Chobani Greek yogurt: Ready in a “flip” thanks to specialized IML packaging

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04 Jul 2018 --- Chobani has teamed with Australian injection molder PakPot to deliver their fresh Greek yogurt with a dry crunchy mix in an innovative “flipping container.” The container has two compartments which separate the yogurt from the dry crunchy mix until the point of consumption, when the package can be “flipped” to combine the ingredients, maximizing freshness and taste.

Brand owner Chobani wanted to deliver these ingredients onto store shelves as a single product, but with both ingredients clearly separated. This was a complex challenge technically, but thanks to the possibilities of IML, an attractive and flexible solution was created.

Packaging with two compartments
Chobani yogurt was created in 2005 when the founder, Hamdi Ulukaya, who lived in the US, was unable to find the high-quality Greek yogurt he grew up eating. He decided to produce it himself and the product was an immediate hit in the US and then in Australia.

In 2017, Chobani Australia launched the Flip product range, featuring products that combine Greek yogurt with a dry, crunchy mix-in. “We needed smart packaging with two compartments so that the consumer could combine the ingredients for consumption by ‘flipping’ the container,” explains John Williams, New Product Development Manager at Chobani.

“Chobani Flip is perfect for people who want a better afternoon snack that satisfies their sweet and crunchy cravings, but isn’t as naughty as chips or a chocolate bar,” he says.

Flip design is one of a kind
Joe Matto, CEO of PakPot tells FoodIngredientsFirst: “This flip design is one of a kind. Why? Because it's a twin injected polypropylene tub with a live hinge that is decorated with a Y-shaped IML label, with the injection gated through the label by means of a hole.”

“It took approximately 12 months between the initial idea and the finished product. We needed that time to conduct extensive testing. There are comparable IML products with two compartments and wraparound IML labels on the market. But, for this product, we designed a Y-shaped IML label: the legally required information is stated on the bottom of the packaging, while the sides and top are used for marketing and branding purposes.”

“The challenge was to properly analyze the polymer flow since double injection automatically causes a stress line where the two materials meet together (a ‘cold weld stress joint is formed’). It was critical that this stress line would not end up along the live hinge of the packaging,” he says.

Click to EnlargeUnique Y-shaped IML label with drill hole
Dieter Maes, Sales and Marketing Manager Verstraete IML explains to FoodIngredientsFirst: “Thanks to the IML technology, brand owners can retain the best possible quality and are perfectly protected against moisture and large fluctuations in temperature. In-mold labels resist humidity and big changes in temperature: the best solution to decorate plastic containers for frozen and refrigerated products. In-mold labels are also scratch resistant, cannot crack and are not susceptible to wrinkles.”

The term “in-mold labeling” is directly derived from the technique: a preprinted polypropylene (PP) label is placed in a mold. This mold has the shape of the end product, for example, the shape of a butter tub. Then the molten PP is added to the mold. It fuses with the label, and while curing, takes the shape of the mold. The result is that label and packaging becoming one.

“The offset printing technique ensures high-resolution images. Besides, you can decorate all the sides of a container with one single label. IML provides excellent design possibilities and a wide range of look and feel options. That means that you can use the label to highlight certain product features. Packaging that catches the eye, tempts the consumer and excites the senses...That is what makes the difference on the shop shelves. Last but certainly not the least, IML packaging is completely recyclable,” he says.

“IML continues to grow as a decoration technique for packaging, both for food and non-food items, such as butter and margarine, salads and spreads, ice cream, paint, pet food, household products and more. Existing clients are expanding the applications within their normal product range or extending its use to new markets. We now also make IML labels for product categories such as confectionery, tobacco and personal care. The possibilities are endless with IML. It is up to us and our clients to discover them together,” Maes concludes.

By Joshua Poole

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