US 3651930 A
A package employing a stand-up tray provides a retail shelf display with the largest surface of the package facing the prospective buyer. In this upright position maximum label space or viewing of the package contents is available. The top edges of the sidewalls which define the tray cavity opening are inclined from a taller end wall to a shorter end wall rather than being perpendicular to the end walls. In its vertical position, the tray rests on the taller end wall which is perpendicular to all other walls and edges except the inclined sidewall edges. As a result, the tray cavity's opening is flared for compact nesting of trays before filling while giving a flat supporting surface for the upright tray.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Artz [451 Mar.28,1972
 STAND-UP DISPLAY TRAY AND PACKAGE USING SAME  Inventor: Kenneth W. Artz, Mohnton, Pa.
 Assignee: W. R. Grace 8: Co., Duncan, SC.
 Filed: June 17, 1970 [211 App]. No.: 46,955
FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 879,186 10/1961 Great Britain ..229/2.5
Primary Examiner-Joseph R. Leclair Assistant Examiner-Steven E. Lipman Attorney-John J. Toney, William D. Lee, Jr. and Edward J. Hanson, Jr
[5 7] ABSTRACT A package employing a stand-up tray provides a retail shelf display with the largest surface of the package facing the prospective buyer. In this upright position maximum label space or viewing of the package contents is available' The top edges of the sidewalls which define the tray cavity opening are inclined from a taller end wall to a shorter end wall rather than being perpendicular to the end walls. In its vertical position, the tray rests on the taller end wall which is perpendicular to all other walls and edges except the inclined sidewall edges. As a result, the tray cavitys opening is flared for compact nesting of trays before filling while giving a flat supporting surface for the upright tray.
4 Claims, 10 Drawing Figures PATENTEDMRN m2 SHEET 1 BF 4 FIG. I
INVENTORZ KENNETH W. ARTZ mm LABEL LABEL ATTORNEY FIG. 2
PATENTED MAR 28 I972 SHEET 2 BF 4 IO ."L' h INVENTORI FIG 5 KENNETH w. ARTZ mm... B. ATTORNEY PATENTEDMAF: 28 I972 SHEET 3 1F 4 INVENTOR:
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PATENTEnmzs 1972 3,651,930
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32 LABEL FIG. 9 FIG. IO
KENNETH W. ARTZ BY: 9mm... 9.66,
ATTORNEY STAND-UP DISPLAY TRAY AND PACKAGE USING SAME FIELD OF THE INVENTION BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION A large number of goods both in the food and non-food lines are displayed or sold in one form of a tray or another. In almost every instance the tray rests on its largest or base surface. However, in this position the contents of the tray can be observed without obstruction only from above. Also, to conserve space in retail displays it is usually desirable to stack product filled trays vertically. This stacking means that even using transparent trays and wrappers only a small edge or side portion of the contents can be seen; or, only a small edge portion of the package is available for a label which the prospective buyer will see. However, when viewed from above all of the contents of a tray can be seen when transparent wrapping is used or a large surface is presented for labeling. Accordingly, it is one object of the present invention to provide a tray for a package which can be placed on a shelf so that its entire contents may be seen, or so that its largest surface is available for labeling.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a tray for a package which will be stable as it stands on one ofits narrow ends on a shelf.
Still another object of the present invention is to provide a tray for a package which will stand upright for displaying purposes and will rest horizontally for opening and serving.
Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a tray, which before being loaded with product, is compactly nestable and will de-nest freely.
These and other objects accomplished by the present invention will become apparent from the following summary of the invention and the detailed description of a preferred embodiment with reference to the drawings.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In the broadest aspect, the present invention is a stand-up display tray and package using same. Maximum label space is available and full viewing of package contents is possible when a tray is placed on a shelfin an upright manner. The top edges of the sidewalls and end walls of the tray form a periphery which defines the tray cavity opening. This periphery lies in a plane inclined with respect to the base wall of the tray, the base wall being the supporting surface for the tray contents when the tray is in a horizontal position. The inclined opening or cut surface of the tray makes possible a flared cavity opening for compact nesting of the trays before they are filled while also permitting a right angle between the taller end wall (bottom supporting surface in an upright position) and the base wall (bottom supporting surface in a horizontal position).
In another aspect, the invention is a molded, one piece, display tray having at least one cavity for receiving a product. The tray comprises a base wall, two end walls rising from the base wall, and two side walls joining the two end walls. One of the end walls is taller than the other and the sidewalls slope from the height of the taller end wall to the height of the shorter end wall. The taller end wall is approximately perpendicular to the base wall and this taller wall serves as the bottom of the tray when the tray is in a vertical, upright position. The shorter end wall is preferably inclined away from the taller end wall to provide a flare at its end of the tray. The upper edges of the end walls and the side walls are joined and form a continuous edge which defines the opening to the tray cavity. This edge defining the opening of the tray cavity will lie in a plane which is at an acute angle with the plane of the base wall. This means that the plane of the taller end wall will make an angle of greater than 90 with the plane of the wall edges when the angle is measured counterclockwise from the taller end wall.
In a more limited aspect the present invention comprises a tray as described above which includes a peripheral flange around the opening to the tray cavity. This peripheral flange extends outwardly from the walls.
In a still more limited aspect, the present invention is a package employing the above described tray having a product loaded into the tray cavity. The wrapping material for the package encloses the tray and the product and the wrapping material is in the form ofa bag or tube which is closed by having an upper and lower sealed seam. To enable the package to stand upright on the shelf the seam is folded under the flange extending from the taller end wall of the tray thus providing a stable base for the package as it stands upright.
The trays of the subject invention may be formed from any clear or opaque materials which lend themselves to molding. Typical of such materials are paper, plastics, and metal. Preferred paper materials would be pulp and fiberboard; preferred plastic materials are the thermoplastics including polystyrene, polyesters, polyolefins, and polyamides; and, preferred metals are aluminum and steel foil.
Trays and packages within the scope of the invention may be single or multi-compartment and of varying depth, width, or dimensional configuration. The invention contemplates the packaging of both food and non-food items. A particularly advantageous utilization of the subject invention in the food line is with bakery products such as cookies and the like. However, the invention is also useful for the packaging and display of cheese, fresh or frozen meat cuts, and poultry in whole or in piece.
A better appreciation of the subject invention can be had from the drawings and the following detailed description.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a side elevation view of one embodiment of the package of the subject invention showing the package standing in its upright display position;
FIG. 2 is a front elevation view of the package of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a view from the top of the tray used in the package of FIG. 1 when the tray is in horizontal and not upright position;
FIG. 4 is a view of the tray shown in FIG. 3 looking from the lower side of FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 is a view of the tray of FIG. 4 looking from the left hand side of FIG. 4;
FIG. 6 is a schematic side view in partial section of the tray used in the package of FIG. 1;
FIG. 7 is a partial sectional view ofa tray used in FIG. 6 with product filling the tray cavities and the tray being overwrapped to form a package;
FIG. 8 shows a schematic section ofa stacked array of the trays shown in FIGS. 3 through 5 to illustrate the nesting features ofthe present invention;
FIG. 9 is a side elevation view of an alternate embodiment of the present invention; and,
FIG. 10 is a front view of the alternate embodiment shown in FIG. 9.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT The preferred embodiment of the subject invention is shown in FIGS. 1 through 8 and the following description will refer to those figures. In this embodiment, the tray cavity has been divided into three compartments of relatively equal size and the compartments are designed for receiving disc shaped bakery items such as cookies.
FIG. I is a side elevation of the cookie package of the preferred embodiment. Tray 1 is enclosed in wrapping material 2 which is in the form of a bag having a lower seam 14 and an upper seam 13. FIG. 2 is a front view of FIG. 1 showing the lower compartment 4, the middle compartment 5. and the upper compartment 6, all of which contain the product or cookies 3.
Referring now to FIGS. 3 through 5, the out line or upper peripheral edge 8 of the walls is seen. Extending outwardly from this upper peripheral edge 8 is flange 10. The flange width may vary around the tray periphery depending on cavity arrangement. From flange l0, flange wall 11 rises. The top edge of flange 11 is approximately parallel to the upper edge of the tray opening 8. In this embodiment grooves 7 are provided for receiving the cookies and for strengthening the walls. The tray base line of bottom wall 12 is also the taller of the two end walls which define the ends of the tray as it lies in its horizontal position as shown in FIGS. 3 through 4. Indentations 15 are provided at the juncture between flange l and the walls defining the cavity of the tray. These indentations 15 enable a stacked group of the trays to de-nest freely. From the top, the de-nesting' members 15 appear as indentations but from the bottom and side of the tray they appear as projections. When stacked, the projections of one tray rest on the flange of the tray immediately below. The projections are staggered so that they are not in the same place for succeeding trays. These projections and corresponding indentations l5 serve to keep the surfaces of stacked trays separated so that partial vacuum will not be formed thus hindering separation of the trays.
FIG. 7 is an enlarged view in partial section of a package similar to that shown in FIG. 1, the view in both instances being from the side. FIG. 6 is a related view ofa tray in essentially the same position as the tray shown in FIG. 7 but in FIG. 6 the product or cookies 3 and the overwrapping or bag 2 is missing. Line 9 shown in both figures is the edge of the base wall plane which serves as the supporting surface of the tray cavity when the tray is in a horizontal position such as shown in FIG. 4. The base wall plane 9 is perpendicular to the plane of the taller end wall 12 and when in the position shown in FIG. 6 this base wall plane 9 will not be perpendicular to the surface on which the tray rests due to the projection of flange 10. Thus, base wall plane 9 varies from perpendicular by a small angle 0. In FIG. 7 the bag 2 is shown with its seam l4 folded under the taller end wall 12. This seam compensates for the angle 0 and enables the package to stand upright perpendicular to the shelf or other supporting surface. As can be seen from FIG. 7, the package rests on the seam 14 and on the flange 10. As various packaging materials are used the width of flange will have to be varied to compensate for the thickness of the seam 14. Thus, the center of gravity (CG. in FIG. 1) of the package is symmetrically located with respect to the package's supporting surface.
In FIGS. 4 and 8 an essential feature of the subject invention can be appreciated. FIG. 8 shows a stacked array of the trays of the preferred embodiment. In order to provide a flat surface against which seam 14 (see FIG. 7) may rest, taller end wall 12 must be approximately perpendicular to base wall plane 9. However, if taller end wall 12 is also perpendicular to cut line 8 (the plane of the upper edge of the side walls) to form a rectangularly shaped tray, then there can be no compact nesting of the trays as shown in FIG. 8. In other words, there must be a flared opening in order for there to be nesting. Accordingly, it has been surprisingly found that such a flared opening may be provided by sloping the out line 8 away from the horizontal at an acute angle 1 The angle 1 is shown measured from two different points of reference, one as shown in FIG. 4 and the other as shown in FIG. 8. As shown in FIG. 4, the cut line or the plane containing the edge defining the opening of the tray cavity 8 is at an angle greater than 90 from the plane of the taller end wall 12 when the angle is measured counterclockwise. The angle is greater than by the acute angle '1 FIG. 8 clearly shows how the provision of the sloping out line 8 enables the end wall 12 to be perpendicular to the base line 9 and at the same time an opening flared by the amount represented by the angle 1 is provided. In this embodiment, 1 is approximately 8.
In the preferred embodiment, compartment or intermediate walls 16 and 17 are formed by indentations in base wall 9 (See FIGS. 3 to 5) which connect side walls 18 and 19. These intermediate walls divide the tray cavity and define the three compartments'4, 5,' and 6.
ALTERNATE EMBODIMENT FIGS. 9 and 10 illustrate an alternate embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 9 is a side view and FIG. 10 is a front view. Tray 31 which is filled by product 33 is overwrapped or enclosed in bag 32 having upper seam 35 and lower seam 36. Flange 37 extends outwardly from the out line 34. The out line 34 also defines the opening to the tray cavity. End wall 38 is at right angles to base wall 39 and angle I the angle of slope of the out line 34, provides a flared opening for compact nesting of the trays. In a tray shown in FIGS. 9 and 10, products such as cake, cheese, meats cuts, or even whole chicken can be packaged and displayed.
Angle I may vary from being as small as 3 or 4 to as much as 25 to 30 depending upon the tray configuration. Preferably, the range of use will vary between 5 and 15.
1. A package comprising:
a. a stand-up, nestable tray having at least one cavity for receiving a product comprising:
1. a base wall serving as the supporting surface of the tray cavity when the tray is in a horizontal position;
2. two end walls rising from said base wall, one end wall beingtaller than the other, the taller wall being approximately perpendicular to said base wall; the taller wall serving as the bottom of the tray when the tray is in a vertical, upright position;
3. two side walls joining the two end walls, the upper edges of all of said walls forming a smooth continuous edge defining the opening to the tray cavity, the upper edges of said side walls sloping from the taller end wall to the shorter end wall so that the plane in which the upper edges of said side walls lie forms an acute angle with the horizontal and provides the tray with a flared cavity wall whereby the empty trays are compactly nestable;
4. a peripheral flange around the opening to said tray cavity, said peripheral flange extending outwardly from the end and side walls;
b. at least one product being disposed in the cavity of said tray; and,
c. a bag enclosing said product and tray, said bag having a seam positioned adjacent said taller end wall, said flange extending from said taller end wall being of approximately the same thickness as said bag seam.
2. The package of claim 1 wherein a plurality of cavities are formed in the tray thereof by a corresponding number of intermediate walls connecting the two side walls.
3. The package of claim 1 wherein the tray is of one-piece construction.
4. The package of claim 1 wherein the tray is clear.