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Número de publicaciónUS20090114650 A1
Tipo de publicaciónSolicitud
Número de solicitudUS 11/981,885
Fecha de publicación7 May 2009
Fecha de presentación1 Nov 2007
Fecha de prioridad1 Nov 2007
También publicado comoWO2009057038A1
Número de publicación11981885, 981885, US 2009/0114650 A1, US 2009/114650 A1, US 20090114650 A1, US 20090114650A1, US 2009114650 A1, US 2009114650A1, US-A1-20090114650, US-A1-2009114650, US2009/0114650A1, US2009/114650A1, US20090114650 A1, US20090114650A1, US2009114650 A1, US2009114650A1
InventoresMichael Roderick Houston, JR., Steven Handling Farrell, Lee Mathew Arent, Thomas Anthony Hensler
Cesionario originalHouston Jr Michael Roderick, Steven Handling Farrell, Lee Mathew Arent, Thomas Anthony Hensler
Exportar citaBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
Enlaces externos: USPTO, Cesión de USPTO, Espacenet
Compartment container
US 20090114650 A1
Resumen
A packaging system comprising a container, a first overcap, and a second overcap is provided. The first overcap is configured to be operatively engaged around the container. The second overcap is configured to be operatively engaged to the first overcap and defines an enclosure region. The enclosure region is configured to enclose a package, such as a sample package of roast and ground coffee. A method of delivering a sample food product is also provided and includes providing a packaging system; providing a first overcap and a second overcap, wherein the first overcap is operatively engaged to the container, wherein the second overcap is operatively engaged to the first overcap and defines an enclosure region; and providing a package of the sample food product within the enclosure region.
Imágenes(9)
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Reclamaciones(32)
1. A packaging system, comprising:
a container having a closed bottom, an open top, and a body therebetween, the bottom, top, and body defining an interior volume for containing a first food product, and wherein the body defines a first perimeter about the open top;
a first overcap configured to be operatively engaged to the first perimeter, and wherein the first overcap has a second perimeter;
a second overcap configured to be operatively engaged to the second perimeter of the first overcap, and wherein the second overcap defines an enclosure region; and
a package for housing a second food product therein, the package enclosed within the enclosure region.
2. The packaging system of claim 1, and wherein the second overcap is translucent or transparent.
3. The packaging system of claim 1, and wherein the first food product and the second food product are the same type of food product.
4. The packaging system of claim 3, and wherein the first food product has a different flavor than the second food product.
5. The packaging system of claim 1, and wherein the first food product is roast and ground coffee.
6. The packaging system of claim 1, and wherein the second food product is roast and ground coffee.
7. The packaging system of claim 1, and wherein the enclosed package is a bag.
8. The packaging system of claim 1, and further comprising a second package for housing a third food product therein, the second package enclosed within the enclosure region.
9. The packaging system of claim 8, and wherein the third food product has a different flavor then the second food product.
10. The packaging system of claim 8, and wherein the third food product is a sweetener.
11. A method of delivering an article of commerce, comprising:
providing a packaging system comprising a container having a bottom, an open top, and a body therebetween, wherein the bottom, top, and body define an interior volume for housing a first food product, and wherein the body defines a first perimeter about the top;
providing a first overcap having a second perimeter, the first overcap configured to operatively engage the first perimeter;
providing a second overcap, the second overcap configured to operatively engage the second perimeter of the first overcap, and wherein the second overcap defines an enclosure region;
providing the article of commerce within the enclosure region.
12. The method of claim 11, and wherein the second overcap is translucent or transparent.
13. The method of claim 11, and wherein the article of commerce is a measuring scoop for use with roast and ground coffee.
14. The method of claim 11, and wherein the article of commerce is a package of a sample food product.
15. The method of claim 14, and wherein the sample food product is the same type of food product as the first food product.
16. The method of claim 15, and wherein the first food product and the sample food product are roast and ground coffee.
17. The method of claim 16, and wherein the sample food product has a different flavor than the first food product.
18. The method of claim 11, and wherein the sample food product is different from the first food product.
19. The method of claim 18, and wherein the sample food product is a sweetener.
20. A packaging system, comprising:
a container having a closed bottom, an open top, and a body therebetween, the bottom, top, and body defining an interior volume for containing a first food product, and wherein the body defines a first perimeter about the open top;
a first overcap configured to be operatively engaged to the first perimeter, and wherein the first overcap has a second perimeter;
a second overcap configured to be operatively engaged to the second perimeter of the first overcap, and wherein the second overcap defines an enclosure region; and
a utensil for use with the first food product, the utensil enclosed within the enclosure region.
21. The packaging system of claim 20, and wherein the second overcap is translucent or transparent.
22. The packaging system of claim 20, and wherein the first food product is roast and ground coffee.
23. The packaging system of claim 22, and wherein the utensil is a measuring scoop used for measuring an amount of the roast and ground coffee.
24. The packaging system of claim 20, and further comprising a package for housing a second food product therein is enclosed within the enclosure region.
25. The packaging system of claim 24, and wherein the first food product and the second food product are roast and ground coffee.
26. The packaging system of claim 25, and wherein the first food product and the second food product have different flavors.
27. The packaging system of claim 24, and further comprising a second package for housing a third food product therein, the second package enclosed within the enclosure region.
28. The packaging system of claim 27, and wherein the third food product is a sweetener.
29. A method of providing roast and ground coffee, comprising:
providing a first packaging system according to claim 1 wherein the food product is of a first flavor;
providing a second packaging system according to claim I wherein the food product of the second packaging system is of the first flavor;
wherein the second food product of the first packaging system is of a second flavor and the second food product of the second packaging system is of a third flavor.
30. The method of claim 29, and displaying the first packaging system and the second packaging system on a store shelf.
31. The method of claim 30, wherein the first packaging system and the second packaging system are next to one another.
32. A packaging system, comprising:
a container having a closed bottom, an open top, and a body therebetween, the bottom, top, and body defining an interior volume for containing a first food product, wherein the body defines a first perimeter about the open top, and wherein the container defines a footprint;
a first overcap configured to be operatively engaged to the first perimeter, and wherein the first overcap has a second perimeter;
a second overcap configured to be operatively engaged to the first overcap, and wherein the second overcap defines an enclosure region; and
an article of commerce enclosed within the enclosure region such that the entire article is within the footprint of the container but is not within the interior volume.
Descripción
    FIELD
  • [0001]
    The present invention generally relates to a packaging system useful for packing food products and more particularly relates to a packaging system comprising a container for holding roast and ground coffee, a first overcap, and a second overcap that defines an enclosure region for delivering a sample package of roast and ground coffee.
  • BACKGROUND
  • [0002]
    Packaging systems such as coffee containers, and in more particular plastic coffee containers such as those described in U.S. Pat. No. 7,169,418, assigned to The Procter & Gamble Company, are being used more and more to deliver coffee to consumers. With the increase of coffee sold to consumers in plastic containers, it has been identified that ways exist to deliver consumers different flavors or blends of roast and ground coffee in addition to the standard purchased package. Thus, smaller packages of different flavors or blends (including new flavors and blends that are just newly being introduced into the marketplace) are often sold to a consumer. Smaller packages, among other things, allow a consumer to either try a different flavor or blend that they have not tried before or allow a coffee manufacturer to introduce a new flavor or blend on a much smaller scale. To facilitate consumers trying different or new flavors or blends, coffee manufacturers would like to introduce different or new flavors or blends on a smaller scale and without making the consumer actually purchase an entirely separate package of coffee, whether it is a small package or a large package. In addition, some coffee drinkers are well known to be loyal to a specific or particular flavor or blend, and thus it has been increasingly difficult for coffee manufacturers to have these loyal coffee drinkers test or try different or new flavors or blends of roast and ground coffee.
  • [0003]
    Furthermore, designs currently in the marketplace present problems for both the consumer and the manufacturer or shipper. Some designs include a wrap that attaches smaller packages of products to the outside of containers, for example, a plastic wrap attaches a bag of product on the side of a round canister. These designs present a packaging problem for the manufacturer as they are a burden to the normal packaging procedure. Further, designs such as these present shipping problems as they are not a uniform package. Then, when the design reaches the consumer, it has been found to be a nuisance, and can even be difficult, to remove the wrap in order to use the smaller package.
  • [0004]
    Thus, a need exists to introduce new flavors or blends to coffee drinkers, including loyal coffee drinkers, as well as to include different flavors or blends than what a coffee drinker normally purchases.
  • SUMMARY
  • [0005]
    To address the current needs, the present invention contemplates a packaging system for roast and ground coffee.
  • [0006]
    In one embodiment, a packaging system is provided comprising a container having a closed bottom, an open top, and a body therebetween, the bottom, top, and body defining an interior volume wherein a first food product is enclosed, the body defining a perimeter about the open top. A first overcap configured to be operatively engaged to the perimeter of the body about the open top, wherein the first overcap has a perimeter, is also provided. The packaging system further comprises a second overcap configured to be operatively engaged to the perimeter of the first overcap and that which defines an enclosure region. An enclosed package having a sample food product enclosed therein can be enclosed within the enclosure region. Further, multiple packages of all types of food products can also be enclosed within the enclosure region.
  • [0007]
    In another embodiment, a method of delivering a sample food product is provided. The method comprises providing a packaging system comprising a container having a bottom, an open top, and a body therebetween, wherein the bottom, top, and body define an interior volume for housing a first food product, and wherein the body defines a first perimeter about the top; providing a first overcap having a second perimeter, the first overcap operatively engaged to the first perimeter; providing a second overcap, the second overcap operatively engaged to the second perimeter and defining an enclosure region; and providing a package of the sample food product within the enclosure region.
  • [0008]
    In yet another embodiment, a packaging system is provided. The packaging system comprises a container having a closed bottom, an open top, and a body therebetween, the bottom, top, and body defining an interior volume wherein a first food product is enclosed, the body defining a first perimeter about the open top; a first overcap configured to be operatively engaged to the first perimeter, and wherein the first overcap has a second perimeter; a second overcap configured to be operatively engaged to the second perimeter of the first overcap and defining an enclosure region; and a utensil for use with the first food product can be enclosed within the enclosure region.
  • [0009]
    Numerous advantages and additional aspects of the present invention will be apparent from the description of the preferred embodiments and drawings that follow.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0010]
    While this specification includes a description of the present invention and concludes with claims that define the invention, it is believed that both will be better understood by reference to the drawings wherein:
  • [0011]
    FIG. 1 is an exploded perspective view of a packaging system.
  • [0012]
    FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view of an overcap for the packaging system.
  • [0013]
    FIG. 3 is an expanded, cross-sectional view of the region labeled 3 in FIG. 2 of the overcap in an applied position.
  • [0014]
    FIG. 4 is an expanded, cross-sectional view of the region labeled 3 in FIG. 2 of the overcap in an expanded position.
  • [0015]
    FIG. 5 is an isometric view of an alternative overcap for use with the packaging system.
  • [0016]
    FIG. 6 is a bottom planar view of the alternative overcap of FIG. 5.
  • [0017]
    FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view of the region labeled 7 in FIG. 5 in contact with the packaging system.
  • [0018]
    FIG. 8 is a side view of a second overcap.
  • [0019]
    FIG. 9 is a side view of an alternative second overcap.
  • [0020]
    FIG. 10 is a side view of the packaging system having the overcap and the second overcap in applied positions.
  • [0021]
    FIG. 11 is an expanded, cross-sectional view of the region labeled 11 in FIG. 10 of the overcap and the second overcap in applied positions.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • [0022]
    All documents cited herein are incorporated by reference in their entirety. The citation of any document is not to be construed as an admission that it is prior art with respect to the present invention.
  • [0023]
    The invention herein will generally be described in terms of a packaging system for a food product. Further, while roast and ground coffee is disclosed as being the seminal food product related to the present invention, it should be understood that any type of food product is within the scope of this invention.
  • [0024]
    In general, one embodiment of the present invention is related to a packaging system comprising a container for holding a food item, such as roast and ground coffee, a first overcap, and a second overcap. The first overcap is configured to be operatively engaged to the perimeter of the container. The second overcap is configured to be operatively engaged to the perimeter of the first overcap and defines an enclosure region. The enclosure region is configured to enclose a package, such as a sample package of roast and ground coffee. Furthermore, a method of delivering a sample food product is disclosed. The method comprises providing a packaging system as described hereinabove and providing a package of the sample food product within the enclosure region. Other aspects of embodiments of the present invention will be described hereinafter.
  • [0025]
    One embodiment of the present invention includes a container, a first overcap, and a second overcap. The container is configured for housing roast and ground coffee. The first overcap can be configured to be secured to the container for covering and keeping fresh the roast and ground coffee inside the container. The second overcap can be designed to be secured to the first overcap. Thus, an enclosure region is formed and defined by the interior volume between the first overcap and the second overcap. This enclosure region, or compartment, can be used for housing a sample product. The sample product could be a small package of a flavor or blend of roast and ground coffee that is different from the flavor or blend of the roast and ground coffee inside the container. Thus, this sample product provides a consumer the opportunity to try sample-sized products in different varieties or new or specialty products. In some embodiments, the second overcap is made of a transparent or translucent thermoformed plastic material, such as a thermoplastic polymer, for example polyethylene terephthalate.
  • [0026]
    FIG. 1 details a packaging system 10 in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention. Packaging system 10 generally comprises a container 11 made from a plastic, for example, polyolefin. Packaging system 10 is in general accordance with those embodiments disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 7,169,418. It should be realized that container 11 can take any number of shapes, including with or without handles, grips, or pass-through handles, and can be made of any number of suitable materials. Container 11 generally comprises an open top 12, a closed bottom 13, and a body portion 14. Open top 12, closed bottom 13, and body portion 14 define an inner volume in which a product, such as roast and ground coffee, can be contained.
  • [0027]
    With further reference to FIG. 1, container 11 can be cylindrically shaped with substantially smooth sides. In another embodiment, the container is parallelepiped shaped. Handle portions 15 are respectively formed in container body portion 14 at arcuate positions. Additionally, the body portion 14 of container 11 can define a perimeter. The perimeter can be in the form of a rim-like protuberance 17 disposed at the open end of container 11. The perimeter can operatively engage a peripheral lip on the overcap, such as on the skirt portion 32 of overcap 30. By “operatively engaged” is meant closed in a substantially air-tight manner. Protuberance 17 can provide a surface with which to removeably attach a closure 18 and provide a locking surface for skirt portion 32 of overcap 30.
  • [0028]
    Further in FIG. 1, packaging system 10 comprises a closure 18. Closure 18 can be a laminated, peelable seal 19 that is removably attached and sealed to container 11 when the food product is packaged for retail sale. Peelable seal 19 can have a degassing valve, indicated by reference number 20. One-way valve 20 can be heat welded or glued to peelable seal 19.
  • [0029]
    Again referring to FIG. 1, protuberance 17, in the form of a rim like structure, can be disposed at the open end of container 11 and may have textured surfaces disposed thereon. Textured surfaces disposed on protuberance 17 can comprise raised surfaces in the form of protuberances, annular features, and/or cross-hatching to facilitate better sealing of peelable seal 19. Annular features may include a single bead or a series of beads as concentric rings protruding from the seal surface of protuberance 17. While not wishing to be bound by theory, it is believed that a textured surface on protuberance 17 can allow for the application of a more uniform and/or concentrated pressure during a sealing process to seal peelable seal 19. Textured surfaces can provide increased sealing capability between protuberance 17 and peelable seal 19 due to any irregularities introduced during molding, trimming, shipping processes, and the like during manufacture of container 11. It should be understood that while FIG. 1 and other embodiments disclose a protuberance 17, packaging systems without a protuberance are contemplated and within the scope of this invention.
  • [0030]
    Closure 18 can be sealed to container 11 along a rim or protuberance 17 of container 11. Methods of sealing include a heat sealing method incorporating a hot metal plate applying pressure and heat through the closure material and the container rim, causing a fused bond. The peel strength achieved is generally a result of the applied pressure, temperature, and dwell time of the sealing process. However, it should be known to one skilled in the art that other types of seals and seal methods could be used to achieve a bond with sufficient and effective seal strength, including, but not limited to, a plurality of annular sealing beads disposed on rim 17.
  • [0031]
    Referring again to FIG. 1, packaging system 10 comprises an overcap 30 comprised of dome portion 31, skirt portion 32, and rib 33. As a non-limiting example, overcap 30 is generally manufactured from a plastic with a low flexural modulus, for example, linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE), low-density polyethylene (LDPE), high-density polyethylene (HDPE), polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE), polycarbonate, polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polystyrene, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), copolymers thereof, and combinations thereof. These types of plastic allows for a first overcap 30 that has a high degree of flexibility yet can still provide sufficient rigidity to allow stacking of successive containers. By using a flexible overcap 30, mechanical application during packaging as well as re-application of first overcap 30 to container 11 after opening by the consumer is facilitated. A surprising feature of a flexible overcap 30 is the ability of the end user to “burp” excess atmospheric gas from container 11 thereby reducing the amount of oxygen present. Additionally, the desired balance of flexibility and rigidity exhibited by overcap 30 is to vary the thickness profile of the overcap 30. For example, the dome portion 31 can be manufactured to be thinner than skirt portion 32 and rib 33.
  • [0032]
    Dome portion 31 can be generally designed with a curvature, and hence height, to accommodate for an outward displacement of closure 18 from container 11 as a packaged product, such as roast and ground coffee, off gases. The amount of curvature needed in dome portion 31 can be mathematically determined as a prediction of displacement of closure 18. As a non-limiting example, a nominal height of dome portion 31 can be 0.242 inches (0.61 cm) with an internal pressure on closure 18 of 15 millibars for a nominal 6-inch (15.25 cm) diameter overcap. Further, the dome portion 31 is also generally displaceable beyond its original height as internal pressure rises in container 11, causing closure 18 to rise prior to the release of any off gas by one-way valve 20. While dome portion 31 has been described as designed with a curvature, other embodiments are envisioned that do not have a curvature. A simple flat design could also be appropriate.
  • [0033]
    FIG. 2 details an overcap 30 comprising a rib 33. Rib 33 protrudes outwardly from the generally curved dome portion 31 and serves as a physically connection between dome portion 31 and skirt 32. Rib 33 forms a perimeter of overcap 30. Generally, skirt 32 has a hook shape for lockingly engaging protuberance 17 of container 11. Rib 33 isolates skirt 32 from dome portion 31, acting as a cantilever hinge so that outward deflections (O) of dome portion 31 are translated into inward deflections (I) of skirt 33. This cantilevered motion provides for an easier application of overcap 30 to container 11 and serves to effectively tighten the seal under internal pressures.
  • [0034]
    As shown in FIG. 3, an exploded view of the region around rib 33, dome portion 31 correspondingly mates with protuberance 17 of container 11. As a non-limiting example, container 11, after opening, requires replacement of overcap 30. A consumer places overcap 30 on container 11 so that an inside edge 34 of rib 33 contacts protuberance 17. A consumer then applies outward pressure on skirt 32 and downward pressure on dome portion 31, eliminating some of the ambient air entrapped within the headspace of container 11. As shown in FIG. 4, the inside edge 34 of rib 33 then fully seats on protuberance 17, producing a complete seal. In a non-limiting example, protuberance 17 varies from −5° to +5° from a line perpendicular to body 14. Inside edge 34 is designed to provide contact with protuberance 17 for this variation. As another non-limiting example, overall travel of the inside edge 34 of rib 33 has been nominally measured at three millimeters for a protuberance 17 width of four to six millimeters. It has been found that when protuberance 17 is angularly disposed, protuberance 17 forms a sufficient surface to provide for sealing adhesive attachment of closure 18 to protuberance 17.
  • [0035]
    Additionally, the inside edge 34 of rib 33 can effectively prevent the pollution of protuberance 17, with or without closure 18 in place, thereby providing a better seal. As pressure within container 11 builds due to off gas from the product within, dome portion 31 of overcap 30 deflects outward. This outward deflection causes the inside edge 34 of rib 33 to migrate toward the center of container 11 along protuberance 17. This inward movement results in a transfer of force through rib 33 to an inward force on skirt portion 32 to be applied to container wall 14 and the outer portion of protuberance 17, resulting in a strengthened seal. Additionally, significant deflections of dome 31 due to pressurization of closure 18 causes the inside edge 34 to dislocate from protuberance 17 allowing any vented off gas to escape passed protuberance 17 to the outside of overcap 30. This design alleviates the need for a vent in overcap 30.
  • [0036]
    As shown in FIG. 5, an alternative embodiment of overcap 30 b comprises a plurality of nested cylindrical formations. In other words, in this alternative embodiment, the base of overcap 30 b, having a diameter, d, forms a base portion 60 upon which the upper portion 62 of overcap 30 b, having a diameter, d−Δd, is disposed thereon. The upper portion 62 of overcap 30 b can have an annular protuberance 64 disposed thereon. It is believed that the annular protuberance 64 disposed upon the upper portion 62 of overcap 30 b can provide a form upon which closed bottom 13 can lockably nest.
  • [0037]
    As shown in FIGS. 6 and 7, in an alternative embodiment, the inner surface of the base portion 60 of overcap 30 b can have an annular sealing ring 66 disposed thereon. Annular sealing ring 66 was found to facilitate the mating of surfaces corresponding to annular sealing ring 66 and the finish portion of container 11. Mating the surfaces in this manner can provide an audible recognition that both surfaces have made contact and that a secure seal between protuberance 17 and the internal surface of overcap 30 b has been made. A surprising feature of overcap 30 b is the ability of the end user to “burp” excess atmospheric gas from container 11 thereby reducing the amount of oxygen present. Further, it is believed that an inner surface of base portion 60 mate with at least a portion of protuberance 17 so that there is provided an overlap of the inner surface of base portion 60 with protuberance 17. One of skill in the art would realize that any configuration of the annular sealing ring 66 may be used to provide the facilitation of the corresponding mating surfaces, including, but not limited to, interrupted annular rings, a plurality of protuberances, and combinations thereof. It is also believed that providing a protuberance 69 in the form of an annular ring, plurality of protuberances, and other protuberances known to one of skill in the art, can provide a method of stacking a plurality of overcaps 30 b prior to overcap 30 b being applied to a container.
  • [0038]
    As further shown in FIG. 6, it was surprisingly found that a plurality of protuberances 68 disposed upon the inner surface of overcap 30 b could facilitate the replacement of overcap 30 b upon container 11. Without desiring to be bound by theory, it is believed that a plurality of protuberances 68 could facilitate replacement of overcap 30 b. It is further believed that the plurality of protuberances 68 disposed upon the inner surface of overcap 30 b can effectively translate the horizontal component of a force applied to overcap 30 b during replacement of overcap 30 b upon container 11 through the plurality of protuberances 68 thereby allowing the plurality of protuberances 68 to effectively traverse over the edge of container 11 and ultimately aligning the longitudinal axis of overcap 30 b with the longitudinal axis of container 11. It would be realized by one of skill in the art that the plurality of protuberances 68 could comprise a plurality of spherical, semi-spherical, elliptical, quarter-round, and polygonal projections, indentations, and combinations thereof.
  • [0039]
    FIG. 8 details a second overcap 80 comprised of a top portion 81 and bottom portion 82. Bottom portion 82 can operatively engage overcap 30 or 30 b. Specifically, in one embodiment the bottom portion 82 of second overcap 80 can mate with sealing ring 66 of overcap 30 b. After mating, intermediate ring 83 of second overcap 80 can be vertically adjacent with base portion 60 of overcap 30 b. Thus, top portion 81 will define an interior region as enclosure region 84. Enclosure region 84, being bound on the bottom by upper portion 62 of overcap 30 b and on the top by top portion 81 of second overcap 80, defines an actual volume in which an article of commerce can be stored or housed. For example, this enclosure region 84 can be the volume in which a sample package of food product, specifically roast and ground coffee, can be housed.
  • [0040]
    FIG. 9 details another embodiment of a second overcap 90. Second overcap 90 comprises a dome 91 with a circumference defined by annular crown 92. Crown 92 continues vertically downwardly and defines a first wall 93. Crown 92 can be used as a surface for stacking successive packaging systems. First wall 93 terminates at first wall base 94, which continues to a second wall top 98. Second wall 95 then continues vertically downwardly and terminates in lip 96, which forms an annular lip around the perimeter of the overcap 90. A tab 99 can be attached or formed on lip 96 as a grabbing or pull feature for an end user to remove the second overcap 90 from the container 11 after application. A volume or void space 97 is defined by the second overcap 90. Within this volume 97, an article of commerce can be housed after application of the second overcap 90 to a packaging system, which is shown in further detail in FIGS. 10 and 11. FIG. 10 details one embodiment of the second overcap 90 in an applied position. Second overcap 90 has been applied to overcap 30 b of packaging system 10. An expanded view of region 11, detailing the fit between the second overcap 90 and overcap 30 b, is described hereinafter with respect to FIG. 11. In FIG. 10, enclosure region 100 can be formed as the volume between the upper portion 62 of overcap 30 b and dome 91 of second overcap 90. This enclosure region 100 can be used for housing articles of commerce, shown as 102, to be delivered to a consumer, including sample packages of food product, specifically roast and ground coffee, as well as utensils for use with roast and ground coffee, among other things, all of which will be described in further detail hereinafter. Other articles of commerce can include recipe cards, coupons, pamphlets that can describe health benefits of coffee or other products, giveaways such as, for example, novelty items, and combinations thereof. Further, these articles can be included in combination with sample packages of food products, such as roast and ground coffee.
  • [0041]
    FIG. 11 details one embodiment of the mating of overcap 30 b and second overcap 90. A consumer places second overcap 90 on overcap 30 b. The consumer then applies pressure on second overcap 90 such that second wall 95 and protuberance 101 transfer pressure onto the surface area of annular seal ring 66. As shown in FIG. 11, second wall top 98 then can seat on protuberance 69, and first wall base 94 situates into the area above base portion 60. Protuberance 101 can lockingly engage the surface area of annular seal ring 66 and can provide a relatively snug or tight fit. Lip 96 provides an engagement surface for a consumer to remove the second overcap 90. Lip 96 alternatively can include a further protuberance portion as a tab 99 (shown in FIG. 9) that further extends from lip 96 and defines a pulling feature for an end user. One of skill in the art would realize that any configuration of the second wall 95 with protuberance 101 may be used to provide the facilitation of the corresponding mating surfaces, including, but not limited to, interrupted annular rings, a plurality of protuberances, and combinations thereof.
  • [0042]
    Second overcap 90 of embodiments of the present invention can be manufactured from a plastic with a low flexural modulus, for example, linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE), low-density polyethylene (LDPE), high-density polyethylene (HDPE), polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE), polycarbonate, polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polystyrene, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), copolymers thereof, and combinations thereof. These types of plastics allows for a second overcap 90 that has a high degree of flexibility yet can still provide sufficient rigidity to allow stacking of successive containers. By using a second overcap 90, mechanical application during packaging as well as re-application of second overcap 90 to first overcap 30 b after opening by the consumer is facilitated.
  • [0043]
    As detailed in the accompanying FIGS. and described hereinabove, an enclosure region has been described. This enclosure region can be used for the housing of packages of roast and ground coffee. Generally, sample packages, for example small bags, of roast and ground coffee can be included inside the enclosure region. These packages of roast and ground coffee can be in many different types of flavors and blends, including, for example, Folgers® brand Classic Roast, Special Roast, Classic Roast Half Caff, Columbian, Breakfast Blend, French Roast, Gourmet Supreme, Simply Smooth, Folgers Flavors, which includes chocolate silk, French vanilla, cinnamon swirl, and hazelnut, decaf, Gourmet Selections, which includes bistro blend, crème brulee, lively Columbian, morning café, caramel drizzle, hazelnut crème, chocolate truffle, vanilla biscotti, espresso roast, and combinations thereof. These are meant to be non-limiting examples of different types and flavors of roast and ground coffee, but it is to be understood that any flavor or blend of coffee can be included and is within the scope of the present invention. In some embodiments, a package of the sample roast and ground coffee can be selected to be of a different flavor or blend than the flavor or blend that is housed inside the container of the packaging system. In these embodiments, the consumer then has purchased two differing roast and ground coffees, one inside the container of one flavor or blend, and a second inside the enclosure region in a sample package of another flavor or blend. Thus, a combination of flavors or blends of roast and ground coffees can be provided. Further, the sample package can include writing, labeling, designs, branding materials, and general information related to the flavor or blend of coffee that it contains.
  • [0044]
    Furthermore, it is within the scope of this invention that more than one sample package of roast and ground coffee can be included within the enclosure region of the packaging system. Thus, the container can contain a first flavor or blend of roast and ground coffee, a first sample package can include a second flavor or blend of roast and ground coffee, and a second sample package can include a third flavor or blend of roast and ground coffee. Therefore, in these embodiments, at least three flavors or blends of roast and ground coffee can then be provided to a consumer. Further, it is contemplated that any number of sample packages can be included within the enclosure region for delivering multiple flavors or blends of roast and ground coffee to a consumer.
  • [0045]
    Additionally, articles of commerce other than packages of roast and ground coffee can be included within the enclosure region. In one embodiment, a utensil can be housed within the enclosure region. The utensil can be a measuring scoop for scooping and measuring an amount of roast and ground coffee. Other articles of commerce can be included in the enclosure region that relate to roast and ground coffee, including measuring spoons and additives for coffee such as cream, sugar, sugar substitutes, etc.
  • [0046]
    The second overcap in many embodiments of the present invention can come in a variety of colors or can be translucent, transparent, or opaque. In at least one embodiment, the second overcap can be transparent. A transparent second overcap facilitates the consumer being able to see the sample package and being able to read the print or design of the sample package, which can include writing, labeling, designs, branding materials, and general information related to the roast and ground coffee contained therein, including the flavor or blend. Thus, with a transparent second overcap, the consumer can read the label of the sample package, which can include the specific flavor or blend contained therein, and can choose which container of roast and coffee ground they want to purchase based oil the flavor or blend of the roast and ground coffee inside the sample package. Thus, a consumer can mix and match flavors and blends based on their desired selection.
  • [0047]
    A method is also disclosed. One method can include delivering an article of commerce, comprising: providing a packaging system comprising a container having a bottom, an open top, and a body therebetween, wherein the bottom, top, and body define an interior volume for housing a first food product, and wherein the body defines a first perimeter about the top; providing a first overcap having a second perimeter, the first overcap configured to operatively engage the first perimeter; providing a second overcap, the second overcap configured to operatively engage the second perimeter of the first overcap, and wherein the second overcap defines an enclosure region; providing the article of commerce within the enclosure region.
  • [0048]
    Further methods can include displaying packaging systems in accordance with the present invention on store shelves. When on a store shelf, it is envisioned that a first packaging system can be placed next to a second packaging system. The first packaging system can be of a type as described hereinabove, and including an enclosure region, and can include roast and ground coffee of a first main flavor or blend in its container. The first packaging system can further include a sample package of roast and ground coffee of a second flavor or blend in the enclosure region. This sample package would be a sample package for a consumer. The second packaging system, which is placed next to the first packaging system, can be of a type as described hereinabove, and including an enclosure region, and can include roast and ground coffee of the first main flavor or blend in its container. The second packaging system can further include a sample package of roast and ground coffee of a third flavor or blend in the enclosure region. This sample package would also be a sample package for a consumer. Thus, on the store shelf would be a first packaging system of a first main flavor or blend next to a second packaging system of the same first main flavor or blend. However, the first packaging system would also have a sample package of a second flavor or blend while the second packaging system would have a sample package of a third flavor or blend. Thus, a consumer of the first main flavor or blend would have a choice of which flavor or blend of sample package of roast and ground coffee that he or she wants to purchase. Therefore, this arrangement on a store shelf gives the consumer more variety in choosing their main flavor or blend of roast and ground coffee since they can further choose the type of sample package that is packaged with the main flavor or blend. It should further be understood that the packaging systems can be placed next to, adjacent to, near, or anywhere within the store. It should also be further understood that more than one type of main flavor or blend is envisioned, and more than two types of sample flavors or blends are envisioned and can be positioned in any arrangement on store shelves. Further, multiple sizes of packaging systems and sample packages can be used as well.
  • [0049]
    It is further envisioned that distribution systems and methods by the manufacturer can be developed with respect to the roast and ground coffee samples. For example, it may be known that a certain store prefers a certain combination of main flavors or blends and sample flavors or blends. Thus, distributions networks can be formed such that certain stores receive and display on shelves certain combinations of main flavors or blends with sample flavors or blends.
  • [0050]
    With respect to manufacturing, container 11, as shown in FIG. 1, can be produced by blow molding a polyolefinic compound. Polyethylene and polypropylene, for example, are relative low cost resins suitable for food contact and provide an excellent water vapor barrier. However, it is known in the art that these materials are not well suited for packaging oxygen-sensitive foods requiring a long shelf life. As a non-limiting example, ethylene vinyl alcohol (EVOH) can provide such an excellent barrier. Thus, a thin layer of EVOH sandwiched between two or more polyolefinic layers can solve this problem. Therefore, the blow-molding process can be used with multi-layered structures by incorporating additional extruders for each resin used. Additionally, the container can be manufactured using other methods, including injection molding and stretch blow molding.
  • [0051]
    While particular embodiments of the present invention have been illustrated and described, it would be obvious to those skilled in the art that various other changes and modifications can be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. It is therefore intended to cover in the appended claims all such changes and modifications that are within the scope of this invention.
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Clasificaciones
Clasificación de EE.UU.220/256.1
Clasificación internacionalB65D51/18
Clasificación cooperativaB65D2251/0093, B65D51/28, B65D2251/005, B65D2251/0081, B65D2251/0018
Clasificación europeaB65D51/28
Eventos legales
FechaCódigoEventoDescripción
26 Mar 2008ASAssignment
Owner name: PROCTER & GAMBLE COMPANY, THE, OHIO
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:HOUSTON, JR., MICHAEL RODERICK;FARRELL, STEVEN HANDLING;ARENT, LEE MATTHEW;AND OTHERS;REEL/FRAME:020755/0096;SIGNING DATES FROM 20080310 TO 20080316
21 Nov 2008ASAssignment
Owner name: FOLGERS COFFEE COMPANY, THE,OHIO
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:MILLER, STEVEN W. - ASSISTANT SECRETARY ON BEHALF OF THE PROCTER & GAMBLE COMPANY;REEL/FRAME:021861/0880
Effective date: 20081030
Owner name: KNUDSEN, JEANNETTE L.,OHIO
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:MILLER, STEVEN W. - ASSISTANT SECRETARY ON BEHALF OF THE PROCTER & GAMBLE COMPANY;REEL/FRAME:021861/0880
Effective date: 20081030
Owner name: EKONOMON, ADAM, ESQ.,OHIO
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:MILLER, STEVEN W. - ASSISTANT SECRETARY ON BEHALF OF THE PROCTER & GAMBLE COMPANY;REEL/FRAME:021861/0880
Effective date: 20081030
Owner name: FOLGERS COFFEE COMPANY, THE, OHIO
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:MILLER, STEVEN W. - ASSISTANT SECRETARY ON BEHALF OF THE PROCTER & GAMBLE COMPANY;REEL/FRAME:021861/0880
Effective date: 20081030
Owner name: KNUDSEN, JEANNETTE L., OHIO
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:MILLER, STEVEN W. - ASSISTANT SECRETARY ON BEHALF OF THE PROCTER & GAMBLE COMPANY;REEL/FRAME:021861/0880
Effective date: 20081030
Owner name: EKONOMON, ADAM, ESQ., OHIO
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:MILLER, STEVEN W. - ASSISTANT SECRETARY ON BEHALF OF THE PROCTER & GAMBLE COMPANY;REEL/FRAME:021861/0880
Effective date: 20081030