McCormick develops new spice package with Weatherchem's FlapMate 43 mm PP closure for U.K. private label project, cap is 100% recyclable, uses less material than competitive solutions
January 10, 2012
– Consumers don’t like being told what to do. Some prefer to pour their spices; others prefer to use a spoon.
McCormick’s packaging engineers in France understood this need for consumer choice quite well, and as they were designing a new spice package with a wider neck and wider access, they realized a traditional single-method sift cap on the package wouldn’t truly satisfy their customers.
“Weatherchem’s FlapMate® closure not only fit the dimensions on our new wider bottle, but its design allows a customer to either pour and put a teaspoon inside our glass container,” explained Natalie Jacqmin of McCormick, who’s part of the package development team in France working on the project.
FlapMate closures are an ideal solution for spice manufacturers appealing to consumer interest in convenience and food safety. FlapMate’s butterfly hinge design allows for easy opening and closing with one-hand. Some closures allow the hinge to flap down during dispensing, making it more difficult to control during pouring and creating spills. FlapMate’s lid provides better flow because it is specially engineered to stay in the full, open position for greater control of product dispensing.
Users of all ages especially appreciate the ability to open and close the cap with just one hand, with a pain-free opening with comfortable thumb divot. The closure provides an audible "snap,” confirming for the consumer the product is safe and fresh. With a tight close that’s sift-resistant, you don’t have a mess in the cupboard if it tips or during shipping.
FlapMate’s raised deck dispensing platform keeps the surface clean, and it’s one-piece design is attractive to manufacturers, since there are no detached parts to track or assemble during capping operations.
Jacqmin, who said McCormick is creating the new package as part of a private label project for the UK, noted that the FlapMate’s 43mm dimension was important to the project, as most spice bottles in France are typically 38mm.
“We considered creating a mold to manufacture the new closure ourselves,” she noted, “but the quantities and time-to-market didn’t really allow for that decision. We knew Weatherchem had a product that would suit our needs immediately, with the right dimensions, finish and colors, and we didn’t want to delay the project by 12 months by bringing it in-house.”
In fact, Jacqmin’s team asked Weatherchem to create customized colors – brown, blue, orange, green and pink – on the closure to accommodate their branding objectives. After initial test runs and customer approvals, the colors were approved as a good quality match and the project received official approval to move forward.
While Jacqmin’s team in France was new to Weatherchem, a variety of McCormick divisions in North America and Australia have a long-standing relationship with Weatherchem. That strong relationship was important as McCormick France worked with packaging colleagues at its sister operations to evaluate Weatherchem’s quality and reliability record.
“Certainly our company’s existing relationship with Weatherchem was an important factor in selecting FlapMate for our new project,” Jacqmin noted. “Vendor partnerships are very critical to McCormick, so Weatherchem’s history with other parts of our company proved to be an important consideration in our decision to move forward with this project.”
FlapMate is part of Weatherchem’s improved sustainability solutions for customers. The cap is an unlined closure that is 100 percent recyclable and manufactured with less material/lighter weight than competitive solutions, saving on shipping costs.
Recently, Weatherchem has launched an extensive sustainability initiative to reduce its own energy consumption, as well as create dispensing solutions that use fewer materials and reduced product weight. Even during the recent economic downturn, Weatherchem continued its sustainability investments with impressive results, reducing scrap by 50 percent, installing new electric presses that consumed 35-45 percent less energy and 800,000 fewer gallons of water annually, and installed a new “chiller” to cool interior spaces with 40-45 percent less energy than prior systems. Going forward, Weatherchem even set a goal to become “landfill-free.”