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Amcor Rigid Plastics, leading manufacturers of rigid plastic packaging for food, beverage, spirits, home/personal care and healthcare industries, has announced the first commercial use of its unique Apextm hot-fill PET containers with metal lug closures. Leading Mexican food supplier MegaMex Foods, LLC, an Orange, Calif.-based joint venture of Hormel Foods and Herdez del Fuerte, S.A. de CV, has launched its newest La Victoria organic salsa product in 24-ounce Apex PET containers at Costco club stores on the West Coast.

The launch of the new USDA-certified organic La Victoria Pineapple, Mango and Habanero brand salsa in a 24-ounce PET container is a first for the La Victoria brand, according to Stephanie Bloch, brand manager for MegaMex Foods. “Since Costco has been at the forefront of trend-setting packaging developments, we thought it made sense to test our latest La Victoria brand salsa in a 24-ounce PET container at the club store level,” said Bloch.

PET is a highly viable option for retailers and consumers because it mimics glass yet offers lighter weight and improved sustainability advantages over glass, according to Bloch. Amcor’s innovative Apex technology allows metal lug closures to be used with blow molded 24-ounce hot-fill containers. Consumers who are familiar with the look and quality feel of a glass jar with a metal lug closure can now enjoy the same quality and reassurance of the fresh “pop” of a metal lug closure on a lightweight, shatter-proof PET jar. Featuring an advanced barrier system, the Apex system ensures that sealing integrity is maintained and meets the industry average for removal torque (ease of opening). Brand owners like MegaMex Foods can also maintain the same brand equity with the switch from glass to PET.

From a co-packer’s standpoint, Apex PET adds value at minimal risk of breakage, according to Sergio Macias, director of procurement for Olam SVI, a contract filler in Fresno, Calif. “PET is easier to handle, lighter and provides reduced transportation costs,” said Macias.

The 24-ounce stock hot-fill containers, targeted for food applications such as jams, jellies, salsas, apple sauce and pasta sauce, are a drop-in solution for manufacturers, providing reduced total cost of ownership and environmental benefits such as reduced carbon footprint. The shift to Apex PET containers require minimal capital investment and can be adapted to existing capping and filling equipment.

The 24-ounce La Victoria salsa container is hot fillable up to 205°F (96°C) and features a 63mm finish with a functional “pop” tamper-evident indicator button on the closure. Key sustainability benefits are a 36 percent energy savings and a reduction of 2024 tonnes of CO2 emissions which is equivalent to electricity use for one year for 278 homes. Versus the glass container, the PET container results in an 85% material reduction per jar. The weight reduction results in major transportation cost benefits including the shipment of 30 percent more product by weight per truck.

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