US 3650383 A
A container assembly has a tray member with a generally planar trapezoidal bottom wall and upstanding sidewalls. A bag member is cooperatively dimensioned and configured to accommodate snugly the tray member. In its preferred form, the bag member is provided with an upstanding front flap to facilitate stacking of a plurality of the containers and a window to allow observation of the contents of the package.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Farvichi ..229/9 Nigro Mar. 21, 1972  PIZZA CONTAINER 3,506,154 4/1970 Barmes ..220/94 A X  n en Michael A. g 420 Church. 1,990,398 2/ 1935 Beddmgfield ..206/72 X weth rsfield Conn 06109 3,074,611 1/1963 Tolaas ..229/9 e 1,498,673 6/1924 Reynolds... ....229/DIG. 11  Filed: May 8, 1970 2,162,089 6/1939 Kagen ..206/46 F UX ] Appl' 35742 Primary Examiner-Joseph R. Leclair Assistant Examiner-Steven E. Lipman  us. Cl. ..206/45.31,-206/45.32, 206/DIG. 2, A rn y-Peter L. Costas 229/9, 229/19, 229/87 F [51 1 Int. Cl ..B65d 25/00  ABSTRACT  gjgz g g' b' '"Egg 2: A container assembly has a tray member with a .generally DIG 6 planar trapezoidal bottom wall and upstanding sidewalls. A bag member is cooperatively dimensioned and configured to accommodate snugly the tray member. In its preferred form,  References cued the bag member is provided with an upstanding front flap to UNITED STATES PATENTS facilitate stacking of a plurality of the containers and a window to allow observation of the contents of the package.
3,036,701 5/1962 Strongwater ..206/46 AP 3,286,905 1 H1966 7 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures Patented March 21, 1972 FIGS FIG.1
INVENTOR MICHAEL A. NlcRd ATTORNEY PIZZA CONTAINER BACKGROUND or THE INVENTION Various containers have been proposed for use with food stuffs and some containers have been designed with removable tray members such as that shown in Kagen US. Pat. No. 2,162,089.
Generally prior containers have not provided a simple and economical construction which would allow convenient insertion of food stuffs such as cakes and pizza in them and which thereafter could be readily stacked and transported. Generally the available containers suffer from one or more drawbacks such as lack of adequate protection of the contents from crushing forces if two or more containers are stacked, difficulty in insertion of the contents, or high cost. For example, when a planar circular tray is used in conjunction with a paper bag, the contents are subject to damage if two container assemblies are stacked. If a rectangular cardboard box is used, difficulty is encountered in inserting the contents into the box because of the necessity for aligning the contents with the sides of the box.
Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a novel container assembly having elements which are conveniently and rapidly assembled and which are relatively inexpensively and simply produced.
It is also an object to provide such an assembly wherein the goods may be readily inserted and are protected from crushing forces.
Another object is to provide such an assembly wherein the contents of the container are visible for inspection thereof and wherein a tray member may be gripped conveniently.
Still another object is to provide such an assembly which is easily sealed by stapling or similar means and which also provides a guide for stacking the container assemblies.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It has now been found that the foregoing and related objects may be readily attained in a container assembly comprising a tray member having a generally planar trapezoidal bottom wall and four upstanding side wall portions comprising two parallel side wall portions and two converging side walls. A bag member snugly and completely encloses the tray member in closely spaced relationship to prevent outward movement of the upstanding side wall portion. The bag member has trapezoidal top and bottom wall portions connected by front, back and opposed side wall portions.
In a preferred embodiment, the front wall of the bag member is provided by overlapping flaps on the top and bottom wall portions which are folded and secured by stapling or equivalent means. By having the bottom wall flaps of greater length and folding-them upwardly, the flaps project upwardly of the upper surface of the container and serve as an abutment portion to facilitate stacking of a plurality of the container assembly.
The tray member desirably has one parallel side wall portion of lesser height than the other, and the converging side wall portions taper downwardly toward the shorter wall portrons.
In addition, the top wall portion of the bag member may be provided with an aperture and a transparent window for observation of the contents of the container assembly. The side wall portions of the tray member may be provided with handle slots to facilitate lifting thereof.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a container assembly embodying the present invention;
FIG. 2 is an exploded perspective view of the container assembly of FIG. 1 and showing a circular plate in phantom line;
FIG. 3 is a plan view of the blank from which the tray member is formed with dotted lines showing the locations of the fold lines;
FIG. 4 is a sectional view along the line 4-4 of FIG. 1; and
FIG. 5 is a plan view of an alternate tray member having handle cutouts in the side wall portions.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE ILLUSTRATED EMBODIMENTS Turning now in detail to the appended drawing, therein illustrated is a container assembly embodying the present invention and especially adapted for pizza and like food stuffs. It includes a tray member generally designated by the numeral 10 and a bag member generally designated by the numeral 12. The top and bottom wall portions 14, 16 of the bag member 14 are trapezoidal in configuration and are interconnected by opposed side wall portions 18 and a back wall portion 20. The front wall portion is provided by flaps 22, 24 on the top and bottom wall portion 14, 16 and the flap 24 is of greater height so that when they are folded upwardly, there is provided an upstanding tab forming a vertical abutment surface to facilitate stacking of a plurality of container assemblies. The flaps 22, 24 are secured together by staples 26 or other suitable means. As best seen in FIG. 2, the side wall portions 18 taper downwardly in height toward the back wall portion 20. In the top wall portion 14 is a window aperture 28 and a transparent film 30 extends across the aperture 28 to provide a sealed window for viewing the contents of the assembly.
The tray member 10 has a trapezoidal bottom wall portion 32 and four upstanding side wall portions 34, 36 and 38. The side wall portion 34 is of lesser height than the opposed side wall portion 38, and the side wall portions 36 taper downwardly and converge toward the side wall portion 34.-
In use of the container assembly, a circular pizza 40 or similar foodstuff item is placed on the bottom wall portion 32 of the tray member 10. The tray member 10 is then slid into the bag member 12 with the tapered side wall portions 36 guiding the tray member 10 inwardly. After the tray member 10 is fully seated withing the bag member 12, it is snugly seated and the bag member 12 retains the side wall portions 34, 36 and 38 from outward movement. In the embodiment of FIG. 5, the side wall portions 36 have elongated apertures 42 for insertion of the users fingers to facilitate lifting and carrying of the tray member 10.
As will be appreciated, ordinarily the side wall portions of the tray member 10 would not be secured in the upstanding position but are held there by the inward forces applied by the bag member 12 and the outward forces imposed by the contents of the-tray member 10. Accordingly, it is not necessary to assemble the tray members 10 in advance of the time of their use.
The components of the container assembly may be fabricated from various materials such as synthetic plastic, paper and like. Particularly desirable materials arerelatively heavy gauge paper for the bag member and corrugated paperboard for the tray member.
From the foregoing, it is apparent that the container assemblies of the present invention may be conveniently and inexpensively produced. As best shown in FIG. 1, the closing flaps 22 and 24 act to form an abutment surface for ease of stacking of a plurality of such containers. When two or more such containers are so disposed, the slight misalignment of the containers caused by the adjacent positioning of successive abutment surfaces results in more positive support of the upper container assembly by the side wall positions 36 of the lower assembly which are more positively positioned under the bottom wall portion of the tray member being supported. Without this slight misalignment, the side walls 36 of the lower tray would be more likely to be forced apart due to the loading of the upper tray. This would be true even though the bag member 12 is tending to limit the outward travel of the side wall portions 36.
In the preferred embodiment, visibility of the contents of the container assembly is provided by the window 30 in the generally opaque bag member 12. The ease of rapid assembly of such container assembly is apparent in that the tapering width and height of the tray member permits easy insertion thereof into the bag member 12. This is particularly significant in that, during periods of high volume in establishments using such containers, it is not necessary to prefold and secure the containers thereby eliminating not only a storage problem but also a time-consuming task.
Rapid assembly of the two components is effected by merely folding the wall members 34, 36, 38 of the tray member 10 and inserting it into the bag member 12. The sealing of the bag member 12 constructed in accordance with the invention is very simply accomplished by the illustrated technique of staples although other techniques may be employed including adhesives, heat sealing and mechanical interlocks.
By changing the dimensions of the bag and tray members, various types of goods may be accommodated such as pies, cakes, and the like. The tray member may have means thereon for securing a plate such as adhesive or tabs if so desired.
Thus, it can be seen that the container assemblies of the present invention utilize elements which are conveniently and rapidly assembled and which are relatively inexpensively produced. The goods may be readily inserted and are protected from crushing forces, and they may be readily observed.
I. In a container assembly, the combination comprising:
a. a relatively rigid tray member comprising a generally planar trapezoidal bottom wall and four upstanding side wall portions providing two parallel side wall portions and two converging side wall portions, and
b. a bag member of flexible sheet material snugly. and completely enclosing said tray member in closely spaced relation and preventing outward movement of said upstanding side wall portions, said bag member having trapezoidal top and bottom wall portions connected by front, back, and opposed side wall portions, said front wall portion of said bag member being provided by overlapping elosure flaps extending from said top and bottom wall portions of said bag member, said closure flaps being folded upwardly and extending above said top wall portion forming a vertical abutment surface facilitating stacking of a plurality of such container assemblies.
2. The assembly of claim 1 wherein the closure flap extending from said bottom wall portion is of a height approximating the combined height of the tray member and the flap extending from said top wall portion.
3. The assembly of claim 1 wherein two opposed side wall portions of said tray member have elongated apertures therein dimensioned to permit insertion of the user's fingers for lifting of said tray member.
4. The assembly of claim 1 wherein said tray member is fabricated from corrugated paperboard and said bag member is fabricated from relatively heavy gauge paper.
5. The assembly of claim 1 wherein one of said parallel side wall portions of said tray member is of lesser height than the other of said parallel side wall portions and wherein the converging side wall portions taper downwardly towards said one side wall portion.
6. The assembly of claim 1 wherein said side wall portions of said tray member are equal in height.
7. The assembly of claim 1 wherein said bag member is generally opaque, said top wall having an aperture therein and a generally planar transparent window covering said aperture whereby the contents of said container assembly may be observed.