ROSEMONT, ILL. — Caps and closures play a key role in keeping products safe and secure, but they also can be an important part of product branding.
Just ask Jeff Crooks, senior principal engineer of packaging brand stewardship at PepsiCo Inc.
The Purchase, N.Y.-based company is known around the world for its line of soft drinks, but the company is so much more than its soda.
With more than 3,000 products, PepsiCo is among the largest food and beverage companies on the globe with iconic brands such as Gatorade, Lay's, Tropicana and, of course, Pepsi-Cola.
And in the case of Tropicana and Gatorade, for example, the closure has played an important role in recent years to help advance branding.
The iconic orange cap of Gatorade has been updated and tweaked in recent years as PepsiCo extended the brand into new products, Crooks said at the recent 2014 Plastic Caps & Closures conference in Rosemont. The conference is organized by Plastics News.
Same is the case for the closures for Tropicana juice, where new closures helped launch new PET carafes — both 59 and 89 ounce sizes — and allowed the company to move away from paper cartons.
“The closure can make the brand,” Crooks said. “It can really stand out. If we get this right, a closure on a shelf sitting by itself, or sitting on your counter, someone will recognize it, know what product it's for, and hopefully it will delight them.
“Hopefully, it will be an easy experience, whether that's easy open, improved functionality in some other way. I think the closure truly can be the icing on the cake, so to speak, for the package,” he said.
Gatorade, he said, “is a perfect example of how subtle changes can have a significant impact on packaging.”
“We started out with a single opaque orange closure, which many of you might recognize. It was iconic. If you saw this closure somewhere you knew it came from a Gatorade product. But as the brand had to evolve, so did the closure,” he said.