The new “la Cup2” container enables products, one of which will usually be a sauce, to be processed, packed and prepared separately and only combined at the point of consumption to ensure the final dish is presented to the consumer with the best taste, consistency and quality. The solution is suitable for hot and cold, cooked and fresh, and savoury and sweet dishes. Typical applications include accompanying sauces for a variety of food dishes such as pasta, meat and rice, as well as salads and dressings, vegetable garnishes for meat dishes and breakfast cereals and milk.
La Cup2 comprises a separate pot and lid. The sauce or other product to be added to the main dish is sealed in the lid which is then hermetically sealed to the pot to create a single pack. If required the product can be heated in the microwave. The consumer first removes the tear seal to separate the two sections, and then the action of turning the lid engages a small pin in the rim of the pot which tears the seal on the lid section, allowing the two products to be mixed together just before eating. The meal can be consumed directly from the pot.
The concept provides maximum flexibility to deal with differing product requirements. It can be manufactured in either mono-layer polypropylene for fresh or pasteurised products or with an EVOH barrier for products that require sterilisation. Pasteurised products offer an ambient shelf life of around six weeks while for sterilised products this can be up to a year. Equally important, keeping the products separate during the retort process can also help to improve the overall taste and quality of the individual ingredients.
Another example of the flexibility of the design is that when the seal combining the two parts of the container is removed, if the lid section is lifted straight off the pot, its film seal remains intact. It can then be separately heated if required, for example for a hot chocolate sauce to accompany a cold dessert, or used to add a cold accompaniment to the main dish.
La Cup2 is currently available in a 300g size, but other sizes are also possible. The filled container is packed in an outer carton for maximum branding opportunities.