An innovative 3-liter plastic milk jug, similar in design to a milk pitcher, is being rolled out in selected locations across the country after a successful introduction in Ohio last year. The high density polyethylene jug, which features a large handle and an offset spout, is being produced by Plastipak Packaging Inc. for Superior Dairy Inc. of Canton, Ohio,
Plastipak is headquartered in Plymouth, Michigan, and has technology centers in Medina and Jackson Center, Ohio.
"Basically, the packaging is just a different shape of a high density bottle," said Plastipak category manager Greg Dean. "They brought us the design and we're blowing it for them in a standard format."
The milk jug was developed with "a strong consumer flair," said Greg Soehnlen of Creative Edge, a sister company of Superior Dairy and its research and development arm. "It's designed to be a dramatic new package, with a narrower footprint so that it's easier to fit on the refrigerator shelf."
The lightly pigmented jug also features a half-wraparound label. In addition to the main panel on the front, there is a side panel for nutritional information and additional marketing information.
Churchill's Supermarkets, an Ohio chain, began carrying the new milk bottle in March.
"The public likes it," said John Todak, stock supervisor for the Churchill store in Sylvania, Ohio. "We put it on sale [in late April] and it performed better than we thought it would."
Elderly customers find the rock-and-pour design easier to use, because they can put their whole hand around the handle. It also is easier for a 5- or 6-year-old to use without lifting it up.
Compared with the traditional gallon-size (128-ounce) bottle, which sells for $2.69 at the Sylvania store, Todak said the new 3-liter package (101.4 ounces) at $2.19 represents about 40-50 percent of the store's milk sales.