

The new Graham Packaging container system has the advantage of being able to cut the weight of the product while enhancing convenience for the consumer with the resealable lid. Traditional glass is heavier, more expensive and potentially breakable.

The packaging system provides two major advantages – sealability and size of opening. The jar has a wide mouth top, which allows for easy filling and also allows the consumer easy access to the contents. The system seals on one side and opens on the other, which is more effective than a conventional conduction sealing packaging system where peeling and sealing occur on the same surface.

In addition, the container is semi-opaque and the contents can be seen through the side. The jar is also fully recyclable and allows more efficient stacking and distribution. There are also fewer requirements for secondary packaging during shipping, thus improving distribution efficiencies. The new pack is light weight and offers weight saving of about 20%.

The new jar system was a hit in the market, with a greater than 50% increase in the expected demand.

Del Monte Polypropylene pack varieties

“The new jar system was a hit in the market, with a greater than 50% increase in the expected demand.”

The Del Monte ‘fruit in a jar’ is available in six ready-to-eat varieties. These include Sliced Peaches, Fruit Salad, Very Cherry, Sliced Pears, Peach & Mango and Mandarins.

Each of the varieties is available in a 540ml (19oz) clear, resealable plastic jar that is lightweight, durable and recyclable.

The jar can be resealed after opening and kept in the fridge for another day, and there is absolutely no need for a tin opener.

Marketing commentary

CanGro’s Del Monte brand offers a range of processed foods, which includes fruits and vegetables. The company aims to provide customers with fresh packaged foods, which retain their natural vitamins, texture and nutrients. The company does not add any artificial preservatives, colouring or flavours to its products. Innovative packaging options such as the polypropylene jar system, therefore, play a key role in the company’s focus on freshness in its products.