IP's xpedx division creates sampler corrugated packaging for Portland, Oregon, craft brewer Widmer Brothers; box has windows for product visibility while maintaining structural integrity, increases pallet capacity by 40%

LOS ANGELES , August 2, 2012 () –

A new sampler box created for craft beer by International Paper Co.'s xpedx division overcomes structural challenges of making the product inside visible for display and saves on transportation costs, reported Packaging Digest on July 31.

The corrugated folding carton created for Widmer Brothers Brewing, a Portland, Oregon, division of Craft Brew Alliance Inc., is strong enough to hold four 22-ounce glass bottles of brew while revealing the contents for display purposes.

The sampler box, which is easy to grab, features cut-out corners that give customers a clear view of the beer inside. This also allows the brewer to easily switch the product inside without having to change the packaging graphics, Packaging Digest reported.

Aaron Burget, assistant brand manager at Widmer Brothers Brewing, said the main objective was to create a package that reveals the bottle labels inside, so the graphics on the box did not have to be changed with each new offering.

The top-opening carton has inside dimensions of about 6 inches by 6 inches by 11 inches and a cut-out handle in the top panel. The result is a sampler box that increases pallet capacity by 40%, helping reduce shipping costs, reported Packaging Digest.

The packaging is printed at Memphis, Tennessee-based IP’s Beaverton, Oregon, facility and shipped to xpedx for converting and packing with sampler packs shipped from the brewer approximately 14 miles away.

Balancing the functionality, structural integrity, and design goals of the packaging was challenging, said Kyle Jennings, senior director of supply chain for Craft Brew Alliance, which is headquartered in Portland, Oregon, Packaging Digest reported. Among the challenges were making the opening size large enough to show the contents without risking packaging strength, where to have customers open the packaging, and where to put the handle, he said.

Gaby Roberts, custom services specialist with xpedx, based in Loveland, Ohio, said it became apparent during design that standard box-making equipment in a box-making plant would not work, because of the difficulties of joining a box securely if you don’t have a complete corner panel, reported Packaging Digest.

The primary source of this article is Packaging Digest, Oak Book, Illinois, on July 31, 2012.


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