McCormick & Co. Inc. has acquired a British thermoformer and will start production in the United States of special promotional minipackages. The company bought Minipack Sampling Solutions Ltd. of Southampton, England, in June, and is to begin marketing its small thermoformed blister packages for the first time in the United States this month.
McCormick formed a new division, Minipack Sampling Solutions (USA), according to David Johnson, marketing executive for the new U.S. entity, based in Princeton, N.J.
McCormick, based in Sparks, Md., is a major maker of specialty foods, including spices and seasonings. However, the publicly held firm also has substantial plastics packaging holdings, with 1993 sales of $124.9 million.
``We will begin by sharing some of the space in the factory of another McCormick division, Tubed Products Inc. in East Hampton, Mass.,'' Johnson said. ``I am not at liberty to say what machinery will be installed there, or what production we anticipate, but we have some room for expansion there, and certainly would look for a separate location as production increases.''
Tubed Products makes tubes for products such as hair gels.
Minipack Sampling makes small, three-layer, thermoformed blisters, often attached to cardboard. The sample-size containers have been used widely in Europe to market products in small quantities or single-serve portions, Johnson said.
``The packages are ideal for McCormick to market some of its more esoteric spices, for instance, in single-service sizes,'' he said. ``We will be aiming for that, as well as using them ... [as a] free sample or free promotional marketing tool.''
Minipack Sampling Solutions (UK) has produced 1 billion thermoformed minipacks for 100 brands in 23 countries since it was formed in 1982, but this is the first time the packages will be made in the United States. It is also the first time the blister packs will be used for single-serve purchases, rather than exclusively for promotional items.