Abbreviated food packaging saves producers millions in plastic
CHICAGO Simple modifications such as slimmer, lighter water bottles, reduced cap sizes on recloseable soft drink bottles and smaller-sized salad dressing containers are saving food makers millions of dollars, according to some major U.S. food distribution and production companies.
According to reports, companies such as Kraft Foods and Atlanta-based Coca-Cola have slimmed down plastic containers and cap sizes and shaved off a penny here and there from each food item they produce. Coke and Dasani water bottle caps, for examples, have been trimmed to be 24 percent more lightweight than those produced about a year ago. Also, Kraft’s salad dressing bottles have been redesigned to now use 19 percent less plastic. The smaller bottlers also require less packaging for shipping because they take up less space.
Some companies have said that these seemingly minute changes to packaging may help offset the steadily rising costs of food commodities that have been causing the nationwide inflation in food prices to speed up since the 1990s.
Coca-Cola has said that last year it reduced its plastic usage by 4 million pounds due to the design of the smaller cap. Kraft said that its plastic consumption was cut by around 3.4 million pounds per year by the remodel of its salad dressing bottles.
Red Bull adds hybrid delivery trucks to fleet
WARRENVILLE, Ill. Red Bull has announced the addition of four hybrid delivery trucks to its U.S. fleet. Brand-new Navistar International DuraStar hybrid trucks were delivered this week to the Red Bull Southern Nevada Distribution Center, to be driven for deliveries in and around the Las Vegas metropolitan area.
Jim Williams, director of sales and distribution of new products at Navistar, the company that builds the hybrid delivery trucks said, “We’re proud that Red Bull recognizes the importance of green transportation for the environment. We need more companies like this to take a stance and add hybrid vehicles to their fleets.”
The hybrid diesel-electric trucks are capable of getting 30 percent to 40 percent better fuel efficiency. In addition, they release about 35 percent less nitrogen oxide and 33 percent less hydrocarbon emissions than regular diesel trucks.
Each truck will save Red Bull around $4,000 a year on fuel costs, the companies said.
General Mills to sell Pop Secret to Diamond Foods
GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. General Mills today announced details of an agreement to sell its Pop Secret microwave popcorn business to Stockton, Calif.-based Diamond Foods for around $190 million. None of General Mills’ employees or plants will be affected by the sale because Pop Secret is manufactured at an outside facility, a company spokesperson said.
According to spokesperson Heidi Geller, the sale is part of a move by General Mills to reevaluate its priorities. Additionally, General Mills is also looking to sell its Nature Valley granola bar line and other grain-based snacks.
Diamond Foods, the creator of Diamond brand almonds and other snack nuts has said that it is very excited to add Pop Secret to its portfolio. The added brand will broaden Diamond’s presence in the snack aisle and the company expects to generate $85 million to $90 million per year from the sale of Pop Secret products.
General Mills is looking at a one-time $160 million profit gain, not including costs related to the costs.