Case Study

Saratoga Lengthens Shelf-life of New Juice Line with PET Bottle

Saratoga Beverage Group Inc.'s launch of its new "Saratoga Juice" line is taking shape this summer thanks to a new PET bottle. The unique, square-shaped container for the juice purees — which are blended from a base of fresh crushed fruits — replaces an HDPE bottle that was used for a previous Saratoga brand. The bottle affords the new beverages a shelf-life of 21 days — a nine-day improvement over the former packaging.

Located in Saratoga Springs, NY, the drink manufacturer specializes in supplying fresh juice and specialty natural beverages. The new juice line, which is available in 16-oz bottles that feature a colorful three-sided label to differentiate the product, has two extensions: "Smoothies," six flavors of crushed fruit blends; and "Fruit for Thought," eight flavors of fortified juice purees. All are being sold at retail nationwide starting this month. This marks Saratoga Beverage Group's first product line launch since its 1999 acquisition of The Fresh Juice Company.

"The popularity of healthy, fortified juices continues to escalate as consumers become more educated about the values of fresh juice and nutraceutical products," says Robin Prever, president and CEO of the Saratoga Beverage Group. "Saratoga plans to continue introducing healthful new products that target this educated, natural beverage consumer."

Zero-Oxygen Barrier
The new line of Saratoga Smoothies and fortified juices is the first juice smoothie line on the market to utilize the benefits of what the company calls "zero-oxygen barrier" PET bottles. The monolayer injection/stretch blow-molded bottles, supplied by PlasPET Florida (Lakeland, FL), yield up to nine additional days shelf-life over the previously used HDPE bottles. "PET offers good oxygen barrier," says PlasPET's David Lilico. "With PET you get six times the oxygen barrier of HDPE."

Lilico says that, in addition to the change in bottle material, what also helps achieve the extended shelf-life for the refrigerated juice products is the fact that the neck of the injection/stretch blow-molded bottle matches perfectly with the injection-molded cap. "You don't get the same absolute match with a blow-molded bottle and injection-molded cap," he says. The 38mm resealable snap-on, screw-off cap from Portola Packaging (San Jose, CA), the STN3, comes in a variety of colors to match each product.

Bold Graphics
The square shape of the clear, transparent 16-oz bottle enables Saratoga to maximize the amount of chiller space — which is more expensive than non-refrigerated shelf space — for its Saratoga Juices. The three-sided, high-gloss, pressure-sensitive paper label from Lord Label Group (Plant City, FL) features bold, flexographic-printed graphics in up to seven colors — four process colors and three spot colors that vary depending on the product. The labels are applied with an Accraply (Plymouth, MN) 35PW labeler.

As an added-value feature, on the side panel of every juice container appears a Saratoga SMART CHART, which identifies the features and benefits of the juice for the retailer and consumer. The chart indicates not only what vitamins, minerals and/or herbs are in each juice, but also what benefits those ingredients have to the consumer of the product.

The six Saratoga Smoothies flavors are: Strawberry, Peach Banana, Berry Peach, Blackberry, Raspberry and Mango Peach. The eight Fruit for Thought flavors of fortified juice include: Spirulina Spin, Berry Brain Boost, Mellow Mango, Vita-Buzz, Power Pick-up, Chromium High, Ginseng Zing, and a seasonal blend called Anti-up. The fortified juices are loaded with essential vitamins, minerals and herbs.

"Saratoga uses only the finest fresh crushed fruit as a base for our smoothies," says Heather Thompson, marketing and communications manager for the Saratoga Beverage Group. "We are proud of our juices, so we package our juice in a bottle that shows off the vibrant color and the superior quality of the product inside."

Saratoga Smoothies and fortified juices will be competitively priced at retail between $2.79-$2.99 per 16-oz bottle.

For more information:
PlasPET Florida, Lakeland, FL, Tel: 941-683-7911
Lord Label Group, Southeast Division,, Plant City, FL, Tel: 800-341-5225
Portola Packaging, San Jose, CA, Tel: 408-573-2079
Accraply, A Barry Wehmiller Co., Plymouth, MN, Tel: 612-557-1313
Saratoga Beverage Group Inc., Saratoga Springs, NY, Tel: 518-584-6363