US20100018969A1 - Packaging for food products - Google Patents

Packaging for food products Download PDF

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Publication number
US20100018969A1
US20100018969A1 US12506806 US50680609A US2010018969A1 US 20100018969 A1 US20100018969 A1 US 20100018969A1 US 12506806 US12506806 US 12506806 US 50680609 A US50680609 A US 50680609A US 2010018969 A1 US2010018969 A1 US 2010018969A1
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Prior art keywords
article
portion
package
lid
container
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Abandoned
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US12506806
Inventor
Steven L. Marks
Harvey Nelson
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FEATURE FOODS Inc
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    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65DCONTAINERS FOR STORAGE OR TRANSPORT OF ARTICLES OR MATERIALS, e.g. BAGS, BARRELS, BOTTLES, BOXES, CANS, CARTONS, CRATES, DRUMS, JARS, TANKS, HOPPERS, FORWARDING CONTAINERS; ACCESSORIES, CLOSURES, OR FITTINGS THEREFOR; PACKAGING ELEMENTS; PACKAGES
    • B65D43/00Lids or covers for rigid or semi-rigid containers
    • B65D43/14Non-removable lids or covers
    • B65D43/16Non-removable lids or covers hinged for upward or downward movement
    • B65D43/162Non-removable lids or covers hinged for upward or downward movement the container, the lid and the hinge being made of one piece
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65DCONTAINERS FOR STORAGE OR TRANSPORT OF ARTICLES OR MATERIALS, e.g. BAGS, BARRELS, BOTTLES, BOXES, CANS, CARTONS, CRATES, DRUMS, JARS, TANKS, HOPPERS, FORWARDING CONTAINERS; ACCESSORIES, CLOSURES, OR FITTINGS THEREFOR; PACKAGING ELEMENTS; PACKAGES
    • B65D75/00Packages comprising articles or materials partially or wholly enclosed in strips, sheets, blanks, tubes, or webs of flexible sheet material, e.g. in folded wrappers
    • B65D75/28Articles or materials wholly enclosed in composite wrappers, i.e. wrappers formed by associating or interconnecting two or more sheets or blanks
    • B65D75/30Articles or materials enclosed between two opposed sheets or blanks having their margins united, e.g. by pressure-sensitive adhesive, crimping, heat-sealing, or welding
    • B65D75/32Articles or materials enclosed between two opposed sheets or blanks having their margins united, e.g. by pressure-sensitive adhesive, crimping, heat-sealing, or welding one or both sheets or blanks being recessed to accommodate contents
    • B65D75/321Both sheets being recessed
    • B65D75/322Both sheets being recessed and forming one compartment
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65DCONTAINERS FOR STORAGE OR TRANSPORT OF ARTICLES OR MATERIALS, e.g. BAGS, BARRELS, BOTTLES, BOXES, CANS, CARTONS, CRATES, DRUMS, JARS, TANKS, HOPPERS, FORWARDING CONTAINERS; ACCESSORIES, CLOSURES, OR FITTINGS THEREFOR; PACKAGING ELEMENTS; PACKAGES
    • B65D85/00Containers, packaging elements or packages, specially adapted for particular articles or materials
    • B65D85/30Containers, packaging elements or packages, specially adapted for particular articles or materials for articles particularly sensitive to damage by shock or pressure
    • B65D85/36Containers, packaging elements or packages, specially adapted for particular articles or materials for articles particularly sensitive to damage by shock or pressure for bakery products, e.g. biscuits
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65DCONTAINERS FOR STORAGE OR TRANSPORT OF ARTICLES OR MATERIALS, e.g. BAGS, BARRELS, BOTTLES, BOXES, CANS, CARTONS, CRATES, DRUMS, JARS, TANKS, HOPPERS, FORWARDING CONTAINERS; ACCESSORIES, CLOSURES, OR FITTINGS THEREFOR; PACKAGING ELEMENTS; PACKAGES
    • B65D2585/00Containers, packaging elements or packages specially adapted for particular articles or materials
    • B65D2585/30Containers, packaging elements or packages specially adapted for particular articles or materials for articles particularly sensitive to damage by shock or pressure
    • B65D2585/36Containers, packaging elements or packages specially adapted for particular articles or materials for articles particularly sensitive to damage by shock or pressure for biscuits or other bakery products

Abstract

The invention relates to packaging for food products, particularly for baked goods such as muffins, cookies, pastries, cupcakes, breads or the like, wherein a container comprises a base or article-receiving portion, and a lid portion that is hinged to the base or article-receiving portion. Both portions have side flanges, wherein the flanges are selectively connected to one another by a fastener system to close the article-receiving portion with the lid portion. The article-receiving portion is formed to conform to and house a single-serving baked food product. The base portion may also have at least one stability member extending therefrom to provide stability of the base portion on a surface. A package of a plurality of containers may be provided, with each individual container being selectively detachable from the package. In an example, the individual containers may be attached to one another by micro perforations, such that upon detachment of an individual container, the connecting portion is smooth and does not have any sharp edges or protrusions which could harm a consumer.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS/INCORPORATION BY REFERENCE
  • This patent application claims priority to and the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 61/083,287 filed on Jul. 24, 2008, which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.
  • FIELD OF INVENTION
  • The present invention relates to packaging for food products, and more particularly to packaging for food products wherein a container is provided for housing an individual baked food product such as a muffin, pastry or the like, wherein the container makes it convenient and sanitary to provide single serving portions of the food products for consumption by a consumer. Additionally, the invention relates to packaging for food products wherein a plurality of individual packages are provided for housing individual, single-serving portions of food products such as muffins or pastry type products, and the individual packages are selectively separable to facilitate sale and consumption thereof.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • The use of packaging for food products is widely used in the food industry for many reasons. Packaging helps maintain the product in a desired form, and can keep the food products in a fresh condition. Packaged food products can be transported more effectively, providing the ability to stack the products on top of one another and also side by side. The ability stack packaged products also can facilitate dispensing the products in a store or the like, providing a convenient way for a consumer to buy and carry the food product for later consumption.
  • Multi-pack containers are known and used for storing various separate items. Individual servings of food, such as yogurt, pudding, gelatin and like products can be packaged individually. These multi-pack containers typically include several containers that are joined together to form a pack of individual servings. In use, the consumer can separate each container from the multi-pack, so that single serving food items can be carried and later consumed. Such container arrangements are suitable for packed lunches or the like, and desirable for consumers for such uses. These containers are typically small, formed, cup-like plastic containers manufactured in multi-package units of four, six, eight, ten, etc. The containers are arranged in single or double rows and removably attached to each other at their adjacent sides. The series of containers are each sealed with a plastic or other film for containment purposes, and to keep the product sanitary. In various packaging of this type, the lidding material or film is applied and then perforations are produced between the parts in a secondary operation.
  • For other types of food products, such as baked goods including muffins, cupcakes, cookies or the like, the products are typically packaged differently. Such types of food products are generally made in batches, and are many times packaged in a larger container with multiple products placed therein. Packaging for such food products has included clam-shell type packages having a bottom tray type section and a closeable top. In other cases, materials such as cellophane may be used to wrap a single baked product up for storage, transport and later consumption for example, but such materials do not provide good protection for the product. It would be desirable to provide packaging that includes selectively separable containers for baked goods, which provide enhanced protection of the food products, while providing single-serving convenience.
  • BRIEF SUMMARY
  • The embodiments of the present invention relate to packaging for food products, particularly for baked goods such as muffins, cookies, pastries, cupcakes, breads or the like.
  • In one embodiment, a package for such food products comprising a base or article-receiving portion, and a lid portion that is hinged to the base or article-receiving portion, both portions having side flanges, wherein the flanges are selectively connected to one another to close the article-receiving portion with the lid portion, wherein the article-receiving portion is formed to house a single-serving baked food product. The package may further comprise at least one fastener system formed in association with the flanges to selectively close the lid with the base portion, and the fastener system may also provide reclosability of the lid with the base portion. The base portion may also have at least one stability member extending therefrom to provide stability of the base portion on a surface.
  • In another embodiment, the invention relates to a package for food products comprising a plurality of individual, single-serving containers, each of the containers having an article-receiving portion, and a lid portion that is hinged to the article-receiving portion. The plurality of containers are removably attached to one another, to allow each individual, single-serving container to be selectively released from the plurality of containers. Both the article-receiving and lid portions having side flanges which are selectively connected to one another to close the article-receiving portion with the lid portion. In an embodiment, a fastener system may be provided in association with the flanges to allow selective closure of the lid portion with the base portion. The fastener system may comprise a tamper-evident seal in association with the flanges or connecting the lid and base portions, or may comprise a reclosable fastener system. An embodiment of a reclosable fastener system may comprise one of the lid or base portions having at least one male part extending from the flange and one of said portions having at least one corresponding female part formed in the flange to mate with the at least one male part, such that the flanges are selectively connected to one another by the at least one male-female parts to selectively close the article-receiving portion.
  • In an embodiment, the single-serving containers provided in a package of a plurality of containers may have the article receiving portions removably attached to at least one adjacent container, and/or the lid portions of adjacent containers may be removably attached to one another. The attachment of the individual, single-serving containers to one another may use perforations between the article receiving and/or lid portions of the containers, wherein the perforations are formed such that upon detachment of the containers from one another, there is not created any sharp or outwardly extending portions in the individual container upon being disengaged from the plurality of containers. For example, the article receiving and/or lid portions may have side flanges releasably connected to one another, and upon disengagement, the exposed edge of the flange portion is relatively smooth.
  • In one aspect of the embodiments of the subject invention, the shape of the article-receiving portion and lid portion are selected to conform to the shape of a food product. In another aspect of the embodiments of the invention, the side walls of the article-receiving portion, and optionally the lid portion, are ribbed. In yet another aspect of the embodiments of the subject invention, the at least one fastener system is at least one male part extending from the flange of one portion of the individual container and at least one corresponding female part formed in the flange of the other portion to mate with the at least one male part.
  • In manufacture of the plurality of containers, the parts produced with perforations formed between the adjacent containers during production of the containers themselves, thereby not requiring any secondary operation in forming these structures. In accordance with an example, the perforations are formed as micro perforations which upon selective detachment of an individual container form a substantially finished edge, which does not have any portions extending from the edge to any significant degree which could cause harm to a person handling the container or remaining package configuration.
  • In another aspect of the invention, a method of packaging baked goods comprises the steps of providing a package having a plurality of containers for food products, with each of the plurality of containers having a first open position and a second closed position and formed to house individual or single-servings of a baked good food product, being formed to have an article-receiving portion, and a lid portion that is hinged to the article-receiving portion, both portions having side flanges and at least one of the portions having at least one fastener system, such that the flanges are selectively connected to one another by the at least one fastener to close the article-receiving portion with the lid portion, wherein the article-receiving portion is formed to house a single-serving baked food product. A baked good food product is positioned in each of the plurality of containers, and each container is closed for packaging of the food products into the closed containers. Thereafter, at least one of the containers is selectively detached from the package for use and consumption of the food product contained in the detached container.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 is a top view of an embodiment of a package for a food product, which is opened, according to the invention.
  • FIG. 2 is a side view of an embodiment of a package for a food product, which is opened, according to the invention.
  • FIG. 3 is a side view of an embodiment of a package for a food product, which is closed, according to the invention.
  • FIG. 4 is a top view of an alternate embodiment of a package for a food product, which is opened, according to the invention.
  • FIG. 5 is a top view of an alternate embodiment of a package for a food product, which is opened, according to the invention.
  • FIG. 6 is a side view of an alternate embodiment of a package for a food product, which is opened, according to the invention.
  • FIG. 7 is a top view of the embodiment as shown in FIG. 6.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • Referring now to the drawings, there is shown an example of a container and package configuration for purposes of illustrating embodiments of the invention only and not for purposes of limiting the same. FIGS. 1-3 show an embodiment of an individual container 10 for an individual or single-serving baked food product. In FIG. 1, the container 10 is shown in an open position for receiving a baked food product therein. In this example, the container 10 is designed for housing a baked muffin product for example, but it is contemplated that containers 10 for other baked goods can be provided in accordance with the invention, for transporting, storing and facilitating handling of baked good food products both before and in the retail environment. The container 10 may comprise an article-receiving portion 15, and a lid portion 18 that is hinged to the article-receiving portion 15 via a hinge 12. The hinge 12 may be formed by a series of perforations formed between the article-receiving portion 15 and lid portion 18, wherein the perforation allow repeated pivotal movement of the lid portion 18 relative to the article-receiving portion 15 without destruction of the attachment therebetween. The hinge 12 may alternatively formed as a score line, a crease, or a combination thereof, however, it may be sufficiently strong so as to permit repeated opening and closing and to maintain the structural integrity of the container 10. The article-receiving portion 15 and lid portion 18 both may have formed therein a cavity 16 and 17 respectively, designed to accommodate a particular type of baked good, such as a muffin in the example shown. For housing a muffin for example, the cavity 16 may be formed to have a shape to accommodate a muffin base portion or baking paper or cup portion of a muffin product, while the lid portion 18 has a cavity 17 to accommodate the upper portion of a muffin product. The container 10 is thus designed to house a single-serving baked food product such as a single muffin, or would be alternatively configured to the shape of other baked goods, such as cookies, pastries, cupcakes, breads, bagels or the like. As with the example shown in the Figs. For a muffin, such containers 10 would have a article-receiving portion 15 shaped and sized to receive at least a portion of such baked goods, with the lid portion 18 formed to close the article-receiving portion 15 and potentially to accommodate a portion of the baked goods. The depth of cavity 16 and upper cavity 17 may also vary depending on the type of food product that is being packaged. For example, if the baked food product is a cookie, the depth of the lower cavity 16 and the upper cavity 17 may not be needed or will be shallower in depth. The length and width of the cavities 16 and 17 may also increase as the length or width of the food product increases. As seen in this example, the lower cavity 16 and the upper cavity 17 may also have ribbed walls, for added support, and to facilitate release of the food product contained therein.
  • In this example, the lid portion 18 and article-receiving portion 15 are selectively secured to one another in a closed position by a suitable fastening system. In the example shown, the lid portion 18 may further comprise a flange portion 19 formed around the cavity portion 17 and an upper fastener mechanism 11. The article-receiving portion 15 may also have a flange portion 20 and a lower fastener mechanism 13. The fastener mechanism in this example may be a male/female type of locking system, wherein the fastening member 11 could be a female type of locking member and the fastening member 13 could be a male type of locking member. Although a single male/female connector is shown in this example, the article-receiving portion 15 could have a plurality of fastening members such a male locking members 13, with the and lid portion 18 including an equal number of female locking members 11. To close the container, the two cover members are pivoted into a face-to-face registration in which the male and female locking members 11 and 13 are mated to secure the portions 15 and 18 together. With reference to FIG. 3, the container 10 is shown in a “closed” position. The upper lid portion 18 is selectively folded on top of the lower product containing portion 15 and the connecting portions 11 and 13 attached.
  • To facilitate forming the male/female connector arrangement shown in this example, in the manufacturing process, a skirt 14 is formed as part of each individual package 10 to allow the male connecting portion 13 to be produced on the flange 20 of the article-receiving portion 15. In an example, a machine such as a GN machine may be used, wherein the machine processes the plastic material from a flat plastic sheet and forms the male snap feature 13. In the manufacturing operation, the machine can't go below the sheet line, so in order to move everything up above sheet line, a taper is provided on the mold, thereby producing the skirt 14. Upon closing of the container 10, the outer skirt 14 also encompasses the flange 19 of the lid portion 18, which tends to facilitate retention of the lid portion 18 in the closed position and block moisture, debris, and particles from entering the container 10 when in the closed position. There may also be provided a tamper proof seal or arrangement (not shown) in association with the container 10 once the food product is received therein and the container is closed to prevent tampering with the food product before the container is opened by a consumer. Such a tamper evident arrangement in general may be any suitable arrangement which would allow a user to easily detect whether the package for food product 10 has been tampered with. Examples of tamperproof arrangements could be an outer shrink wrap/bags, stretch wrap, plastic bags, tapes, heat seals, and any other arrangement as may be desired.
  • In this example, the male/female connector arrangement is designed such that the female connecting structure 11 and the male connecting structure 13 come together and the female connector 11 elastically deforms around the male connector 13, such that once mated, the connectors remain connected. Such connection may then be selectively released by a user by pulling up on the lid portion 18, again causing the female connector to deform and release the male connector. Other suitable arrangements may be used to selectively connect the article-receiving portion 15 and lid portion 18 as may be desired.
  • The container 10 may be made of a material that is strong enough to hold food products. Plastics such as polyethylene terephthalate, high density polyethylene, polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, low density polyethylene, polypropylene, polystyrene, and other materials for the container 10 will be realized by persons of ordinary skill in the art.
  • With reference to FIG. 4, a package 100 for baked food products may comprise a plurality of individual, single-serving containers 110, which may be similar to that shown and described in FIGS. 1-3 or other embodiments for example. With reference to FIG. 4, the package for food products is shown at 100, with the plurality of individual packages for food products 110 being attached by a perforations 119 located between each article-receiving portion 115. The perforations 119 allow for the individual packages for food products 110 to be selectively removed from the other individual containers of package 100. The lid portions 118 have a gap 120 between each container 110 to allow the upper lid portions 118 to bend at a fold line 112 and be connected while the individual containers 110 remain part of the overall package 100.
  • Each individual package for food products 110 may again comprise a fastening system, such as connectors 111 and 113, which may be similar to that previously described. The upper fastener 111 may be a female connecting structure that mates with the lower fastener 113 that may be a male connecting structure. In this example, the female connecting structure and the male connecting structure are elastically deformable in order to facilitate mating therebetween and remain connected.
  • As in the prior example of FIGS. 1-3, the individual containers 110 may also include a skirt 114. The skirt 114 may also block moisture, debris, and particles from entering the package for food product 100 when the package for food product 100 is in a closed position. Tamperproof systems may also be used with the individual containers 100 in order to easily detect whether the package for food product 100 has been tampered with.
  • In manufacture of the individual container of FIGS. 1-3 or other examples and the packaging configuration 100 of the invention as an example, thermoforming processes may be used in a cost-effective operation to form individual containers 10. In a thermoforming process, a plastic material is provided in a flexible, flat sheet, generally in a large roll form. The sheet material is fed into and run as a web through an oven, wherein the material is heated to soften the material. The softened material then progresses into a mold station. In forming the package 100 as shown in FIG. 4, with a plurality of individual, single-serving containers 110, the sheet material is fed into the mold station and is clamped off by a forming die. Air is then injected into the mold and it forces that softened material up against the mold contours, and concurrently begins to cool the material down. During the molding process, the material thus begins becoming more rigid, not completely rigid but more rigid than when it is initially heated. The forming die clamps off the sheet so the air can be introduced, and then after the forming is done, the die also is used to cut the part out of the sheet. The forming die is also used to cut in all the perforations in a single forming operation. The plurality of individual, single-serving containers 110, are formed by the die configuration to thereby form each of the containers 110 with an article-receiving portion 115, and a lid portion 118 that is hinged to the article-receiving portion 115. The hinge 112 between the article-receiving portion 115 and lid portion 118 may be formed by perforations which are designed to securely attach the portions while allowing folding of the lid onto the article-receiving portion in a repeatable fashion, without destruction of the hinge perforations. Both the article-receiving 115 and lid portions 118 are formed to have the side flanges 121 and 122 respectively, and the respective at least one male and female connecting parts 111 and 113 in a single operation. Similarly, the perforations 119 which connect the individual containers are formed integrally with forming the package in a single operation. The entire package configuration is therefore formed in a single operation, rather than the approach used in the prior art, wherein individual cups of a food product are lidded and perforations are put in afterwards in a secondary operation.
  • In the example of the packaging configuration according to the invention, the connection between the individual, single-serving containers 110 is provided in a fashion to provide secure attachment for shipping, transporting and otherwise handling the package 100, while allowing for simple and selective detachment of one or more individual containers 100 from the package 100 when desired. To enable this, the perforation scheme is different than between the lid portions and article-receiving portions forming each individual clam-shell container. In the example shown, the perforations 119 are formed as micro perforations. In manufacture, the micro perforations may be formed in any suitable manner, such as by a steel roll die and a microperf steel roll blade that cuts the micro perforations upon thermoforming of the package. Typically, in the thermoforming process, the parts are cut with a forged knife, while the micro perforations between the individual containers 110 may be formed using a steel roll blade configuration. The micro perforations provide desired strength in terms of retention characteristics between the individual containers 110, and also provide the desired edge upon selective detachment of the individual containers 110 from the package 100. Upon tearing the individual containers apart, if there is too coarse of perforations in between the parts, a ragged edge is produced, which could cut, scratch or otherwise hurt a consumer or other person handling the package 100 or individual container 110. The use of micro perforations avoids the creation of any ragged edges, and produces a nice, fine finished edge which would not have any sharp edges or points that could cause harm to a person handling the package or container. The character of the micro perforations is such as to produce these qualities, of suitable retention strength as well as a smooth finished edge upon detachment. For example, micro perforations, whereby small microscopic slits or holes are made in the plastic material, may be formed using a very thin knife blade, and with only small retention tab therebetween, such that upon detachment, the retention tabs do not project from the edge to any significant degree. Micro perforations can be achieved in a number of ways, such as ribbon knives, mechanical needle perforation, laser perforation or the like. The micro perforations are selectively produced with a predetermined gap and a predetermined frequency of that gap in an inch of roll for example. In an example, the micro perforations 119 are formed in the range of 10-20 perforations per inch, or at about 15 per inch. The micro perforations are formed to produce a desired finished edge on each individual container 110 upon being separated to facilitate handling thereof.
  • In this example, the micro perforations are formed between the skirt portions 114 formed between the individual containers 110 in the package configuration 100. In the manufacturing process, the skirt is formed as part of each individual package to allow the male connecting portion 113 to be produced on the flange 122 of each article-retaining portion 115. In an example, a machine such as a GN machine may be used, wherein the machine processes the plastic material from a flat plastic sheet and forms the male snap feature. In the manufacturing operation, the machine can't go below the sheet line, so in order to move everything up above sheet line, a taper is provided on the mold, thereby producing the skirt 114. The knife or other configuration to form the micro perforations in the skirt 114 thus may have a tapered configuration also. Alternatively, instead of a male button 113 on the flange 122 formed opposing the clam shell hinge of each individual container, a perimeter snap could be formed along one or both of the side flanges. In addition, each individual container may have a tamper evident structure associated therewith, such as a tamper evident tear strip in the part, to facilitate protection of the food product therein, and enhance safety to the consumer.
  • An alternative embodiment is shown in FIG. 5, wherein a package 150 for baked food products may comprise a plurality of individual, single-serving containers 160, which may be similar to that shown and described in FIGS. 1-3 or other embodiments for example. With reference to FIG. 5, the package 150 has each of the plurality of individual packages 160 for food products again being attached by perforations 169 located between each article-receiving portion 165. The perforations 169 allow for the individual packages for food products 160 to be selectively removed from the other individual containers of package 150 similar to the embodiment of FIG. 4. In this embodiment though the lid portions 168 do not have a gap between each container 160, but instead are also connected to adjacent upper lid portions 168 by perforations 170 located between each lid portion 168. The perforations 170 allow for the individual packages for food products 160 to be selectively removed from the other individual containers of package 150 similar to the embodiment of FIG. 4, but also allow all the lid portions to be selectively closed together after the food products are introduced into the article-receiving portions 165 in an automated process. As each of the upper lid portions 168 bend at a fold line 162, the connection therebetween by perforations 170 enable each lid to be moved by movement of only one of the lid portions 168 to the closed position. Thereafter, to consume the food product, the individual containers 160 can be selectively detached by breaking the perforations 169 and 170 connecting the article-receiving portions 165 and lid portions 168 respectively.
  • Each individual package for food products 160 may again comprise a fastening system, such as connectors 161 and 163, which may be similar to that previously described. The upper fastener 161 may be a female connecting structure that mates with the lower fastener 163 that may be a male connecting structure. In this example, the female connecting structure and the male connecting structure are elastically deformable in order to facilitate mating therebetween and remain connected.
  • With reference to FIGS. 6 and 7, an alternate embodiment of a individual, single-serving container for baked food products is shown at 200, and may comprise of an upper lid portion 218 and a lower article-receiving portion 215. The lid portion 218 and article-receiving portion 215 are connected via a hinge 212. The hinge 212 may be formed by a series of perforations formed between the article-receiving portion 215 and lid portion 218, wherein the perforations allow repeated pivotal movement of the lid portion 218 relative to the article-receiving portion 215 without destruction of the attachment therebetween. The hinge 212 may alternatively formed as a score line, a crease, or a combination thereof, and may be sufficiently strong so as to permit repeated opening and closing and to maintain the structural integrity of the container 200. The article-receiving portion 215 and lid portion 218 both may have formed therein a cavity 216 and 217 respectively, designed to accommodate a particular type of baked good, such as a muffin in the example shown. For housing a muffin for example, the cavity 216 may be formed to have a shape to accommodate a muffin base portion or baking paper or cup portion of a muffin product, while the lid portion 218 has a cavity 217 to accommodate the upper portion of a muffin product. The container 200 is thus designed to house a single-serving baked food product such as a single muffin, or would be alternatively configured to the shape of other baked goods, such as cookies, pastries, cupcakes, breads, bagels or the like. In this example, the lid portion 218 and article-receiving portion 215 are selectively secured to one another in a closed position by a suitable tamper-evident fastening system. In the example shown, the lid portion 18 may further comprise a flange portion 219 formed around the cavity portion 217, with the article-receiving portion 215 also have a flange portion 220. The flange portions 219 and 220 are connected to one another by a heat seal or adhesive seal 222 for example. As an example, a heat seal may be formed to close the lid portion 218 and article-receiving portion 215 after the food product is positioned therein, or an adhesive strip may be provided on one or both flanges 219 and 220 during manufacturing of the container 200 to allow the container to be closed after the food product is positioned therein. Such a closure could serve as a tamper evident closure wherein any release of the closure would be indicated, or reclosure thereof would not be possible. In such an example, the elimination of the button type of closure in the prior examples may provide for a smaller footprint of container 200, to provide the ability to stack more containers on a pallet, shelf or the like for efficient storage or shipping. Also in this embodiment, the container 200 may have one or more stabilizers 224 associated with the article-receiving portion 215 that provide additional stability to the container 200 when positioned on a flat surface, such as on the shelf in a retail environment or during consumption by a consumer. The one or more stabilizers 224 may be of any suitable configuration, and as shown in this example, could provide extension to the base of the article-receiving portion 215 to prevent tipping thereof.
  • The containers or packages for food products according to examples of the invention may be made of a material that is strong enough to hold food products. Plastics such as polyethylene terephthalate, high density polyethylene, polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, low density polyethylene, polypropylene, polystyrene, and other materials for the package for food product will be realized by persons of ordinary skill in the art.
  • The invention has been described herein with reference to the disclosed embodiments. Obviously, modifications and alterations will occur to others upon a reading and understanding of this specification. It is intended to include all such modifications and alterations insofar as they come within the scope of the appended claims or the equivalent thereof.

Claims (20)

  1. 1. A package for baked food products comprising:
    a plurality of individual containers for single-serving baked food products,
    wherein each of the individual containers comprises an article-receiving portion, and a lid portion that is hinged to the article-receiving portion,
    the article-receiving and lid portions have a fastening system associated with the portions to selectively close the lid portion to the article-receiving portion, wherein the article-receiving portion is formed to house a single-serving baked food product, and wherein,
    the plurality of individual containers are removably attached to one another, to allow each individual, single-serving container to be selectively released from the plurality of containers in the package.
  2. 2. The package according to claim 1, wherein the article-receiving and lid portions have side flanges and the fastening system comprises at least one of said lid or article-receiving portions having at least one male part extending from at least one side flange and one of said portions having at least one corresponding female part formed in the at least one flange to mate with the at least one male part, such that the flanges are selectively connected to one another by the at least one male-female parts.
  3. 3. The package according to claim 1, wherein the article-receiving and lid portions have flanges and the fastening system comprises a heat seal or adhesive connection between said lid and article-receiving portions.
  4. 4. The package of claim 1, wherein the individual container lid portions have an upper cavity portion and the article-receiving portions have a lower cavity portion, with the cavity portions shaped to accommodate a predetermined baked food product.
  5. 5. The package of claim 1, wherein the individual containers are connected by a perforated edge between the article-receiving portions, the lid portions or both.
  6. 6. The package of claim 5, wherein the perforated edge is formed by micro perforations.
  7. 7. The package of claim 6, wherein the micro perforations are formed such that upon detachment of an individual container, the perforated edge is a substantially smooth edge.
  8. 8. The package of claim 6, wherein the micro perforations are formed in the range of 10-20 perforations per inch.
  9. 9. The package of claim 1, wherein the shape of each individual container is designed to conform to the shape of a baked food product.
  10. 10. The package of claim 9, wherein the lower cavity further comprises an upper shelf and a bottom surface.
  11. 11. The package of claim 10, wherein the upper shelf has a larger diameter than the bottom surface.
  12. 12. A container for baked food products comprising:
    a lid portion comprising a first cavity, the first cavity being bound by a first flange,
    a product-receiving portion comprising a second cavity, the second cavity being bound by a second flange, and a fastening system to selectively connect the first flange with the second flange to selectively close the lid portion with the article-receiving portion;
    wherein the first and second cavities are formed to accommodate a single-serving baked food product when the lid portion is closed and connected with the article-receiving portion.
  13. 13. The container as defined in claim 12, wherein the shape of the first and second cavities are selected to conform to the shape of a single-serving baked food product.
  14. 14. The container as defined in claim 12, wherein article-receiving portion includes at least one stabilizer associated therewith.
  15. 15. The container as defined in claim 12, wherein the fastening system is selected from the group consisting of female and male connecting structures, a heat seal and an adhesive seal.
  16. 16. The container as defined in claim 12, wherein the second cavity further comprises an upper shelf and a bottom surface.
  17. 17. The container as defined in claim 16, wherein the upper shelf has a larger diameter than the bottom surface.
  18. 18. The container as defined in claim 12, wherein the second flange has an outer skirt portion formed on the periphery of at least a portion of the second flange; and
    wherein outer skirt encompasses at least a portion of the first flange upon selectively closing the lid portion with the article-receiving portion.
  19. 19. A method of packaging and dispensing baked goods in individual containers, comprising the steps of:
    providing a package for baked food products comprising a plurality of individual containers for single-serving baked food products, wherein each of the individual containers comprises an article-receiving portion, and a lid portion that is hinged to the article-receiving portion, the article-receiving and lid portions have a fastening system associated with the portions to selectively close the lid portion to the article-receiving portion, wherein the article-receiving portion is formed to house a single-serving baked food product, and wherein the plurality of individual containers are removably attached to one another,
    placing a single-serving of the baked goods in the individual containers in a first open position;
    closing the individual containers into a second closed position; and,
    selectively detaching at least one of the individual containers from the package.
  20. 20. The method of claim 19, further comprising the step of selectively detaching one or more individual containers from the plurality of containers for dispensing thereof.
US12506806 2008-07-24 2009-07-21 Packaging for food products Abandoned US20100018969A1 (en)

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US20110027435A1 (en) * 2009-07-31 2011-02-03 Jeanette Facey Cupcake mold and method for making cupcake pops
US20110212227A1 (en) * 2009-12-29 2011-09-01 Antoon Verschelden Packaging material for at least one individual portion of a food composition
CN102849352A (en) * 2012-08-10 2013-01-02 刘建明 Wrapped type cake and food bearing seat thereof
US20130004625A1 (en) * 2011-05-04 2013-01-03 Doug Brummer Container for food items
USD684019S1 (en) 2012-05-21 2013-06-11 Jeanette Facey Cake pop mold
USD693189S1 (en) * 2012-05-21 2013-11-12 Jeanette Facey Cake pop mold
USD693625S1 (en) 2012-05-15 2013-11-19 Jeanette Facey Cake pop mold
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US20110027435A1 (en) * 2009-07-31 2011-02-03 Jeanette Facey Cupcake mold and method for making cupcake pops
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USD693625S1 (en) 2012-05-15 2013-11-19 Jeanette Facey Cake pop mold
USD684019S1 (en) 2012-05-21 2013-06-11 Jeanette Facey Cake pop mold
USD693189S1 (en) * 2012-05-21 2013-11-12 Jeanette Facey Cake pop mold
CN102849352A (en) * 2012-08-10 2013-01-02 刘建明 Wrapped type cake and food bearing seat thereof
US20170225828A1 (en) * 2016-02-06 2017-08-10 Jacqueline Carson Apparatus and method for evenly storing equivalent amounts of a solution pertaining to a food

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