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ConAgra Foods, Constar receive award for Hunt’s Ketchup bottle design, production

BY Jenna Duncan

OMAHA, Neb. ConAgra Foods and Constar International have received the 2008 WorldStar Award from the World Packaging Organization for ConAgra Foods’ 46-ounce Hunt’s Ketchup bottle which is made using Constar’s DiamondClear PET technology, the companies announced Friday.

“At ConAgra Foods, we’re focused and committed to utilizing new and better packaging materials that are environmentally friendly and designed for better recyclability,” ConAgra’s VP of sustainability and channel development, Gail Tavill, said. “We’re proud to receive this prestigious WorldStar Award for our Hunt’s Ketchup bottle.”

ConAgra’s Hunt’s ketchup bottle has also been recognized with a “top sustainable packaging” AmeriStar Award in 2007 from the Institute of Packaging Professionals and a second-place AmeriStar Award in the food category.

Constar’s DiamondClear PET technology has helped ConAgra Foods cut the weight of its 46-ounce ketchup bottles by 12 percent, reducing packaging waste. The reduced-weight bottles also can be recycled.

ConAgra Foods has made a commitment to reducing food packaging waste. In August, the company started to use post-consumer recycled plastic to make frozen meal trays for its brands such as Banquet, Kid Cuisine and Healthy Choice. The company has said this will reduce new plastic waste in landfills by 8 million pounds per year.

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Dr Pepper Snapple joins Stevia-sweetened beverage stampede

BY Rob Eder

NEW YORK Fresh off news that its two biggest competitors plan to launch new diet beverages containing a new sugar alternative made from the plant Stevia, Dr Pepper Snapple Group announced Thursday it also plans to join Coke and Pepsi, and expects to launch a similar beverage product containing the new alternative sweetener.

On Wednesday, the Food and Drug Administration approved the use of Stevia-based sweeteners in foods and beverages.

The sweeteners, made from the leaves of a South American shrub, will provide natural alternatives to chemical sweeteners like Equal and Splenda.

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Winn-Dixie’s private label package designs receive praise from industry experts

BY Jenna Duncan

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. Winn-Dixie’s packaging designs for three of its private label premium products were recognized as some of the United States’ best in the Private Label Packaging Awards, hosted by PL Buyer magazine.

“We are honored to have been recognized in this competition,” said Robin Miller, Winn-Dixie’s director of communications. “The redesign and relaunch of our private label products is another way for us to continue earning trust and loyalty every day, by providing our customers with the quality they deserve at a great value.”

Eighteen winners were selected from a pool of about 300 new products. This was the sixth year that Buyer magazine held the awards contest.

The three Winn-Dixie product lines that were named “best of the best” in the nation included the private label organic line of grocery products such as cage-free eggs, green tea, salted butter and others; Winn-Dixie’s fresh breads; and also Winn-Dixie’s private label sorbet and gelato line.

“This year’s winning packaging is not only extremely attractive, but also highly innovative and functional. Judging criteria included innovation, overall looks and how well the packaging met its intended mission (set by the submitting company),” PL Buyer magazine’s editors said.

“I liked the way that they’re using a similar design across different product categories and having it still make sense,” said one of the judges, Lisa McTigue Pierce, editorial director of Flexible Packaging and editor-in-chief of Food & Beverage Packaging.

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