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Dual compartment Smiler™ containers create new ‘combo’ vehicle
Smiler™ is the first-of-its-kind, two-compartment polyethylene terephthalate (PET) container.
The driving force behind the concept was to give brand owners the opportunity to market a single-serving of two compatible products—such as milk and cookies—within one portable container. Early reactions to the container are what gave it its name.
Research showed that less than 20% of Americans use vending machines regularly, because they don’t like the extra cost and calories that typically come with full-size vended products. We also learned that a sizable number of consumers like the idea (and functionality) of getting a little less snack and a little less beverage for less than the cost of two full-sized products.
Smiler™ technology enables bottles/containers to be injection blow molded into different shapes and sizes. The larger, top compartment holds the liquid, while the bottom holds the snack item. Additionally, both can be used for dry products and/or non-food items.
The second or bottom compartment is created by drawing the base upwards which forms a small cavity into which a heat-sealed portion cup, containing solid, granular or powdered products, can be inserted and held by friction. The base opening can then be closed using a variety of heat-seal or pressure-sensitive materials/methods. The top compartment relies on a traditional finish and closure.
Applications for the Smiler™ concept include vended snack and drink combos, after-the-game treats for youth sports, drink mixes, fund-raising packages and other promotional products. It can also be used for games, hardware items and even humanitarian causes.
For example, at a two-week supply of water purification tablets can be inserted in the bottom cavity. Containers can be air dropped into disaster areas even when roads are impassable and it’s not possible to land aircraft. The top cavity can be used to collect locally-available water, while one of the purification tablets from the bottom cavity can create first-response, drinkable water.