HOLLAND, OHIO — Combining two compatible products, such as a liquid and a snack, into one container is possible now that Emergent Technologies, L.L.C. and Plastic Technologies, Inc. (PTI) have teamed up to create and commercialize the Smiler, a two-compartment polyethylene terepthalate (PET) container.
“The driving force behind the concept was to give brand owners the opportunity to market a single serving of two compatible products, such as milk and cookies, within one portable container,” said Bill Weber, president and general manager of Emergent Technologies, Chanhassen, Minn. “Every time we showed the concept, people smiled, and that’s how we came up with the brand name.”
The proprietary Smiler technology allows bottles/containers to be injection blow molded into different shapes and sizes. The larger, top compartment may hold the liquid while the bottom compartment may hold the snack item. Both compartments may be used for dry products and/or non-food items.
“We spent a lot of time looking for ways to push PET design and processing boundaries beyond what had previously been done,” said Scott Steele, vice-president of Holland-based PTI. “The biggest challenge was figuring out how to make a base cavity that was deep enough to house a second product. We went through multiple iterations over a year-plus to make sure that both the design elements and the blow molding process would meet performance objectives.”
Potential applications for the Smiler include vended snack and drink combos, treats for youth sports, fund-raising tools and other promotional products.