US20110315686A1 - Refillable Product Dispenser System - Google Patents

Refillable Product Dispenser System Download PDF

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Publication number
US20110315686A1
US20110315686A1 US12824366 US82436610A US2011315686A1 US 20110315686 A1 US20110315686 A1 US 20110315686A1 US 12824366 US12824366 US 12824366 US 82436610 A US82436610 A US 82436610A US 2011315686 A1 US2011315686 A1 US 2011315686A1
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US
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Patent type
Prior art keywords
bag
product
refill
initial
bags
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
US12824366
Inventor
Kamran Siddiqui
Brigitte Schauer
Pat Sly
Hollie Walker
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Mead Johnson Nutrition Co
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Mead Johnson Nutrition Co
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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
    • B65D77/00Packages formed by enclosing articles or materials in preformed containers, e.g. boxes, cartons, sacks or bags
    • B65D77/04Articles or materials enclosed in two or more containers disposed one within another
    • B65D77/06Liquids or semi-liquids or other materials or articles enclosed in flexible containers disposed within rigid containers
    • B65D77/062Flexible containers disposed within polygonal containers formed by folding a carton blank
    • 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
    • B65D43/163Non-removable lids or covers hinged for upward or downward movement the container and the lid being made separately
    • B65D43/164Non-removable lids or covers hinged for upward or downward movement the container and the lid being made separately and connected by interfitting hinge elements integrally with the container and the lid formed respectively
    • 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
    • B65D51/00Closures not otherwise provided for
    • B65D51/24Closures not otherwise provided for combined or co-operating with auxiliary devices for non-closing purposes
    • B65D51/246Closures not otherwise provided for combined or co-operating with auxiliary devices for non-closing purposes provided with eating utensils or spatulas
    • 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
    • B65D77/00Packages formed by enclosing articles or materials in preformed containers, e.g. boxes, cartons, sacks or bags
    • B65D77/04Articles or materials enclosed in two or more containers disposed one within another
    • B65D77/06Liquids or semi-liquids or other materials or articles enclosed in flexible containers disposed within rigid 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
    • B65D77/00Packages formed by enclosing articles or materials in preformed containers, e.g. boxes, cartons, sacks or bags
    • B65D77/22Details
    • B65D77/24Inserts or accessories added or incorporated during filling of containers
    • B65D77/245Utensils for removing the contents from the package, e.g. spoons, forks, spatulas
    • 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
    • B65D2543/00Lids or covers essentially for box-like containers
    • B65D2543/00009Details of lids or covers for rigid or semi-rigid containers
    • B65D2543/00018Overall construction of the lid
    • B65D2543/00064Shape of the outer periphery
    • B65D2543/00074Shape of the outer periphery curved
    • B65D2543/00083Shape of the outer periphery curved oval
    • 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
    • B65D2543/00Lids or covers essentially for box-like containers
    • B65D2543/00009Details of lids or covers for rigid or semi-rigid containers
    • B65D2543/00018Overall construction of the lid
    • B65D2543/00259Materials used
    • B65D2543/00296Plastic
    • 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
    • B65D2575/00Packages comprising articles or materials partially or wholly enclosed in strips, sheets, blanks, tubes or webs of flexible sheet material, e.g. in folded wrappers
    • B65D2575/52Details
    • B65D2575/58Opening or contents-removing devices added or incorporated during package manufacture
    • B65D2575/586Opening or contents-removing devices added or incorporated during package manufacture with means for reclosing
    • 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
    • B65D2577/00Packages formed by enclosing articles or materials in preformed containers, e.g. boxes, cartons, sacks, bags
    • B65D2577/04Articles or materials enclosed in two or more containers disposed one within another
    • B65D2577/041Details of two or more containers disposed one within another
    • B65D2577/042Comprising several inner containers
    • B65D2577/045Comprising several inner containers stacked
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02WCLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION TECHNOLOGIES RELATED TO WASTEWATER TREATMENT OR WASTE MANAGEMENT
    • Y02W30/00Technologies for solid waste management
    • Y02W30/50Reuse, recycling or recovery technologies
    • Y02W30/80Packaging reuse or recycling
    • Y02W30/802Packaging eco-design or eco-conception
    • Y02W30/807Packaging containers especially suited for or with means facilitating reusability

Abstract

A refillable product dispenser system for powdered infant formula includes a reusable container having an initial product bag received in the container. Refills for the reusable container are provided in similar refill product bags which may be of lesser volume than the initial product bag. The refill bags may be packaged in a refill outer package containing two or more refill bags.

Description

    BACKGROUND OF THE DISCLOSURE
  • 1. Technical Field
  • The system disclosed herein relates generally to product packaging for powdered products, and particularly to packaging suitable for dispensing of powdered infant formula product.
  • 2. Background Art
  • Powdered infant formula is typically sold in a canister having a capacity in the range of from about 12 ounces to about 38 ounces. The canister is initially sealed with a tamper-proof seal and additionally includes a reusable lid for sealing the canister after removal of the tamper-proof seal. A scoop may be provided for removing portions of the powdered infant formula from the canister for mixing with water to prepare the liquid formula for feeding to an infant.
  • However, as the canister is emptied, conventional systems require the purchase of a replacement canister, with the concomitant waste, inefficiency and environmental disadvantages of repeatedly purchasing and disposing of containers.
  • What is needed is a system for replacing the powdered infant formula in a canister while ensuring the absence of tampering and while retaining the required level of sterility.
  • BRIEF SUMMARY
  • In an embodiment, a refillable product dispenser system for powdered infant formula includes an initial product package including a reusable container and an initial product bag received in the container.
  • In another embodiment a refillable product dispenser system includes a reusable plastic container, an initial product bag received in the container and filled with powdered infant formula, and a refill product bag for replacement of the initial product bag.
  • In yet another embodiment, the refill product bag may have a refill volume less than the initial volume of powdered infant formula present in the initial product bag.
  • In still another embodiment, the initial product bag may be constructed of a flexible material and be generally parallelpiped in shape. The bag may have a pleated folded top held in place by a peelable adhesive strap.
  • In another embodiment a refillable product dispenser system may include a disposable refill outer package and two or more refill product bags received in the outer package. Optionally, a reusable scoop may be included in the refill outer package.
  • In an embodiment a refillable product dispenser system may utilize a refill product package including a disposable refill outer package generally rectangular parallelpiped in shape, including two and only two refill product bags received in the refill outer package and stacked one on top of the other, each of the refill product bags being constructed of a flexible material and being generally parallelpiped in shape.
  • In still another embodiment a refillable product dispenser system for powdered infant formula may include an initial product package including a reusable container, an initial product bag received in the container and filled with powdered infant formula product, and a reusable scoop received in the container. The system may further include a refill product package including a disposable refill outer package and two or more refill product bags received in the outer package.
  • In yet another embodiment the refillable product dispenser system for powdered infant formula includes a reusable container having an initial product bag received in the container. Refills for the reusable container are provided in similar refill product bags which may be of lesser volume than the initial product bag. The refill bags may be packaged in a refill outer package containing two or more refill bags.
  • Numerous objects, features and advantages of the present disclosure will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art upon a reading of the following disclosure when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 is a schematic perspective view of a refillable product dispenser system including an initial product package and a refill product package.
  • FIG. 2 is a schematic elevation cross-section view of the system of FIG. 1 showing the internal components of the initial product package and the refill product package.
  • FIG. 3 is a plan view of the reusable container of the initial product package of FIG. 1 with the lid of the container pivoted to an open position.
  • FIG. 4 is a front elevation sectioned view of the reusable container of FIG. 3.
  • FIG. 5 is a side elevation sectioned view of the reusable container of FIG. 3.
  • FIG. 6 is a schematic perspective view of the initial product bag utilized with the system of FIG. 1.
  • FIG. 7 is a schematic perspective view of one of the refill product bags utilized with the system of FIG. 1.
  • FIG. 8 is a schematic illustration of the multilayer flexible material from which the product bags may be constructed.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • Referring now to the drawings and particularly to FIG. 1, a refillable product dispenser system is shown and generally designated by the numeral 10. The system 10 includes an initial product package 12 and a refill product package 14. For the sake of clarity, not all reference numerals are necessarily present in each drawing figure. In addition, positional terms such as “upper,” “lower,” “side,” “top,” “bottom,” etc. refer to the container when in the orientation shown in the drawing. The skilled artisan will recognize that containers can assume different orientations when in use.
  • FIG. 2 schematically illustrates the components which may be included in the initial product package 12 and the refill product package 14. For example, in an embodiment, the initial product package 12 may include a reusable container 16, an initial product bag 18, and a reusable scoop 20. In another embodiment, the initial product package 12 may have product therein without an initial product bag 18, and with or without a reusable scoop 20. And in an embodiment, the refill product package 14 may include a disposable refill outer package 22, two or more refill product bags such as 24 and 26, and a second reusable scoop 28.
  • As best seen in FIGS. 3-5, the reusable container 16 may include a base or bottom 30, and a peripherally continuous generally vertically extending wall 32 defining a top opening 34. A lid 36 is associated with the wall 32 for closing the opening 34. The lid 36 may be pivotally connected to the peripheral wall 32 at hinges 38. The lid includes a latch 31 which engages a locking shoulder 33 extending from wall 32.
  • The base 30 and peripheral wall 32 may be described as forming a tub portion 35 of the container 16. The tub portion 35 may include a skirt 37 extending downwardly from the peripheral wall 32 below the base 30.
  • In certain embodiments, the container 16 may include a sealing lip 29 extending laterally outward near the open upper end thereof for providing a sealing engagement with the lid 36 when the lid is closed. Further details of exemplary forms of this embodiment of the construction of the container 16 and particularly of the sealing engagement of the lid 36 with flexible seal 29 are set forth in detail in U.S. patent application Ser. No. ______, entitled Improved Container Seal, attorney docket number MJE00287NP, assigned to the assignee of the present invention and filed on even date herewith, the details of which are incorporated herein by reference.
  • As seen in FIG. 3, the peripheral wall 32 has a generally oval cross-section which may also be described as an elongated cross-section having a length 40 and a width 42, with the sidewall 32 being curved across the end of the cross-section at the longitudinal end portions 44 and 46.
  • As best seen in FIG. 4, the opening 34 of the reusable container 16 may be defined by a smooth molded internal wall surface 48 which is free of any internally projecting lip or rib which would interfere with insertion and removal of the product bags such as 18, 24 or 26 as is further described below.
  • In an embodiment the lid 36 includes a scoop retention device including at least two flexible tabs 50 and 52 for resiliently holding either one of the scoops 20 or 28 in place on the underside of the lid 36.
  • The container 16 including the tub portion 35 and the lid portion 36 may be constructed by injection molding the same from a plastic material.
  • The initial product bag 18 is received in the container 16 and is constructed of a flexible material capable of being manipulated to decrease the volume occupied by the bag as the bag is partially or completely emptied during use. For example, as schematically illustrated in FIG. 6, the bag 18 may include a pleated upper portion 54 which may be folded over in an increasing number of folds as the bag is progressively emptied. The bag may also be manipulated in other ways, such as rolling the top portion, or in any other suitable manner. The initial product bag 18 has an initial volume filled with powdered infant formula 56. As seen in FIG. 2, the initial product bag 18 has an initial size and shape capable of being fully received in the container 16 so that the lid 36 can be closed.
  • As seen in FIG. 6, the initial product bag 18, when in its filled and sealed state, can be described as being generally parallelpiped in shape and having a bag bottom 58 defining a bag length 60 and a bag width 62. The bag bottom 58 may also be a pleated bottom portion 58 similar to the pleated top portion 54 previously described. The bag 18 further has an initial filled bag height 64. The initial volume of powdered infant formula 56 contained within the filled initial product bag 18 is approximately equal to the product of the length 60 times the width 62 times the height 64.
  • In an embodiment the bag length 60 and bag width 62 of the initial product bag 18 may be less than the length 40 and width 42, respectively, of the cross-section of the peripheral sidewall 32 of tub portion 35 of container 16.
  • The bag 18 may further include a reusable peelable adhesive strap 66 adhered to a sidewall 68 and the folded over upper portion 54 of the bag.
  • The use of a pleated foldable top portion 54 allows the initial product bag 18 to be fully opened over the entire bag length 60 and bag width 62 which aids in fully emptying the initial product bag, particularly for example if the user chooses to open the initial product bag and pour the contents thereof into the tub portion 35 of the container 16.
  • Referring now to FIG. 7, each of the refill product bags 24 and 26 is constructed similarly to the initial product bag 18 just described with a difference being that the refill product bags may be constructed to have a shorter initial filled bag height thus providing a refill volume which is less than the initial volume of the initial product bag 18.
  • Thus the refill product bags 24 and 26 may each have a bottom 70 defining a bag length 72 and a bag width 74, along with an initial filled refill bag height 76. The bottom 70 may be a pleated bottom, and the bag may have a pleated foldable top portion 78 held in place by a peelable strap 80.
  • The initial product bag and refill product bags may be constructed as resealable moisture proof bags. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 2, because the initial product bag 18 is itself a resealable moisture proof bag, there is no need for a tamper proof seal across the opening 34 of the tub portion 35, and thus the tub portion 35 may be initially closed only by the lid 36 and need not be sealed by a tamper proof peel off film or the like.
  • In an embodiment the flexible material from which the initial product bag 18 and/or the refill product bags 24 and 26 are constructed may comprise a multilayer material schematically indicated as 82 in FIG. 8. The multilayer flexible material may include an outer layer 83, a middle layer 85 and an inner layer 87. In an embodiment designed to provide a high oxygen and moisture barrier, the outer layer 83 may be a 48 gage polyethylene sheet, the middle layer 85 may be a 0.000285 inch thick metal foil, and the inner layer 87 may be a 3.0 mil easy open polyethylene sealant layer. The inner layer 87 may be described as a peelable sealing inner layer.
  • The outer layer 83 may be any suitable material that allows for printing of label information on the exterior surface of the product bags. Examples include polyethylene sheet and nylon sheet material.
  • The middle layer 85 may be any suitable metallic barrier layer. Examples include aluminum foil and metalized polyethylene.
  • The inner layer 87 may be any suitable sealable material that allows for a hermetic seal of the product bags. The seal may be formed by pressing two inner layers together and heating the joined sheets to melt them together to form a seal therebetween. Examples of suitable sealable materials include polyester and polyethylene.
  • When either the initial product bag 18 or the refill product bags such as 24 and 26 are initially filled with powdered infant formula, they may be filled under vacuum and then the pleated folded top portion such as 54 or 78 thereof is sealed by pressing together the inner layers 87 of opposed sheets of the flexible material. Alternatively, in some embodiments, the initial product bag 18 or the refill product bags such as 24 and 26 are filled while sparged with an inert gas such as nitrogen. A zip lock or other suitable seal may be formed between the opposed sheets. A tear-off strip or the like may be provided adjacent the seal to allow initial opening of the package to break the vacuum seal thereof.
  • In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 2, the initial filled bag height 76 of the refill product bags 24 and 26 is less than the initial filled bag height 64 of the initial product bag 18 so that the refill product bags have a filled volume which is less than the filled volume of the initial product bag. By providing refill product bags having a smaller volume, this aids in insuring the freshness of the powdered infant formula in use due to less duration of exposure of the powdered infant formula to oxygen after its respective bag is opened. Optionally, the initial product bag 18 and the refill product bags such as 24 and 26 may be constructed to be of substantially identical volumes.
  • The refill product package 14 is shown in perspective view in FIG. 1 and in schematic elevation sectioned view in FIG. 2. The disposable refill outer package 22 thereof is generally rectangular parallelpiped in shape and has an outer package bottom 84 defining a package length 86 and a package width 88, and has a package height 90 greater than the package length 86. The outer package 22 may be constructed from cardboard or other recyclable packaging material. The top of the package 22 may be sealed for storage and display.
  • In the embodiment shown in FIG. 2, two refill product bags 24 and 26 are received in the refill outer package 22 and are shown stacked one on top of the other.
  • As previously noted and described with regard to FIG. 7, each of the refill product bags 24 and 26 is constructed of a flexible material and is generally parallelpiped in shape having the bag bottom 70 defining the bag length 72 and the bag width 74, and having the bag height 76. It is noted that the bag height 76 is less than the bag length 70, and the bag height 76 is less than one half of the package height 90. Further, the bag length 72 and bag width 74 are less than the package length 86 and package width 88, respectively. As also previously noted, each of the refill product bags 24 and 26 initially contains a refill volume equal to the bag length 72 times bag width 74 times bag height 76, which refill volume is initially filled with powdered infant formula.
  • As is also seen in FIG. 2, there may be room within the outer package 22 on top of the uppermost refill bag 26 for a second reusable scoop 28. The scoop 28 is preferably sealed in a disposable sanitary enclosure 92 which may for example be a transparent flexible cellophane package or the like. The scoop 20 of FIG. 2 is similarly sealed in a sanitary enclosure 21.
  • The initial product package 12 and refill product package 14 may include first and second identifying product indicia 94 and 96 placed thereon via labels or other suitable printing or the like. The first product indicia 94 identifies the brand, and nature of the product, such as powdered infant formula, contained in the initial product package 12. The second identifying indicia 96 on the outer package 22 of the refill product package 14 may indicate the usefulness of the refill product bags such as 24 and 26 with the reusable container 16 of the initial product package 12.
  • In another embodiment the refill product package may be constructed to include two or more refill product bags such as 24 and 26. In those other embodiments the refill product bags may be stacked one on top of the other or side by side or in any other suitable manner. And in yet another embodiment the refill product bags may be marketed individually without any outer package 22.
  • In an embodiment the refillable product dispenser system 10 may be used in the following manner. The parents or other caretaker of a newborn infant may purchase, or may receive at the hospital, the initial product package 12 which includes the container 16, the initial product bag 18 which is full of powdered infant formula product, and the reusable scoop 20 sealed within sanitary packaging 21. The initial product bag 18 itself is a moisture proof sealed package. The reusable container 16 with its closed lid 36 engaging sealing lip 29 provides a second protective barrier for the contents. The user may at the same time purchase one or more of the refill product packages 14, although that is optional. Refill product packages 14 may be procured at a different time and place.
  • Upon first use, the user will open the lid 36 of the container 16, remove the scoop 20 therefrom, and open the initial product package 18 to access the contents thereof. The contents of the initial product package 18 may be accessed in one of two ways at the user's option.
  • First, the user may leave the initial product bag 18 in place within the container 16 and open the top portion 54 of the bag to access the powdered infant formula 56. After removing the desired portion of powdered infant formula with the scoop 20, the top portion 54 of the partially emptied bag 18 may be resealed and folded back over and may be held in place with the peelable strap 66. The scoop 20 may be placed on the underside of lid 36 utilizing the tabs 50 and 52 as seen in FIG. 3, then the lid 36 is closed until the next usage.
  • Alternately, the user may choose to remove the initial product bag 18 from the container 16, open the top portion 54 of the initial product bag 18, and dump the entire contents of the initial product bag 18 into the tub portion 35 of container 16. Then the scoop 20 is utilized to extract the desired portion of powdered infant formula from the tub portion 35, then the scoop is placed on the underside of lid 36 and the lid is closed until the next usage.
  • When the contents of the initial product bag 18 have been used, the reusable container 16 may be refilled using one of the refill product bags such as 24 or 26. The refill product bags may be used in either of the optional manners as described above for the initial product bag 18, namely they may either be placed within the tub portion 35 and powdered infant formula may be removed directly from the refill bag, or the bag may be dumped into the tub portion 35.
  • In an embodiment, the materials from which the outer refill package 22, and the initial product bag 18 and refill product bags 24 and 26 are constructed may be completely recyclable materials.
  • A user of the system 10 can purchase one of the initial product packages 12, and then purchase multiple refill product packages 14 throughout the infant's formula feeding period of approximately one year.
  • The use of such a refillable infant formula packaging system 10 provides economic savings due to the lesser expense of purchasing infant formula in the refill packaging as opposed to purchasing a new exterior container 16 each time a new quantity of infant formula is needed. Additionally, significant environmental sustainability improvements are provided due to the lesser overall packaging materials utilized to provide powdered infant formula to the infant.
  • The use of a tub having an opening 34 without any pronounced internally protruding lip allows for easy removal of the initial product bag 18 and replacement thereof with a replacement product bag. Furthermore, the absence of a pronounced inward protruding lip makes it easier to remove all of the contents from the tub portion 35 if the powdered infant formula is dumped directly into the tub portion 35.
  • The use of a peelable sealing pouch material such as the inner layer 87 shown in FIG. 8 makes for easy opening of the product bags. Optionally other easy opening bag designs may be utilized.
  • The use of a bag with a full opening upper end such as the pleated folded upper ends 54 and 78 facilitates easy dumping of the entire contents of the bag into the tub if that option is selected.
  • Example
  • In an embodiment, the tub portion 35 may have a length 40 of approximately 152 mm, a width 42 of approximately 102 mm and a height 45 of approximately 136 mm. The initial product bag 18 may have a bag length 60 of approximately 130 mm, a bag width 62 of approximately 70 mm, and an initial bag height 64 of approximately 116 mm. The refill outer package 22 may have a length 86 of approximately 146 mm, a width 88 of approximately 89 mm, and a height 90 of approximately 254 mm. Each of the refill product bags 24 and 26 may have a bag length 72 of approximately 130 mm, a bag width 74 of approximately 70 mm, and an initial bag height 76 of approximately 116 mm. Alternatively the refill product bags may have an initial bag height 76 in the range of from 80 to 100% of the initial bag height 64 of the initial product bag.
  • Thus it is seen that the apparatus and methods of the present disclosure readily achieve the ends and advantages mentioned as well as those inherent therein. While certain preferred embodiments of the disclosure have been illustrated and described for purposes of the present disclosure, numerous changes in the arrangement and construction of parts and steps may be made by those skilled in the art which changes are encompassed within the scope and spirit of the present disclosure as defined by the appended claims.

Claims (19)

  1. 1. A refillable product dispenser system for powdered infant formula, comprising:
    a reusable container having a base, a peripheral wall defining a top opening, and a lid associated with the wall for closing the opening;
    an initial product bag received in the container, the bag being constructed of a flexible material capable of being manipulated to decrease the volume occupied by the bag as the bag is partially emptied during use, the bag having an initial volume filled with powdered infant formula product, and the bag having an initial size and shape capable of being fully received in the container so that the lid can be closed; and
    a refill product bag for replacement of the initial product bag upon completion of use of the product from the initial product bag, the refill product bag having a refill volume filled with powdered infant formula product.
  2. 2. The system of claim 1, wherein the refill volume is less than the initial volume of the initial product bag.
  3. 3. The system of claim 2, further comprising:
    a disposable refill outer package; and
    two or more refill product bags received in the outer package with the outer package sealed for storage and display, said two or more refill product bags including said first mentioned refill product bag.
  4. 4. The system of claim 3, further comprising:
    first identifying product indicia displayed externally on the reusable container; and
    second identifying product indicia displayed externally on the refill outer package, the second indicia indicating the suitability of the refill product bags for use with the reusable container.
  5. 5. The system of claim 3, further comprising:
    a reusable scoop received in the outer package separate from the two or more refill product bags.
  6. 6. The system of claim 5, wherein:
    the outer package is generally rectangular parallelpiped in shape having a bottom defining a length and width, and having a height greater than the length;
    the two or more refill product bags comprise two refill product bags stacked one on top of the other within the outer package; and
    the reusable scoop is sealed with a disposable sanitary enclosure and is placed on top of the uppermost one of the two refill product bags.
  7. 7. The system of claim 3, wherein:
    the outer package is generally rectangular parallelpiped in shape having a bottom defining a length and width, and having a height greater than the length; and
    the two or more refill product bags comprise two and only two refill product bags stacked one on top of the other within the outer package.
  8. 8. The system of claim 2, wherein:
    the refill product bag is constructed of a flexible material capable of being manipulated to decrease the volume occupied by the refill product bag as the refill product bag is partially emptied during use, the refill product bag being generally parallelpiped in shape when filled, the refill product bag having a bottom defining a length and width, and having a height when filled, the height being less than the length.
  9. 9. The system of claim 8, wherein:
    the refill product bag includes a pleated foldable top portion which can be fully opened over the entire length and width of the refill product bag.
  10. 10. The system of claim 1, wherein:
    the flexible material of the initial product bag comprises a multi-layer material including a peelable sealing inner layer.
  11. 11. The system of claim 1, wherein:
    an upper portion of the initial product bag is sealed and folded over to define a top of the initial product bag; and
    further comprising a reusable peelable adhesive strap adhered to a sidewall of the initial product bag and to the folded over upper portion to releasably hold the folded over upper portion in place.
  12. 12. A refillable product dispenser system for powdered infant formula, comprising:
    an initial product package, including:
    an initial product package having a bottom, a peripheral sidewall extending upward from the bottom and defining a top opening, and a lid associated with the wall for closing the top opening, the peripheral sidewall having an elongated cross-section having a length and a width, the sidewall being curved across the width of the cross-section of the ends of the length;
    an initial product bag received in the container, the initial product bag having an initial volume filled with powdered infant formula product; and
    a reusable scoop received in the container; and
    a refill product package, including:
    a disposable refill outer package; and
    two or more refill product bags received in the outer package with the outer package sealed, each of the refill product bags having a refill volume filled with powdered infant formula product, each refill product bag having a size and shape capable of being fully received in the initial product package in place of the initial product bag.
  13. 13. The system of claim 12, wherein:
    the initial product bag and the refill product bags are each constructed of a flexible material capable of being manipulated to decrease the volume occupied by each bag as each bag is partially emptied during use, each bag being generally parallelpiped in shape and having a bag bottom defining a bag length and a bag width, the bag length and bag width being less than the length and width, respectively, of the cross-section of the peripheral sidewall.
  14. 14. The system of claim 13, wherein:
    the bag length and width of the refill bags are substantially equal to the bag length and width of the initial product bag;
    the initial product bag has an initial height which in combination with its bag length and bag width defines the initial volume of the initial product bag; and
    the refill bags have a refill bag height less than the initial height of the initial product bag, so that the refill volume is less than the initial volume.
  15. 15. The system of claim 12, further comprising:
    identifying product indicia displayed externally on the disposable outer package of the refill product package, the indicia indicating the usefulness of the refill product bags with the initial product package of the initial product package.
  16. 16. The system of claim 12, wherein:
    the refill volume is less than the initial volume.
  17. 17. The system of claim 12, further comprising:
    a second reusable scoop received in the refill outer package; and
    the lid of the initial product package including a scoop retention device including at least two flexible tabs for resiliently holding either one of the scoops in place under the lid.
  18. 18. The system of claim 12, wherein:
    the refill outer package is generally rectangular parallelpiped in shape having an outer package bottom defining a refill product package length and width, and having a height greater than the refill product package length; and
    the two or more refill product bags comprise two and only two refill product bags stacked one on top of the other within the refill outer package.
  19. 19. The system of claim 12, wherein:
    an upper portion of each of the bags is sealed and folded over to define a top of each bag; and
    each bag further comprises a reusable peelable adhesive strap adhered to a sidewall of each respective bag and to the folded over upper portion of each respective bag.
US12824366 2010-06-28 2010-06-28 Refillable Product Dispenser System Abandoned US20110315686A1 (en)

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US12824366 US20110315686A1 (en) 2010-06-28 2010-06-28 Refillable Product Dispenser System

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Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US12824366 US20110315686A1 (en) 2010-06-28 2010-06-28 Refillable Product Dispenser System
CN 201180014018 CN102791590B (en) 2010-06-28 2011-06-23 Refillable product dispenser system
EP20110729531 EP2534065A1 (en) 2010-06-28 2011-06-23 Refillable product dispenser system
PCT/US2011/041614 WO2012009124A1 (en) 2010-06-28 2011-06-23 Refillable product dispenser system
RU2012141506A RU2012141506A (en) 2010-06-28 2011-06-23 Product dispensing system with the ability to recharge
CA 2791810 CA2791810A1 (en) 2010-06-28 2011-06-23 Refillable product dispenser system

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US20110315686A1 true true US20110315686A1 (en) 2011-12-29

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US12824366 Abandoned US20110315686A1 (en) 2010-06-28 2010-06-28 Refillable Product Dispenser System

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US (1) US20110315686A1 (en)
EP (1) EP2534065A1 (en)
CN (1) CN102791590B (en)
CA (1) CA2791810A1 (en)
RU (1) RU2012141506A (en)
WO (1) WO2012009124A1 (en)

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USD803675S1 (en) 2014-10-30 2017-11-28 Abbott Laboratories Receptacle
USD766650S1 (en) 2014-10-30 2016-09-20 Abbott Laboratories Lid
USD772659S1 (en) 2014-10-30 2016-11-29 Abbott Laboratories Container
USD781700S1 (en) 2014-10-30 2017-03-21 Abbott Laboratories Receptacle
USD814884S1 (en) 2014-10-30 2018-04-10 Abbott Laboratories Container
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USD821198S1 (en) 2017-01-12 2018-06-26 Leprino Performance Brands LLC Container lid

Also Published As

Publication number Publication date Type
RU2012141506A (en) 2014-04-10 application
CA2791810A1 (en) 2012-01-19 application
CN102791590A (en) 2012-11-21 application
WO2012009124A1 (en) 2012-01-19 application
CN102791590B (en) 2015-03-25 grant
EP2534065A1 (en) 2012-12-19 application

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