US20150320113A1 - Containers, Convertible Packaging Devices, Packaged Product Assemblies, and Product Display Methods for Smokeless Tobacco Products - Google Patents

Containers, Convertible Packaging Devices, Packaged Product Assemblies, and Product Display Methods for Smokeless Tobacco Products Download PDF

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Publication number
US20150320113A1
US20150320113A1 US14/700,636 US201514700636A US2015320113A1 US 20150320113 A1 US20150320113 A1 US 20150320113A1 US 201514700636 A US201514700636 A US 201514700636A US 2015320113 A1 US2015320113 A1 US 2015320113A1
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US
United States
Prior art keywords
panel
panels
longitudinal support
lateral
right
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
US14/700,636
Inventor
Brian Jay Stebbins
Marielle Anitra Keyna des Etages
Laya Katina Horton
Pankaj Patel
Graham Stuart Simons
Jean Andre Prud'homme
Michael Howard Hill
Alexandre Pagé
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
Amcor Tobacco Packaging Americas LLC
Emballages Mitchel-Lincoln Packaging
R J Reynolds Tobacco Co
Original Assignee
Amcor Tobacco Packaging Americas LLC
Emballages Mitchel-Lincoln Packaging
R J Reynolds Tobacco Co
Priority date (The priority date 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 date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to US14/274,245 priority Critical patent/US20150321787A1/en
Application filed by Amcor Tobacco Packaging Americas LLC , Emballages Mitchel-Lincoln Packaging, R J Reynolds Tobacco Co filed Critical Amcor Tobacco Packaging Americas LLC
Priority to US14/700,636 priority patent/US20150320113A1/en
Assigned to EMBALLAGES MITCHEL-LINCOLN PACKAGING reassignment EMBALLAGES MITCHEL-LINCOLN PACKAGING ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: PAGE, ALEXANDRE
Assigned to AMCOR TOBACCO PACKAGING AMERICAS LLC reassignment AMCOR TOBACCO PACKAGING AMERICAS LLC ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: HILL, MICHAEL HOWARD, PRUD'HOMME, JEAN ANDRE, SIMONS, GRAHAM STUART
Assigned to R.J. REYNOLDS TOBACCO COMPANY reassignment R.J. REYNOLDS TOBACCO COMPANY ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: DES ETAGES, MARIELLE ANITRA KEYNA, HORTON, LAYA KATINA, STEBBINS, BRIAN JAY, PATEL, PANKAJ
Assigned to R.J. REYNOLDS TOBACCO COMPANY reassignment R.J. REYNOLDS TOBACCO COMPANY ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: AMCOR TOBACCO PACKAGING AMERICAS LLC
Publication of US20150320113A1 publication Critical patent/US20150320113A1/en
Application status is Abandoned legal-status Critical

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Classifications

    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A24TOBACCO; CIGARS; CIGARETTES; SMOKERS' REQUISITES
    • A24FSMOKERS' REQUISITES; MATCH BOXES
    • A24F23/00Cases for tobacco, snuff, or chewing tobacco
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A24TOBACCO; CIGARS; CIGARETTES; SMOKERS' REQUISITES
    • A24BMANUFACTURE OR PREPARATION OF TOBACCO FOR SMOKING OR CHEWING; TOBACCO; SNUFF
    • A24B13/00Tobacco for pipes, for cigars, e.g. cigar inserts, or for cigarettes; Chewing tobacco; Snuff
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A24TOBACCO; CIGARS; CIGARETTES; SMOKERS' REQUISITES
    • A24FSMOKERS' REQUISITES; MATCH BOXES
    • A24F23/00Cases for tobacco, snuff, or chewing tobacco
    • A24F23/02Tobacco pouches
    • 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
    • B65D5/44Integral, inserted or attached portions forming internal or external fittings not used, see subgroups
    • B65D5/50Internal supporting or protecting elements for contents
    • B65D5/5028Elements formed separately from the container body
    • B65D5/5035Paper elements
    • 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
    • B65D5/44Integral, inserted or attached portions forming internal or external fittings not used, see subgroups
    • B65D5/50Internal supporting or protecting elements for contents
    • B65D5/5028Elements formed separately from the container body
    • B65D5/5035Paper elements
    • B65D5/5047Blocks
    • B65D5/505Blocks formed by folding up one or more blanks to form a hollow block
    • 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
    • B65D5/44Integral, inserted or attached portions forming internal or external fittings not used, see subgroups
    • B65D5/52External stands or display elements for contents
    • B65D5/526Containers with means for displaying items at different heights
    • B65D5/5266Containers with means for displaying items at different heights in tiered or stepped relationship
    • 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

Abstract

Containers adapted for storing a product are provided. The containers may include a body portion and a lid. Further, a convertible packaging device is provided. The convertible packaging device may include a package configurable between a closed configuration and a display configuration. The convertible packaging device may additionally include an insert received within an inner cavity defined by the package. The insert may be configured to support products in the package such as the above-described containers. The insert may be formed from a blank and define a stepped configuration that supports each product is supported at a different height. Related packaged product assemblies and product display methods are also provided.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION(S)
  • This application is a continuation-in-part of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/274,245, filed May 9, 2014, which is hereby incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.
  • FIELD OF THE DISCLOSURE
  • The present disclosure relates to containers, convertible packaging devices, packaged product assemblies, and product display methods. The packaging and containers may be employed in conjunction with products made or derived from tobacco, or that otherwise incorporate tobacco, and are intended for human consumption in a smokeless form.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE DISCLOSURE
  • Various types of containers for dispensing solid objects, particularly solid products intended for human consumption, are known in the art. Such containers are often characterized by a hand-held size that can be easily stored and transported. Example consumable products that are often packaged in such containers include a wide variety of consumer products, including smokeless tobacco-related products.
  • Tobacco may be enjoyed in a so-called “smokeless” form. Particularly popular smokeless tobacco products are employed by inserting some form of processed tobacco or tobacco-containing formulation into the mouth of the user. See for example, the types of smokeless tobacco formulations, ingredients, and processing methodologies set forth in U.S. Pat. No. 1,376,586 to Schwartz; U.S. Pat. No. 3,696,917 to Levi; U.S. Pat. No. 4,513,756 to Pittman et al.; U.S. Pat. No. 4,528,993 to Sensabaugh, Jr. et al.; U.S. Pat. No. 4,624,269 to Story et al.; U.S. Pat. No. 4,991,599 to Tibbetts; U.S. Pat. No. 4,987,907 to Townsend; U.S. Pat. No. 5,092,352 to Sprinkle, III et al.; U.S. Pat. No. 5,387,416 to White et al.; U.S. Pat. No. 6,668,839 to Williams; U.S. Pat. No. 6,834,654 to Williams; U.S. Pat. No. 6,953,040 to Atchley et al.; U.S. Pat. No. 7,032,601 to Atchley et al.; U.S. Pat. No. 7,694,686 to Atchley et al.; U.S. Pat. No. 7,810,507 to Dube et al.; U.S. Pat. No. 7,819,124 to Strickland et al.; U.S. Pat. No. 7,861,728 to Holton, Jr. et al.; U.S. Pat. No. 7,901,512 to Quinter et al.; U.S. Pat. No. 8,168,855 to Neilsen et al.; U.S. Pat. No. 8,336,557 to Kumar et al.; U.S. Pat. No. 8,469,036 to Strickland et al.; U.S. Pat. No. 8,627,828 to Strickland et al.; and U.S. Pat. No. 8,940,344 to Crawford et al.; U.S. Pat. Pub. Nos. 2004/0020503 to Williams; 2007/0062549 to Holton, Jr. et al.; 2008/0029116 to Robinson et al.; 2008/0029117 to Mua et al.; 2008/0173317 to Robinson et al.; 2008/0196730 to Engstrom et al.; 2009/0065013 to Essen et al.; and 2010/0291245 to Gao et al.; PCT Pub. Nos. WO 04/095959 to Arnarp et al.; and WO 10/132444 to Atchley; each of which is incorporated herein by reference.
  • Representative smokeless tobacco products that have been marketed include those referred to as CAMEL Orbs, CAMEL Strips and CAMEL Sticks by R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company; GRIZZLY moist tobacco, KODIAK moist tobacco, LEVI GARRETT loose tobacco and TAYLOR'S PRIDE loose tobacco by American Snuff Company, LLC; KAYAK moist snuff and CHATTANOOGA CHEW chewing tobacco by Swisher International, Inc.; REDMAN chewing tobacco by Pinkerton Tobacco Co. LP; COPENHAGEN moist tobacco and RED SEAL long cut by U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company; and Taboka by Philip Morris USA.
  • Representative types of snuff products, commonly referred to as “snus,” which may comprise pasteurized or heat treated tobacco products, are manufactured in Europe, particularly in Sweden, by or through companies such as Swedish Match AB, Fiedler & Lundgren AB, Gustavus AB, Skandinavisk Tobakskompagni A/S and Rocker Production AB. Snus products available in the U.S.A. have been marketed under the trade names such as CAMEL Snus Frost, CAMEL Snus Original and CAMEL Snus Spice by R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company. Snus products, such as CAMEL Snus Original, are commonly supplied in small teabag-like pouches. The pouches are typically a nonwoven fleece material, and contain about 0.4 to 1.5 grams of pasteurized tobacco. These products typically remain in a user's mouth for about 10-30 minutes. Unlike certain other smokeless tobacco products, snus products typically do not require expectoration by the user. Other pouch types of smokeless tobacco products include those marketed as COPENHAGEN Pouches, SKOAL Bandits, SKOAL Pouches, REVEL Mint Tobacco Packs by U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company; and MARLBORO Snus by Philip Morris USA.
  • Various types of containers for dispensing moistened solid components, particularly components intended for human consumption, are known in the art. Such containers are often characterized by a hand-held size that can be easily stored and transported. For example, snus products have been packaged in tins, “pucks” or “pots” that are manufactured from metal or plastic. See, for example, those types of containers generally disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 4,098,421 to Foster; U.S. Pat. No. 4,190,170 to Boyd and U.S. Pat. No. 8,440,023 to Carroll et al.; and U.S. Patent Pub. Nos. 2010/0065076 to Bergstrom et al.; 2010/0065077 to Lofgreen-Ohrn et al.; 2012/0024301 to Carroll et al. and 2012/0193265 to Patel et al.; each of which is incorporated by reference herein. Yet other types of containers for smokeless types of tobacco products are set forth in U.S. Pat. No. 8,458,996 to Bried et al.; U.S. Pat. No. 8,910,781 to Pipes et al.; D574,709 to Crofts et al. and D649,284 to Patel et al.; U.S. Patent Pub. Nos. 2008/0202956 to Welk et al., 2010/0012534 to Hoffman, and 2010/0018883 to Patel et al.; and U.S. patent application Ser. No. as well as the various types of containers referenced in U.S. Patent Pub. No. 2013/0206153 to Beeson et al.; each of which is incorporated by reference herein. Further, U.S. Pat. No. 8,567,597 to Gibson et al. discloses a compartment container for snus, and is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety. U.S. Pat. No. 8,910,781 to Patel et al., which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety, discloses a container including a first compartment and a second compartment separated by an intermediate wall. The first compartment is configured to receive a tobacco-containing material and the second compartment is configured to receive an environment modification material, which acts through the intermediate wall upon an atmosphere within the first compartment.
  • It may be desirable to provide such containers with an aesthetically pleasing design. Additionally, packaging and display apparatuses and methods for the containers may be desirable in order to ship the containers and provide a means for displaying the containers at a point of sale.
  • BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE DISCLOSURE
  • The present disclosure provides a container that, in certain embodiments, combines aesthetics and environmental protection of a product, and which can be provided in a convenient handheld size. The type and form of the product to be stored can vary.
  • In one embodiment, the container of the disclosure comprises a body having a bottom wall and a side wall. The bottom wall and the side wall define an internal storage compartment adapted for storage of a plurality of units of a product. The side wall has an outer peripheral surface. A rib structure is engaged with the body about the outer peripheral surface of the side wall and extends outwardly therefrom. A cover is configured to be removably engaged with the body. The cover includes a top wall and a peripheral flange having an inner surface. The inner surface is substantially smooth and is configured to interact with the rib structure when the cover is received over the outer peripheral surface of the side wall so as to form an interference fit.
  • In another aspect, the disclosure provides a container comprising a polymeric body having a bottom wall and a cylindrical side wall. The bottom wall and the side wall define an internal storage compartment adapted for storage of a plurality of units of a product. The side wall has an outer peripheral surface. A circumferential rib structure is integrally formed with the polymeric body about the outer peripheral surface of the side wall and extends radially outwardly therefrom. The rib structure includes a plurality of ribs extending circumferentially about the outer peripheral surface of the side wall. The ribs are spaced apart so as to form channels therebetween for facilitating venting. A metallic cover is configured to be removably engaged with the polymeric body. The metallic cover includes a top wall and a peripheral flange having a cylindrical inner surface. The cylindrical inner surface is substantially smooth and is configured to interact with the rib structure when the metallic cover is received over the outer peripheral surface of the side wall so as to form an interference fit.
  • In yet another aspect, the disclosure provides a polymeric body having a bottom wall and a cylindrical side wall having an edge. The bottom wall and the side wall define an internal storage compartment adapted for storage of a plurality of units of a product. The internal storage compartment has an opening thereto adjacent to the edge of the side wall, wherein an outer peripheral surface of the side wall comprises a neck region of reduced diameter proximal to the edge of the side wall such that the side wall defines a lip. A circumferential rib structure is integrally formed with the polymeric body about the outer peripheral surface of the side wall in the neck region and projects radially outwardly therefrom. The rib structure includes a plurality of rib segments extending circumferentially about the outer peripheral surface of the side wall. The rib segments are spaced apart so as to form vent channels therebetween and each rib segment includes a rib wall projecting radially from the outer peripheral surface of the body and a rib projection projecting radially from the rib wall. Each vent channel is at least partially defined by adjacent rib walls and the outer peripheral surface of the side wall of the body. A metallic cover is configured to be removably engaged with the polymeric body. The metallic cover has a top wall and a peripheral flange having a cylindrical inner surface. The cylindrical inner surface is substantially smooth and is configured to interact with the rib structure when the metallic cover is received over the neck region of the side wall so as to form an interference fit, and wherein the metallic cover is configured to abut the lip of the side wall of the body when the metallic cover is fully seated on the body.
  • In another aspect a convertible packaging device is provided. The convertible packaging device may include a package configurable between a closed configuration and a display configuration. The package may include a plurality of panels configurable to define an inner cavity substantially enclosed by the panels in the closed configuration and configured to hold one or more products. The panels may include a reconfigurable portion and a base portion. The reconfigurable portion may be configured to move relative to the base portion to define an opening to the inner cavity. The reconfigurable portion may be further configured to engage the base portion to define a display in the display configuration.
  • In some embodiments the convertible packaging device may additionally include an insert received within the package. The insert may be configured to support the one or more products. The insert may define a stepped configuration configured to support each of the products at a differing height. The base portion of the panels may include a disposable portion that is removable. The base portion may be configured such that the one or more products at least partially extend through the opening when the disposable portion is removed. The disposable portion may include at least a portion of one or more lateral panels. The disposable portion may additionally include at least a portion of a front panel. The panels may additionally include a rear panel. A cut through the rear panel may define a rear tab configured to engage the reconfigurable portion in the display configuration.
  • In an additional aspect a packaged product assembly is provided. The packaged product assembly may include a convertible packaging device. The convertible packaging device may include a package configurable between a closed configuration and a display configuration. The package may include a plurality of panels configurable to define an inner cavity substantially enclosed by the panels in the closed configuration. The panels may include a reconfigurable portion and a base portion. The reconfigurable portion may be configured to move relative to the base portion to define an opening to the inner cavity. The reconfigurable portion may also be configured to engage the base portion to define a display in the display configuration. One or more products may be received in the inner cavity.
  • In some embodiments of the packaged product assembly the convertible packaging device may additionally include an insert received within the package. The insert may support the one or more products. The insert may define a stepped configuration configured to support each of the products at a differing height. The base portion of the panels may include a disposable portion that is removable. The base portion of the panels of the package may be configured such that the one or more products at least partially extend through the opening when the disposable portion is removed. The disposable portion may include at least a portion of one or more lateral panels. The disposable portion may additionally include at least a portion of a front panel. The panels of the package may additionally include a rear panel. A cut through the rear panel may define a rear tab configured to engage the reconfigurable portion in the display configuration.
  • In an additional aspect a product display method is provided. The product display method may include receiving a convertible packaging device. The convertible packaging device may include a package in a closed configuration. The package may include a plurality of panels substantially enclosing an inner cavity. The convertible packaging device may additionally include one or more products received in the inner cavity. The product display method may additionally include transforming the convertible packaging device to a display configuration. Transforming the convertible packaging device to a display configuration may include moving a reconfigurable portion of the panels to define an opening to the inner cavity and engaging the reconfigurable portion of the panels with a base portion of the panels to define a display.
  • In some embodiments transforming the convertible packaging device to the display configuration may additionally include removing a disposable portion of the base portion of the panels. Removing the disposable portion of the base portion of the panels may include removing at least a portion of one or more lateral panels. Further, removing the disposable portion of the base portion of the panels may include removing at least a portion of a front panel. Engaging the reconfigurable portion of the panels with the base portion of the panels to define the display may include engaging the reconfigurable portion with a rear tab defined by a cut in a rear panel.
  • In another aspect a packaging device is provided. The packaging device may include a package and an insert received within the package. The insert may be configured to support the one or more products. The insert may be formed from a blank defining a plurality of panels folded to define a stepped configuration configured to support the products at a plurality of differing heights.
  • In some embodiments the panels may include an inner left panel, an outer left panel, an inner right panel, and an outer right panel. The inner left panel and the outer left panel may be positioned adjacent and substantially parallel to one another. The inner right panel and the outer right panel may be positioned adjacent and substantially parallel to one another. The inner left panel may be in contact with the outer left panel and the inner right panel may be in contact with the outer right panel.
  • In some embodiments the panels may further include a first longitudinal support panel defining a left notch and a right notch. The inner left panel, the outer left panel, the inner right panel, and the outer right panel may respectively include an upper notch. The left notch of the first longitudinal support panel may be configured to engage the upper notch of the inner left panel and the outer left panel. The right notch of the first longitudinal support panel may be configured to engage the upper notch of the inner right panel and the outer right panel.
  • In some embodiments the panels may further include a second longitudinal support panel defining a left notch and a right notch. The inner left panel, the outer left panel, the inner right panel, and the outer right panel may respectively include a lower notch. The left notch of the second longitudinal support panel may be configured to engage the lower notch of the inner left panel and the outer left panel. The right notch of the second longitudinal support panel may be configured to engage the lower notch of the inner right panel and the outer right panel.
  • In some embodiments the panels may additionally include a rear panel, a first pair of lateral support panels extending between the rear panel and the first longitudinal support panel, a second pair of lateral support panels extending between the first longitudinal support panel and the second longitudinal support panel, and a third pair of lateral support panels extending between the second longitudinal support panel and a third longitudinal support panel. The panels may further include a bottom panel extending between the inner left panel and the inner right panel. The outer left panel and the outer right panel may be inwardly recessed with respect to a left lateral edge and a right lateral edge of the insert.
  • In some embodiments the panels may include a bottom panel, a plurality of lateral panels extending substantially perpendicular to the bottom panel, a rear panel extending substantially perpendicular to the bottom panel and the lateral panels, a plurality of pairs of lateral support panels extending substantially parallel to the bottom panel, each of the pairs of lateral support panels being respectively positioned at one of the differing heights, and a plurality of longitudinal support panels extending substantially parallel to the rear panel, a respective one of the longitudinal support panels extending between each of the pairs of lateral support panels. The panels may further include a plurality of rear securing panels extending from the lateral panels and engaged with the rear panel, and a plurality of intermediate securing panels extending from the lateral panels and engaged with at least one of the longitudinal support panels. The products may include containers including a tobacco-containing material. The package may be configurable between a closed configuration and a display configuration.
  • In a further aspect a method for forming an insert is provided. The method may include providing a blank defining a plurality of panels. The method may additionally include folding the blank inwardly between a bottom panel and a plurality of lateral panels extending therefrom such that the lateral panels extend substantially perpendicular to the bottom panel. Additionally, the method may include folding the blank inwardly between the bottom panel and a rear panel such that the bottom panel extends substantially perpendicular to the rear panel. The method may further include folding the blank inwardly between the rear panel and a pair of lateral support panels extending therefrom such that the pair of lateral support panels extend substantially perpendicular to the rear panel. The method may additionally include folding the blank inwardly between the pair of lateral support panels and a longitudinal support panel such that the longitudinal support panel extends substantially parallel to the rear panel.
  • In some embodiments the method may further include engaging a left notch and a right notch defined in the longitudinal support panel with a respective one of a plurality of notches defined in the lateral panels. The method may additionally include folding the blank outwardly between the longitudinal support panel and a second pair of lateral support panels such that the second pair of lateral support panels extend substantially perpendicular to the rear panel. Further, the method may include folding the blank inwardly between the second pair of lateral support panels and a second longitudinal support panel such that that second longitudinal support panel extends substantially parallel to the rear panel. The longitudinal support panel and the second longitudinal support panel may each define a left notch and a right notch. The method may additionally include engaging the left notch and the right notch of the longitudinal support panel with a respective one of a plurality of upper notches defined in the lateral panels and engaging the left notch and the right notch of the second longitudinal support panel with a respective one of a plurality of lower notches defined in the lateral panels.
  • In some embodiments the method may further comprise folding the blank outwardly between the second longitudinal support panel and a third pair of lateral support panels such that the third pair of lateral support panels extend substantially perpendicular to the rear panel. Additionally, the method may include folding the blank inwardly between the third pair of lateral support panels and a third longitudinal support panel such that that third longitudinal support panel extends substantially parallel to the rear panel. The method may further include folding the blank outwardly between the third longitudinal support panel and a left bottom panel such that the left bottom panel extends substantially perpendicular to the rear panel. The method may additionally include folding the blank outwardly between the third longitudinal support panel and a right bottom panel such that the right bottom panel extends substantially perpendicular to the rear panel.
  • In some embodiments the method may further include folding the blank inwardly between the rear panel and a plurality of outer lateral panels extending therefrom such that the outer lateral panels extend substantially parallel and adjacent to the lateral panels. Additionally, the method may include engaging a plurality of rear securing panels extending from the lateral panels with the rear panel. Further, the method may include engaging a plurality of intermediate securing panels extending from the lateral panels with the longitudinal support panel.
  • These and other features, aspects, and advantages of the disclosure will be apparent from a reading of the following detailed description together with the accompanying drawings, which are briefly described below.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • Having thus described the disclosure in general terms, reference will now be made to the accompanying drawings, which are not necessarily drawn to scale, and wherein:
  • FIG. 1 illustrates a cutaway perspective view of a container including a body portion, a cover, and an intermediate wall with air passageways extending therethrough according to an example embodiment of the present disclosure;
  • FIG. 2 illustrates a perspective view of the body portion of the container of FIG. 1;
  • FIG. 3 illustrates an enlarged view of the body portion of FIG. 2 at Section 3;
  • FIG. 4 illustrates an enlarged sectional view through the container of FIG. 1 along line 4-4;
  • FIG. 5 illustrates a top view of a cover including non-planar surfaces according to an alternate example embodiment of the present disclosure;
  • FIG. 6 illustrates an enlarged sectional view through the cover of FIG. 5 along line 6-6;
  • FIG. 7 illustrates a top view of the intermediate wall of the body of the container of FIG. 1 showing a configuration of the air passageways through that wall according to an example embodiment of the present disclosure;
  • FIG. 8 illustrates a top view of the intermediate wall of the body of the container showing a configuration of the air passageways through that wall at the peripheral edge thereof according to an alternate example embodiment of the present disclosure;
  • FIG. 9 schematically illustrates a side sectional view through the body portion of the container of FIG. 1;
  • FIG. 10 illustrates a top view of a body portion of a container including an intermediate wall including an open center according to an alternate example embodiment of the present disclosure;
  • FIG. 11 illustrates a side sectional view through the body portion of FIG. 10;
  • FIG. 12 illustrates a partial cut-away perspective view of a container including a compartment containing an environment modification material surrounding the periphery of a compartment containing a tobacco-containing material according to an example embodiment of the present disclosure;
  • FIG. 13 illustrates a bottom sectional view through the container of FIG. 12;
  • FIG. 14 illustrates an inverted perspective view of a container including a body portion coupled to a cover wherein the body portion is in an open position according to an example embodiment of the present disclosure;
  • FIG. 15 illustrates a cutaway perspective view of a container including a cover and a body portion that does not include an intermediate wall according to an example embodiment of the present disclosure;
  • FIG. 16 illustrates a top view of a blank configured to form a package according to an example embodiment of the present disclosure;
  • FIG. 17 illustrates a perspective view of a package formed from the blank of FIG. 16 according to an example embodiment of the present disclosure;
  • FIG. 18 illustrates a top view of a blank configured to form an insert according to an example embodiment of the present disclosure;
  • FIG. 19 illustrates an insert formed from the blank of FIG. 18 according to an example embodiment of the present disclosure;
  • FIG. 20 illustrates a partial perspective view of a convertible packaging device comprising the package of FIG. 17 and the insert of FIG. 19, wherein the insert is received in an inner cavity defined by the package according to an example embodiment of the present disclosure;
  • FIG. 21 illustrates a perspective view of a packaged product assembly including the convertible package device of FIG. 20 in an open configuration and a plurality of containers received therein according to an example embodiment of the present disclosure;
  • FIG. 22 illustrates the packaged product assembly of FIG. 21 in a closed configuration;
  • FIG. 23 illustrates a perspective view of the packaged product assembly of FIG. 21 in a display configuration according to an example embodiment of the present disclosure;
  • FIG. 24 illustrates a perspective view of the packaged product assembly of FIG. 23 in the display configuration following removal of a disposable portion according to an example embodiment of the present disclosure;
  • FIG. 25 schematically illustrates a product display method according to an example embodiment of the present disclosure;
  • FIG. 26 illustrates a top view of a blank configured to form an insert according to an additional example embodiment of the present disclosure;
  • FIG. 27 illustrates an insert formed from the blank of FIG. 26 according to an example embodiment of the present disclosure; and
  • FIG. 28 schematically illustrates method for forming an insert according to an example embodiment of the present disclosure.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DISCLOSURE
  • The present disclosure now will be described more fully hereinafter with reference to certain preferred aspects. These aspects are provided so that this disclosure will be thorough and complete, and will fully convey the scope of the disclosure to those skilled in the art. Indeed, the disclosure may be embodied in many different forms and should not be construed as limited to the aspects set forth herein; rather, these aspects are provided so that this disclosure will satisfy applicable legal requirements. As used in the specification, and in the appended claims, the singular forms “a”, “an”, “the”, include plural referents unless the context clearly dictates otherwise.
  • The container embodiments described herein can be used to store various solid products, but are particularly well-suited for products designed for oral consumption.
  • Example embodiments of consumable products that are often packaged in such containers include a wide variety of moist consumer products, including tobacco products of the type that have a smokeless form. Various forms of suitable smokeless tobacco products are those types products set forth and described generally in U.S. Patent Pub. Nos. 2012/0193265 to Patel et al. and 2013/0206153 to Beeson et al.; which are incorporated by reference herein in their entireties.
  • Of particular interest, are tobacco products that include tobacco formulations in a loose form, such as moist snuff products. Other types of smokeless tobacco products include the types of products set forth in U.S. Pat. Pub. No. 2012/0024301 to Carroll et al., which is incorporated by reference herein in its entirety. Example embodiments of loose form tobacco used with the containers of the present disclosure may include tobacco formulations associated with, for example, commercially available GRIZZLY moist tobacco products and KODIAK moist tobacco products that are marketed by American Snuff Company, LLC. Example embodiments of snus forms of tobacco products are commercially available as CAMEL Snus by R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company.
  • The shape of the outer surface of the containers of the disclosure can vary. Although the container embodiments illustrated in the drawings have certain contours, containers with other exterior surface designs also can be suitably adapted and used. For example, the sides or edges of the containers of the disclosure can be flattened, rounded, or beveled, and the various surfaces or edges of the container exterior can be concave or convex. Further, the opposing sides, ends, or edges of the container can be parallel or non-parallel such that the container becomes narrower in one or more dimensions. See, for example, the types of containers, components, component arrangements and configurations, and constructions thereof set forth in U.S. Pat. No. 8,458,996 to Bried et al.; U.S. Pat. No. 8,910,781 to Pipes et al.; and D649,284 to Patel et al.; and U.S. Patent Pub. No. 2010/0018883 to Patel et al.; as well as the various types of containers referenced in U.S. Patent Pub. No. 2013/0206153 to Beeson et al.; each of which are incorporated by reference herein in their entireties.
  • The dimensions of the containers described herein can vary without departing from the scope of the disclosure. However, in highly preferred embodiments, the containers can be described as having a cylindrical size suitable for handheld manipulation and operation. Example dimensions for such handheld generally cylindrical embodiments include diameters in the range from about 50 mm to about 100 mm, and more typically from about 60 mm to about 80 mm. Example wall thicknesses include the range from about 0.5 mm to about 1.5 mm, and more typically from about 0.8 mm to about 1.4 mm. Example depths for handheld container embodiments of the present disclosure range from about 5 mm to about 50 mm, more typically from about 8 mm to about 30 mm, and most often from about 15 mm to about 25 mm. In some embodiments a general outward appearance of the container is comparable in many regards to that have been used for commercially available GRIZZLY and KODIAK products that are marketed by American Snuff Company, LLC.
  • However, in other highly preferred embodiments, the size of the containers described herein may vary from the above-described dimensions. For example, the containers may be sized for promotional purposes by providing either increased or decreased dimensions as compared to typical dimensions for such containers. In this regard, containers having increased or decreased dimensions may define a relatively more eye-catching appearance.
  • By way of further example, the dimensions of the containers may be scaled upwardly or downwardly by certain multipliers. In this regard, in some embodiments the dimensions of the container may be scaled upwardly or downwardly by a multiple from about one to about ten times. Thus, whereas a conventional container according to embodiments of the present disclosure may be configured to store about 1.2 ounces of a tobacco-containing material, an oversized container may be configured to store, for example, 2.4 ounces or 7.2 ounces of the tobacco containing material. In specialty markets the containers may define a larger cylindrical configuration having a diameter from about 100 mm to about 140 mm (e.g., preferably about 120 mm) and a depth from about 30 mm to about 50 mm (e.g., preferably about 40 mm). Containers having such a size may define a relatively eye-catching appearance. Further, it is noted that the dimensions and capacities of the containers disclosed herein are provided for example purposes only and may be modified to suit particular purposes.
  • Referring to FIG. 1, there is shown an embodiment of one type of container 10 which is representative of the present disclosure. The representative generally cylindrical container 10 may be formed by an open-ended lower body or body portion 20 and a lid or cover 21. The cover 21 may be secured to the body portion 20, as illustrated in FIG. 1, and removed therefrom, as illustrated in FIG. 2. The body portion 20 has a bottom wall 22, which in some instances, may be substantially planar, and at least one side wall 24 depending from the bottom wall, which may be generally cylindrical (as shown). The side wall 24 defines a peripheral portion of the container 10 such that the side wall 24 includes an outer peripheral surface 27.
  • The bottom wall 22 and the side wall 24 cooperate to define a sealed lower internal storage compartment 26 for storage of an environment modification material 25. The lower internal storage compartment 26 is bounded at a top by an intermediate wall 28 (e.g., an intermediate bottom wall, or false bottom) that is engaged with the side wall 24 at a position upwardly displaced from the bottom wall 22 and towards an upper region or portion 30 (see, e.g., FIG. 2) of the body portion 20. As such, the lower internal storage compartment 26 is substantially enclosed by the configuration of the bottom wall 22, the side wall 24, and the intermediate bottom wall 28. In the embodiment shown, the configuration of the body portion 20 is such that both the bottom wall 22 and the intermediate bottom wall 28 are generally planar, and those two walls are arranged so as to be essentially parallel to one another. Further, the configuration of the body portion 20 is such that the side wall 24 and the intermediate bottom wall 28 form an open-ended, generally cylindrical upper internal storage region or compartment 29.
  • Thus, the body portion 20 may include first (e.g., the upper internal storage compartment 29) and second (e.g., the lower internal storage compartment 26) compartments. The relative dimensions of the upper internal storage compartment 29 and lower internal storage compartment 26 of the body portion 20 of the container 10 can vary. For example, the ratio of the volume of the upper internal storage compartment 29 to that of the lower internal storage compartment 26 of a sealed container 10 can range from about 6:1 to about 2:1, and most often from about 5:1 to about 3:1.
  • The intermediate bottom wall 28 possesses at least one aperture, through hole, perforation, or air passageway 39 defined therethrough, or is otherwise adapted to allow for atmosphere within the lower internal storage compartment 26 to pass between that compartment and the upper internal storage compartment 29. The air passageways 39 may be formed in the intermediate bottom wall 28 (e.g., molded therein) or punched or otherwise removed therefrom. The size, number and positioning of the air passageways 39 in the intermediate bottom wall 28 are such that the environment modification material 25 located in the lower internal storage compartment 26 can act upon the atmosphere within the upper internal storage compartment 29. The air passageways 39 also are configured so as to allow the contents of the lower storage compartment 26 (e.g., the environment modification material 25) to be physically separated from the upper internal storage compartment 29. In this regard, the intermediate wall 28 may comprise a screen, a permeable membrane, or any other barrier configured to prevent physical contact between the contents of the upper internal storage compartment 29 and the contents of the lower internal storage compartment 26 while allowing the environment modification material 25 to affect the atmosphere within the upper internal storage compartment. In some embodiments, a barrier between the upper internal storage compartment 29 and the lower internal storage compartment 26 can be gas permeable and can be substantially impermeable to liquids.
  • In this regard, the upper internal storage compartment 29 may be configured to receive a product such as a tobacco-containing material 41 (e.g., a smokeless tobacco product) in any form (e.g., packaged or loose) therein. The cover 21 may define an upper boundary of the upper internal storage compartment 29 when coupled to the body portion 20. In this regard, the cover 21 is typically removably secured to the upper region 30 (see, e.g., FIG. 2) of the body portion 20 by a snap-fit or an interference fit.
  • As illustrated, the cover 21 may include a top wall 42, which, in some instances, may be substantially planar, and a peripheral flange 44 depending from the top wall which is shown as being cylindrical, and which extends to a lower edge 46. The peripheral flange 44 of the cover 21 is configured to be received over the side wall 24 of the body portion 20 so as to form an enclosure therebetween. The illustrated peripheral flange 44 possesses an outer surface 48, and may include a substantially flat or smooth inner surface 50 (see, FIG. 4). That is, the inner surface 50 of the cover 21 may not include any protrusions, projections, ribs, or the like for interacting with the outer peripheral surface 27 of the side wall 24 of the body portion 20 in some embodiments. In this regard, the inner surface 50 of the cover 21 is substantially smooth and continuous about the cylindrical configuration of the peripheral flange 44 in the illustrated embodiment.
  • The material of construction of the body portion 20 of the container 10 can vary. Example embodiments of preferred materials include metal and synthetic plastic materials. Polymeric materials that can be extruded and/or molded into desired shapes are typically utilized, such as polypropylene, polyethylene, polystyrene, polyamide, and the like. For example, plastic materials may be injection molded to form the body portion 20. Example embodiments of preferred body portions are those that incorporate polymeric materials such as those types of plastic-type materials commonly used for popular types of smokeless tobacco products. For example, body portions formed from polymeric materials are comparable to the components and general structures used for commercially available CAMEL Snuff, GRIZZLY and KODIAK products that are marketed by American Snuff Company, LLC. Various metallic materials may additionally or alternatively be employed to form the body portion 20 of the container 10. Body portions formed from metallic materials are available from J. L. Clark of Rockford, Ill., Crown Cork and Seal of Philadelphia, Pa., and Independent Can of Belcamp, Md. The metallic materials may include tinplate or tinplated steel in some embodiments.
  • The manner by which the body portion 20 of the container 10 is manufactured can vary. As discussed hereinafter, the intermediate bottom wall 28 and/or the bottom wall 22 may be substantially irreversibly (e.g., irreleasably and permanently) attached to the remainder of the body portion 20. In a highly preferred embodiment, the intermediate bottom wall 28 and the side wall 24 that defines the side walls of the upper and lower internal compartments 29, 26 are integral with one another. As such, those components of the body portion 20 may be manufactured as one piece. In one embodiment the intermediate bottom wall 28 and the side wall 24 may be joined by injection molding or any of the various other formation and coupling techniques.
  • In a preferred embodiment, the body portion 20 is formed from a polymeric material, while the cover 21 is formed from a metallic material such as, for example, aluminum or tinplate. Such a configuration is advantageous in that it provides an aesthetically appealing appearance by using a metallic cover 21 (which is typically stamped), while also allowing the body to be less expensively produced using, for example, an injection molding process. In this manner, a rib structure (as described below) may be more easily and less expensively formed at the body portion 20 (i.e., via plastic injection molding instead of metallic stamping). Example embodiments of covers formed from metallic materials are those used for commercially available CAMEL Snuff, GRIZZLY and KODIAK products that are marketed by American Snuff Company, LLC. In this regard, the cover 21 can be manufactured from iron or steel, which can be plated with a thin layer of tin, and then overcoated with primers, epoxy lacquers, and the like. A thin layer of thermoplastic (e.g., polyethylene terephthalate or polypropylene) can be applied over epoxy lacquer coated tin plated steel. However, if desired, the cover can be manufactured from polymeric materials, such as polymeric materials identical to those used to produce the body portion.
  • Accordingly, the container 10 may be formed from various materials including, for example, metal and/or plastic. In some embodiments the container may optionally include a gasket configured to seal the connection between the cover 21 and the body portion 20 as disclosed, for example, in U.S. Pat. No. 8,458,996 to Bried et al. or U.S. Pat. No. 8,910,781 to Pipes et al., which are incorporated herein by reference in their entireties.
  • Further, in one embodiment the body portion 20 and/or the cover 21 may be formed from two or more materials. For example, in one embodiment the body portion 20 may comprise a plastic insert or liner inside of a metal outer body. This body portion may be combined with a metal cover such that the container appears to be all metal when the exterior thereof is viewed. Use of a plastic insert in a metal outer body is employed in containers for CAMEL Snus, as marketed by R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, GRIZZLY moist tobacco products, as marketed by American Snuff Company, LLC, and MARLBORO snus, as marketed by Philip Morris.
  • When the tobacco-containing material 41 is a loose tobacco product, the amount of tobacco product stored in the upper storage compartment 29 of the container 10 can also vary. Typically, for example, the amount of stored moist tobacco product varies from about 20 g to about 50 g, and most often is provided in weights from about 30 g to about 40 g and may be embodied in loose form. When the tobacco-containing material 41 is a pouched or snus-type of product, the number of solid product units stored in a representative container can also vary, and will depend upon factors such as the size of the container 10, the size of the product units, the degree of container fill, and the like. Typically, the number of stored pouched product units will vary from about 5 to about 30, more typically from about 10 to about 25, and often from about 15 to about 20.
  • Various embodiments of the environment modification material 25 may be employed. The environment modification material 25 can be selected so as to provide for alteration or control of the atmosphere within the sealed container 10. For example, the environment modification material 25 can be selected so as to control the level of certain gases, such as oxygen or carbon dioxide, within the container 10. The environment modification material 25 also can have the form of a humidity control device or formulation, and as such, the degree of moisture within the sealed container 10 can be controlled. As such, the environment modification material 25 can be a selected from materials or formulations that have desiccant properties. Alternatively, a preferred humidity control device is of the type set forth in U.S. Pat. No. 6,921,026 to Saari et al, which is incorporated by reference in its entirety herein.
  • In one embodiment the environment modification material 25 may be configured to provide moisture to, or remove moisture from, the atmosphere in the container 10, depending on the level of humidity in the atmosphere in the container. An example embodiment of such an environment modification material is sold under the trade name BOVEDA PACK by Serious Cigars of Houston, Tex. As yet another example, the environment modification material 25 may comprise a material that is capable of imparting sensory attributes, such as flavor or aroma characteristics, to the tobacco-containing material 41 that is stored within the sealed container 10. For example, the environment modification material 25 can be comprised of volatile flavor and/or aroma substances carried by a substrate material that provides for controlled release of those volatile substances. Various other examples of environmental modification materials include ion exchange materials (e.g., resins), preservatives, desiccants, and aromatic materials.
  • The environment modification material 25 may be embodied in a number of different foims. For example, the environment modification material 25 may comprise beads (e.g., alumina beads), films (e.g., impregnated films), loose material, material in a package (e.g., a fabric package), material in a packet (e.g., a porous paper packet) or a sachet, plastic materials, sponges, sponge-type material, carbon materials (e.g., charcoal), etc. The amount of environment modification material 25 that is incorporated into the container 10 can vary. The amount of environment modification material 25 may range from about 10 g to about 50 g and preferably from about 15 g to about 30 g. Note that this amount corresponds to a typically-sized container and may be scaled appropriately, depending on the size of the container, in proportion to the volume of the container and/or the quantity of tobacco containing material received in the container.
  • As noted above, in one embodiment the environment modification material 25 may be configured to control a humidity level within the container 10. In this regard, it may be desirable to maintain the relative humidity within the upper internal storage compartment 29 of the container 10 from about 20% to about 90%. By way of example, snus may preferably be stored at a relative humidity from about 25% to about 35%. Moist snuff may preferably be stored at a relative humidity from about 75% to about 90%. Accordingly, the environment modification material 25 may be configured to maintain relative humidity levels within the upper internal storage compartment 29 within these ranges when such tobacco-containing materials 41 are received therein. In this regard, as noted above, the environment modification material 25 may be configured to provide moisture to and/or remove moisture from the atmosphere in the container 10, depending on the level of humidity in the atmosphere in the container, such that the relative humidity level in the upper internal storage compartment 29 falls within a desired range.
  • FIG. 2 illustrates a perspective view of the body portion 20 of the container. Projecting from the outer peripheral surface 27 of the body portion 20 (and when provided, a neck region 34) is a circumferential rib structure 60 configured to form a seal with the cover 21 (see, FIG. 1). In some aspects, the rib structure 60 may be integrally formed with the side wall 24 of the body portion 20, such as, for example, when the body portion is formed by a plastic injection molding process. In other instances, the rib structure 60 may be a separate and discrete component secured or otherwise affixed to the side wall 24 with appropriate mechanical fasteners or adhesive (e.g., an epoxy adhesive). For example, the rib structure 60 may be formed by a plurality of rib segments 62 arranged in spaced relation around the periphery of the side wall 24 of the body portion (e.g., positioned circumferentially about the side wall 24 of the body portion where the container body is cylindrical). Any number of rib segments 62 may be provided in accordance with the present disclosure (e.g., often from about 2 to about 20 rib segments, and frequently from about 5 to about 15 rib segments), although a preferred embodiment includes about 8 to about 12 rib segments.
  • As described below, the rib structure may be configured to allow for venting from the container. However, it should be understood that venting is optional depending on the particular type of product stored therein. For example, venting may be employed in conjunction with moist snuff smokeless tobacco products. Alternatively, venting may not be required for pasteurized smokeless tobacco products such as snus, which may be sealed in an airtight container.
  • FIG. 3 illustrates an enlarged partial view of the body portion 20 at Section 3 from FIG. 2. Each rib segment 62 may include a rib wall 66 and a rib projection 68. The rib wall 66 may extend radially outwardly from the outer peripheral surface 27 of the side wall 24. Thus, the rib walls 66 have a thickness so as to extend from the outer peripheral surface 27 of the side wall 24 of the body portion 20 in such a manner that the lateral ends thereof form vent channels 64 between adjacent rib segments 62. In other words, each rib segment 62 is raised in comparison to the adjacent exterior surface 27 of the side wall 24 such that the vent channels 64 are formed between the rib segments.
  • The rib projections 68 may extend radially outwardly from the rib wall 66 or extend directly radially outwardly from the outer peripheral surface 27 of the side wall 24 of the body portion 20. In some instances, the rib projection 68 may extend along the entire width of an end of the rib wall 66 proximate to the open end of the body portion 20. Although the rib projections 68 are shown in spaced relation to the top edge 69 of the body portion 20, the position of the rib projections may vary in relation to the top edge, meaning the rib projection could be moved closer to or further away from the top edge 69. In some instances, the rib projections 68 have a substantially arcuate or rounded profile, although other configurations may also be employed, such as, for example, a configuration in which the rib projection 68 terminate at a substantially sharp edge distal from the outer peripheral surface 27.
  • When the cover 21 (see, FIG. 1) is engaged with the body portion 20, each vent channel 64 is bounded by an adjacent pair of the rib segments 62 between the body portion and the cover. The vent channels 64 extend between a top edge 69 of the side wall 24 downwardly past the rib segments 62 to a lip 32 to allow venting from the interior of the sealed container 10 to the atmosphere exterior of the container. In this regard, the upper portion 30 of the side wall 24 of the body portion 20 may define the lip 32 at the end of the neck region 34 of reduced diameter (as compared to the diameter of the remainder of the outer surface of the side wall). The location of the lip 32 along the side wall 24 of the body portion 20 can vary, meaning that the distance between the lip 32 and the top edge 69 of the body portion can be a matter of design choice.
  • Further, a plurality of bumps or protrusions 70 may be positioned on the top edge 69 of the body portion 20. As described below, the protrusions 70 may facilitate venting through the vent channels 64 when the cover 21 (see, FIG. 1) is fully seated on the body portion 20. In some embodiments the vent channels 64 include heights in the range of about 7 millimeters to about 7.2 millimeters.
  • FIG. 4 shows an enlarged cross-sectional view of the container 10 along line 4-4 from FIG. 1. As illustrated, the rib projections 68 interact with the peripheral flange 44 of the cover 21 in an interference fit when the cover is positioned over the side wall 24 of the body portion 20, so as to form a seal therebetween. In this regard, the rib projections 68 force the peripheral flange 44 outward (e.g., such that the peripheral flange aligns with or extends outward of the outer peripheral surface 27 of the body portion 20) to form a tight interference fit when the cover 21 is engaged with the body portion.
  • Example dimensions for the rib projections 68 include heights in the range of about 0.25 mm to about 0.75 mm. As used herein, height refers to the major dimension of the rib projection 68 that extends from the side wall 24, as indicated by reference character B. Further, a height C of the rib wall 66, also defined relative to the side wall 24, may be from about 0.1 mm to about 0.3 mm. Rib projections 68 may be positioned in a range from about 1.5 mm to about 2.0 mm below the top edge 69 of the side wall 24 below the top edge.
  • In instances where the lip 32 is provided on the body portion 20, the lower edge 46 of the peripheral flange 44 may interact with the surface 36 (see, FIG. 3) of the lip 32 to form a stop when the cover 21 is received upon the body portion 20. In other words, in some embodiments the lower edge 46 of the peripheral flange 44 of the cover 21, which may be substantially planar, abuts the surface 36 of the lip 32 (which may also be substantially planar) when the cover 21 is fully seated upon the body portion. However, in some embodiments the lip 32 and/or the lower edge 46 of the peripheral flange 44 may include channels, gaps, or other features configured to allow for venting from the vent channels 64 to the exterior of the container 10.
  • Alternatively, the lip 32 may be displaced from the lower edge 46 of the peripheral flange 44 when the cover 21 is fully received on the body portion 20 to allow for venting from the vent channels 64 to the exterior of the container 10. For example, the dimensions of the protrusions 70, the neck region 34 of the side wall 24, and/or the peripheral flange 44 of the cover 21 may be configured to provide a separation between the lower edge 46 of the peripheral flange and the lip 32. Regardless of whether the lower edge 46 of the peripheral flange abuts the lip 32, the protrusions 70 may provide upper vent channels 71 between each pair of the protrusions and between the top wall 42 of the lid and the top edge 69 of the body portion 20. The upper vent channels 71 may be in communication with the vent channels 64 to facilitate venting of the container 10 in the manner described above.
  • The cylindrical outer surface 48 of the cover 21 may typically have the same approximate size or diameter as the side wall 24 of the body portion 20, such that the cover 21 and the body portion form a smooth exterior surface when the cover is placed over the neck region 34 of the side wall and fully seated upon the body portion. For example, the peripheral flange 44 of the cover 21 can engage the rib projections 68 in such a manner that the outer peripheral surface 27 of the body portion 20 below the lip 32 is substantially flush with the outer surface 48 of the cover 21. In other words, in some instances, the peripheral flange 44 of the cover 21 may not be deflected by the rib structure 60 to such a degree that causes the peripheral flange 44 to extend outwardly beyond the lip 32.
  • Although the embodiment of the cover 21 is described above as generally defining a substantially planar top wall 42 and a peripheral flange 44 extending substantially perpendicularly therefrom to the lower edge 46, various other configurations of the cover may be employed. In this regard, by way of example, FIG. 5 illustrates a top view of an embodiment of a cover 21′ defining a differing configuration. As illustrated, the cover 21′ includes a top wall 42′ and a peripheral flange 44′.
  • FIG. 6 illustrates an enlarged sectional view through the cover 21′ along line 6-6 from FIG. 5. As illustrated, the peripheral flange 44′ may extend to a lower edge 46′. The lower edge 46′ may be defined by a fold or roll in the peripheral flange 44′, whereby an end portion 78′ of the peripheral flange is bent inwardly and upwardly such that the end portion extends generally upwardly, whereas a remainder of the peripheral flange extends generally downwardly from the top wall 42′. Accordingly, the lower edge 46′ of the peripheral flange 44′ may define a rounded configuration, which may facilitate coupling of the cover 21′ to a body portion by removing a sharp edge therefrom.
  • Further, the peripheral flange 44′ may include an indentation 80′ defined in an outer surface 48′ of the peripheral flange. The indentation 80′ may form a protrusion 82′ at an inner surface 50′ of the peripheral flange 44′. The protrusion 82′ may be configured to engage a rib structure to prevent accidental release of the cover 21′ from a body portion (see, e.g., body portion 20 including the rib structure 60 in FIG. 2) by providing interference fit therebetween. Further, the indentation 80′ may be configured to cause a lower portion 84′ of the peripheral flange 44′ including the end portion 78′ to define an outwardly extending angle 86′ with respect to vertical. The outwardly extending angle 86′ may be less than about five degrees in some embodiments in order to provide a substantially flush configuration with an outer peripheral surface of a side wall of a body portion when coupled therewith (e.g., when coupled with the body portion 20 comprising the side wall 24 having the outer peripheral surface 27). By providing the lower portion 84′ with the outwardly extending angle 86′, the cover 21′ may more easily slide over the top edge of a body portion (e.g., body portion 20 including top edge 69 in FIG. 3).
  • In order to form the various curves, indentation, angles and bends described above, in some embodiments the cover 21′ and other covers described herein may comprise stamped metal (e.g., tin). However, in other embodiments the cover may be formed in other manners beyond stamping. Further, the cover may comprise various other materials as described above.
  • Referring to FIG. 7, there is shown a top view of an embodiment of the intermediate bottom wall 28′, which may be included in a body portion of a container (e.g., the body portion 20 of the container 10 of FIG. 1), showing a representative configuration of air passageways 39′ extending therethrough. As illustrated, in one embodiment the air passageways 39′ may be provided through the intermediate bottom wall 28′ such that the outer perimeter of the intermediate bottom wall is continuous, without the air passageways extending therethrough. Further, FIG. 7 illustrates a permeable barrier material 39 a′ that may be included in the intermediate bottom wall 28′ and any other embodiments of intermediate walls disclosed herein. For example, the permeable barrier material 39 a′ may comprise a mesh or screen material.
  • However, various other configurations of the intermediate bottom wall and the air passageways extending therethrough may be provided. For example, FIG. 8 illustrates a top view of an embodiment of the intermediate bottom wall 28″, which may be included in a body portion of a container (e.g., the body portion 20 of the container 10 of FIG. 1), showing an alternative representative configuration of air passageways 39″ through that wall. As illustrated, in this embodiment the air passageways 39″ extend through the outer peripheral edge of the intermediate bottom wall 28″.
  • Accordingly, the air passageways 39 may be positioned at a variety of locations within the intermediate bottom wall 28. Further, various quantities, sizes, and shapes of the air passageways 39 may be employed. Other types of air passageways include, e.g., through holes extending through a screen or a layer of fabric. However, any of various embodiments of the intermediate bottom wall 28 and the air passageways 39 may be employed so long as the intermediate bottom wall is configured to prevent the environment modification material 25 from entering the upper internal storage compartment 29, prevent the tobacco-containing material 41 from entering the bottom internal storage compartment 26, and allow the environment modification material to affect the atmosphere within the upper internal storage compartment (e.g., by allowing airflow between the lower internal storage compartment and the upper internal storage compartment).
  • FIG. 9 schematically illustrates a sectional view through the body portion 20 of the container of FIG. 1, without any tobacco-containing material received in the upper compartment 29. As illustrated, the bottom wall 22 may couple to the side wall 24 of the body portion 20 such that the body portion is sealed at a bottom thereof. In one embodiment, the bottom wall 22 is a separate piece that is attached to side wall 24 of the body portion 20 so as to seal the environment modification material 25 within the bottom compartment 26. Most preferably, the bottom wall 22 is attached to the side wall 24 of the body portion 20 so that the bottom wall is not readily removable or is not prone to being opened without significant effort.
  • In this regard, the bottom wall 22 may be hermetically sealed to side wall 24 of the body portion 20. For example, the bottom wall 22 may be retained in engagement with the side wall 24 of the body portion 20 via one-way hooks, hinges, rivets, adhesives, sealants, gaskets, welds (e.g., ultrasonic welds, foil laminate ultrasonic welds, friction stir welds), etc., or any combination thereof. Examples of hermetic sealing and various other permanent joint arrangements are disclosed, by way of example, in PCT Application WO 2009068915 A2 to Warwick et al. and EP 0813946 A1 to Davis et al., which are incorporated herein by reference in their entireties. An example embodiment of an induction sealing system for welding foil laminates, which may be employed in accordance with embodiments of the present disclosure, is available from Enercon Industries Corporation of Menomonee Falls, Wis.
  • FIG. 10 illustrates a top view of an alternate embodiment of a body portion 120 which may be included in embodiments of containers discussed herein (e.g., when combined with the cover 21 illustrated in FIG. 1). As illustrated, the body portion 120 includes a side wall 124 and a bottom wall 122. Further, the body portion 120 includes an intermediate bottom wall 128. As illustrated, the intermediate bottom wall 128 may include air passageways 139 extending therethrough. Accordingly, the intermediate bottom wall 128 may allow for passage of gases and vapors therethrough as discussed above. Further, the intermediate bottom wall 128 may include an aperture 172 extending therethrough, for example at a center thereof.
  • FIG. 11 illustrates a side sectional view through the body portion 120 of FIG. 10. As illustrated, the intermediate bottom wall 128 may include a transverse wall 174 extending substantially perpendicular to the remainder of the intermediate bottom wall. The transverse wall 174 may thus cause a lower internal storage compartment 126 to define an annular ring shape, in which an environment modification material 125 may be received. Further, an extension 176 of an upper internal storage compartment 129 may be surrounded by the transverse wall 174. Accordingly, the extension 176 of the upper compartment 129 may provide more space in which to receive tobacco-containing material (e.g., tobacco-containing material 41, as illustrated in FIG. 2).
  • The transverse wall 174 may include the air passageways 139 extending therethrough. In this regard, the transverse wall 174 may include air passageways 139 extending transversely to the air passageways in the remainder of the intermediate bottom wall 128 in some embodiments. Alternatively, only the transverse wall 174 may include the air passageways 139. Including air passageways 139 in the transverse wall 174 may be desirable in that it may provide additional airflow therethrough, and these air passageways may be less prone to blockage due to the transverse orientation, such that gravity may not press tobacco-containing material (e.g., tobacco-containing material 41, as illustrated in FIG. 2) into contact therewith in horizontal orientations of a container including the body portion 120. Further, including air passageways 139 extending in two directions (e.g., through the transverse wall 174 and the remainder of the intermediate bottom wall) may resist blockage of the air passageways in both horizontal and vertical orientations of a container including the body portion 120.
  • FIGS. 12 and 13 illustrate an additional embodiment of the container 210. More particularly, FIG. 12 is a partial cut-away perspective view of the container 210 and FIG. 13 is a bottom sectional view through the container. As illustrated, the container 210 includes a body portion 220 and a lid or cover 221. The body portion 220 includes a side wall 224 and a bottom wall 222. An intermediate wall 228 divides a space inside of the body portion 220 into a first internal storage compartment 229 and a second internal storage compartment 226. The first internal storage compartment 229 may be configured to receive a tobacco-containing material 241, and the second internal storage compartment 226 may be configured to receive an environment modification material 225.
  • The intermediate wall 228 may extend around the periphery of the first internal storage compartment 229 (e.g., extending around the circumference thereof in the illustrated embodiment) such that the second internal storage compartment 226 surrounds the periphery of the first internal storage compartment (e.g., surrounding the circumference thereof in the illustrated embodiment). In this regard, the intermediate wall 228 may be radially inwardly displaced from the side wall 224 such that the second internal storage compartment defines an annular configuration. Use of such a configuration may hide the second internal storage compartment 226 from a consumer, such that a consumer does not know of, and thereby does not attempt to gain access to, the second internal storage compartment. In this regard, the top of the intermediate wall 228 may be integrally formed with, or otherwise coupled to, the side wall 224 or other part of the body portion 220 such that the second internal storage compartment 226 is sealed at the top and a consumer may not view into the second internal storage compartment. Further, the second internal storage compartment 226 may be enclosed at a bottom thereof by a bottom wall 222 of the body portion 220 in some embodiments.
  • In one embodiment the width of the annular space between the side wall 224 and the intermediate wall 228 may be from about 3.8 mm to about 12.7 mm, and preferably about 6.4 mm. Accordingly, the distance between the side wall 224 and the intermediate wall 228 may be relatively small. As noted above, this may assist in concealing the presence of the second internal storage compartment 226.
  • The intermediate wall 228 may include perforations or air passageways 239 that allow the environmental modification material 225 to act through the intermediate wall upon an atmosphere within the first internal storage compartment 229. The air passageways 239 may be positioned within the intermediate wall 228 at locations from a top to a bottom of the intermediate wall in one embodiment. Alternatively, as illustrated, the air passageways 239 may be separated from the bottom wall 222 (e.g., spaced therefrom from about 0.25 6.4 mm to about 25.4 mm and preferably about 12.7 mm) in some embodiments. Such a spacing may be configured to prevent any tobacco-containing material 241 (e.g., crumbs or particles thereof) from entering the air passageways 239, such that the air passageways do not become blocked and the tobacco-containing material does not enter the second internal storage compartment 226.
  • Referring to FIG. 14, there is shown an alternative embodiment of a container 310 according to the present disclosure in an inverted configuration. More particularly, there is shown a container 310 of the type set forth in U.S. Pat. Nos. D649,284 to Patel et al. and U.S. Pat. No. 8,910,781 to Pipes et al., which are incorporated by reference herein in their entireties. The container 310 includes a cover 321 that is shown as being as applied to a body portion 320, and hence the container is shown in a closed configuration. The body portion 320 possesses a lower internal storage compartment 326 into which an environment modification material 325 is positioned. The lower internal storage compartment 326 is separated from a remainder of the body portion 320 by an intermediate bottom wall 328 that possesses at least one perforation, opening or air passageway 339.
  • A portion of a bottom wall 322 of the body portion 320 of the container 310 possesses the form of a door or flap 380 which is shown as open, but which is configured to be sealed shut to maintain the environment modification material 325 sealed in the lower internal storage compartment 326. In this regard, the flap 380 may be configured to be substantially irreversibly shut in some embodiments, such that a user may not remove the flap during ordinary use thereof. For example, the flap 380 may be retained in the closed configuration via one-way hooks, hinges, rivets, adhesives, sealants, gaskets, welds (e.g., ultrasonic welds, foil laminate ultrasonic welds, and friction stir welds), etc., or any combination thereof.
  • Further, the flap 380 may be hermetically sealed to the remainder of the bottom wall 322. Examples of hermetic sealing and other permanent coupling arrangements are disclosed, by way of example, in PCT Application WO 2009068915 A2 to Warwick et al. and EP 0813946 A1 to Davis et al., which are incorporated herein by reference in their entireties. An example embodiment of an induction sealing process for welding foil laminates, which may be employed in accordance with embodiments of the present disclosure to seal the flap 380 to the remainder of the bottom wall 322 is available from Enercon Industries Corporation of Menomonee Falls, Wis.
  • Note that while embodiments of containers are described above and illustrated in the drawings as having particular configurations (e.g., cylindrical), these embodiments are provided for example purposes only. In this regard, the containers of the present disclosure may embody any of various configurations in which a container includes two chambers separated by a barrier (e.g., a semipermeable barrier) configured to prevent movement of a product from one chamber to the other while allowing for environmental exchange, particularly gases and vapors, between the chambers. Accordingly, the configurations of the containers incorporating aspects of the present disclosure may differ from the particular example embodiments disclosed above. For example, the two chambers may be one on top of the other, beside each other, or configured in any of various other manners.
  • Thus, as noted above, embodiments of the present disclosure may include an environment modification material, which may affect an environment within a container so as to preserve or otherwise affect a tobacco-containing material or other material received therein. Accordingly, as described above, an intermediate wall having air passageways extending therethrough may be employed to divide an interior of a body portion of the container into first and second internal storage compartments into which the tobacco-containing material and the environment modification material may be respectively received.
  • However, use of the environment modification material and the intermediate wall is optional. In this regard, FIG. 15 illustrates an embodiment of a container 410 according to an alternate embodiment of the present disclosure. The container includes a body portion 420 and a lid or cover 421. Thus, the container 410 may be substantially similar to the container 10 described above and illustrated in FIG. 1.
  • In this regard, the body portion 420 includes a bottom wall 422, which in some instances, may be substantially planar, and at least one side wall 424 which, depending from the shape of bottom wall, may be generally cylindrical (as shown). The side wall 424 defines a peripheral portion of the container 410 such that the side wall includes an outer peripheral surface 427.
  • Further, the cover 421 may include a top wall 442, which, in some instances, may be substantially planar, and a peripheral flange 444 depending from the top wall which is shown as being cylindrical, and which extends to a lower edge 446. The peripheral flange 444 of the cover 421 is configured to be received over the side wall 424 of the body portion 420 so as to form an enclosure therebetween. The illustrated peripheral flange 444 possesses an outer surface 448 that may be configured to align with the outer peripheral surface 427 of the side wall 424 of the body portion 420. In some embodiments the lid 421 may include a rib structure that is substantially similar to the rib structure 60 described above with respect to the container 10 illustrated in FIG. 1. Thus, a cross-sectional view through the container 410 of FIG. 15 across line 4′-4′ may be substantially similar to the view illustrated in FIG. 4.
  • However, the container 410 may differ from the embodiments of containers described above in that the container illustrated in FIG. 15 does not include an intermediate bottom wall. Rather, the bottom wall 422 and the side wall 424 of the body portion 420 cooperate to define an internal storage compartment 429 configured for storage of a tobacco-containing material 441. In this regard, as noted above, inclusion of an intermediate wall in the containers of the present disclosure is optional. Note that the tobacco-containing material 441 is illustrated in loose form in FIG. 15. However, in other embodiments a packaged tobacco-containing material may be received therein.
  • With respect to any of the embodiments of containers disclosed herein, as part of the final packaging process after filling the containers with a desired amount of smokeless tobacco product or other tobacco-containing material, the containers may be sealed (e.g., by placing the cover over the body portion), and the sealed containers optionally can be further sealed with a circumferential label or wrapper of a pervious or impervious material. The label or wrapping material can vary. Typically, the selection of the packaging label or wrapper is dependent upon factors such as aesthetics, desired barrier properties (e.g., so as to provide protection from exposure to oxygen, or so as to provide protection from loss of moisture), or the like.
  • Accordingly, various embodiments of containers for tobacco-containing materials are provided above. It may be desirable to provide suitable packaging and product displays for the above-described containers and various other products. In this regard, embodiments of the present disclosure are further directed to accessory items that may be employed in conjunction with the above-described containers and various other embodiments of products.
  • In this regard, FIG. 16 illustrates an embodiment of a blank 500 configured to form a package. The blank 500 may comprise various embodiments of materials including paperboard, corrugated board, chipboard, fiberboard, and/or thermoplastic. However, various other embodiments of materials may be employed in other embodiments. In some embodiments the material defining the blank 500 may be laminated or coated with wax or other material. Further, the blank 500 may be imprinted via any of various known methods to provide the blank with, for example, an ornamental design, and/or identifying information. Useful exemplary materials include paperboard of a suitable type and stock, such as 10 to 14 point SBS paper board (i.e., solid bleached sulfate paper), which may include a coating on one or both sides, such as a clay coating. Comparable board containing post-consumer recycled content likewise may be used. Suitable paper stock can be obtained commercially, such as from International Paper or MeadWestvaco.
  • As illustrated, the blank 500 may comprise a first major surface 500′. Further, a second major surface 500″ may oppose the first major surface 500′. The blank 500 may define a plurality of panels 500 a-p. The panels 500 a-p may be separated by folds, cuts, score lines, and/or any other feature defining a boundary. Accordingly, the blank 500 may be integral in one embodiment, and the panels 500 a-p may comprise portions thereof.
  • The blank 500 may include a plurality of lateral panels 500 a-e. The lateral panels 500 a-e may include a front panel 500 a, a rear panel 500 b, a left panel 500 c, a right panel 500 d, an overlapping panel 500 e, and an interlocking panel 500 f. Further, the blank 500 may include a plurality of top panels 500 g-l. The top panels 500 g-l may include an upper top panel 500 g, a sloped top panel 500 h, a left inner panel 500 i, a right inner panel 500 j, a left corner panel 500 k, and a right corner panel 500 l. Additionally, the blank 500 may include a plurality of bottom panels 500 m-p. The bottom panels 500 m-p may include a front bottom panel 500 m, a rear bottom panel 500 n, a left bottom panel 500 o, and a right bottom panel 500 p.
  • The blank 500 may be assembled into a package. For example, assembling the blank 500 into a package may involve folding the blank. Unless otherwise noted below, each of the folds employed in forming the blank 500 into a package involves moving the first major surface 500′ of the referenced panels toward one another. Alternatively, unless otherwise noted below, each of the folds may involve moving the second major surface 500″ of the referenced panels toward one another. Folds that are conducted in a differing direction from other folds are referenced as being “opposing.”
  • By way of example, the blank 500 may be folded between the front panel 500 a and the left panel 500 c. Further, the blank 500 may be folded between the front panel 500 a and the right panel 500 d. Thereby, the left panel 500 c and the right panel 500 d may extend substantially parallel to one another and substantially perpendicular to the front panel 500 a.
  • The blank 500 may also be folded between the left panel 500 c and the overlapping panel 500 e. Further, the blank may be folded between the right panel 500 d and the rear panel 500 b. Thus, the overlapping panel 500 e and the rear panel 500 b may extend substantially parallel to one another and the front panel 500 a and substantially perpendicular to the left panel 500 c and the right panel 500 d. The overlapping panel 500 e and the rear panel 500 b may overlap when folded in this manner.
  • In order to retain the front panel 500 a, the rear panel 500 b, the left panel 500 c, and the right panel 500 d in this folded configuration, the overlapping panel 500 e may be secured to the rear panel. For example, an adhesive 502 e may be applied to the first major surface 500′ at the overlapping panel 500 e, such that when the second major surface 500″ of the rear panel 500 b is folded thereagainst, a bond is formed between the overlapping panel and the rear panel. In this regard, in some embodiments the overlapping panel 500 e may be positioned inwardly from the rear panel 500 b when coupled thereto in order to provide the resultant package with a smooth exterior appearance.
  • Further, the bottom panels 500 m-p may be folded. In this regard, each of the bottom panels 500 m-p may be folded inwardly such that each bottom panel is substantially perpendicular to the lateral panels 500 a-e. More particularly, the front bottom panel 500 m may be folded inwardly and the left bottom panel 500 o may be folded thereagainst. Similarly, the rear bottom panel 500 n may be folded inwardly and the right bottom panel 500 p may be folded thereagainst.
  • In some embodiments the first major surface 500′ of the blank 500 may include an adhesive 502 m at the front bottom panel 500 m and an adhesive 502 n at the rear bottom panel 500 n. Accordingly, a bond may be formed between the first major surface 500′ of the front bottom panel 500 m and the second major surface 500″ of the left bottom panel 500 o. In particular, the adhesive 502 m on the front bottom panel 500 m may engage a portion 504 o of the left bottom panel 500 o at the second major surface 500″. Similarly, a bond may be formed between the first major surface 500′ of the rear bottom panel 500 n and the second major surface 500″ of the right bottom panel 500 p. In particular, the adhesive 502 p on the rear bottom panel 500 n may engage a portion 504 p of the right bottom panel 500 p at the second major surface 500″.
  • In order to complete a bottom of the package formed from the blank 500, the left bottom panel 500 o and the right bottom panel 500 p may be engaged with one another. In this regard, as illustrated, the left bottom panel 500 o and the right bottom panel 500 p may respectively include cutouts 506 o, 506 p configured to provide for engagement therebetween. Thus, the left bottom panel 500 o and the right bottom panel 500 p may be folded in manner whereby a portion of the left bottom panel is inwardly positioned relative to the right bottom panel, and a portion of the left bottom panel is positioned outwardly relative to the right bottom panel. Note that while a particular order of steps is described above in folding the blank 500, these steps may be conducted in differing sequences in other embodiments.
  • Accordingly, as illustrated in FIG. 17, the above-described procedure may produce a convertible packaging device 600 comprising a package 602 formed from the blank 500 (see, FIG. 16). Note that the particular shape of the panels 500 a-p of the blank 500 (see, FIG. 16) causes the package 602 to define the shape illustrated in FIG. 17 and in other figures as described hereinafter. However, it should be understood that the particular configuration of the blank 500 (e.g., the size, placement, number, and shape of the panels) may be changed to define a desired configuration of the package. Thus, aspects of the present disclosure may be included with various other embodiments of blanks and resultant packages without departing from the scope of the present disclosure.
  • The above-described procedure causes the package 602 to define an open configuration in which an inner cavity 604 defined by the panels 500 a-p is accessible. Accordingly, one or more products may be placed into the package 602. In some embodiments it may be desirable to support products received in the inner cavity 604 for display purposes. For example, as described below, the package 602 may be configured to display products for sale or other purposes.
  • In this regard, FIG. 18 illustrates an embodiments of a blank 700 configured to form an insert. The blank 700 may comprise various embodiments of materials including paperboard, corrugated board paper, chipboard, fiberboard, and/or thermoplastic. However, various other embodiments of materials may be employed in other embodiments. In some embodiments the material defining the blank 700 may be laminated or coated with wax or other material. Further, the blank 700 may be imprinted via any of various known methods to provide the blank with, for example, an ornamental design, and/or identifying information. Useful exemplary materials include paperboard of a suitable type and stock, such as 10 to 14 point SBS paper board (i.e., solid bleached sulfate paper), which may include a coating on one or both sides, such as a clay coating. Comparable board containing post-consumer recycled content likewise may be used. Suitable paper stock can be obtained commercially, such as from International Paper or MeadWestvaco.
  • As illustrated, the blank 700 may comprise a first major surface 700′. Further, a second major surface 700″ may oppose the first major surface 700′. The blank 700 may define a plurality of panels 700 a-m. The panels 700 a-m may be separated by folds, cuts, score lines, and/or any other feature defining a boundary. Accordingly, the blank 700 may be integral in one embodiment, and the panels 700 a-m may comprise portions thereof.
  • The panels 700 a-m may include a rear panel 700 a, a left lateral panel 700 b, a right lateral panel 700 c, and a bottom panel 700 d. Further, the panels 700 a-m may include a plurality of elevated panels 700 e-k. The elevated panels 700 e-k may be elevated with respect to the bottom panel 700 d and configured to hold and display products. As illustrated, the elevated panels 700 e-k may include a plurality of longitudinal support panels 700 e-h. Additionally, the elevated panels 700 e-k may include a plurality of pairs of lateral support panels 700 i-k. One or more locking panels 700 l, 700 m may extend from one of the longitudinal support panels 700 f.
  • The blank 700 may be assembled into an insert. Unless otherwise noted below, each of the folds employed in forming the insert involve moving the first major surface 700′ of the referenced panels toward one another. Alternatively, unless otherwise noted below, each of the folds may involve moving the second major surface 700″ of the referenced panels toward one another. Folds that are conducted in a differing direction from other folds are referenced as being “opposing.”
  • In this regard, the blank 700 may be folded between the bottom panel 700 d and the rear panel 700 a such that the rear panel extends substantially perpendicular to the bottom panel. For example, the bottom panel 700 d may extend substantially horizontally and the rear panel 700 a may extend substantially vertically after being folded relative to one another. The blank 700 may be folded between the rear panel 700 a and a first pair of lateral support panels 700 i such that the lateral support panels extend substantially perpendicular to the rear panel (e.g., substantially horizontal).
  • Further, the blank 700 may be folded between the first pair of lateral support panels 700 i and a first longitudinal support panel 700 e, such that the first longitudinal support panel extends downwardly (e.g., substantially vertically) from the first pair of lateral support panels 700 i. The blank 700 may also be folded between the first longitudinal support panel 700 e and a second pair of lateral support panels 700 j, such that the second pair of lateral support panels extend substantially perpendicular thereto (e.g., substantially horizontal). This fold may be conducted in an opposing manner such that the second pair of lateral support panels 700 j extends away from, rather than toward, the first pair of lateral support panels 700 i.
  • The blank 700 may additionally be folded between the second pair of lateral support panels 700 j and a second longitudinal support panel 700 f. Thereby, the second longitudinal support panel 700 f may extend substantially perpendicular to the second pair of lateral support panels 700 j (e.g., substantially vertical). The blank 700 may additionally be folded between the second longitudinal support panel 700 f and a third pair of lateral support panels 700 k. This fold may be conducted in an opposing manner such that the third pair of lateral support panels 700 k extends away from, rather than toward, the second pair of lateral support panels 700 j. Thereby, the third pair of lateral support panels 700 k may extend substantially horizontally and perpendicular to the second longitudinal support panel 700 f.
  • Further, the blank 700 may be folded between the third pair of lateral support panels 700 k and a third longitudinal support panel 700 g. Thereby, the third longitudinal support panel 700 f may extend substantially vertically and perpendicular to the third pair of lateral support panels 700 k. Additionally, the blank 700 may be folded between the bottom panel 700 d and a fourth longitudinal support panel 700 h. Thereby, the fourth longitudinal support panel 700 h may extend upward substantially vertically and perpendicular to the bottom panel 700 d. Further, the fourth longitudinal support panel 700 h may be positioned against and substantially parallel to the third longitudinal support panel 700 g.
  • In some embodiments the third and fourth longitudinal support panels 700 g, 700 h may be secured to one another (e.g., via adhesive), to retain the folded configuration described above. However, additional or alternative securing mechanisms may be employed to retain the blank 700 in the folded configuration. In this regard, the locking panels 700 l, 700 m may be folded toward the second longitudinal support panel 700 f such that they extend substantially perpendicular thereto. Thereby, the locking panels 700 l, 700 m may engage notches 702 b, 702 c defined in the lateral panels 700 b, 700 c to retain the folded configuration.
  • As illustrated in dashed outline in FIG. 18, in some embodiments the blank 700 may optionally include one or more securing panels. In particular, the blank 700 may further comprise first and second rear securing panels 700 n, 700 o and first and second intermediate securing panels 700 p, 700 q. The first rear securing panel 700 n and the first intermediate securing panel 700 p may extend from the left lateral panel 700 b. The second rear securing panel 700 o and the second intermediate securing panel 700 q may extend from the right lateral panel 700 c. For example, score or fold lines may be positioned between the rear securing panels 700 n, 700 o and the lateral panels 700 b, 700 c and between the intermediate securing panels 700 p, 700 q and the lateral panels to facilitate folds therebetween.
  • The rear securing panels 700 n, 700 o may be configured to engage the rear panel 700 a. For example, the first major surface 700′ of the rear securing panels 700 n, 700 o may be secured to the second major surface 700″ of the rear panel 700 a. Alternatively, the second major surface 700″ of the rear securing panels 700 n, 700 o may be secured to the first major surface 700′ of the rear panel 700 a.
  • Further, the intermediate securing panels ‘700 p, 700 q may be configured to engage the first longitudinal support panel 700 e. For example, the first major surface 700’ of the intermediate securing panels 700 p, 700 q may be secured to the second major surface 700″ of the first longitudinal support panel 700 e. Alternatively, the second major surface 700″ of the intermediate securing panels 700 p, 700 q may be secured to the first major surface 700′ of the first longitudinal support panel 700 e.
  • The rear securing panels 700 n, 700 o may be secured to the rear panel 700 a, and the intermediate securing panels 700 p, 700 q may be secured to the first longitudinal support panel 700 e, via an adhesive or glue. Thereby, engagement between the rear securing panels 700 n, 700 o and the rear panel 700 a, and between the intermediate securing panels 700 p, 700 q and the first longitudinal support panel 700 e may further stiffen and strengthen the insert formed from the blank 700. Thereby, as described below, the insert may support the weight of products.
  • Accordingly, the above-described operations may be employed to form an insert 800, as illustrated in FIG. 19. Note that the particular shape of the panels 700 a-m of the blank 700 (see, FIG. 18) causes the insert 800 to define the shape illustrated in FIG. 19 and in other figures as described hereinafter. However, it should be understood that the particular configuration of the blank 700 (e.g., the size, placement, number, and shape of the panels) may be changed to define a desired configuration of the insert. Thus, aspects of the present disclosure may be included with various other embodiments of blanks and resultant inserts without departing from the scope of the present disclosure.
  • As noted above, the insert 800 may optionally be employed in conjunction with the package 602. In this regard, FIG. 20 illustrates the convertible packaging device 600 in a configuration in which the insert 800 is received in the package 602. In particular, the insert 800 may be inserted into the inner cavity 604 defined by the package 602.
  • The insert 800 may be configured to hold any of various products. In this regard, the insert 800 may define a plurality of compartments 802 a-d configured to respectively receive a product. Note that in the embodiments illustrated in the drawings, the compartments 802 a-d are configured to receive containers (e.g., embodiments of the containers described above). Thus, the compartments 802 a-d define a shape and size configured to receive corresponding containers (e.g., containers that are generally cylindrical). As may be understood, the insert may be configured to support various other shapes, sizes, and number of products in other embodiments.
  • However, in the illustrated embodiment, the insert 800 defines four compartments 802 a-d. A first compartment 802 a may be defined between the front panel 500 a of the package 602 and the fourth longitudinal support panel 700 h of the insert 800. A second compartment 802 b may be defined between the fourth longitudinal support panel 700 h (and/or the third longitudinal support panel 700 g) and the second longitudinal support panel 700 f of the insert 800. Further, a third compartment 802 c may be defined between the second longitudinal support panel 700 f and the first longitudinal support panel 708 e of the insert 800. Additionally, a fourth compartment 802 d may be defined between the first longitudinal support panel 700 e and the rear panel 700 a of the insert 800.
  • FIG. 21 illustrates a packaged product assembly 900 comprising the convertible packaging device 800 and a plurality of containers 810 a-d. The containers 810 a-d may be substantially similar to any of the containers described above (see, e.g., container 410 in FIG. 15). The containers 810 a-d may be directly received in the convertible packaging device 800, or optionally supported by the insert 800 (see, e.g., FIG. 20). In this regard, each of the containers 810 a-d may be respectively received in one of the compartments 802 a-d. Further, in embodiments in which the insert 800 defines a stepped configuration, the insert may support each of the containers 810 a-d at a differing height, as illustrated in FIG. 21.
  • The packaged product assembly 900 is illustrated in an open configuration in FIG. 21 following insertion of the containers 810 a-d therein. Following insertion of the containers 810 a-d into the convertible packaging device 800, the convertible packaging device may be configured to a closed configuration. In the closed configuration, the left corner panel 500 k and the right corner panel 500 l may be folded inwardly toward the inner cavity 604. Further, the left inner panel 500 i and the right inner panel 500 j may be folded inwardly toward the inner cavity 604. Additionally, the upper top panel 500 g, the sloped top panel 500 h, and the interlocking panel 500 f may be folded inwardly toward the inner cavity 604 such that the interlocking panel engages the front panel 500 a, the sloped top panel engages the inner panels 500 i, 500 j, and the upper top panel engages the corner panels 500 k, 500 l. Further, the front panel 500 a may include a front tab 500 q and a slot 500 r may be defined between the interlocking panel 500 f and the sloped top panel 500 h. Thus, the front tab 500 q may be engaged with the slot 500 r.
  • Accordingly, the package 602 of the packaged product assembly 900 may be configured to a closed configuration, as illustrated in FIG. 22. In the closed configuration, the packaged product assembly 900 may be shipped or otherwise distributed. In this regard, the insert 800 may support the containers 810 a-d therein as described above, and the package 602 may retain the containers therein. Following distribution, the package 602 may be employed to display the containers 810 a-d for sale or other purposes.
  • In this regard, in some embodiments the package 602 may be configurable between the closed configuration illustrated in FIG. 22 and a display configuration illustrated in FIG. 23. Thus, in some embodiments the panels 500 a-p defining the package 602 may include a reconfigurable portion 508 a and a base portion 508 b. As illustrated in FIG. 16, in one embodiment the reconfigurable portion 508 a may comprise the interlocking panel 500 f, the upper top panel 500 g, and the sloped top panel 500 h. Further, the base portion 508 b may comprise the remainder of the panels 500 a-e, 500 i-p.
  • As illustrated in FIG. 23, the reconfigurable portion 508 a may be configured to move relative to the base portion 508 b to define an opening 606 to the inner cavity 604. Further, the reconfigurable portion 508 a may be configured to engage the base portion 508 b to define a display 608 in the display configuration. For example, in the illustrated embodiment the display 608 comprises a portion of the sloped top panel 500 h.
  • As illustrated, the sloped top panel 500 h may be folded along a fold line 512 during formation of the display 608. Thereby, the sloped top panel 500 h may be folded inwardly toward the rear panel 500 b (see, e.g., FIG. 17). As illustrated in FIG. 16, in some embodiments a cut 514 through the rear panel 500 b may define a rear tab 516. The rear tab 516 may be configured to engage the reconfigurable portion 508 a in the display configuration. More particularly, the rear tab 516 may be configured to engage the interlocking panel 500 f to retain the reconfigurable portion 508 in the display configuration.
  • The sloped top panel 500 h may include a slit 518 (see, FIG. 16) that extends from the fold line 512 toward the upper top panel 500 g. Accordingly, the display 608 may include an elevated portion 610 that extends above a remainder of the package 602 when the sloped top panel 500 h is bent along the fold line 512 to define the display configuration. Thus, the display 608 may be employed to prominently display product identifier information, advertising, or other information or data relating to the product (e.g., the containers 810 a-d) received in the inner cavity 604. In this regard, at least a portion of the display 608, and in particular the elevated portion 610 thereof, may be positioned above the inner cavity 604 and the remainder of the package 602. Accordingly, the display 608 may be configured to draw attention to the packaged product assembly 900 and in particular the containers 810 a-d or other products received therein.
  • However, in order to more prominently display the container 810 a-d or other product received in the inner cavity 604, the base portion 508 b may include a disposable portion 508 b′ (seem e.g., FIG. 16) that is removable. In this regard, FIG. 24 illustrates the packaged product assembly 900 following removal of the disposable portion 508 b′ of the base portion 508 b. As illustrated in FIGS. 16 and 24, the disposable portion 508 b′ of the base portion 508 b′ may include the left inner panel 500 i, the right inner panel 500 j, the left corner panel 500 k, and the right corner panel 500 l. Further, the disposable portion 508 b′ may include a portion of the front panel 500 a, the left panel 500 c, and the right panel 500 d. A tear line 510 (see, FIG. 16) extending across the front panel 500 a, the left panel 500 c, and the right panel 500 d may facilitate removal of the disposable portion 508 b′.
  • Accordingly, as illustrated in FIG. 24, a remaining portion 508 b″ of the base portion 508 b may cooperate with the reconfigurable portion 508 a to display the containers 810 a-d in the display configuration. The base portion 508 b may be configured such that the containers 810 a-d at least partially extend through the opening 606 to the inner cavity when the disposable portion 508 b′ is removed. In this regard, the base portion 508 b may extend to a relatively lower height when the disposable portion 508 b′ is removed. Thereby, the containers 810 a-d may be more easily viewed from multiple angles.
  • A related product display method is also provided. As illustrated in FIG. 25, the method may include receiving a convertible packaging device at operation 1002. The convertible packaging device may include a package in a closed configuration. The package may comprise a plurality of panels substantially enclosing an inner cavity. The convertible packaging device may additionally include one or more products received in the inner cavity. The method may further comprise transforming the convertible packaging device to a display at operation 1004. Transforming the convertible packaging device to the display configuration at operation 1004 may include moving a reconfigurable portion of the panels to define an opening to the inner cavity and engaging the reconfigurable portion of the panels with a base portion of the panels to define a display.
  • In some embodiments transforming the convertible packaging device to the display configuration at operation 1004 may further comprise removing a disposable portion of the base portion of the panels. Removing the disposable portion of the base portion of the panels may comprise removing at least a portion of one or more lateral panels. Removing the disposable portion of the base portion of the panels may further comprise removing at least a portion of a front panel. Engaging the reconfigurable portion of the panels with the base portion of the panels to define the display may comprise engaging the reconfigurable portion with a rear tab defined by a cut in a rear panel.
  • Note that although particular example embodiments of inserts are described above, the 602 (see, e.g., FIG. 17) may be configured to receive various other embodiments of inserts therein. As noted above, in some embodiments the blank that forms the insert may include optional support panels. The support panels may assist in maintaining the structural integrity of the insert when supporting containers or other products.
  • However, as described above, the support panels may require usage of an adhesive or glue to provide the insert with additional support. Adhesives and glues may require time to dry or cure, and may complicate the assembly process associated with forming an insert from a blank. Accordingly, in other embodiments it may be preferable to provide a blank configured to form an insert that supports containers or other products without usage of adhesives or glues.
  • In this regard, by way of additional example, FIG. 26 illustrates a blank 1100 according to an additional example embodiment of the present disclosure. The blank 1100 may comprise various embodiments of materials including paperboard, corrugated board paper, chipboard, fiberboard, and/or thermoplastic. However, various other embodiments of materials may be employed in other embodiments. In some embodiments the material defining the blank 1100 may be laminated or coated with wax or other material. Further, the blank 1100 may be imprinted via any of various known methods to provide the blank with, for example, an ornamental design, and/or identifying information. Useful exemplary materials include paperboard of a suitable type and stock, such as 10 to 14 point SBS paper board (i.e., solid bleached sulfate paper), which may include a coating on one or both sides, such as a clay coating. Comparable board containing post-consumer recycled content likewise may be used. Suitable paper stock can be obtained commercially, such as from International Paper or MeadWestvaco.
  • As illustrated, the blank 1100 may comprise a first major surface 1100′. Further, a second major surface 1100″ may oppose the first major surface 1100′. The blank 1100 may define a plurality of panels 1100 a-n. The panels 1100 a-n may be separated by folds, cuts, score lines, and/or any other feature defining a boundary. Accordingly, the blank 1100 may be integral in one embodiment, and the panels 1100 a-n may comprise portions thereof.
  • The panels 1100 a-n may include a rear panel 1100 a, an inner left panel 1100 b, an outer left panel 1100 c, an inner right panel 1100 d, an outer right panel 1100 e, a bottom panel 1100 f (which may also be referred to as a rear bottom panel), a left bottom panel 1100 g, and a right bottom panel 1100 h. Further, the panels 1100 a-n may include a plurality of elevated panels 1100 i-n. The elevated panels 1100 i-n may be at least partially elevated with respect to the bottom panels 1100 f-h and configured to hold and display products. As illustrated, the elevated panels 1100 i-n may include a plurality of longitudinal support panels 1100 i-k. Additionally, the elevated panels 1100 i-n may include a plurality of pairs of lateral support panels 11001-n.
  • The blank 1100 may be assembled (e.g., folded and otherwise manipulated, as described below) into an insert. Unless otherwise noted below, each of the folds employed in forming the insert from the blank 1100 involve moving the first major surface 1100′ of the referenced panels toward one another, which may be referenced as an inward fold. Alternatively, unless otherwise noted below, each of the folds may involve moving the second major surface 1100″ of the referenced panels toward one another, which may also be referenced as inward. Folds that are conducted in a differing direction from other folds are referenced as being opposing or outward.
  • The bottom panel 1100 f extends between the inner left panel 1100 b and the inner right panel 1100 d. The blank 1100 may be folded between the bottom panel 1100 f and the inner left panel 1100 b and between the bottom panel 1100 f and the inner right panel 1100 d such that the inner left and right panels extend substantially perpendicular to the bottom panel. For example, the bottom panel 1100 f may extend substantially horizontally and the inner left panel 1100 b and the inner right panel 1100 d may extend substantially vertically after being folded relative to one another. In order to allow this folding operation, the inner left panel 1100 b and the outer left panel 1100 c may be separated by a cut line, and the inner right panel 1100 d and the outer right panel 1100 e may be respectively separated by a cut line.
  • Additionally, the blank 1100 may be folded between the bottom panel 1100 f and the rear panel 1100 a. Thereby, the bottom panel 1100 f may be substantially perpendicular to the bottom panel 1100 a. Further, the blank 1100 may be folded between the rear panel 1100 a and the outer left panel 1100 c, and between the rear panel 1100 a and the outer right panel 1100 e. Thereby, the outer left panel 1100 c and the outer right panel 1100 e may extend substantially perpendicular to the rear panel 1100 a and substantially perpendicular to the bottom panel 1100 f.
  • In this configuration, the outer left panel 1100 c may extend substantially parallel and adjacent to the inner left panel 1100 b. Similarly, the outer right panel 1100 e may extend substantially parallel and adjacent to the inner right panel 1100 d. Accordingly, each of the lateral panels 1100 b-e may extend substantially perpendicular to the bottom panel 1100 f. In some embodiments the inner left panel 1100 b may be in contact with the outer left panel 1100 c and the inner right panel 1100 d may be in contact with the outer right panel 1100 e, which may facilitate engagement of notches as described below.
  • Further, the blank 1100 may be folded between a first pair of lateral support panels 11001 and the rear panel 1100 a. Thereby, the first pair of lateral support panels 11001 may extend substantially perpendicular to the rear panel 1100 a. Further, a first longitudinal support panel 1100 i may be folded relative to the first pair of lateral support panels 11001. Thereby, the first longitudinal support panel 1100 i may extend substantially perpendicular to the first pair of lateral support panels 11001, and substantially parallel to the rear panel 1100 a. A cutout 1102 a surrounded by the first pair of lateral support panels 11001, the rear panel 1100 a, and the first longitudinal support panel 1100 i may facilitate the folds between the first pair of lateral support panels 11001 and the rear panel 1100 a and between the first pair of lateral support panels and the first longitudinal support panel 1100 i.
  • The blank 1100 may also be folded between the first longitudinal support panel 1100 i and a second pair of lateral support panels 1100 m, such that the second pair of lateral support panels extend substantially perpendicular thereto (e.g., substantially horizontal). This fold may be conducted in an opposing manner such that the second pair of lateral support panels 1100 m extends away from, rather than toward, the rear panel 1100 a.
  • In order to allow for formation of the fold between the first longitudinal support panel 1100 i and the second pair of lateral support panels 1100 m, one or more slits, cutouts, or cuts 1102 b may be defined through the blank 1100 between the first longitudinal support panel 1100 i and a second longitudinal support panel 1100 j. Thereby, the first longitudinal support panel 1100 i may move with respect to the second longitudinal support panel 1100 j. Further to allow for formation of the fold between the first longitudinal support panel 1100 i and the second pair of lateral support panels 1100 m, one or more slits, cutouts, or cuts 1102 c may extend through the blank 1100 along inner edges of the second pair of lateral support panels 1100 m. Thereby, the first longitudinal support panel 1100 i may move with respect to the second pair of lateral support panels 1100 m.
  • As the first longitudinal support panel 1100 i is folded with respect to the first and second pairs of lateral support panels 11001, 1100 m, the first longitudinal support panel may engage the inner and outer left panels 1100 b, 1100 c and the inner and outer right panels 1100 d, 1100 e. In some embodiments the first longitudinal support panel 1100 i may lock into engagement with the inner and outer left panels 1100 b, 1100 c and the inner and outer right panels 1100 d, 1100 e. In this regard, the first longitudinal support panel 1100 i may define a left notch 1102 d and a right notch 1102 e. Further the inner left panel 1100 b and the outer left panel 1100 c may respectively define an upper notch 1102 f, 1102 g. Similarly, the inner right panel 1100 d and the outer right panel 1100 e may respectively define an upper notch 1102 h, 1102 i.
  • Accordingly, when the first longitudinal support panel 1100 i is folded with respect to the first and second pairs of lateral support panels 11001, 1100 m, the left notch 1102 d defined in the first longitudinal support panel 1100 i may engage the upper notch 1102 f defined in the inner left panel 1100 b and the upper notch 1102 g defined in the outer left panel 1100 c. Similarly, the right notch 1102 e defined in the first longitudinal support panel 1100 i may engage the upper notch 1102 h defined in the inner right panel 1100 d and the upper notch 1102 i defined in the outer right panel 1100 e. Accordingly, the engagement of the notches 1102 d, 1102 e with the upper notches 1102 f-i may provide for a secure, locked configuration between the first longitudinal support panel 1100 i and the left and right panels 1100 b-e, which may also be referred to as the left and right lateral panels, or simply the lateral panels.
  • The blank 1100 may additionally be folded between the second pair of lateral support panels 1100 m and the second longitudinal support panel 1100 j. Thereby, the second longitudinal support panel 1100 j may extend substantially perpendicular to the second pair of lateral support panels 1100 m (e.g., substantially vertical). Further, the blank 1100 may be folded between the second longitudinal support panel 1100 j and a third pair of lateral support panels 1100 n. This fold may be conducted in an opposing manner such that the third pair of lateral support panels 1100 n extends away from, rather than toward, the rear panel 1100 a. Thereby, the third pair of lateral support panels 1100 n may extend substantially horizontally and perpendicular to the second longitudinal support panel 1100 j.
  • In order to allow for formation of the fold between the second longitudinal support panel 1100 j and the third pair of lateral support panels 1100 n, one or more slits, cutouts, or cuts 1102 j may be defined through the blank 1100 between the second longitudinal support panel 1100 j and a third longitudinal support panel 1100 k. Thereby, the second longitudinal support panel 1100 j may move with respect to the third longitudinal support panel 1100 k. Further to allow for formation of the fold between the second longitudinal support panel 1100 j and the third pair of lateral support panels 1100 n, one or more slits, cutouts, or cuts 1102 k may extend through the blank 1100 along inner edges of the third pair of lateral support panels 1100 n. Thereby, the second longitudinal support panel 1100 j may move with respect to the third pair of lateral support panels 1100 n.
  • As the second longitudinal support panel 1100 j is folded with respect to the second and third pairs of lateral support panels 1100 m, 1100 n, the second longitudinal support panel may engage the inner and outer left panels 1100 b, 1100 c and the inner and outer right panels 1100 d, 1100 e. In some embodiments the second longitudinal support panel 1100 j may lock into engagement with the inner and outer left panels 1100 b, 1100 c and the inner and outer right panels 1100 d, 1100 e. In this regard, the second longitudinal support panel 1100 j may define a left notch 1102 l and a right notch 1102 m. Further the inner left panel 1100 b and the outer left panel 1100 c may respectively define a lower notch 1102 n, 1102 o. Similarly, the inner right panel 1100 d and the outer right panel 1100 e may respectively define a lower notch 1102 p, 1102 q.
  • Accordingly, when the second longitudinal support panel 1100 j is folded with respect to the second and third pairs of lateral support panels 1100 m, 1100 n, the left notch 1102 l defined in the second longitudinal support panel 1100 j may engage the lower notch 1102 n defined in the inner left panel 1100 b and the lower notch 1102 o defined in the outer left panel 1100 c. Similarly, the right notch 1102 m defined in the second longitudinal support panel 1100 j may engage the lower notch 1102 p defined in the inner right panel 1100 d and the lower notch 1102 q defined in the outer right panel 1100 e. Accordingly, the engagement of the notches 1102 l, 1102 m with the lower notches 1100 n-q may provide for a secure, locked configuration between the second longitudinal support panel 1100 j and the left and right panels 1100 b-e.
  • Note that by positioning the inner left panel 1100 b substantially parallel to, and in contact with, the outer left panel 1100 c may facilitate respective engagement of the upper notches 1102 f, 1102 g and the lower notches 1102 n, 1102 o with the left notch 1102 d defined in the first longitudinal support panel 1102 i and the left notch 1102 l defined in the second longitudinal support panel 1100 j. Similarly, positioning the inner right panel 1100 d substantially parallel to, and in contact with, the outer right panel 1100 e may facilitate respective engagement of the upper notches 1102 i, 1102 g and the lower notches 1102 p, 1102 q with the right notch 1102 e defined in the first longitudinal support panel 1102 i and the right notch 1102 m defined in the second longitudinal support panel 1100 j. In this regard, positioning the notches 1102 f-I, 1102 n-q adjacent one another may allow for aligned pairs of the notches defined in the inner and outer lateral panels 1100 b-d to engage a respective one of the notches 1102 d, 1102 e, 1102 l, 1102 m defined in the first and second longitudinal support panels 1102 i, 1102 j. In other words, each of the notches 1102 d, 1102 e, 1102 l, 1102 m defined in the longitudinal support panels 1102 i, 1102 j may engage two of the notches 1102 f-I, 1102 n-q defined in the lateral panels 1100 b-e, to thereby simplify the configuration of the blank 1100 and assembly thereof into an insert.
  • Further, the blank 1100 may be folded between the third pair of lateral support panels 1100 n and a third longitudinal support panel 1100 k. Thereby, the third longitudinal support panel 1100 k may extend substantially vertically and perpendicular to the third pair of lateral support panels 1100 n. Further, the blank 1100 may be folded between the third longitudinal support panel 1100 k and the left bottom panel 1100 g and between the third longitudinal support panel and the right bottom panel 1100 h. Thereby, the left and right bottom panels 1100 g, 1100 h may extend substantially perpendicular to the third longitudinal support panel 1100 k and, for example, substantially horizontal.
  • Thus, as a result of the folding operations described above, the pairs of lateral support panels 11001-n may extend substantially parallel to the bottom panel 1100 f. As described below, each of the pairs of lateral support panels may be respectively positioned at differing heights relative to the bottom panel 1100 f. Further, each of the longitudinal support panels 1100 i-k may extend substantially parallel to the rear panel 1100 a, with a respective one of the longitudinal support panels extending between each of the pairs of lateral support panels.
  • Accordingly, the above-described operations may be employed to form an insert 1200, as illustrated in FIG. 27. Note that the particular shape of the panels 1100 a-n of the blank 1100 (see, FIG. 26) causes the insert 1200 to define the shape illustrated in FIG. 27. However, it should be understood that the particular configuration of the blank 1100 (e.g., the size, placement, number, and shape of the panels) may be changed to define a desired configuration of the insert 1200. Thus, aspects of the present disclosure may be included with various other embodiments of blanks and resultant inserts without departing from the scope of the present disclosure.
  • As illustrated in FIG. 27, the first pair of lateral support panels 11001 extend between the rear panel 1100 a and the first longitudinal support panel 1100 i, the second pair of lateral support panels 1100 m extend between the first longitudinal support panel 1100 i and the second longitudinal support panel 1100 j, and the third pair of lateral support panels 1100 n extend between the second longitudinal support panel 1100 j and the third longitudinal support panel 1100 k. Thereby, as illustrated, the insert 1200 may define a stepped configuration configured to support a plurality of products at a plurality of differing heights. In other words, the insert 1200 may support each product at a differing height (e.g., relative to the bottom panel 1100 f) as compared to the height at which each of the other products is supported by the insert. This configuration ensures that each of the products is accessible and visible when supported by the insert 1200, and when the package 602 is properly configured, which may be useful in a retail establishment.
  • In this regard, the insert 1200 may define a plurality of compartments 1202 a-d configured to respectively receive a product. Note that in the embodiment illustrated in the drawings, the compartments 1202 a-d are configured to receive containers (e.g., embodiments of the containers described above). Thus, the compartments 1202 a-d define a shape and size configured to receive corresponding containers (e.g., containers that are generally cylindrical).
  • As may be understood, the insert may be configured to support various other shapes, sizes, and number of products in other embodiments. However, in the illustrated embodiment, the insert 1200 defines four compartments 1202 a-d. A first compartment 1202 a may be defined between the front panel 500 a of the package 602, which is shown in outline in FIG. 27) and the third longitudinal support panel 1100 k of the insert 1200. A second compartment 1202 b may be defined between the third longitudinal support panel 1100 k and the second longitudinal support panel 1100 j of the insert 1200. Further, a third compartment 1202 c may be defined between the second longitudinal support panel 1100 j and the first longitudinal support panel 1100 i of the insert 1200. Additionally, a fourth compartment 1202 d may be defined between the first longitudinal support panel 1100 i and the rear panel 1100 a of the insert 1200.
  • Accordingly, the insert 1200 may support the containers in the compartments 1202 a-d in a stepped configuration. For clarity purposes, containers are not shown in the compartments 1202 a-d. However, as may be understood, the containers may be laterally supported in each of the compartments by the left and right panels 500 c, 500 d of the package 602 and/or portions of the insert as described below.
  • Further, a first container may be longitudinally supported in the first compartment 1202 a between the front panel 500 a of the package 602 and the third longitudinal support panel 1100 k of the insert 1200. The container may be vertically supported in the first compartment 1202 a by the left bottom panel 1100 h and the right bottom panel 1100 g. The container may be laterally centered within the first compartment 1202 a by the left and right bottom panels 1100 g, 1100 h.
  • A second container may be longitudinally supported in the second compartment 1202 b between the third longitudinal support panel 1100 k and the second longitudinal support panel 1100 j of the insert 1200. The container may be vertically supported in the second compartment 1202 b by the third pair of lateral support panels 1100 n and/or the left and right lateral panels 1100 b-e of the insert 1200, and these panels may additionally laterally center the container within the second compartment 1202 b.
  • A third container may be longitudinally supported in the third compartment 1202 c between the second longitudinal support panel 1100 j and the first longitudinal support panel 1100 i of the insert 1200. The container may be vertically supported in the third compartment 1202 c by the second pair of lateral support panels 1100 m and/or the left and right lateral panels 1100 b-e of the insert 1200, and these panels may additionally laterally center the container within the third compartment 1202 c.
  • A fourth container may be longitudinally supported in the fourth compartment 1202 d between the first longitudinal support panel 1100 i and the rear panel 1100 a of the insert 1200. The container may be vertically supported in the fourth compartment 1202 d by the first pair of lateral support panels 11001 and/or the left and right lateral panels 1100 b-e of the insert 1200, and these panels may additionally laterally center the container within the fourth compartment 1202 d.
  • Accordingly, the insert 1200 of FIG. 27 performs substantially the same function of supporting container in a stepped configuration as described above with respect to the insert 800 of FIG. 19. However, the insert 1200 of FIG. 27 includes notches 1102 d-i and 1102 l-q (see, FIG. 26) that interlock in the manner described above. Thereby, the insert 1200 may be assembled without requiring usage of glue or adhesives. Further, the insert 1200 includes inner and outer left and right panels 1100 b-e that provide a double thickness. Thereby, the inner and outer left and right panels 1100 b-e provide the insert 1200 with additional strength and stability that may further assist in supporting containers or other packages in the manner described herein.
  • As further illustrated in FIG. 27, the outer right panel 1100 e may be inwardly recessed with respect to a right lateral edge 1204 a (i.e., the outermost right lateral edge) of the insert 1200. Similarly, the outer left panel 1100 c (see, FIG. 26) may be inwardly recessed with respect to a left lateral edge 1204 b (i.e., the outer most left lateral edge) of the insert 1200. This configuration may reduce the amount of material required to form the blank 1100 (see, FIG. 26) and the insert 1200. In this regard, by way of example, the lateral width of the bottom panel 1100 f (see, FIG. 26) may be reduced. Further, inwardly offsetting the right and left outer panels 1100 e, 1100 c with respect to the lateral edges 1204 a, 1204 b of the insert 1200 may optionally allow the lateral panels 1100 b-e (see, FIG. 26) to contact and directly support products as described above.
  • A method for forming an insert is additionally provided. As illustrated in FIG. 28, the method may include providing a blank defining a plurality of panels at operation 1302. Further, the method may include folding the blank inwardly between a bottom panel and a plurality of lateral panels extending therefrom such that the lateral panels extend substantially perpendicular to the bottom panel at operation 1304. The method may additionally include folding the blank inwardly between the bottom panel and a rear panel such that the bottom panel extends substantially perpendicular to the rear panel at operation 1306. The method may also include folding the blank inwardly between the rear panel and a pair of lateral support panels extending therefrom such that the pair of lateral support panels extend substantially perpendicular to the rear panel at operation 1308. The method may further include folding the blank inwardly between the pair of lateral support panels and a longitudinal support panel such that the longitudinal support panel extends substantially parallel to the rear panel at operation 1310.
  • In some embodiments the method may further comprise engaging a left notch and a right notch defined in the longitudinal support panel with a respective one of a plurality of notches defined in the lateral panels. The method may additionally include folding the blank outwardly between the longitudinal support panel and a second pair of lateral support panels such that the second pair of lateral support panels extend substantially perpendicular to the rear panel. Further, the method may include folding the blank inwardly between the second pair of lateral support panels and a second longitudinal support panel such that that second longitudinal support panel extends substantially parallel to the rear panel.
  • In some embodiments the longitudinal support panel and the second longitudinal support panel may each define a left notch and a right notch. The method may further comprise engaging the left notch and the right notch of the longitudinal support panel with a respective one of a plurality of upper notches defined in the lateral panels and engaging the left notch and the right notch of the second longitudinal support panel with a respective one of a plurality of lower notches defined in the lateral panels.
  • In some embodiments the method may further comprise folding the blank outwardly between the second longitudinal support panel and a third pair of lateral support panels such that the third pair of lateral support panels extend substantially perpendicular to the rear panel. The method may additionally include folding the blank inwardly between the third pair of lateral support panels and a third longitudinal support panel such that that third longitudinal support panel extends substantially parallel to the rear panel. The method may also include folding the blank outwardly between the third longitudinal support panel and a left bottom panel such that the left bottom panel extends substantially perpendicular to the rear panel. Additionally, the method may include folding the blank outwardly between the third longitudinal support panel and a right bottom panel such that the right bottom panel extends substantially perpendicular to the rear panel.
  • Further, in some embodiments the method may include folding the blank inwardly between the rear panel and a plurality of outer lateral panels extending therefrom such that the outer lateral panels extend substantially parallel and adjacent to the lateral panels. Additionally, the method may include engaging a plurality of rear securing panels extending from the lateral panels with the rear panel. The method may also include engaging a plurality of intermediate securing panels extending from the lateral panels with the longitudinal support panel.
  • Many modifications and other aspects of the disclosure set forth herein will come to mind to one skilled in the art to which the disclosure pertains having the benefit of the teachings presented in the foregoing descriptions and the associated drawings. Therefore, it is to be understood that the disclosure is not to be limited to the specific aspects disclosed and that modifications and other aspects are intended to be included within the scope of the appended claims. Although specific terms are employed herein, they are used in a generic and descriptive sense only and not for purposes of limitation.

Claims (20)

That which is claimed:
1. A packaging device, comprising:
a package; and
an insert received within the package,
the insert being configured to support the one or more products,
the insert being formed from a blank defining a plurality of panels folded to define a stepped configuration configured to support the products at a plurality of differing heights.
2. The packaging device of claim 1, wherein the panels comprise an inner left panel, an outer left panel, an inner right panel, and an outer right panel,
the inner left panel and the outer left panel being positioned adjacent and substantially parallel to one another,
the inner right panel and the outer right panel being positioned adjacent and substantially parallel to one another.
3. The packaging device of claim 2, wherein the inner left panel is in contact with the outer left panel and the inner right panel is in contact with the outer right panel.
4. The packaging device of claim 2, wherein the panels further comprise a first longitudinal support panel defining a left notch and a right notch,
the inner left panel, the outer left panel, the inner right panel, and the outer right panel respectively including an upper notch,
the left notch of the first longitudinal support panel being configured to engage the upper notch of the inner left panel and the outer left panel,
the right notch of the first longitudinal support panel being configured to engage the upper notch of the inner right panel and the outer right panel.
5. The packaging device of claim 4, wherein the panels further comprise a second longitudinal support panel defining a left notch and a right notch,
the inner left panel, the outer left panel, the inner right panel, and the outer right panel respectively including a lower notch,
the left notch of the second longitudinal support panel being configured to engage the lower notch of the inner left panel and the outer left panel,
the right notch of the second longitudinal support panel being configured to engage the lower notch of the inner right panel and the outer right panel.
6. The packaging device of claim 5, wherein the panels further comprise a rear panel, a first pair of lateral support panels extending between the rear panel and the first longitudinal support panel, a second pair of lateral support panels extending between the first longitudinal support panel and the second longitudinal support panel, and a third pair of lateral support panels extending between the second longitudinal support panel and a third longitudinal support panel.
7. The packaging device of claim 5, wherein the panels further comprise a bottom panel extending between the inner left panel and the inner right panel.
8. The packaging device of claim 5, wherein the outer left panel and the outer right panel are inwardly recessed with respect to a left lateral edge and a right lateral edge of the insert.
9. The packaging device of claim 1, wherein the panels comprise:
a bottom panel;
a plurality of lateral panels extending substantially perpendicular to the bottom panel;
a rear panel extending substantially perpendicular to the bottom panel and the lateral panels;
a plurality of pairs of lateral support panels extending substantially parallel to the bottom panel, each of the pairs of lateral support panels being respectively positioned at one of the differing heights; and
a plurality of longitudinal support panels extending substantially parallel to the rear panel, a respective one of the longitudinal support panels extending between each of the pairs of lateral support panels.
10. The packaging device of claim 9, wherein the panels further comprise a plurality of rear securing panels extending from the lateral panels and engaged with the rear panel; and
a plurality of intermediate securing panels extending from the lateral panels and engaged with at least one of the longitudinal support panels.
11. The packaging device of claim 1, wherein the products comprise containers comprising a tobacco-containing material.
12. The packaging device of claim 1, wherein the package is configurable between a closed configuration and a display configuration.
13. A method for forming an insert, comprising:
providing a blank defining a plurality of panels;
folding the blank inwardly between a bottom panel and a plurality of lateral panels extending therefrom such that the lateral panels extend substantially perpendicular to the bottom panel;
folding the blank inwardly between the bottom panel and a rear panel such that the bottom panel extends substantially perpendicular to the rear panel;
folding the blank inwardly between the rear panel and a pair of lateral support panels extending therefrom such that the pair of lateral support panels extend substantially perpendicular to the rear panel; and
folding the blank inwardly between the pair of lateral support panels and a longitudinal support panel such that the longitudinal support panel extends substantially parallel to the rear panel.
14. The method of claim 13, further comprising engaging a left notch and a right notch defined in the longitudinal support panel with a respective one of a plurality of notches defined in the lateral panels.
15. The method of claim 13, further comprising:
folding the blank outwardly between the longitudinal support panel and a second pair of lateral support panels such that the second pair of lateral support panels extend substantially perpendicular to the rear panel; and
folding the blank inwardly between the second pair of lateral support panels and a second longitudinal support panel such that that second longitudinal support panel extends substantially parallel to the rear panel.
16. The method of claim 15, wherein the longitudinal support panel and the second longitudinal support panel each define a left notch and a right notch, and further comprising:
engaging the left notch and the right notch of the longitudinal support panel with a respective one of a plurality of upper notches defined in the lateral panels; and
engaging the left notch and the right notch of the second longitudinal support panel with a respective one of a plurality of lower notches defined in the lateral panels.
17. The method of claim 15, further comprising:
folding the blank outwardly between the second longitudinal support panel and a third pair of lateral support panels such that the third pair of lateral support panels extend substantially perpendicular to the rear panel; and
folding the blank inwardly between the third pair of lateral support panels and a third longitudinal support panel such that that third longitudinal support panel extends substantially parallel to the rear panel.
18. The method of claim 17, further comprising:
folding the blank outwardly between the third longitudinal support panel and a left bottom panel such that the left bottom panel extends substantially perpendicular to the rear panel; and
folding the blank outwardly between the third longitudinal support panel and a right bottom panel such that the right bottom panel extends substantially perpendicular to the rear panel.
19. The method of claim 13, further comprising folding the blank inwardly between the rear panel and a plurality of outer lateral panels extending therefrom such that the outer lateral panels extend substantially parallel and adjacent to the lateral panels.
20. The method of claim 13, further comprising engaging a plurality of rear securing panels extending from the lateral panels with the rear panel; and
engaging a plurality of intermediate securing panels extending from the lateral panels with the longitudinal support panel.
US14/700,636 2014-05-09 2015-04-30 Containers, Convertible Packaging Devices, Packaged Product Assemblies, and Product Display Methods for Smokeless Tobacco Products Abandoned US20150320113A1 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

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US14/274,245 US20150321787A1 (en) 2014-05-09 2014-05-09 Containers, Convertible Packaging Devices, Packaged Product Assemblies, and Product Display Methods for Smokeless Tobacco Products
US14/700,636 US20150320113A1 (en) 2014-05-09 2015-04-30 Containers, Convertible Packaging Devices, Packaged Product Assemblies, and Product Display Methods for Smokeless Tobacco Products

Applications Claiming Priority (1)

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US14/700,636 US20150320113A1 (en) 2014-05-09 2015-04-30 Containers, Convertible Packaging Devices, Packaged Product Assemblies, and Product Display Methods for Smokeless Tobacco Products

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Cited By (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20160150825A1 (en) * 2014-05-21 2016-06-02 Philip Morris Products S.A. Aerosol-generating article with multi-material susceptor

Cited By (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20160150825A1 (en) * 2014-05-21 2016-06-02 Philip Morris Products S.A. Aerosol-generating article with multi-material susceptor
US10051890B2 (en) * 2014-05-21 2018-08-21 Philip Morris Products S.A. Aerosol-generating article with multi-material susceptor

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