Chicago — They are calling it the Clasper. And, no, it's not some sort of late-night infomercial gadget.
But it is a new two-compartment PET package that feeds into the growing trend toward personalization, according to its developer.
Created by Plastic Technologies Inc. of Holland, Ohio, the Clasper has just been commercialized through the Yumix — Get it? You mix — brand of cocktail drinks.
Initial Yumix products feature vodka in a lower container that snaps into a larger bottle that contains juice. A shrink-sleeve label is applied over both.
While the first application of the Clasper is in the adult beverage category, PTI's Ron Puvak believes the container's application goes far beyond that segment. Possible other uses include nutraceuticals and even medical applications. Any product with two components that can be mixed together by customers can be a candidate for this approach, said the director of marketing and new business development at PTI.
The bottom container, which holds alcohol for Yumix, also doesn't even have to hold liquids. Instead, that compartment could store other products such as powders that then can be mixed with the upper chamber.
Aside from the practical applications of the Clasper, allowing the consumption of two freshly mixed components, Puvak said at Pack Expo in Chicago that the bottle also has another appeal.
“I think what's been the most impressive thing is the amount of consumer comments of ‘how cool' the package is. Somebody walks up to this, they really can't tell this it's a two-part because the way the labeling is. But basically once they twist it and see it happen, they are sold on the concept,” Puvak said.
PTI sees the Clasper being especially appealing to millennials because of personal nature of the packaging.
The initial Clasper for Yumix features a 192 milliliter upper container with a 50 milliliter lower container. But the packaging can be adapted to different sizes as needed, Puvak said.
The concept behind the Clasper actually comes from a previous container developed by PTI called the Smiler. This PET container nestles dry goods in the base of a larger container. The original application was for a milk-and-cookies product, but each of the two vessels can hold dry goods and even non-food items.
While PTI developed the Clasper for Yumix, both companies quickly realized there is a market beyond just that line of mixed drinks.
“There was such a strong feedback to the container that was develop with Yumix, PTI developed it, that everybody mutually agreed to make the concept available to anybody else who wanted to use it,” company spokeswoman Sophia Dilberakis said.
“While this was originally developed for an alcoholic beverage, a spirit, and a hot fill juice, what became very evident is that it absolutely isn't limited to that,” she said.
PTI developed the Clasper after Yumix founder Alex Garner saw the Smiler container and asked the company to design packaging for the line of drinks he was developing, Puvak said.
Design challenges included the fact that the base of the juice container could become susceptible to deformation due to the hot-fill process. Designers also had to compensate for the larger than normal head space needed to allow room to mix in the contents of the lower chamber.
This added space, PTI explained, increases the vacuum in the package and adds stress to the bottle. Designers added ribs to the bottle to provide structural stability.