University of Wisconsin-Stout: Abby Evers, Brian Georgeson
The current method of packaging sticks of butter uses a wax paper as a primary package for each individual stick of butter. Four ¼ pound sticks are then put in a paperboard carton as a secondary package to be sold in. The proposed Butter Pocket packaging method is vacuum sealing sticks of butter in individual pockets. This creates possibilities for added features, which cannot be achieved through the current packaging.Each stick of butter will be individually vacuum sealed in its own plastic pouch that is equipped with an easy open peel tab, much like individually packaged string cheese. Four individually packaged ¼ pound sticks will come connected in a package, with perforations between each stick for easy separation. The four sticks will roll into a cube to reduce the amount of space it takes up.
Pressure sensitive labels are attached to one face of each stick to keep the unit in a cube shape. Perforations on the label match up with the perforations on the pouches so that the label is easy to tear when separating the sticks (Figure 2). The label segments remain on each pouch so that when the stick is partially used, the label can be used as a closure devise (Figure 6). Measuring increments are printed on the film to maintain the ease of use currently available.
With additional venting features and material selection, there is also a possibility of being able to microwave / melt the butter inside the pouch, reducing the need to dirty an additional dish when baking or making items such as buttered popcorn.
Using plastic instead of wax paper allows the packaging material to be recycled, and if the film is a laminated structure recycled material can be used for the inner layers. Using a plastic film also increases the flavor, grease, and odor barrier properties from the conventional wax paper. Having the pouches roll into a cube and held together by the labels eliminates the need for a secondary package as well.