Hockenheim, 12 July 2017 – (NYSE: SON) The innovative packaging solution WindowCan from Sonoco Europe gives customers a clear view of food products like muesli and confectionery – while combining the advantages of rigid paperboard containers with those of plastic packaging. First presented as a prototype at Interpack 2017, Sonoco produces the cylindrical plastic cans using in-mould labelling (IML) technology. But they are decorated with paper labels that can be printed on both sides and have a design and surface feel reminiscent of classic composite cans. What makes them truly unique is the transparent window that allows consumers a free view of the product at the point of sale, giving an added buying impulse. The WindowCan has a wide range of applications. A moisture barrier and resealing snap lid make the new packaging solution ideal for dry foods like rolled oats, muesli, chocolates, and sweets.
Food that is visible through the packaging whets the appetite and inspires confidence. Consumers can feel satisfied as to the quality of the food before making a purchase. Until now it was impossible – or very difficult – to insert windows in rigid paperboard containers. "Rigid paperboard containers are extremely popular with consumers and food manufacturers alike. They are practical, feature full-surface design, and suit a wide range of lifestyles. Until now, however, they lacked the kind of window that is the norm in plastic packaging," explains Séan Cairns, Vice President and General Manager at Sonoco Consumer Products Europe. "The WindowCan combines the advantages of composite cans and plastic packaging in a single packaging solution – including the clear view of the product inside."
Clear view and paper feel with IML
Sonoco manufactures the WindowCan using IML technology at its facility in Zwenkau, Germany. The die-cut paper label, developed specifically for the application, is placed in the mould. The heat generated in the injection moulding process fuses it with the packaging material. The paper label retains its feel, resembling the classic Sonoco rigid paperboard containers and provides an appealing contrast to the smooth plastic window. Visual contrast can be created on the inside, as the paper of the label is printable on both sides.
Customized to individual products and brands
The window in the WindowCan label is cut with a laser. Almost any shape is possible. A window in the shape of sweets or candy-coated chocolate buttons, for example, alludes to the product inside. Stylized windows can reinforce the brand identity by representing a logo. As well as providing a clear view of the product, the window can reflect aspects like the transparency of the ingredients. Paper labels with a natural design underscore a brand's commitment to nature.
The WindowCan is available in different formats. Customers can select the ideal product size for specific consumption situations and target groups. A moisture barrier ensures that products have a long shelf life. Before consumers open the can for the first time, a Sealed Safe® membrane or a ring pull lid – depending on whether the product is poured or removed by hand – provide additional protection. Once the packaging has been opened, consumers can securely reseal it with a snap lid. Unlike the method used for conventional rigid paperboard containers, Sonoco's IML technology produces cans with bases. Customers then fill the WindowCan on existing systems and attach the lid on conventional can sealing machines.
About Sonoco Europe
At roughly 70 operations across Europe, Sonoco provides customers with a wide range of consumer and industrial packaging solutions. Consumer goods packaging solutions include composite cans, drums, and luxury tubes (also called rigid paper containers) with a variety of closures; plastic packaging; packaging services; and graphics management. Sonoco’s industrial division produces a portfolio of cores, tubes, and spools made from highly engineered paperboard or plastic for use with paper, textiles and specialty films. The Sonoco Thermosafe unit offers customers temperature assurance packaging solutions for the transport of temperature-sensitive products such as pharmaceuticals and other biologics. Utilizing a range of packaging materials, technical disciplines, material science and manufacturing capabilities, Sonoco takes a holistic approach to providing customized solutions that meet customers’ unique needs. To learn more, visit www.sonocoeurope.com
Founded in 1899, Hartsville, South Carolina-based Sonoco is a global provider of a variety of consumer packaging, industrial products, protective packaging, and displays and packaging supply chain services. With annualized net sales of $4.8 billion, the Company has 20,000 employees working in more than 300 operations in 33 countries, serving some of the world’s best known brands in some 85 nations. For more information on the Company, visit www.sonoco.com
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