Case Study

Tropicana moves to 16-oz hot-fill PET bottles

Graham Packaging Company, L.P. (York, PA), a leading global producer of custom blow-molded plastic containers, today announced it will produce a 16-oz, single-serve PET (polyethylene terephthalate) hot-fill bottle for Tropicana Products, Inc.

"The decision to switch from glass to plastic was driven by overwhelming customer preference for plastic," said Beth Byron-Reasoner, Tropicana's director of immediate consumption marketing. "Plastic is simply the best answer for on-the-go consumers."

The new bottle will feature a 43-millimeter opening, a customized bell with an orange-leaf design, and the "Bairocade" oxygen-inhibiting barrier coating, which protects freshness and extends shelf life two and a half to three times longer than untreated PET bottles. The bottle also will be "cupholder friendly"--designed to fit all standard automobile and truck cupholders.

The introduction of the 16-oz single-serve bottle represents the second switch Tropicana has made from glass to PET plastic with Graham Packaging. The first took place with a PET bottle made by Graham Packaging for Tropicana Twister. That container won a 1999 AmeriStar Award from the Institute of Packaging Professionals and a 1999 WorldStar Award from the World Packaging Organization.

Tropicana is test marketing the new bottle in Florida with its Season's Best line of juices. Beth Byron-Reasoner said the bottle would be rolled out nationally by January.

Mark Leiden, director of PET beverages for Graham Packaging, said the bottle will be one of the first major products to come out of the company's new plant in Montgomery, AL, and will be produced on a new dual-cavity SBO 20 blow-molding machine made by Sidel. He said the machine is capable of producing more than 45,000 bottles per hour. The bottle also will be made at Graham Packaging's Farmbrook plant near York, PA.

Tropicana Products, Inc., a division of PepsiCo, Inc., is the world's leading producer and marketer of branded fruit juices. Based in Bradenton, Florida, Tropicana markets its products in the U.S. under a number of brand names, including: Tropicana Pure Premium Original, Grovestand and HomeStyle juices; Tropicana Pure Premium Calcium & Extra Vitamin C, and Double Vitamin C with Vitamin E nutritionally enhanced juices; Tropicana Season's Best and Pure Tropics juices; and Tropicana Twister juice beverages.

Graham Packaging, based in York, is a worldwide leader in the design, manufacture, and sale of customized blow-molded plastic containers for the branded food and beverage, household and personal care, and automotive lubricants markets with 57 plants throughout North America, Europe and Latin America.

For more info: Donald C. Sarvey, Editorial Enterprises, Inc., (717) 236-7716;

Edited by Judy Rice