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Publication numberUS3338723 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 29, 1967
Filing dateJul 21, 1964
Priority dateJul 21, 1964
Publication numberUS 3338723 A, US 3338723A, US-A-3338723, US3338723 A, US3338723A
InventorsLundquist Burton R
Original AssigneeSwift & Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Sliced bacon package and tray employed therein
US 3338723 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Aug. 29, 1967 B. R. LUNDQUIST 3,338,723

SLICED BACON PACKAGE AND TRAY EMPLOYED THEREIN Filed July 21, 1964 2 Sheets-Sheet l 22 I HH I L? l /2 nlil'mllllm.

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INVENTOR. BURTON R. LUNDQU/S T BY (Me 4 TTORNE 1 Aug. 29,1967 5. R. LUNDQUIST SLICED BACON PACKAGE AND TRAY EMPLOYED THEREIN Filed July 21, 1964 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR. 50R TON R. LUNDQU/ST ATTORNEY United States Patent nois Filed July 21, 1964, Ser. No. 384,063 6 Claims. (Cl. 99-474) The present invention relates to improvements in the art of food packaging, and more specifically to an improved tray designed for incorporation in a package which includes, and conforms to the shape of, a draft of sliced and shingled food product.

Many food products, such as bacon, sliced meat, sliced cheese, and the like, are well suited to packaging in the form of a shingled draft of product, wherein each slice partially covers the preceding slice, allowing only the edges to show. This form of packaging is widely adapted to bacon, where it is desirable to display the lean edges of the product. In the packaging of such products, it is important that the package present a neat and attractive appearance, and that it be simple and convenient to use.

Most such packages in general use are manufactured from a fiat, creased blank of coated or uncoated paperboard. These packages usually have a flat area upon which the draft of product is placed, allowing the first slice to lie flat while each succeeding slice overlaps the preceding slice, eventually building up to a high point. The draft then slopes downwardly as the last slice is approached, leaving a high point or hump near the center. In order that an attractive package may be provided, it is often considered desirable that it be formed to conform to this hump in the draft. It is found, however, that packages so designed have sloping surfaces which make them very difficult to stack. This results in storage and shipping problems, and also gives the packages a tendency to become unstacked in supermarket display cases, presenting an unattractive overall product display.

If the package is not designed to conform to the shape of the draft, the aforementioned stacking problem may be eliminated. However, a package of such design will have large unfilled spaces producing weak areas in the carton, with a tendency to become damaged. Because of these unfilled spaces, the package is also misleading to the consumer, who cannot determine the size of the product contained therein. The consumer may be further misled in that it is often necessary to design a window to display product but not permit the vacant spaces to be viewed, thus allowing only the high point in the draft to be visible.

Because most cartons are made from a folded paperboard blank, they have several disadvantages inherent in such construction. First, they have a tendency to unfold after they have been opened, making the carton inconvenient to use for storage of a partial draft of product. Second, it is very difficult to utilize such packages as vacuum or partial gas-backfilled packages because of the difficulty of forming a gas-tight seal and the tendency of the package to collapse when a vacuum is drawn.

Attempts to manufacture conventionally designed packages of gas-impermeable plastic films have met with difficulty because of the flexibility of the films, resulting in a package of poor rigidity. Such packages depend for their rigidity mainly upon the stiffness of the product itself combined with the adherence of the film to the product, produced by the vacuum. Once the package has been opened, however, the vacuum is released with an accompanying loss of rigidity. The rigidity is further impaired when part of the draft is removed, or when the product becomes warm and limp. Additionally, these gas-impermeable packages for a draft of sliced and shingled food product have the previously mentioned disadvantage of a hump near the center, making them difficult to stack.

There is thus a need for a sealed package which will withstand a vacuum without collapsing, while producing an attractive display of the product and suflicient rigidity to retain its shape both before and after it is opened. There is a further need for a package which shapes a draft of sliced and shingled food product so that it does not contain a hump at the center, but instead provides a neat, substantially fiat surface with optimum attractiveness for purposes of display.

Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide an improved means for packaging a sliced and shingled food product.

It is another object of the present invention to provide an improved package, carton, and tray therefor, for sliced and shingled food product wherein the tray forms the product so as to present substantially flat top and bottom surfaces.

It is another object of the present invention to provide an improved package, carton, and tray therefor, for a sliced and shingled food product, which has sufiicient rigidity to retain its shape when used in conjunction with a vacuum or a partial gas-backfilled package.

It is another object of the present invention to provide an improved package, carton, and tray therefor, which forms a draft of sliced and shingled food product so as to eliminate unfilled spaces within the package.

It is another object of the present invention to provide an improved package and carton for a sliced and shingled food product incorporating a tray which cannot unfold or otherwise become distorted in normal use.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a carton, package, and tray therefor, for a sliced and shingled food product, which provides an improved uniform display of the edges of the individual product slices.

Generally, the present invention comprises a novel packaging means for a sliced and shingled food product, such as bacon, which incorporates a formed tray. The tray has a fiat, rectangular bottom panel and an upwardly and rearwardly inclined back panel, upon both of which the product rests. These two panels thus cooperate with the product, raising the rear edge thereof whereby to present a substantially fiat top surface. The tray also has upwardly extending side panels, the top edges of which are designed to follow the contour of the draft of product, sloping from the leading edge to the highest point and following the top of the draft in a straight line to the rear edge of the product resting on the rear panel. The product is thus formed with a major, substantially flat upper'surface, while the walls of the tray follow the contours of the draft, conforming substantially to its shape.

Other objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent to one skilled in the art from the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the drawings, in which:

FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of a preferred form of the tray of the present invention;

FIGURE 2 is an end view of the tray of FIGURE 1;

FIGURE 3 is a perspective view of a package of product, including the tray of FIGURES 1 and 2 and a covering member for completely encasing'the product; and

FIGURE 4 is a cross-sectional view along line 44 of the package of FIGURE 3.

Referring to FIGURE 1 and FIGURE 2, the present invention utilizes a tray generally 10,'having a rectangular bottom panel 11 and an upwardly and outwardly inclined substantially rectangular back panel 12 extending from the rear side of the bottom panel 11. Although the tray 10 may be used without a front panel, it is preferred to include a shallow substantially rectangular, and

preferably vertical, front panel 15 which extends upwardly from the front of the bottom panel 11, but does not rise as high as the top of the back panel 12. An upwardly extending left side panel 16 and right side panel 17 are joined to the opposite edges of the bottom panel 11, the back panel 12, and the front panel 15. Although the side panels 16, 17 may be vertical, it is generally preferred that they have a slight outward incline in order that empty trays may be nested in one another for storage prior to use. This outward lean prevents the front panel 15 and the back panel 12 from being perfectly rectangular, and these panels are therefore herein described in substantially rectangular.

A major portion of the top edges of the side panels 16, 17 form straight lines 25, 26 which are parallel to the bottom panel 11 and lie in the same plane as the top edge of the back panel 12. At the front portion of the side panels 16, 17 the top edges preferably form a curve 20, 21 which tapers in a convex manner to joint the top edge of the front panel 15.

It is preferable that the tray of the present invention be surrounded by a continuous flange 22 projecting outwardly from the top edges of the back panel 12, the front panel 15, and the side panels 16, 17. This flange follows the contours of the tray of the present invention, and is thus non-planar, having an upper portion and a lower portion. The upper portion of the flange 22 follows the top edge of the back panel 12 and the linear sections 25, 26 of the top edges of the side panels 16, 17, lying in a plane parallel to the bottom panel 11. The lower flange portion extends from the top edge of the front panel 15, and is also parallel to the bottom panel 11. Between these two flange portions, the flange 22 follows the convex curves 20, 21 at the front of the side panels 16, 17.

A completed package of the present invention, here used to package sliced bacon, is illustrated in FIGURE 3. The tray 10, previously described, has nested therein a draft of bacon 32 which is completely enclosed by the tray and a cover means, preferably a rectangular, flexible plastic cover 30. In the embodiment shown, the cover has an inner transparent window 31, although it would be possible to use a cover which is entirely transparent, displaying the entire product, or an entirely opaque cover. The cover 30 is sealed to the tray 10 along the flange 22 so as to completely enclose the bacon 32 and provide a neat package having a flat top surface with a downward convex curve at the front.

A draft of bacon slices 32 cooperates with the package of the present invention, as shown best in FIGURE 4, to provide a smooth, attractive appearance and a substantially flat surface. The first slice of bacon 35 rests along the bottom panel 11 and is located with its front edge parallel to the front panel 15, which is of suflicient height to accommodate the first slice of bacon 35. The sloping rear panel 12 lifts the rear edge 36 of the draft of slices 32 to a level even with the center portion, while the sloping top front edges of the sidewalls 16, 17 follow the convex curve near the front of the draft.

The tray of the present invention, illustrated in the figures, may be manufactured from any relatively stifl formable material. Because the tray is usually formed by stamping, pressing, or molding, plastics are generally preferred because they are well adapted to such procedures. Examples of plastics which may be utilized include polyethylene, polyvinylchloride, polypropylene, and the like.

After the tray has been formed, the product is placed inside and a cover means is sealed thereto. Such cover means may consist of an overwrap, a sleeve, a plastic top cover, and the like. If the tray is formed with a flange it is generally prefered to employ a flexible cover which may be heat sealed to the flange. Such flexible materials provide the additional advantage that they will be drawn to conform closely to the shape of the draft of product when the package of the present invention is used as a t vacuum or partial gas-backfilled package. A further advantage is found in that the flexibility of the cover material allows for small variations in the height of the product which may be placed in any individual package. The particular cover material to be utilized depends, of course, upon the application of the completed package. First, the material selected must have strength, and must be compatible with the plastic used in the tray. If the cover is to be heat-sealed to the tray, it must be adapted to this purpose. Finally, if a vacuum or controlled-atmosphere package is desired, it is necessary that both the cover and tray materials be gas-impermeable or have a gasimpermeable barrier bonded thereto. Suitable materials for forming the cover include polyethylene, polypropylene, Pliofilm, cellophane, Mylar, Saran, and the like and combinations or laminations thereof. In some applications, a nonplastic cover material, such as a paper product or aluminum, or other metal, foil may be employed.

Any suitable means may be provided for opening the package. For example, lines of weakness may be provided near the outer peripheries of the cover or along the flange itself so that the cover is simply torn back. another method is to seal the cover to the tray with an adhesive designed so that the cover is easily peeled off.

Obviously, many modifications and variations of the invention as hereinbefore set forth may be made without departing from the spirit and scope thereof, and therefore only such limitations should be imposed as are indicated in the appended claims.

I claim:

1. A unitary package tray for a sliced and shingled food product formed of a relatively stiff, formable material comprising: a rectangular bottom panel; an inclined back panel joined to said bottom panel, and extending upwardly and outwardly therefrom to a given plane above and parallel to said bottom panel; a pair of side panels joined to opposite edge-s of said bottom panel and said back panel, said side panels having linear top edge portions lying in said plane, said side panels tapering along a curve to join with said bottom panel and a peripheral flange extending outwardly from the top edges of said back and side panels.

2. A unitary package tray for a sliced and shingled food product formed from a relatively stiff formable material comprising: a rectangular bottom panel; an inclined back panel joined to the rear edge of said bottom panel and extending upwardly and outwardly therefrom to a given plane parallel to said bottom panel and spaced a given distance above said bottom panel; a pair of side panels joined to opposite edges of said bottom panel and said back panel, said side panels having linear top edge portions lying in said plane; and a front panel joined to the front edges of said bottom panel and said side panels, and opposite said back panel and extending upwardly a distance less than said given distance, said side panels tapering to join with said front panel at the adjacent portions thereof; and a continuous peripheral flange extending outwardly from the top edges of said back, side, and front panels.

3. A rigid, unitary formed plastic tray for a sliced and shingled food product comprising: a rectangular bottom panel; an inclined, substantially rectangular back panel joined to an edge of said bottom panel and extending upwardly and outwardly therefrom to a given plane parallel to said bottom panel and space-d a given distance above said bottom panel; a pair of side panels joined to opposite edges of said bottom panel and said back panel, a major portion of said side panels having linear top edges lying in said plane; and a substantially rectangular front panel joined to the front edges of said bottom panel and said side panels opposite said back panel and extending upwardly a distance less than said given distance, said side panels tapering along a convex curve to join with said front panel at the adjacent portions thereof; and a con tinuous, peripheral flange extending outwardly from the top edges of said back, side, and front panels.

4. A package of sliced and shingled food product formed of a relatively stiff plastic comprising: a rectangular bottom panel; an inclined, substantially rectangular back panel joined to an edge of said bottom panel and extending upwardly and outwardly therefrom to a given plane parallel to said bottom panel and spaced a given distance above said bottom panel; a pair of side panels joined to opposite edges of said bottom panel and said back panel, said side panels having linear top edge portions lying in said plane; a front panel joined to the front edges of said bottom panel and said side panels opposite said back panel and extending upwardly a distance less than said given distance, said side panels tapering along a convex curve to join with said front panel at the adjacent portions thereof; a continuous, peripheral flange extending outwardly from the top edges of said back, side, and front panels; a draft of sliced and shingled food product positioned so that the first slice of product rests on said bottom panel with the front edge parallel to said front panel, and the trailing edge of said draft is lifted to a level even with the top of the center portion of said draft; and a rectangular, flexible cover attached to said flange and having an inner transparent window for displaying the edges of the sliced and shingled product.

5. An improved package of sliced and shingled food product, said package incorporating a unitary tray of relatively stiff plastic, comprising: a rectangular bottom panel; an inclined, substantially rectangular back panel joined to an edge of said bottom panel and extending upwardly and outwardly therefrom to a given plane parallel to said bottom panel and spaced a given distance above said bottom panel; a pair of side panels joined to opposite edges of said bottom panel and said back panel, a major portion of said side panels having linear top edges lying in said plane; a substantially rectangular front panel joined to the front edges of said bottom panel and said side panels opposite said back panel and extending upwardly a distance less than said given distance, said side panels tapering along a convex curve to join with said front panel at the adjacent portions thereof; a continuous, peripheral flange extending outwardly from the top edges of said back, side, and front panels; a draft of sliced and shingled food product positioned so that the first slice of product rests on said bottom panel with the front edge parallel to said front panel, and the trailing edge of said draft is lifted to a level even with the top of the center portion of said draft; and a flexible cover attached to said flange whereby to completely enclose said food product.

6. An improved bacon package incorporating a rigid, unitary plastic tray, said package comprising: a rectangul-ar bottom panel; an inclined rectangular back panel joined to an edge of said bottom panel and extending upwardly and outwardly therefrom to a given plane parallel to said bottom panel and spaced a given distance above said bottom panel; a pair of side panels joined to opposite edges of said bottom panel and said back panel, a major portion of said side panels having linear top edges lying in said plane; a front panel joined to the front edges of said bottom panel and said side panels opposite said back panel and extending upwardly a distance less than said given distance, said side panels tapering along a convex curve to join with said front panel at the adjacent portions thereof; a continuous, peripheral flange extending outwardly from the top edges of said back, side, and front panels; a draft of sliced and shingled bacon positioned within said tray so that the first slice of bacon rests on said bottom panel with the front edge parallel to said front panel and the trailing edge of said draft is lifted to a level even with the top center portion of said draft; and a rectangular, flexible cover attached to said flange and having an inner transparent panel for displaying the lean edges of the shingled bacon slices.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,341,695 6/ 1920 White et a1 20673 2,301,577 11/1942 Peterson 220-1 X 8,083,107 3/ 196 3 Tindall 99--174- X 3,145,870 8/1964 Lockwood 220-97 X HYMAN LORD, Primary Examiner.

A. LOUIS MONAOELL, Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1341695 *May 19, 1919Jun 1, 1920Myron H WetzelCard-distributing device
US2301577 *Nov 27, 1939Nov 10, 1942Peterson Vernon AVegetable and fruit display container
US3083107 *Aug 25, 1960Mar 26, 1963Tindall John MSliced food package
US3145870 *Mar 21, 1962Aug 25, 1964Warren H LockwoodReversible nesting and stacking container
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4055671 *Jul 21, 1975Oct 25, 1977Mahaffy & Harder Engineering CompanyHermetically sealed package
US5405629 *Feb 4, 1994Apr 11, 1995Oscar Mayer Foods CorporationMulti-seal reclosable flexible package for displaying thinly sliced food products
US5445838 *Jul 21, 1993Aug 29, 1995Oscar Mayer Foods CorporationPeelable and resealable package for thinly sliced meats and the like
US5520939 *Mar 31, 1994May 28, 1996Oscar Mayer Foods CorporationRigid reclosable bacon package
US5545420 *May 31, 1995Aug 13, 1996Kraft Foods, Inc.Peelable and resealable package for thinly sliced meats and the like
US5558891 *Dec 30, 1994Sep 24, 1996Kraft Foods, Inc.Packaging of thinly sliced meats
US5582853 *Jan 3, 1995Dec 10, 1996Kraft Foods, Inc.Multi-seal recloseable flexible package for displaying thinly sliced food products
US5702743 *May 24, 1996Dec 30, 1997Kraft Foods, Inc.Rigid reclosable bacon package
US7172779 *Sep 27, 2002Feb 6, 2007Kraft Foods Holdings, Inc.Container with rigid substrate, sealing substrate, tapering walls
US7731997Feb 13, 2008Jun 8, 2010Kraft Foods Global Brands, LlcContainer has a rectangular substantially planar rigid bottom wall, two slanted side/side walls extending angularly upwardly from the bottom wall; food packages for containing pre-sliced food products; better retention of a desired fluffed appearance
US8088421Jun 25, 2010Jan 3, 2012Kraft Foods Global Brands LlcFood package having a reclose mechanism
US8158174Jun 8, 2010Apr 17, 2012Kraft Foods Global Brands LlcContainer for food products
US8468786Dec 9, 2011Jun 25, 2013Kraft Foods Group Brands LlcMethod for forming a reclose mechanism on a reclosable package
EP0452052A1 *Apr 5, 1991Oct 16, 1991Oscar Mayer Foods CorporationPackaged thinly sliced meats and the like and method for the packaging
WO2013134495A1 *Mar 7, 2013Sep 12, 2013Kraft Foods Global Brands LlcSystems and methods for sealing containers having a non-planr flange
WO2013134547A1 *Mar 7, 2013Sep 12, 2013Kraft Foods Global Brands LlcPackage
Classifications
U.S. Classification426/121, 220/62.13
International ClassificationB65D75/52, B65D75/28, B65D75/32
Cooperative ClassificationB65D75/326, B65D75/522, B65D75/32
European ClassificationB65D75/32, B65D75/52B, B65D75/32D1
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Mar 5, 1981ASAssignment
Owner name: SWIFT & COMPANY, (FORMERLY NAMES TRANSITORY FOOD P
Free format text: CONDITIONAL ASSIGNMENT;ASSIGNOR:SWIFT INDEPENDENT PACKING COMPANY;REEL/FRAME:003842/0177
Effective date: 19801027
Mar 2, 1981ASAssignment
Owner name: SWIFT INDEPENDENT PACKING COMPANY
Free format text: CHANGE OF NAME;ASSIGNOR:SWIFT & COMPANY;REEL/FRAME:003847/0067
Effective date: 19801024
Owner name: SWIFT INDEPENDENT PACKING COMPANY,ILLINOIS
Free format text: CHANGE OF NAME;ASSIGNOR:SWIFT & COMPANY;REEL/FRAME:3847/67
Owner name: SWIFT INDEPENDENT PACKING COMPANY, ILLINOIS