California dairy reduces leakage with foil seals and clear lids

The closure on a yogurt package can serve as an attractive billboard for the product, but more than anything, it has to keep the product in the container.

Super Store Industries, Stockton, Calif., addressed both concerns when it upgraded its yogurt packaging last year to include a foil heat seal with a clear HDPE lid.

The company had been using recessed lids, but ran into some problems during shipping.

"We have a co-packed product we were shipping to all 50 states," says Kelly Olds, the company's v.p. of operations. "When they went over the Rocky Mountains there tended to be some weeping, and you would end up with sticky packages."

When Super Store began the planning phase of a filler replacement job, it saw an opportunity to do something about the packages too, and contacted its packaging supplier Polytainers Inc., Toronto.

"We talked to Polytainers and they assisted us in the doing the research," Olds says. "We talked to our filler manufacturer Osgood Industries, and we decided to go with the foil seal and that solved our problem with the weeping and it provided us with some tamper evidence."

H.S. Crocker, Huntley, Ill. provided the pick-and-place foil seals, and Polytainers provided the plastic lids.

With an 8-oz. cup, Superstore felt it was important not to dispense with the recloseable lid. The clear plastic means that any graphics on the foil seals-for instance the brand logo and the Quality Chekd seal on the company's Sunnyside Farms Yogurt-remains visible in the dairy case.

"We've had no leakage, and good consumer reaction," Olds says.

Don Drinkwater, regional sale mgr., handles the Superstore account for Polytainers.

"The lids are designed to go with either the Mylar film heat seal or the pick-and-place foil heat seal," Drinkwater says. "It's designed to provide a nice snug fit in conjunction with either of those."

The success of the project hinged on a good deal of cooperation between Super Store, Polytainers, H.S. Crocker and Osgood. Drinkwater says that was not a problem.

"It's kind of culmination of things, working with the machine people, and the seal people. It is really two or three different organizations working to get where they want to be," he said.

Super Store is itself accustomed to collaboration. Ranked No. 51 in Dairy Foods' Dairy 100, Super Store is a captive dairy partnership between Raley's and Bel Air Supermarkets in Sacramento, and Save Mart in Modesto. The company is a perennial front runner in the Quality Chekd product quality assurance awards.

"They are really a top-notch outfit and they are a complete joy to work with," Drinkwater says.

Olds says Superstore's yogurt business has grown substantially over the years and Polytainers has helped it keep pace.

"We have a great relationship with them they are very responsive, the service levels are good and they are very helpful when we come upon new business opportunities. They help us develop the packaging in a timely manner."

Polytainers Inc.

H.S. Crocker

Osgood Industries

Super Store Industries