US20110180594A1 - Package for Multiple Food Items - Google Patents

Package for Multiple Food Items Download PDF

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Publication number
US20110180594A1
US20110180594A1 US13011994 US201113011994A US20110180594A1 US 20110180594 A1 US20110180594 A1 US 20110180594A1 US 13011994 US13011994 US 13011994 US 201113011994 A US201113011994 A US 201113011994A US 20110180594 A1 US20110180594 A1 US 20110180594A1
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Prior art keywords
panel
line
tear
end
package
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Abandoned
Application number
US13011994
Inventor
Kelly R. Fitzwater
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Graphic Packaging International Inc
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Graphic Packaging International 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
    • B65D5/00Rigid or semi-rigid containers of polygonal cross-section, e.g. boxes, cartons or trays, formed by folding or erecting one or more blanks made of paper
    • B65D5/42Details of containers or of foldable or erectable container blanks
    • B65D5/54Lines of weakness to facilitate opening of container or dividing it into separate parts by cutting or tearing
    • B65D5/5495Lines of weakness to facilitate opening of container or dividing it into separate parts by cutting or tearing for separating interconnected containers
    • 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
    • B65D5/00Rigid or semi-rigid containers of polygonal cross-section, e.g. boxes, cartons or trays, formed by folding or erecting one or more blanks made of paper
    • B65D5/42Details of containers or of foldable or erectable container blanks
    • B65D5/54Lines of weakness to facilitate opening of container or dividing it into separate parts by cutting or tearing
    • B65D5/5405Lines of weakness to facilitate opening of container or dividing it into separate parts by cutting or tearing for opening containers formed by erecting a blank in tubular form
    • B65D5/541Lines of weakness to facilitate opening of container or dividing it into separate parts by cutting or tearing for opening containers formed by erecting a blank in tubular form the lines of weakness being provided in one or more closure flaps
    • 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
    • B65D5/00Rigid or semi-rigid containers of polygonal cross-section, e.g. boxes, cartons or trays, formed by folding or erecting one or more blanks made of paper
    • B65D5/42Details of containers or of foldable or erectable container blanks
    • B65D5/54Lines of weakness to facilitate opening of container or dividing it into separate parts by cutting or tearing
    • B65D5/5405Lines of weakness to facilitate opening of container or dividing it into separate parts by cutting or tearing for opening containers formed by erecting a blank in tubular form
    • B65D5/542Lines of weakness to facilitate opening of container or dividing it into separate parts by cutting or tearing for opening containers formed by erecting a blank in tubular form the lines of weakness being provided in the container body

Abstract

A package for a plurality of items includes a first portion and a second portion hingedly joined to one another. In a first configuration, the first portion and the second portion are in a facing relationship such that the interior space of the first portion and the interior space of the second portion are contiguous with one another. In a second configuration, the first portion and the second portion are in a side by side relationship, so the first portion is for containing a first item and the second portion is for containing a second item.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION
  • [0001]
    This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 61/297,907, filed Jan. 25, 2010, which is incorporated by reference herein in its entirety.
  • BACKGROUND
  • [0002]
    There is a need for a package for containing multiple items, for example, a food item and a condiment. There is also a need for such a package to be designed to accommodate people “on the go”. There is a further need for such a package to be suitable for use in a microwave oven.
  • SUMMARY
  • [0003]
    This disclosure is directed generally to a package or carton for holding one or more food items or other articles. This disclosure is also directed to a blank for forming such a package, and to a method of making and using such a package.
  • [0004]
    The package generally comprises a plurality of panels, at least some of which extend at least partially around and/or define an interior space. A tear strip extends around at least a portion of the package. When the tear strip is activated, the interior space may be divided into a first part and a second part, each of which may be used to contain a food item. If desired, the first part and the second part of the package may be hingedly joined to one another, such that the package serves as a container for holding the food items during consumption. The package may find particular use with a food item and an accompaniment for the food item (e.g., a condiment). However, the carton may be used to contain any other suitable food item or non-food item.
  • [0005]
    In one exemplary embodiment, the package comprises a first portion and a second portion hingedly joined to one another, with the first portion and the second portion each having an interior space for receiving a first item and a second item. In a first configuration, the first portion and the second portion are in a facing relationship such that the interior space of the first portion and the interior space of the second portion are contiguous with one another, so that the first portion and the second portion are each for containing at least one of the first item and the second item. In a second configuration, the first portion and the second portion are in a side by side relationship, with the first portion being for containing the first item and the second portion being for containing the second item.
  • [0006]
    In another exemplary embodiment, a blank for forming a package includes a plurality of adjoined panels. Each panel has a first dimension extending in a first direction and a second dimension extending in a second direction substantially perpendicular to the first direction. The plurality of adjoined panels includes a first panel, a second panel, and a third panel joined to one another along fold lines extending in the first direction, such that the third panel is disposed between the first panel and the second panel. The blank includes a line of disruption extending in the second direction across at least a portion of the second panel, and a pair of tear lines extending in the second direction across at least a portion of the first panel and the third panel. The pair of tear lines defines a tear strip that is substantially aligned in the second direction with the line of disruption of the second panel.
  • [0007]
    The blank and/or package may be formed at least partially from paperboard or other disposable materials. If desired, the package may be provided with various microwave energy interactive features for use in a microwave oven.
  • [0008]
    Various features, aspects, and embodiments will be apparent from the following description and accompanying figures.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0009]
    The description refers to the accompanying schematic drawings in which like reference characters refer to like parts throughout the several views, and in which:
  • [0010]
    FIGS. 1A and 1B are schematic perspective views of an exemplary package, in a closed configuration;
  • [0011]
    FIG. 1C is a schematic perspective view of the package of FIGS. 1A and 1B, in a partially open configuration;
  • [0012]
    FIG. 1D is a schematic perspective view of the package of FIGS. 1A and 1B, in an open configuration, illustrating a food container in a stored position;
  • [0013]
    FIG. 1E is a schematic perspective view of the package of FIG. 1D, illustrating the food container in a position for use;
  • [0014]
    FIG. 1F is a schematic top plan view of an exemplary blank for forming the package of FIGS. 1A and 1B;
  • [0015]
    FIG. 1G is a schematic perspective view of an exemplary tubular structure formed from the blank of FIG. 1F;
  • [0016]
    FIGS. 2A and 2B are schematic perspective views of another exemplary package, in a closed configuration;
  • [0017]
    FIG. 2C is a schematic perspective view of the package of FIGS. 2A and 2B, in a partially open configuration;
  • [0018]
    FIG. 2D is a schematic perspective view of the package of FIGS. 2A and 2B, in an open configuration;
  • [0019]
    FIG. 2E is a schematic end elevation view of an end assembly of the package of FIGS. 2A and 2B;
  • [0020]
    FIG. 2F is a schematic end elevation view of the package of FIG. 2E, illustrating use of a tab and receiving slot to reclose the end assembly;
  • [0021]
    FIG. 2G is a schematic top plan view of an exemplary blank for forming the package of FIGS. 2A and 2B;
  • [0022]
    FIG. 2H is a schematic perspective view of an exemplary tubular structure formed from the blank of FIG. 2G; and
  • [0023]
    FIG. 2I is an enlarged perspective view illustrating closure of one end of the tubular structure of FIG. 2H.
  • DESCRIPTION
  • [0024]
    Various aspects of the invention may be understood further by referring to the figures. For purposes of simplicity, like numerals may be used to describe like features. It will be understood that where a plurality of similar features are depicted, not all of such features necessarily are labeled on each figure. It also will be understood that the various components used to form the packages may be interchanged. Thus, while only certain combinations are illustrated herein, numerous other combinations, subcombinations, and configurations are contemplated hereby.
  • [0025]
    FIGS. 1A and 1B schematically illustrate alternate views of an exemplary carton or package 100 for containing a food item or other article. The carton 100 includes a front panel or wall 102 and a back panel or wall 104 opposite one another, a pair of side panels or walls 106, 108 opposite one another, and a pair of ends opposite one another, with each end of the package 100 comprising an end closure assembly 110, 112. Panels 102, 104, 106, 108 and end closure assemblies 110, 112 generally surround or define an interior space 114 (FIG. 1C) for receiving one or more items, for example, food items.
  • [0026]
    As shown in FIGS. 1A and 1B, the package 100 includes a tear strip 116 extending around at least a portion of the package 100 distal from the lengthwise ends of the package 100 (e.g., distal from end closure assemblies 110, 112). The tear strip 116 is defined at least partially by a pair of lines of disruption, for example, tear lines 118 a (e.g., a first tear line) and 118 b (e.g., a second tear line), extending across at least a portion of panels 102, 106, 108. Tear lines 118 a, 118 b are substantially parallel to the lengthwise ends of the package 100 (e.g., end closure assemblies 110, 112). However, in other embodiments, the tear lines 118 a, 118 b may be configured differently. Alternatively, in other embodiments, the tear strip 116 may be omitted, and the package 100 may include only one line of disruption, for example, one of tear lines 118 a, 118 b.
  • [0027]
    A line of disruption, for example, cut or cut line (or slit) 120 (FIG. 1A) may extend substantially between respective first ends of tear lines 118 a, 118 b and generally defines a tab or grasping end 122 of the tear strip 116. Likewise, a line of disruption, for example, tear line 124 (FIG. 1B), may extend substantially between respective second ends of tear lines 118 a, 118 b. Tear line 124 may be proximate to and/or substantially abut, a line of disruption, for example, fold line 126, extending at least partially (and in some embodiments substantially) across panel 104.
  • [0028]
    To activate the tear strip 116, the tab 122 may be grasped and the tear strip 116 may be pulled away from the remainder of the package 100 by tearing along tear lines 118 a, 118 b, as shown in FIG. 1C. If desired, score lines and/or cuts 128 (or other lines of disruption or weakening) may be provided proximate to the tab 122 to assist with grasping the tab 122. Alternatively, in embodiments where the tear strip 116 is omitted and only a single line of disruption (e.g., tear line 118 a or 118 b) is present, the package 100 may be activated by tearing along such tear line.
  • [0029]
    When the tear strip 116 is removed (or the tear line is breached, where only a single tear line is used), the package 100 may be apportioned or divided into a first portion or segment 130 and a second portion or segment 132 on opposite sides of fold line 126. Panels 102, 104, 106, 108 are each divided into first and second portions, with the first segment 130 including the first portion 102 a, 104 a, 106 a, 108 a of each of panels 102, 104, 106, 108, and the second segment 132 including the second portion 102 b, 104 b, 106 b, 108 b of each of panels 102, 104, 106, 108. Likewise, the interior space 114 is divided into a first portion 114 a and second portion 114 b. In this example, the tear strip 116 is positioned along the length L (FIG. 1B) of the package 100 so that the distance L1 between tear strip 116 (e.g., along tear line 118 a) and end assembly 110 is less than the distance L2 between tear strip 116 (e.g., along tear line 118 b) and end assembly 112. As a result, the first segment 130 is smaller than the second segment 132, and interior space portion 114 a is smaller than interior space portion 114 b. However, in other embodiments, the tear strip 116 may be positioned otherwise and segments 130, 132 may accordingly have any suitable relative size.
  • [0030]
    The tear strip 116 may be completely separated from the remainder of the package 100 by tearing along tear line 124, as shown in FIG. 1D. In this configuration, the first segment 130 and the second segment 132 are free to pivot or move towards and away from each other along fold line or hinge 126. More particularly, the first segment 130 and the second segment 132 are adapted to move between a first configuration in which the first segment 130 and the second segment 132 are in a facing relationship, such that the interior space 114 a of the first segment 130 and the interior space 114 b of the second segment 132 are contiguous with one another, and a second configuration, in which the first segment 130 and the second segment 132 are in a side by side relationship (e.g., with the segments 130, 132 in an upright configuration), with the first portion of the second panel 104 a and the second portion of the second panel 104 b facing and/or adjacent to one another. Various intermediate configurations are also contemplated. As one example, segment 130 may be maintained in an upright condition with segment 132 being obliquely oriented with respect to segment 130, or vice versa.
  • [0031]
    If desired, the first segment 130 and the second segment 132 may be used to contain one or more items, for example, food items. In one example, the first segment 130 may be used to contain a first food item, and the second segment 132 may be used to contain a second food item. However, it will be appreciated that prior to removal of the tear strip 116, with the package segments 130, 132 in a facing relationship, the interior space 114 a of the first segment 130 is contiguous with the interior space 114 b of the second segment 132, and the shared interior space 114 is for receiving both the first item and the second item. As the package 100 is moved, inverted, rotated, and so on, the food items may shift within the package 100, such that the first segment 130 may also contain the second item, and the second segment 132 may also contain the first item. For example, when the package 100 is in an upright configuration such that the first food item is seated on end assembly 110, the second food item may be seated on the first food item, partially within the first segment 130. Alternatively, if the package is inverted such that the second food item is seated on end assembly 112, the first food item may be seated on the second food item, partially within the second segment 132.
  • [0032]
    In one particular example, one food item may be an accompaniment for the other food item, as shown in FIGS. 1D and 1E. For example, one food item may be a condiment, dip, sauce, gravy, etc. (collectively “condiment”), and the other food item F may be an item that is dipped into or topped with the condiment. The condiment may be contained in a conventional container C, which may generally include a base, wall(s), a rim, and/or lid. In such cases, the package 100 may include a slot or cutout 134 in the second compartment 132 for receiving a portion of the container C, for example, the rim of the container, as shown in FIG. 1E. Thus, after the package 100 is opened, the container C may be maintained in a substantially perpendicular relationship to the first portion of the first panel 104 a (i.e., in a substantially parallel configuration to end assembly 110). In this configuration, one or both package segments 130, 132 may be held by a user without the contents of the container C spilling into the interior space 114 a. In this example, the cutout 134 is formed by urging a cutout flap 136 away from the second panel 104. The cutout flap 136 may be defined by a line of disruption, for example, an arcuate or partial obround cut 138 having endpoints joined by a line of disruption, for example, fold line 140 (FIGS. 1B and 1D), or may have any other suitable configuration. The cutout 134 may be formed by striking the flap 136 from panel 104 and pivoting the flap 136 outwardly along fold line 140, as shown schematically in FIG. 1E. In other embodiments, the cutout flap 136 may be removed entirely.
  • [0033]
    If desired, the container C may be initially positioned in the package 100 such that the base of the container is substantially parallel to the first panel 102 and/or second panel 104, and in one example, the container may be positioned in the package 100 such that the base of the container is facing (and optionally at least partially contacting) the interior side of the second panel 104. After removing the tear strip 116, the user may access the container C within the interior space 114 a, urge the cutout flap 136 out of the plane of the second panel 104 (optionally using the rim of the container), and insert the rim of the container into the cutout 134, such that the top of the container is facing upwardly (e.g., for accessing the contents of the container). If the container includes a lid or plastic overwrap, the lid or overwrap may be removed prior to inserting the container into the cutout 134.
  • [0034]
    If desired, the package 100 may include one or more lines of weakness that allow the segment 132 to be deformed to facilitate use of the container C. In this example, panels 102, 106, 108 include a plurality of score lines 142 a, 142 b, 142 c, 142 d that allow the first portion 102 a of the first panel 102 to move away from the first portion of the second panel 104 a to enlarge the interior space 114 a for receiving the container C in an upright configuration. In this manner, the package 100 may be conveniently used as a hand held type package for containing the food item and sauce (or other items) during consumption, with one or both segments 130, 132 being grasped by the user. In the illustrated embodiment, the package 100 includes a pair of score lines 142 a, 142 b extending generally from proximate to the tear strip 116 (proximate to tear line 118 a) obliquely towards the adjacent end of the package (e.g., adjacent to end panel assembly 110). The side panels 106, 108 also each include a score line 142 c, 142 d extending generally from proximate to the tear strip 116 (proximate to tear line 118 a) obliquely towards the first panel 102. However, any number of such score lines may be used depending on the food items to be contained within the segments, or such score lines may be omitted in some embodiments.
  • [0035]
    FIG. 1F schematically illustrates a top plan view of a first, outer side of an exemplary blank 144 for forming the package or carton 100 of FIGS. 1A-1E. The blank 144 generally includes a plurality of panels joined along lines of disruption or weakness, for example, fold lines, fold lines, tear lines, score lines, cut-space lines, cut-crease lines, or any other lines of disruption or weakness. The blank 144 and each of the various panels generally has a first dimension, for example, a length, extending in a first direction, for example, a longitudinal direction, D1, and a second dimension, for example, a width, extending in a second direction, for example, a transverse direction, D2. It will be understood that such designations are made only for convenience and do not necessarily refer to or limit the manner in which the blank is manufactured or erected into the package.
  • [0036]
    As shown in FIG. 1F, the blank 144 includes a first panel 102 (e.g., first main panel, front panel, or front wall panel) and a second panel 104 (e.g., second main panel, back panel, or back wall panel) that generally form the front and back panels or walls 102, 104 of the package 100. End panels 146 (e.g., front wall end panels) are joined to opposite longitudinal ends of the first panel 102 along respective transverse lines of disruption, for example, fold lines 148. Likewise, end panels 150 (e.g., back wall end panels) are joined to opposite longitudinal ends of the second panel 104 along respective transverse lines of disruption, for example, fold lines 152.
  • [0037]
    End panels 146, 150 have a somewhat trapezoidal shape, with the panels tapering in second dimension towards the peripheral edge 154 of the blank 144. At the widest point (i.e., along fold lines 148, 152), end panels 146, 150 have a respective second dimension that extends along the second dimension of the respective first panel 102 and second panel 104. In this example, the respective first dimensions of end panels 146, 150 are substantially equal, and the respective second dimensions of end panels 146, 150 are substantially equal, such that end panels 146, 150 are substantially identical in size and shape. However, other configurations are contemplated.
  • [0038]
    The blank 144 also includes a pair of side panels 106, 108 (e.g., minor panels) that generally form side panels or walls 106, 108 of the package 100. Side panel 106 is joined to the first panel 102 along a longitudinal line of disruption, for example, fold line 156, and to the second panel 104 along a longitudinal line of disruption, for example, fold line 158. Side panel 108 is joined to the first panel 102 along a longitudinal line of disruption, for example, fold line 160.
  • [0039]
    End flaps 162 (e.g., side panel end flaps) are joined to opposite longitudinal ends of the first minor panel 106 along respective transverse lines of disruption, for example, fold lines 164. Likewise, end flaps 166 (e.g., side panel end flaps) are joined to opposite longitudinal ends of the second minor panel 108 along respective transverse lines of disruption, for example, fold lines 168.
  • [0040]
    End flaps 162, 166 have a somewhat trapezoidal shape, with each flap 162, 166 including a pair of notched corners opposite the respective fold line 164, 168 adjacent to the peripheral edge 154 of the blank 144. At the widest point (i.e., along fold lines 164, 168), end flaps 162, 166 have a respective second dimension that extends along the second dimension of the respective side panel 106, 108. In this example, the respective first dimensions of end flaps 162, 166 are substantially equal and the respective second dimensions of end flaps 162, 166 are substantially equal, such that end flaps 162, 166 are substantially identical in size and shape. In contrast, both the first dimension and the second dimension of end flaps 162, 166 are less than the respective dimensions of end flaps 146, 150. However, other configurations are contemplated.
  • [0041]
    A respective one of each of adjacent panels 146, 150, 162, 166 forms each end closure assembly 110, 112 (FIGS. 1A and 1B).
  • [0042]
    The blank 144 also includes a glue flap or panel 170 joined to the second minor panel 108 along a longitudinal line of disruption, for example, fold line 172. Panel 170 is substantially trapezoidal in shape, with the first dimension of the panel 170 decreasing from fold line 172 towards the peripheral edge 154 of the blank 144. In this example, panels 102, 104 and longitudinal fold lines 156, 158, 160 have substantially the same first dimension. Panels 106, 108 and longitudinal fold line 172 have substantially the same first dimension. However, other panel shapes, sizes, and configurations are contemplated.
  • [0043]
    As shown in FIG. 1F, a pair of transverse lines of disruption, for example, tear lines 118 a, 118 b, extend at least partially across panels 102, 106 and at least partially across panel 108. In other embodiments, one or both of tear lines 118 a, 118 b may extend substantially across one or more of panels 102, 106, 108 and/or may extend into panel 104. Tear lines 118 a, 118 b are substantially parallel to one another and to fold lines 148, 164, 168. Each tear line 118 a, 118 b is defined by a plurality of spaced apart “zipper” cuts, each of which generally includes a transverse portion and an oblique portion, such that the cuts collectively resemble a zipper. Such a tear line may be referred to as a zipper cut line. However, other types and configurations of lines of disruption may be used.
  • [0044]
    As discussed above in connection with FIG. 1C, the relative positions of tear lines 118 a, 118 b along the first dimension of the blank 144 determine the relative size of the package segments 130, 132 (FIG. 1D) in the erected package 100 (FIGS. 1A and 1B). In this example, the distance L1 from tear line 118 a to fold line 148 (adjacent to end panel assembly 110) is less than the distance L2 from tear line 118 b to fold line 148 (adjacent to end panel assembly 112). Thus, the package segment adjacent to tear line 118 a (e.g., package segment 130) will have a shorter length (or height when fully upright) than the package segment adjacent to tear line 118 b (e.g., package segment 132).
  • [0045]
    A longitudinal line of disruption, for example, tear line 124, may extend substantially between a respective first end of tear lines 118 a, 118 b. In this example, tear line 124 lies substantially along, and interrupts, fold line 158. However, it will be appreciated that tear line 124 may be spaced or distanced from fold line 158 if desired.
  • [0046]
    A somewhat arcuate line of disruption, for example, cut 120, may extend substantially between a respective second end of tear lines 118 a, 118 b in a longitudinal direction within panel 108. In this example, cut 120 includes a pair of substantially parallel portions substantially aligned with the second end of tear lines 118 a, 118 b, and an arcuate portion extending longitudinally between the transverse cuts. However, differently shaped cuts are contemplated. Transverse scores or fold lines 128 may optionally extend generally between cut 120 and longitudinal fold line 172. Such scores or fold lines 128 may be substantially parallel to fold lines 168 or may be configured differently.
  • [0047]
    Lines of disruption 118 a, 118 b, 120, 124 generally define tear strip 116. In this embodiment, the tear strip 116 extends only across at least a portion of panels 102, 106, 108. However, in other embodiments, the tear strip 116 may extend at least partially across panel 104.
  • [0048]
    Still viewing FIG. 1F, panel 104 is substantially divided into first and second portions 104 a, 104 b by a transverse line of disruption, for example, fold line 126, extending generally between the longitudinal peripheral edge of panel 104 and longitudinal fold line 158. In this embodiment, fold line 126 is substantially centered along the first dimension of the panel 104, but may be configured differently. Further, fold line 126 is substantially aligned in the first dimension with tear strip 116. More particularly, in this example, fold line 126 is substantially centered along the first dimension of tear strip 116. However, countless other possibilities are contemplated. Fold line 126 is shown as a cut-crease line (i.e., a fold line including a plurality of spaced apart cuts or kiss cuts). However, other types of lines of disruption or weakening may be used.
  • [0049]
    Panel 104 also includes a substantially obround or elongate cutout flap 136 defined by a line of disruption, for example, an arcuate or partial obround cut 138 having endpoints joined by a line of disruption, for example, fold line 140. In the illustrated example, fold line 140 is shown as a cut-crease line. However, other types of lines of disruption may be used. For example, a conventional fold line or score line may be used. Alternatively, line of disruption 140 may comprise a cut-space line or line of perforation that facilitates removal of the cutout flap 136 if desired. In still other embodiments, the cutout flap 136 may simply comprise a cutout.
  • [0050]
    The blank 144 may also include a plurality of lines of weakness, for example, score lines 142 a, 142 b, 142 c, 142 d, extending obliquely generally between (but not necessarily abutting) tear line 118 a and respective corners of panels 102, 106, 108. Specifically, in this example, the blank 144 includes a pair of score lines 142 a, 142 b extending obliquely and outwardly from a point substantially centrally located along the second dimension of panel 102 and proximate to tear line 118 a towards adjacent fold line 148 (e.g., adjacent to end panel assembly 110). Side panel 106 includes a score line 142 c extending generally from a point proximate to fold line 158 and tear line 118 a obliquely towards adjacent fold lines 156, 164. Likewise, side panel 108 includes a score line 142 d extending generally from a point proximate to fold line 172 and tear line 118 a obliquely towards adjacent fold lines 160, 168. However, other configurations are contemplated.
  • [0051]
    To form the package 100 (FIGS. 1A and 1B) from the blank 144 according to one exemplary method, attachment panel 170 may be brought towards the marginal edge of panel 104 (opposite fold line 158) by folding along one or more of fold lines 156, 158, 160. The attachment panel 170 may then be joined to panel 104 adhesively or otherwise to form a tubular structure 174 including a pair of open ends 176, 178 and an interior space 114, as shown in FIG. 1G.
  • [0052]
    If desired, one or more items may be inserted into the tubular structure 174 through one or both open ends 176, 178. Alternatively, one or more items may be inserted into the package after one end is closed.
  • [0053]
    Each end closure assembly 110, 112 may then be closed by folding end flaps 162, 166 towards the interior space 114 along respective fold lines 164, 168. End panel 146 then may be folded to be substantially perpendicular to panel 102. Next, end panel 150 may be folded along fold line 152 towards end panel 146 until end panel 150 is in a substantially facing, contacting relationship with end panel 146, as shown in FIGS. 1A and 1B. Alternatively, end panel 150 may be folded inwardly, followed by folding end panel 146. The various flaps may be secured to one another by gluing or using any suitable means. The package 100 may be used as described above.
  • [0054]
    If desired, the package 100 may include one or more microwave energy interactive elements comprising microwave energy interactive material that alters the effect of microwave energy on the food items within the segments 130, 132. For example, the first and/or second segment 130, 132 may include a susceptor (not shown) for converting at least a portion of the impinging microwave energy to thermal energy, which then can be transferred to the food item therein. A susceptor generally comprises a thin layer of microwave energy interactive material (e.g., aluminum, generally less than about 100 angstroms in thickness, for example, from about 60 to about 100 angstroms in thickness, and having an optical density of from about 0.15 to about 0.35, for example, about 0.21 to about 0.28) that tends to absorb at least a portion of impinging microwave energy and convert it to thermal energy (i.e., heat) at the interface with the food item.
  • [0055]
    Alternatively, where the food item is desirably served in an unheated, thawed, room temperature, or frozen condition, either or both segments 130, 132 may include a microwave energy shielding element (not shown) for reflecting microwave energy. A microwave energy shielding element generally comprises a reflective foil or high optical density evaporated material (e.g., aluminum) having a thickness sufficient to reflect a substantial portion of impinging microwave energy (for example, from about 0.000285 in. to about 0.05 in., from about 0.0003 in. to about 0.03 in., or from about 0.00035 in. to about 0.020 in., for example, about 0.016 inches in thickness).
  • [0056]
    In other examples, either or both segments 130, 132 may include plurality of smaller microwave energy reflecting elements arranged to form a microwave energy distributing element to direct microwave energy to specific areas of the food item. If desired, the loops may be of a length that causes microwave energy to resonate, thereby enhancing the distribution effect. Examples of microwave energy distributing elements are described in U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,204,492, 6,433,322, 6,552,315, and 6,677,563.
  • [0057]
    By way of illustration, in one example, the package 100 may include a container of ketchup in the first package segment 130 and hash browns in the second package segment 132. In such an example, the first segment 130 and/or the container may include a microwave energy shielding element for preventing heating of the ketchup and the second segment 132 may include a susceptor for heating, browning, and/or crisping the hash browns. Alternatively, the user may be instructed to open the package 100 and remove the ketchup (or other item) prior to heating the hash browns (or other item). Alternatively still, the first package segment 130 may be provided with an end opening or other feature for accessing and removing the ketchup (or other item) prior to microwave heating, such that no microwave energy shielding element is needed, for example, as will be discussed below in connection with FIGS. 2E and 2F.
  • [0058]
    In another example, both package segments 130, 132 may include a susceptor to enhance heating, browning, and/or crisping of the items.
  • [0059]
    In still another example, the package 100 may be used without microwave heating, such that no microwave energy interactive elements are included. Numerous other possibilities are contemplated.
  • [0060]
    FIGS. 2A and 2B schematically illustrate alternate views of another exemplary carton or package 200 for containing one or more food items or other articles. The carton 200 includes a front panel or wall 202 and a back panel or wall 204 opposite one another, a plurality of side panels or walls 206, 208, 210, 212 opposite one another, and a pair of ends opposite one another, with each end comprising an end closure assembly 214, 216. Panels 202, 204, 206, 208, 210, 212 and end closure assemblies 214, 216 generally surround or define an interior space 218 (FIG. 2C) for receiving one or more food items.
  • [0061]
    As shown in FIGS. 2A and 2B, the package 200 includes a tear strip 220 extending around at least a portion of the package 200 distal from the lengthwise ends of the package 200 (e.g., distal from end closure assemblies 214, 216). The tear strip 220 is defined at least partially by a pair of lines of disruption, for example, tear lines 222 a (e.g., a first tear line) and 222 b (e.g., a second tear line) extending across at least a portion of panels 202, 206, 208, 210, 212. Tear lines 222 a, 222 b are substantially parallel to the lengthwise ends of the package 200 (e.g., end closure assemblies 214, 216). However, in other embodiments, the tear lines 222 a, 222 b may be positioned differently. Alternatively, in other embodiments, the tear strip 220 may be omitted, and the package 200 may include only one line of disruption, for example, one of tear lines 222 a, 222 b.
  • [0062]
    A line of disruption, for example, cut or cut line (or slit) 224 (FIG. 2A), may extend substantially between a first end of tear lines 222 a, 222 b and generally defines a tab or grasping end 226 of the tear strip 220. Likewise, a line of disruption, for example, tear line 228 (FIG. 2B), extends substantially between a second end of tear lines 222 a, 222 b. Tear line 228 may be proximate to and/or substantially abut a line of disruption, for example, fold line 230, extending substantially across panel 204.
  • [0063]
    To activate the tear strip 220, the tab 226 may be grasped and the tear strip 220 may be pulled away from the remainder of the package 200 by tearing along tear lines 222 a, 222 b, as shown in FIG. 2C. If desired, score lines or cuts 232 may be provided proximate to the tab 226 to assist with grasping the tab 226. Alternatively, in embodiments where the tear strip 220 is omitted and only a single line of disruption (e.g., tear line 222 a or 222 b) is present, the package 100 may be activated by tearing along such tear line.
  • [0064]
    When the tear strip 220 is removed (or the tear line is breached, where only a single tear line is used), the package 200 may be divided or apportioned into a first portion or segment 234 and a second portion or segment 236 on opposite sides of the tear strip 220. Panels 202, 204, 206, 208, 210 are each divided into first and second portions, with the first segment 234 including the first portion 202 a, 204 a, 206 a, 208 a, 210 a of each of panels 202, 204, 206, 208, 210, and the second segment 236 including the second portion 202 b, 204 b, 206 b, 208 b, 210 b of each of panels 202, 204, 206, 208, 210. Likewise, the interior space 218 is divided into a first portion 218 a and second portion 218 b. In this example, the tear strip 220 is positioned along the length L (FIG. 2B) of the package 200 so that the distance L1 between tear strip 220 (e.g., along tear line 222 a) and end assembly 216 is less than the distance L2 between tear strip 220 (e.g., along tear line 222 b) and end assembly 214. As a result the first segment 234 is generally smaller in size (e.g., shorter in length L1) then the second segment 236, and interior space portion 218 a is generally smaller in size than interior space portion 218 b. However, in other embodiments, the tear strip 220 may be positioned otherwise and package segments 234, 236 may accordingly have any suitable relative size.
  • [0065]
    The tear strip 220 may be completely separated from the remainder of the package 200 by tearing along tear line 228, as shown in FIG. 2D. In this configuration, the first segment 234 and the second segment 236 are free to pivot or move towards and away from each other along fold line or hinge 230. More particularly, the first segment 234 and the second segment 236 are adapted to move between a first configuration in which the first segment 234 and the second segment 236 are in a facing relationship, such that the interior space 218 a of the first segment 234 and the interior space 218 b of the second segment 236 are contiguous with one another, and a second configuration, in which the first segment 234 and the second segment 236 are in a side by side relationship (e.g., with the segments 234, 236 in an upright configuration), with the first portion of the second panel 204 a and the second portion of the second panel 204 b facing and/or adjacent to one another. Various intermediate configurations are also contemplated. As one example, segment 234 may be maintained in an upright condition with segment 236 being obliquely oriented with respect to segment 234, or vice versa.
  • [0066]
    If desired, the first segment 234 and the second segment 236 may be used to contain one or more items, for example, food items, as described above in connection with FIGS. 1A-1E. As one example, the second segment 236 may be used to contain a food item, and the first segment 234 may be used to contain an accompaniment for the food item, for example, a sauce, which may be contained in a container (or otherwise). In this manner, the package 200 may be used as a hand-held package 200 for carrying the food item(s) “on the go” if desired. Where a container is used, the base of the container may be seated within the interior 218 a of the segment 234 on the interior side of end assembly 216.
  • [0067]
    Likewise, as described above in connection with the package 100 of FIGS. 1A-1E, the package 200 may include one or more microwave energy interactive elements. For example, one segment 236 may include a susceptor for heating, browning, and/or crisping the food item therein. The other segment 234 may include a sauce or other accompaniment that is not desirably heated in the microwave oven. However, as shown in FIGS. 2E and 2F, in this example, rather than using a microwave energy shielding element, the package segment 234 may be provided with a tear strip 238 in the end assembly 216 for removing the container prior to microwave heating. In the illustrated embodiment, the tear strip 238 may be removed by grasping a tab 240 at one end of the tear strip (e.g., a free end of the tear strip 238) and tearing along lines of disruption, for example, tear lines 242. In doing so, a closure tab 244 is defined in end panel 250. The closure tab 244 may then be inserted into a receiving slot 248 in end panel 250 for reclosing the end assembly 216, as shown schematically in FIG. 2F. In this manner, the package 200 may remain substantially closed during the heating process (as compared with accessing the container by removing tear strip 220). After heating, the user may position the sauce or other food item into the first segment 234 such that the container or food item is upright within the first segment 234. In still another example, the package 200 may be used without microwave heating, such that no microwave energy interactive elements are included. Numerous other possibilities are contemplated.
  • [0068]
    FIG. 2G schematically illustrates a top plan view of a first, outer side of an exemplary blank 251 for forming the package or carton 200 of FIGS. 2A and 2B. The blank 251 generally includes a plurality of panels joined along lines of disruption, for example, fold lines, fold lines, tear lines, score lines, cut-space lines, cut-crease lines, or any other lines of disruption or weakness. The blank 251 and each of the various panels generally has a first dimension, for example, a length, extending in a first direction, for example, a longitudinal direction, D1, and a second dimension, for example, a width, extending in a second direction, for example, a transverse direction, D2. It will be understood that such designations are made only for convenience and do not necessarily refer to or limit the manner in which the blank is manufactured or erected into the package.
  • [0069]
    As shown in FIG. 2G, the blank 251 includes a first panel 202 (e.g., first main panel, front panel, or front wall panel) and a second panel 204 (e.g., second main panel, back panel, or back wall panel) that generally form the front and back panels or walls 202, 204 of the package 200. A pair of end panels 250, 252 (e.g., front wall end panels) is joined to opposite longitudinal ends of the first panel 202 along respective transverse lines of disruption, for example, fold lines 253. Likewise, a pair of end panels 246, 254 (e.g., back wall end panels) is joined to opposite longitudinal ends of the second panel 204 along respective transverse lines of disruption, for example, fold lines 255. In this example, end panels 246, 250, 252, 254 have a somewhat hexagonal shape and are substantially equal in size, but other shapes and sizes are contemplated.
  • [0070]
    The blank 251 also includes a plurality of minor panels 206, 208, 210, 212 (e.g., side panels) that generally form side panels or walls 206, 208, 210, 212 of the package 200. Side panel 206 is joined to the first panel 202 along a longitudinal line of disruption, for example, fold line 257, and to a side panel 208 along a longitudinal line of disruption, for example, fold line 258. Side panel 208 is joined to the second panel 204 along a longitudinal line of disruption, for example, fold line 259. Side panel 210 is joined to the first panel 202 along a longitudinal line of disruption, for example, fold line 260 and to side panel 212 along a longitudinal line of disruption, for example, fold line 261.
  • [0071]
    In this example, panels 202, 204, 206, 208, 210, 212 have an approximately equal first dimension. The second dimension of panels 202, 204 is approximately equal. Likewise, the second dimension of side panels 206, 208, 210, 212 is approximately equal. The second dimension of panels 202, 204 is greater than the second dimension of side panels 206, 208, 210, 212. However, other configurations of panels are contemplated.
  • [0072]
    A pair of end flaps (e.g., side panel end flaps) is joined to opposite longitudinal ends of each minor panel 206, 208, 210, 212 along respective transverse lines of disruption, for example, fold lines. Specifically, in this example, a first end flap 262, 263, 264, 265 (e.g., side panel end flap) is joined to a first end of respective side panel 206, 208, 210, 212 along respective fold lines 266, 267, 268, 269. End flaps 262, 263, 264, 265 have a generally rectangular shape with one chamfered corner, such that the second dimension of end flaps 262, 263, 264, 265 decreases from the respective fold line 266, 267, 268, 269 towards the peripheral edge 256 of the blank 251. At the widest point (i.e., along respective fold lines 266, 267, 268, 269), end flaps 262, 263, 264, 265 have a second dimension that is approximately equal to the second dimension of the respectively adjoined side panel 206, 208, 210, 212. End flaps 262, 263, 264, 265 each have a first dimension approximately equal to each other and about one-half the first dimension of end panels 252, 254. End panels and end flaps 252, 254, 262, 263, 264, 265 are separated from one another by respective cuts (not labeled). End panels 254, 252 and end flaps 262, 263, 264, 265 collectively form end closure assembly 214 (FIGS. 2A and 2B).
  • [0073]
    A second end flap 270, 271, 272, 273 (e.g., side panel end flap) is joined to a second end of the respective side panel 206, 208, 210, 212 along respective fold lines 266, 267, 268, 269. End flaps 271, 273 have a generally rectangular shape with two chamfered corners, such that the second dimension of the end flap 271, 273 decreases from the respective fold line 267, 269 towards the peripheral edge 256 of the blank 251. End flaps 270, 272 have a generally rectangular shape with one chamfered corner, such that the second dimension of the end flap 270, 272 decreases from the respective fold line 266, 268 towards the peripheral edge 256 of the blank 251. At the widest point (i.e., along respective fold lines 266, 267, 268, 269), end flaps 270, 271, 272, 273 have a second dimension approximately equal to the second dimension of the respectively adjoined minor panel 206, 208, 210, 212. End flaps 270, 271, 272, 273 have a first dimension that is substantially equal to one another and less than about one-half the first dimension of end panels 246, 250. However, other configurations of end flaps are contemplated.
  • [0074]
    A line of disruption, for example, a fold line or cut-crease line 274, extends obliquely substantially from a point proximate to the intersection of panels 202, 206, end panel 250, and end flap 270 substantially to the opposite corner of end flap 270, such that end flap 270 is divided into a first portion 275 and second portion 276. Likewise, a line of disruption, for example, a fold line or cut-crease line 277, extends obliquely substantially from a point proximate to the intersection of panels 202, 210, end panel 250, and end flap 272 substantially to the opposite corner of end flap 272, such that end flap 272 is divided into a first portion 278 and second portion 279.
  • [0075]
    End flaps 246, 270, 271 and end flaps 272, 273 are separated from one another by respective cuts (not labeled). End flaps 270, 272 are joined to end panel 250 along respective oblique lines of disruption, for example, fold lines or cut-crease lines 280, 281. End panels 246, 250 and end flaps 270, 271, 272, 273 collectively form end closure assembly 216 (FIGS. 2A and 2B).
  • [0076]
    The blank 251 may also include a glue flap or panel 282 joined to the fourth minor panel 212 along a longitudinal line of disruption, for example, fold line 283. Panel 282 is substantially trapezoidal in shape, with the first dimension of the panel 282 decreasing from fold line 283 towards the peripheral edge 256 of the blank 251. A minor line of disruption, for example, a fold line, cut-crease line, or tear line 284 is substantially aligned with tear line 230. In this example, fold lines 257, 258, 259, 260, 261, 283 have substantially the same first dimension. However, other configurations are contemplated.
  • [0077]
    As shown in FIG. 2G, a pair of substantially parallel transverse lines of disruption, for example, tear lines 222 a, 222 b, extends at least partially across panels 202, 206, 208, 210 and at least partially across panel 212. In other embodiments, one or both of tear lines 222 a, 222 b may extend substantially across one or more of panels 202, 206, 208, 210 and/or may extend into panel 204. Tear lines 222 a, 222 b are substantially parallel to one another and to fold lines 266, 267, 268, 269. However, other configurations of tear lines 222 a, 222 b are contemplated. Additionally, in this example, each tear line 222 a, 222 b is a zipper cut line (as described above), but other types lines of disruption may be used.
  • [0078]
    As discussed previously, the relative positions of tear lines 222 a, 222 b along the first dimension of the blank 251 determine the relative sizes of the segments 234, 236 (FIG. 2D) in the erected package 200 (FIGS. 2A and 2B). In this example, the distance L1 from tear line 222 a to fold line 253 (adjacent to end panel assembly 216) is less than the distance L2 from tear line 222 b to fold line 253 (adjacent to end panel assembly 214). Thus, the package segment adjacent to tear line 222 a (e.g., package segment 234) will have a shorter length (or height when fully upright) than the package segment adjacent to tear line 222 b (e.g., package segment 236).
  • [0079]
    A longitudinal line of disruption, for example, tear line 228, may extend substantially between respective first ends of tear lines 222 a, 222 b. In the illustrated example, tear line 228 lies substantially along, and interrupts, fold line 259. However, it will be appreciated that tear line 228 may be spaced or distanced from fold line 259 if desired.
  • [0080]
    A somewhat arcuate line of disruption, for example, cut 224, may extend generally between respective second ends of tear lines 222 a, 222 b in a longitudinal direction within panel 212. In this example, cut 224 includes a pair of substantially parallel portions substantially aligned with the second end of tear lines 222 a, 222 b, and an arcuate portion extending longitudinally between the transverse cuts. However, other differently shaped cuts may be used.
  • [0081]
    Lines of disruption 222 a, 222 b, 224, 228 generally define tear strip 220. In this embodiment, the tear strip 220 extends only across at least a portion of panels 202, 206, 208, 210, 212. However, in other embodiments, the tear strip 220 may extend at least partially across panel 204.
  • [0082]
    Panel 204 is substantially divided into first and second portions 204 a, 204 b by a transverse line of disruption, for example, fold line 230, extending generally between the longitudinal peripheral edge of panel 204 and longitudinal fold 259. Fold line 230 is substantially centered along the first dimension of the panel 204. Further, in this example, fold line 230 is substantially aligned in the first dimension with tear strip 220. More particularly, in this example, fold line 230 is substantially aligned with tear line 222 b. However, countless other possibilities are contemplated. Fold line 230 is shown as a cut-crease line. However, other types of lines of disruption or weakness may be used.
  • [0083]
    The blank 251 also includes a pair of substantially parallel transverse lines of disruption, for example, tear lines 242, extending substantially across end panel 246. Tear lines 242 define a tear strip 238 and closure tab 244, as discussed above. In this example, each tear line 242 is a zipper cut line, but other types lines of disruption may be used. End panel 250 includes a somewhat U-shaped cut or receiving slot 248 for receiving the tab 244.
  • [0084]
    To form the package 200 (FIGS. 2A and 2B) from the blank 251 according to one exemplary method, attachment panel 282 may be brought towards the marginal edge of panel 204 (opposite fold line 259) by folding along one or more of fold lines 257, 258, 259, 260, 261, 283. The attachment panel 282 may then be joined to panel 204 adhesively or otherwise to form a tubular structure 285 including a pair of open ends and an interior space 218, as shown in FIG. 2H.
  • [0085]
    If desired, a food item may be inserted into the tubular structure 285 through one or both open ends. Alternatively, the food item may be inserted into the package after one end is closed.
  • [0086]
    End closure assembly 214 may then be closed by folding end flaps 262, 263, 264, 265 towards the interior space 218 along respective fold lines 266, 277, 278, 279. End panel 254 then may be folded along fold line 255 to be substantially perpendicular to panel 204. Next, end panel 252 may be folded along fold line 253 towards end panel 254 until panel 252 is in a substantially facing, contacting relationship with end panel 254. Alternatively, end panel 252 may be folded inwardly, followed by folding end panel 254. The various flaps may be joined or adhered to one another as desired.
  • [0087]
    Likewise, end closure assembly 216 may be closed by folding end flaps 271, 273 towards the interior space 218 along respective fold lines 267, 269. End panel 250 then may be folded along fold line 253 to be substantially perpendicular to panels 202. In doing so, end flaps 270, 272 are folded inwardly along respective fold lines 266, 268, 274, 277, such that end flap portions 275, 278 are brought into a substantially facing, contacting relationship with end flaps 271, 273, as shown in FIG. 2I (such that end flaps 270, 272 generally serve as tuck-in flaps or web panels). End panel 246 may be folded along fold line 255 towards end panel 250 until end panel 246 is in a substantially facing, contacting relationship with end panel 250. The various flaps may be joined or adhered to one another as desired.
  • [0088]
    The package 200 may be used as described above.
  • [0089]
    Countless other packages are contemplated by the disclosure. The packages may have any suitable shape, for example, circular, oval, triangular, square, rectangular, pentagonal, hexagonal, heptagonal, octagonal, or any other regular or irregular shape. The shape of the package may be determined by the shape of the food product, and it will be understood that different shapes are contemplated for different food products, for example, sandwiches, pizzas, pastries, doughs, and so forth.
  • [0090]
    The package may be formed from any suitable material. For example, the package may be formed from paperboard having a basis weight of from about 60 to about 330 lbs/ream (lb/3000 sq. ft.), for example, from about 80 to about 140 lbs/ream. The paperboard generally may have a thickness of from about 6 to about 30 mils, for example, from about 12 to about 28 mils. In one particular example, the paperboard has a thickness of about 12 mils. Any suitable paperboard may be used, for example, a solid bleached or solid unbleached sulfate board, such as SUS® board, commercially available from Graphic Packaging International.
  • [0091]
    If desired, one or more portions or sides of the various blanks or other packages described herein or contemplated hereby may be coated with varnish, clay, or other materials, either alone or in combination. For example, at least the side of the blank or package may be coated with a clay coating or other base coating. The coating may then be printed over with product advertising, images, price coding, any other information or indicia, or any combination thereof. The blank or package then may be overcoated with a varnish to protect any information printed thereon.
  • [0092]
    Furthermore, the blanks or packages may be coated with, for example, a moisture and/or oxygen barrier layer, on either or both sides, such as those described above. Any suitable moisture and/or oxygen barrier material may be used, for example, polyvinylidene chloride, ethylene vinyl alcohol, DuPont DARTEK™ nylon 6,6, or any other suitable material. Alternatively or additionally, any of the blanks or other packages may be coated or laminated with other materials to impart other properties, such as absorbency, repellency, opacity, color, printability, stiffness, or cushioning.
  • [0093]
    It will be understood that in each of the various blanks and trays described herein and contemplated hereby, a “fold line” can be any substantially linear, although not necessarily straight, form of weakening that facilitates folding therealong. More specifically, but not for the purpose of narrowing the scope of the present invention, a fold line may be a score line, such as lines formed with a blunt scoring knife, or the like, which creates a crushed portion in the material along the desired line of weakness, a cut that extends partially into a material along the desired line of weakness, and/or a series of cuts that extend partially into and/or completely through the material along the desired line of weakness; or any combination of these features.
  • [0094]
    For example, one type of conventional tear line is in the form of a series of cuts that extend completely through the material, with adjacent cuts being spaced apart slightly so that a nick (e.g., a small somewhat bridging-like piece of the material) is defined between the adjacent cuts for typically temporarily connecting the material across the tear line. The nicks are broken during tearing along the tear line. Such a tear line that includes nicks can also be referred to as a cut line, since the nicks typically are a relatively small percentage of the subject line, and alternatively the nicks can be omitted from such a cut line.
  • [0095]
    Furthermore, various exemplary blanks and packages are shown and described herein as having fold lines, tear lines, score lines, cut lines, kiss cut lines, and other lines as extending between or from a particular feature to another particular feature, for example from one particular panel to another, from one particular edge to another, or any combination thereof. However, it will be understood that such lines need not necessarily extend between such features in a precise manner. Instead, such lines may generally extend between the various features as needed to achieve the objective of such line. For instance, where a particular tear line is shown as extending from a first edge of a blank to another edge of the blank, the tear line need not extend completely to one or both of such edges. Rather, the tear line need only extend to a location sufficiently proximate to the edge so that the removable strip, panel, or portion can be manually separated from the blank or package without causing undesirable damage thereto.
  • [0096]
    While the present invention is described herein in detail in relation to specific aspects and embodiments, it is to be understood that this detailed description is only illustrative and exemplary of the present invention and is made merely for purposes of providing a full and enabling disclosure of the present invention and to set forth the best mode of practicing the invention known to the inventors at the time the invention was made. The detailed description set forth herein is illustrative only and is not intended, nor is to be construed, to limit the present invention or otherwise to exclude any such other embodiments, adaptations, variations, modifications, and equivalent arrangements of the present invention. All directional references (e.g., upper, lower, upward, downward, left, right, leftward, rightward, top, bottom, above, below, vertical, horizontal, clockwise, and counterclockwise) are used only for identification purposes to aid the reader's understanding of the various embodiments of the present invention, and do not create limitations, particularly as to the position, orientation, or use of the invention unless specifically set forth in the claims. Joinder references (e.g., joined, attached, coupled, connected, and the like) are to be construed broadly and may include intermediate members between a connection of elements and relative movement between elements. As such, joinder references do not necessarily imply that two elements are connected directly and in fixed relation to each other. Further, various elements discussed with reference to the various embodiments may be interchanged to create entirely new embodiments coming within the scope of the present invention.

Claims (25)

  1. 1. A package comprising:
    a first panel and a second panel opposite one another, the first panel and the second panel at least partially defining an interior space, the first panel and the second panel each having a first dimension extending in a first direction between opposite ends of the package, and a second dimension extending in a second direction;
    a tear line extending in the second direction at least partially across the first panel; and
    a fold line extending in the second direction at least partially across the second panel,
    wherein the tear line is for separating the package into a first segment and a second segment, the first segment and the second segment being hingedly joined to one another along the fold line.
  2. 2. The package of claim 1, wherein the tear line and the fold line are each distal from the opposite ends of the package.
  3. 3. The package of claim 1, wherein the first segment includes a first portion of the interior space and the second segment includes a second portion of the interior space.
  4. 4. The package of claim 3, wherein the first portion of the interior space is for receiving a first item and the second portion of the interior space is for receiving a second item.
  5. 5. The package of claim 1, wherein the tear line is a first tear line of a pair of tear lines extending in the second direction at least partially across the first panel, the pair of tear lines defining a tear strip.
  6. 6. The package of claim 5, wherein the tear strip is substantially aligned with the fold line along the first dimension of the first panel and the second panel.
  7. 7. The package of claim 1, further comprising a pair of side panels joined to the first panel and the second panel along fold lines extending in the first direction, the side panels being opposite one another, wherein the tear line further extends at least partially across the side panels.
  8. 8. The package of claim 1, wherein
    the first segment includes a first portion of each of the first panel and the second panel, and
    the second segment includes a second portion of each of the first panel and the second panel.
  9. 9. The package of claim 8, wherein the first segment and the second segment are adapted to pivot toward one another along the fold line to bring the first portion of the second panel and the second portion of the second panel towards one another.
  10. 10. The package of claim 8, wherein the first portion of the second panel includes a cutout flap, the cutout flap being operative for moving away from the second panel to define a cutout.
  11. 11. The package of claim 10, wherein the first segment is for receiving a container, the container including a base and a rim, wherein the rim is for being received within the cutout.
  12. 12. The package of claim 8, wherein the first segment is for receiving a container, the container including a base and a rim, wherein
    in a first position, the base of the container is in a substantially parallel relationship with the first portion of the second panel, and
    in a second position, the base of the container is in a substantially perpendicular relationship with the first portion of the second panel with at least a portion of the rim being received in the cutout flap.
  13. 13. The package of claim 8, wherein the first portion of the first panel includes at least one line of weakness for allowing the first portion of the first panel to move away from the first portion of the second panel.
  14. 14. The package of claim 1, further comprising a first pair of side panels and a second pair of side panels joined to the first panel and the second panel along fold lines extending in the first direction, the side panels being opposite one another, wherein the tear line further extends at least partially across at least one of the first pair of side panels and the second pair of side panels.
  15. 15. The package of claim 1, wherein
    the pair of opposite ends of the package includes a first end and a second end, and
    the package further comprises an end panel disposed at the first end of the package, the end panel including a tear strip.
  16. 16. The package of claim 15, wherein the end panel is substantially hexagonal in shape.
  17. 17. The package of claim 15, further comprising a tab adjacent to the tear strip.
  18. 18. The package of claim 17, wherein
    the end panel is a first end panel, and
    the package further comprises a second end panel disposed at the first end of the package, the second end panel including a slot for receiving the tab of the first end panel.
  19. 19. The package of claim 1, further comprising microwave energy interactive material.
  20. 20. A package for containing a plurality of items including a first item and a second item, the package comprising:
    a first portion and a second portion hingedly joined to one another, the first portion and the second portion each having an interior space for receiving the first item and the second item, respectively,
    wherein
    in a first configuration, the first portion and the second portion are in a facing relationship such that the interior space of the first portion and the interior space of the second portion are contiguous with one another, the first portion and the second portion each being for containing at least one of the first item and the second item, and
    in a second configuration, the first portion and the second portion are in a side by side relationship, the first portion being for containing the first item and the second portion being for containing the second item.
  21. 21. A blank for forming a package, the blank comprising:
    a plurality of adjoined panels, each panel having a first dimension extending in a first direction and a second dimension extending in a second direction substantially perpendicular to the first direction, the plurality of adjoined panels including
    a first panel,
    a second panel, and
    a third panel joined to one another along fold lines extending in the first direction, such that the third panel is disposed between the first panel and the second panel;
    a line of disruption extending in the second direction across at least a portion of the second panel; and
    a pair of tear lines extending in the second direction across at least a portion of the first panel and the third panel, the pair of tear lines defining a tear strip, the tear strip being substantially aligned in the second direction with the line of disruption of the second panel.
  22. 22. The blank of claim 21, further comprising a cut at least partially defining a cutout flap in the second panel proximate to the line of disruption.
  23. 23. The blank of claim 21, further comprising a pair of lines of disruption extending obliquely and outwardly substantially between the tear strip and respective corners of the first panel.
  24. 24. The blank of claim 21, further comprising a top end panel and a bottom end panel joined to each of the first panel and the second panel along respective fold lines extending in the second direction.
  25. 25. The blank of claim 24, wherein the top end panel and the bottom end panel are substantially hexagonal in shape.
US13011994 2010-01-25 2011-01-24 Package for Multiple Food Items Abandoned US20110180594A1 (en)

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Cited By (7)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
JP2013047107A (en) * 2011-08-29 2013-03-07 Toppan Printing Co Ltd Exterior carton and heating cooking method using the same
JP2015009821A (en) * 2013-06-27 2015-01-19 大日本印刷株式会社 Outer box for inner bag for microwave heating and packaging body for microwave heating
US20150014402A1 (en) * 2013-07-09 2015-01-15 Graphic Packaging International. Inc. Carton With Recloseable Features
US9156579B2 (en) * 2013-07-09 2015-10-13 Graphic Packaging International, Inc. Carton with recloseable features
WO2017009810A1 (en) * 2015-07-15 2017-01-19 G.D Società per Azioni Soft cigarette package with a sealing stamp provided with a tear-open portion
JP6147381B1 (en) * 2016-02-26 2017-06-14 株式会社大石茶園 Paper box, packing material, paper assembly, and the housing body
JP2017149470A (en) * 2016-02-26 2017-08-31 株式会社大石茶園 Paper box, package, paper assembly, and storage body

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Owner name: GRAPHIC PACKAGING INTERNATIONAL, INC., GEORGIA

Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:FITZWATER, KELLY R.;REEL/FRAME:025917/0457

Effective date: 20110224