Look how far we've come in the last five decades.


Check out our other Timelines:
10 Years of Packaging Innovations at General Mills
Key Regulations During the Last 10 Years.


Special thanks to our Timeline sponsor Amgraph Packaging, 866-479-0024; www.amgraph.com


Ten times the info! Ten times the fun! Here’s the expanded version of ourTimeline: 50 Years of Packaging Innovations.


1858Louis Pasteur’s discovery that microorganisms cause disease ushers food preservation into the 20th century.

1876Alexander Graham Bell invents the telephone.

1903Wright Brothers fly the first airplane.

1913Ford creates the assembly line to produce cars.

1914World War I begins.

1920Babe Ruth hits 54 home runs-more than any entire team in the American League.

1920Women win the vote.

1927Charles Lindbergh flies solo across the Atlantic in “Spirit of St. Louis.”

1934Gable-top milk carton.

1941Japan bombs Pearl Harbor, creating the impetus for the U.S. to enter World War II.

1947Aerosol package.

1947Pilot Chuck Yeager breaks the sound barrier.

1952Michigan State University establishes its School of Packaging.

1953Swanson & Sons markets the first TV-dinner, bringing convenience to time-pressed working women.

1954Polypropylene is invented.

1955New era of civil rights.

1956PMMI sponsors first packaging machinery show in Ohio.

1958First Interpack trade show.


1959

First issue ofFood & Drug Packaging.

Fidel Castro comes to power in Cuba.

Mattel introduces the Barbie doll.

Aluminum can.


1960

JFK is elected President of the U.S.

Boil-in bags for frozen foods.

Tear-off aluminum ends for composite juice cans.

Plastic tubs for cottage cheese.

Glass receives a GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) rating from the Food and Drug Administration. This allows an increased speed to market for products packaged in glass because they don’t need additional safety or quality-checking.

1961

Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin is the first man in space.

The Berlin Wall.

The Bay of Pigs.

Soccer champion Pele and team win World Cup.

Colonel John Glenn is the first American to orbit the earth.

Cuban missile crisis.

High-density polyethylene milk bottles.

Metal pour spout on cartons.

Easy-open aluminum can end.

Bulk palletizing of glass bottles.

Dispensing closures.

E-flute corrugated.

Wraparound case packing.

Composite cans.

Flexographic printing for foil.


1962

Polyethylene-coated milk cartons.


1963

President John Kennedy is assassinated.

Martin Luther King delivers his “I have a dream” speech.

EPA initiates the Clean Air Act.

Loop-style plastic multipacks.


1964

Lyndon Johnson is elected U.S. President.

Shrink-wrapped corrugated trays for canned goods.

"Duraglas" is introduced as a new method for surface treating glass containers. The invisible outer skin resists surface damage, is resistant to caustic washing and offers less friction on high-speed filling lines.

1965

Pressure-sensitive label application becomes automatic.

Membrane inner seals.

Embossed metal cans.

Twist-off crown closures for beer.

Programmable controllers.

Two-piece aluminum cans.


1966

Truman Capote’s “In Cold Blood.”

Fair Packaging and Labeling Act.

Non-returnable soda bottles with easy-opening screw closures.


1967

The Green Bay Packers win the first Super Bowl.

Tape-tab device for beverage cans.

Tamper-evident closures for milk jugs.

High-density polyethylene jars for institutional mayonnaise.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clears polyvinyl chloride (PVC) for food use.

First packaging line mechanics course opens in New Jersey.


1968

Rock musicalHairshocks and entertains.

North Vietnamese soldiers launch the “Tet” Offensive on South Vietnam.

Senator Robert Kennedy is assassinated by Sirhan Sirhan.

Black civil rights leader, Martin Luther King, is shot and killed by James Earl Ray.

Stand-up pouches.

Boil-in-bag packaging.

Interlocking/stacking plastic containers.

Plastic foam egg carton.

Clear PVC bottles for food.

Richard Nixon is elected U.S. President.

Glass Composite Packaging (GCP) is developed for soft drinks and beer in response to growing consumer demand for convenience containers. The GCP bottles were bulb-shaped containers permanently set in pre-printed polyethylene bases; these acted as insulators, coasters and bumper guards on the filling lines. Lightweight but strong, the bottles have a wide mouth and a tumbler-like lip for easy drinking.

1969

Apollo 11 lands the first men on the moon.

First flight of the supersonic jet airliner Concorde.

The BBC broadcasts the first Monty Python’s Flying Circus.



Woodstock Festival.

Internet is developed.

Pillsbury’s refrigerated dough targets the instant-everything generation.


1970

Shooting at Kent State anti-war demonstration.

The Poison Prevention Packaging Act / child-resistant packaging.

First “Earth Day” triggers anti-litter campaign.

Aluminum can recycling.

The Beatles split up.


1971

Foamed plastic jackets for glass bottles.

All-steel easy-opening cans.

Two-piece metal cans.

PMMI’s Packaging Machinery Show is renamed Pack Expo.

Lightweighting glass bottles begins with the use of Plasti-Shield, an insulated foam sleeve that wraps around glass bottles. Bottles require 28% less sand to produce, reduce solid waste by 30% and are recyclable. The Plasti-Shield bottle is named "Package of the Year" in a packaging industry competition and scores equally as well with consumers by doubling in sales the following year. Soft drink, wine, water and juice bottlers, as well as alcoholic beverage distillers, use the package.

1972

SALT Treaty limits nuclear missile capacity in U.S. and Soviet Union.

Arab terrorists kill 11 Israeli athletes at Munich Olympics.

“The Godfather” romanticizes and dramatizes Mafia life.

Blow-fill-seal technology.

Ovenable paperboard trays.



Contact-clear polypropylene containers.

Guinness launches first ‘widget’ beer-foaming device.

Mood rings.


1973

Watergate scandal.

U.S. launches space station Skylab 4 into earth orbit.

Safety-edge, easy-open, pull-top metal can ends.

Universal Product Code.

Arab oil embargo creates gas shortages throughout the U.S. High gas prices fuel inflation and cause rising unemployment rates.

PMMI and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) publish safety standards.


1974

President Nixon resigns. Vice President Gerald Ford is sworn in.

Cross-laminated films.

DuPont receives patent for stretch blow molding process, used to produce polyester (PET) bottles.

Child-resistant foil pouches.

Soft drink packagers move to metrication and bottles with 38millimeter closures.


1975

Bill Gates and Paul Allen start Microsoft.

“Jaws” thrills movie audiences.

Recession in the U.S.

FDA restricts use of PVC in food packaging and lead in baby food packages.



Stay-on tab for beverage cans.

Decorative PVC shrink labels.

Reusable polypropylene margarine bowl.

Stretch wrap for bundling, pallet unitizing.

Entrées in retort pouches.


1976

Jimmy Carter wins U.S. Presidential election.



Alex Haley celebrates his “Roots.”

U.S. Bicentennial.

Metallized film coffee pouches.

Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles for soft drinks.


1977

“Saturday Night Fever” catapults John Travolta to a successful movie career.

Elvis Presley-The King-dies at age 42.

“Star Wars” movie.

Retort pouches.


1978

Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) are eliminated by law from U.S. aerosols because they contribute to the depletion of the earth’s ozone layer.

Pope Paul VI dies. Pope John Paul I is elected and also dies. Cardinal Karol Wojtyla succeeds him as Pope John Paul II, and is the first Pole to hold the office.

World’s first test-tube baby.

Jonestown mass suicide.

Christopher Reeve stars in the movie “Superman.”


1979

Hero to many, John Wayne dies.

Three Mile Island nuclear accident.

U.S. Army replaces canned combat rations with the retort pouch for its Meals, Ready-to-Eat (MRE) program.

Rutgers University launches its undergraduate packaging school.

Because of tight oil supply, resin prices skyrocket.

Coated aluminum can.

Non-contact coders.

Dual-ovenable paperboard trays.


1980

Post-It notes.

The Gulf War.

Solidarity in Poland.

John Lennon shot and killed.

Iran hostage crisis.

Former Actor, Ronald Reagan, elected U.S. President.



Mt. St. Helen’s volcano erupts.

Study predicts annual sales of bottled water likely to exceed $1 billion by 1985.

Linerless plastic closures.

Heat-transfer container decorating.

Double-neck aluminum beverage cans.

First 1-liter PET bottle for carbonated mixers.

First micro-flute corrugated board.


1981

U.S. launches first space shuttle Columbia.

Temperamental tennis player, John McEnroe, wins at Wimbleton.

The Royal Wedding-Prince Charles of Wales marries Diana Spencer.

Harrison Ford stars as Indiana Jones in “Raiders of the Lost Ark.”

Aseptically packed milk makes its first major debut in the U.S.

Half-liter PET bottle.



Controlled-atmosphere oxygen-permeable produce bag.

Rutgers University establishes its Center for Packaging Engineering, a research facility for its packaging school.

First multilayer plastic barrier jar.

Modified oval composite can with an embossed metal friction fit closure.

Triple-necked aluminum cans for pop.

Single-serve aseptic juice box with attached straw.

MTV and music videos.


1982

Cyanide-laced capsules of Extra-Strength Tylenol kill seven people in the Chicago area, spurring a flurry of tamper-evident packaging.

First artificial heart.

“ET” phones home.

In-mold labeling.

Plastic closures on 2-liter PET soda bottles.

Article reports: “U.S. interest in plastic beer bottles is growing, with focus now on PVDC-coated PET bottles.”

Easy-opening corrugated case.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (AFT) approves the use of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) for distilled spirits bottles.

Food & Drug Packagingpublishes monthly, instead of bi-weekly.

Easy-open aluminum cans.

Easy-peel lidding.

First beer in PET bottles.

Shelf-stable half-gallon gable-top juice carton.


1983

U.S. invades Grenada.

Reagan’s “Star Wars” defense system.

“Bottle bill” becomes law in New York State.

Tamper-evident packaging regulations.

Heinz revolutionizes the ketchup category with the first multilayer (squeezable) plastic bottle for ketchup.

Microwavable popcorn.

Color-changing labels.

Metallized pouches with a see-through window.

Flexible stand-up pouch.

Coextruded, multilayer bottle.

Liquid nitrogen injection.

General Foods emphasizes convenience with it’s portion-controlled cups for Crystal Light powdered drink mix, packed in a stack of four, in easy-open composite cans.

Aseptically packed composite cans.

Multi-articulated robot for palletizing.


1984

Voluntary, uniform open dating system using a “sell by” statement with optional “best if used before” date is endorsed by the Food Marketing Institute. Grocers feel this would reduce consumer confusion and facilitate wholesale and retail stock rotation.

Instantly redeemable on-pack coupons.

Within seven years of its introduction, the PET bottle has taken over the soft-drink market in the 2-liter size.

High-strength, lightweight multiwall bags.

Domestic vodka in 1.75-liter PET bottle.

Miniature PET whiskey bottles on airlines.


1985

Robots continue to replace workers for hazardous and/or repetitive tasks on packaging lines.

Unrest in South Africa.

AIDS epidemic.

New easy-open, pull-tab devices for aseptic packages helps food and beverage marketers tap the adult market.

Lighter, thinner and stronger steel cans.

Machine vision technology for packaging inspection.

R.J. Reynolds Industries Inc. and Nabisco Brands Inc. merge to form the largest consumer products company in the U.S.

The Nutritional Labeling Act of 1985.

General Foods Maxwell House is first domestic packager to include mineral packets in 1-2- and 3-pound metal cans of ground coffee. Packet absorbs carbon dioxide and allows the coffee to be packed immediately after grinding for ultimate product freshness.

Multilayer plastic can.

First new paperboard beer bottle carrier design in 31 years.

As a public service, dairies and bottling companies across the U.S. are running photos and descriptions of missing children on their packages in space normally reserved for advertising.

Time/temperature indicator tags.

Retortable coex can for food.

First self-pressurized, non-aerosol spray container.

Plastic beverage can in test.

Steel beverage cans for outer space.

Annual sales in the U.S. for bottled water are $1,298.4 million.


1986

Chernobyl nuclear accident.

Halley’s comet.

Space shuttle Challenger explodes.

Resealable zipper on bags of shredded cheese.

FDA approves irradiation for fruits and vegetables.

Personal computers are becoming a fixture in packaging departments, spurring development of specialized software programs. Unit-load patterning leads the field, but container structural design, testing and packaging information sources are also available.



California implements Proposition 65, the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act. Marketers must provide a “clear and reasonable warning” on packages of products that contain chemicals that are “known to the State to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity.”

Campbell Soup Co. retires the aluminum tray for TV dinners with the opening of a new dual-ovenable crystallized polyethylene terephthalate (CPET) production facility, making it the largest single-line producer of CPET trays.

Microwavable retort pouches.

Pull-tab inner seals on milk jugs.

Pressure-sensitive booklet label.

Aseptic fill-seal system.

Flexible pouch for foodservice ketchup.

Hot-filled PET “cans” hold first tomato-based product.

Coextruded jars for baby juice.

3-liter soda bottles.

Shelf-stable, dual-ovenable entrées.

Refrigerated ready-to-eat salads.

Wide-mouth jars.


1987

World population reaches five billion people.

Black Monday-New York Stock Exchange registers a staggering one-day drop, twice that of the 1929 Wall Street crash.

Oliver North and Irangate hearings.

Research reveals that showing the package during a television commercial can have a positive effect on the brand’s success.

New Jersey passes first mandatory recycling law.

One-way degassing valve releases carbon dioxide buildup to preserve freshness of whole bean Private Collection coffee from Maxwell House Division of General Foods. Clear bag shows off gourmet coffee beans

Aluminum food can.

PET jars for peanut butter.

Controlled-atmosphere pre-cooked poultry packages.

Holographic labels.


1988

The Society of the Plastics Industry develops new voluntary plastic coding to facilitate recycling of plastics by identifying the resins used in making the container.

Portion-controlled microwavable bacon package.

First vacuum-packed, all-plastic package.



Display case/shipper.

Lunchables lunch kit pack.


1989

Berlin wall falls, helping to crumble the last vestiges of communism in the Soviet Union.

The Exxon Valdez oil tanker spills nearly 10 million gallons of crude oil.

Easy-open can end made from steel.

Statistical Process Control (SPC) quality programs.

Permeable label for produce.

Resealable zipper on packages of turkey franks.

Expandable HDPE jugs.

Single-serve, microwave-only containers for Campbell’s soups.


1990

Hubble telescope.

The Nutritional Labeling and Education Act mandates the most comprehensive changes in food labels since approval of the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act of 1966. New Nutrition Facts labeling requirements cost industry an estimated $1.1 billion in package redesigns.

FDA approves the use of irradiation to control Salmonella and other bacteria in fresh and frozen poultry products.

President George H.W. Bush updates the Clear Air Act for the first time since 1977.

Dr. David Kessler is confirmed as Commissioner of the FDA.

The Coalition for Northeastern Governors (CONEG) introduces the Toxics in Packaging law, banning heavy metals in packaging.

Wraparound labels for ground coffee cans.

First hologram on a flexible package.


1991

Germany’s “Green Dot” system.

TheWall Street Journalpublishes an article about product “downsizing”-decreasing package size, weight or unit count while maintaining the price-a practice that consumers find to be deceptive.

Rodney King beating in Los Angeles spurs race riots.



Easy-open, resealable screw-top closure on gable-top cartons.

The Persian Gulf War.


1992

Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines for environmental claims on product labeling.

No-label look.

First 12-ounce PET bottle for soft drinks.

Gable-top carton with reclosable spout.


1993

Nineteen European markets combine to form one: The European Community.

Food & Drug Packagingchanges ownership and format to product news.


1994

Open networks bring revolution to packaging line controls.

Stand-up reclosable pouch for snack nuts.

Heat-sensitive indicator label.

Reclosable aseptic carton.

eBay.

The Flexible Packaging Association developsSource Reduction, Less Waste in the First Placelogo.

Major earthquake in Los Angeles.


1995

Minivans / Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs).

O.J. Simpson is acquitted of his ex-wife’s murder.

Food & Drug Packaginglaunches its website, FDP Online, giving internet users around the world a comprehensive and searchable source of information on packaging products and suppliers.

The foil pouch joins NASA menu for journey to space station.

Holographic carton.

Wide-mouth beer bottles.

Coca-Cola continues to build on brand equity with proprietary embossed and “contoured” beverage cans.

Digital color printing for packaging materials.

Pack Expo Las Vegas trade show debuts.


1996

First wave of Baby Boomers hit 50 years of age.

Council on Packaging in the Environment disbands, confident that it has completed its mission of educating the public about packaging’s impact on the environment.

Michigan State University offers the first Ph.D. in packaging.

The Food Quality Protection Act.

Three-dimensional label.

Packaged salads.

Dot-matrix laser coder.

At the World Food Summit, the United Nation’s Food & Agriculture Organization sets the goal of reducing world hunger by 50% by the year 2015.


1997

Scientists clone a sheep, named Dolly.

Hale-Bopp comet.

Source tagging.

Aseptic processing of low-acid particulate products.

Metallocenes “evolutionize” plastic packaging.

Home-meal replacements.

Coke’s contoured can.

First curve-shaped 2-liter PET bottle for carbonated drinks.

Nutrition labeling becomes mandatory for most prepackaged foods in December 2007.

Kosovo conflict.


1998

Volkswagen Beetle returns to the U.S.

Dr. Jane Henney is confirmed as FDA Commissioner, the first woman to head the Agency.

Dean’s Milk Chug single-serve HDPE bottle.

Pouch for “bottled” water.

Self-venting, single-serve pouch for microwavable hot dogs.

Flexible tubes for yogurt.

President Clinton/Monica Lewinsky scandal.

On April 19, domestic terrorists bomb the Federal Building in Oklahoma City, killing 168 people.


1999

Basketball legend Michael Jordan retires from the Chicago Bulls.

Time/temperature labels monitor quality of ground beef.

Clear shrink oriented polypropylene roll-fed label.

Digital laser coder.

Dual-fill pouch machine.

Lea & Perrin’s steak sauce uses non-drip dispensing closure on polypropylene bottle.

Oxygen-scavenging liner for crown closures.

Scientists trace HIV virus to chimpanzee subspecies.

Government approves statements on wine labels that encourage consumers to learn about the drink’s health benefits.

Scientists at Rutgers University create the Intelligent Microwave Oven system, which reads cooking instructions by scanning a bar code.

Computer-controlled flowrappers.

Transverse zipper applicator.

Polyethylene napthalate (PEN) baby food jar.

Conflict in Kosovo.

New ergonomic Gatorade bottle.

Spice capsules dissolve to deliver pre-measured dose and help preserve freshness.

Self-heating container.

Oxygen-scavenging film.

Air-cooled induction cap sealer.

Two teenagers kill 12 fellow students, a teacher and themselves at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado.

Thermochromic inks for coding/marking metal cans.

Electronic proofreader.

Anti-mist packaging film for produce.

Tetley tea bags carton features microscopic, fragrance-filled capsules that provide a burst of aroma when brushed.

Ben & Jerry’s switches to unbleached paperboard containers for its ice cream for environmental reasons.

Thermal printer produces full color labels on demand.

Combination PC/PLC makes the transition to soft control easy and cost-effective.

Micro PLCs feature plug-and-play simplicity.

Pour spout for aseptic cartons.

New York Yankee centerfielder Joe DiMaggio dies at 84.

A Michigan jury convicts “Doctor Death,” Jack Kevorkian, of second-degree murder.

Uncle Ben’s dry rice in stand-up pouches and cooked frozen rice in bowls.

Campbell’s picks hot-filled 67-ounce PET bottles for its Prego pasta sauce sold in club stores.

Metal detector/checkweigher combo.

Patented shipper display case for pouches becomes shelf ready.

Pre-made resealable stand-up pouches.

Flexible Packaging Association (FPA) licenses use of its trademarked “Source Reduction” logo.

In-mold side handle on Ocean Spray gallon bottles.

Low-temperature hot melt adhesives.

Georgemagazine founder JFK Jr. dies with wife and sister-in-law in plane crash.

Lance Armstrong, survivor of testicular cancer, wins the 86th Tour de France.

17-year-old Brittany Spears releases her first single record “…Baby One More Time.”

Mia Hamm and the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team win the World Cup.

“The Matrix” movie earns $171 million at the box office.

Pokémon invades the U.S. with video game, television show, cards, toys, T-shirts, toothbrushes and movie.

Welch’s puts frozen juice concentrate in high-density polyethylene can.

Slider closures.



Octagonal aseptic package.

Kellogg’s calcium-fortified cereal debuts in gable-top “milk” carton.

Miller Brewing lightweights glass beer bottle.

Rotary-motion vertical form-fill-seal machine.

Ethanol-based ink jet ink is free of methyl ethyl ketone (MEK).

Retailer H.E.B. adds reclosable zipper on family-size potato chip bags.

Keebler’s shaped stand-up pouch becomes a puppet when empty.

Clear bottle protects beer from ultraviolet (UV) light.

Die-cut custom-shaped pouches with fitments.

Digital package prototyping.

“Who Wants to be a Millionaire”…is that yourfinalanswer?

World gears up for Y2K computer meltdowns.


2000

Y2K problems never materialize.

Researchers complete map of the human genome.

Patent issued on stand-up pouch with gas-vent feature for coffee beans.

Heinz “talking labels” feature condiment quips, such as “Are your French fries lonely?”

Oxygen barrier coating for PET containers.

Pull-strip for cans of frozen concentrated juices.

Bags of fresh-cut apple slices keep fruit fresh for more than 12 days.

PET silica coating process extends shelf life for Coca-Cola.

Custody fight over 6-year-old Cuban Elian Gonzalez.

Actors Sir Alec Guinness (Obi-Wan Kenobi in “Star Wars”) and Walter Matthau die.

Modified-atmosphere case-ready meat packs see double-digit growth.

Polylactic acid (PLA) polymer made from renewable resources (such as corn, wheat and rice) is introduced to the packaging market.

Notchless tear initiation system makes film packages easy to open.

Shrink-sleeve labeling proliferates.

New technology incorporates fragrance into polyethylene resins.

Gable-top cartons protect package sterility by heat-sealing spouts onto the outside of filled and sealed cartons.

Retort pouch for StarKist tuna.



Campbell’s Ready to Serve soup cans with easy-open lids.

Reclosable aluminum bottle/can.

Plastic crown closure for plastic beer and soft-drink bottles.

Space-saving spiral accumulating conveyor controls true first-in/first-out operation for dairy products-without line pressure.

Heinz EZ Squirt ketchup bottle designed for kids.

Easy-open/reclosable pet food bag.

Ethernet communication on packaging machinery.

Translucent dispensing closures.

A federal judge rules that the world’s largest software company is a monopoly and orders Microsoft to split up. The government later abandons the antitrust lawsuit (Sept. 2001).

Health concerns emerge regarding genetically modified foods.

PlumpJack Winery sells screw-cap bottles of its 1997 Reserve Cabernet for $135, forcing consumers to rethink the notion that only corked wine is high quality.

Tiger Woods wins three of the four majors, gads of tournaments and nearly $10 million in prize money.

The dot.com bust.

Hexachrome six-color process printing.

Induction inner seal has easy-open pull tab.

Tool-less changeover offered by growing numbers of machine makers.

Aseptic dispensing valve for bag-in-box.

Vision control for packaging robots.

New aseptic quart-size reclosable multilayer plastic bottle for Similac liquid baby formula.

Packaging workflow software with 3-D design capability speeds time to market.

After a highly contested election, VP Al Gore concedes on Dec. 14, and George W. Bush is named the 43rd president of the United States.

Flexible “can” recloses.

Institutional-size retort pouches.

Sargento markets first cheeses in slider reclosable packages.

Stick packs for thick liquids.

Easy-open, reclosable lid for vacuum-sealed metal cans and glass jars.

General Mills replaces traditional paper sack for flour with clear reclosable bag.


2001

Logging of old-growth timber banned on public lands.

Kraft debuts Cool Whip Squeeze in shaped flexible package with dispensing tip.

Ultra-thin flexible battery can help packages speak to customers.

After incidents of foot-and-mouth disease spread from Britain to France, U.S. bans meat from Europe.

Blackouts in California due to energy production crisis.

Bag steams fresh vegetables in the microwave.

Census Bureau reports greatest population increase in the 1990s (32.7 million people) than in any other 10-year period.

Wet pet food in retort pouch.

P&G debuts single-serve thermoformed cups of Pringles potato crisps.

On Sept. 11, terrorists hijack four U.S. airplanes, killing nearly 3,000 Americans. Two crash into the Twin Towers of New York’s World Trade Center. One dives into the Pentagon. Passengers on the fourth plane force it to crash into a field in Pennsylvania.


The stock markets fall 14% in one day, their second-largest decline ever.

War on terrorism begins in earnest with aerial bombardment of southern Afghanistan and the Taliban and al-Qaeda.

Anthrax scare.

Retail sales fall 2.4%, the worst monthly drop in almost 10 years.

China is accepted into the World Trade Group.

Shaped beverage pouch first to use no-spill dispensing spout.

Pasteurizable PET beer bottle.

Micro-flute corrugate serves for self-selling club store cartons.

New plasma coating improves PET barrier.

HPDE resin additive blocks UV light.

Dispensing multipack cartons for beverage cans.

Retortable carton.


2002

The Euro becomes the common currency in Europe.

Enron bankruptcy.

Campbell’s Soup to Sip microwavable cup (later renamed Soup at Hand).

Packaging line monitoring via the internet.

Reduced Space Symbology (RSS) bar code is 30% smaller than the standard UPC but holds the same or more data.

Nescafé coffee in a self-heating can.

Panel-less PET bottles.

Comic Milton Berle dies at age 93.

U.S. and Russia agree to cut nuclear arsenals by up to two-thirds within next decade.

Government increases farm subsidies in 10-year, $100 billion bill.

Frito-Lay Go Snacks canisters fit in car cup holders.

First fan-free, water-free, self-cooled induction cap sealer.

Internet auctions for packaging materials.

Coke debuts Fridge Pack dispensing carton.

“Spider-Man” movie makes more than $114 million in its first three days.

Britain celebrates Queen Elizabeth’s 50-year reign.

Tyco CEO charged.

Upside-down ketchup bottles.

ConAgra’s Hershey pudding in single-serve tubes.

Labatt’s switches to narrower can end on aluminum cans.

Dashboard dining.

Single-serve Arbor Mist PET wine bottles.

Disposable product-contact parts on aseptic filler eliminate the time and expense of cleaning between changeovers.

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

Rise in the number of “organic” products.

Gerber launches baby food in aseptic multilayer thermoformed cups.

Ocean Spray converts all its 64-ounce round containers to the rectangular Ripple Grip PET bottle.

Roll-fed oriented polypropylene shrink labels.

Retort pouch features clear window.

During October, two snipers kill 10 people in the D.C. area.


2003

Self-venting lidded tray for prepared meats.

Clear, high-barrier pouch replaces foil layer with EVOH so colorful beverage can show through.

Stick packs for powdered products on the rise.

Flat-bottom stand-up pouch for frozen vegetables.

Microwavable retort pouch for cooked rice.

High-impact printed shrink wrap for multipacks.

Aseptically filled, Dr Pepper/Seven Up’s Raging Cow shelf-stable dairy beverage debuts in single-serve HDPE bottle.

The space shuttle Columbia explodes after liftoff, killing all seven astronauts aboard.

Six-year-old Dolly, the first cloned sheep, dies on Feb. 14.

War in Iraq begins on March 19.

The Treasury Department allows wine labels to list health claims.

Scott Peterson is arrested for murder after the body of his pregnant wife, Laci Peterson, is found.

Food processors grapple with country-of-origin labeling (COOL) changes.

Canadian packaging show PACex, scheduled for early May, is postponed until September due to concerns about Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

Closure holds and then dispenses liquid or powder into bottle upon opening.

Laser coder prints verifiable bar codes on labels.

Vibration-dampening mineral casting material allows design of columnar pick-and-place robot that simplifies installation on packaging lines.

Fifth-panel confers a unique shape to gable-top carton.

First zipper withstands high temperatures of retort.

Wal-Mart asks top vendors to label cases, pallets with radio frequency identification (RFID) tags.

Procter & Gamble introduces Folgers ground coffee in reclosable plastic container.

Electrical grids collapse, causing a blackout in much of southern Canada and the northeastern United States. Tens of millions of people are without power for more than a day.

Vacuum-packed fresh seafood.

Touchscreen human-machine interfaces (HMIs) simplify machinery control.

General Mills is named our first “Food Packager of the Year.”

Campbell Soup adopts easy-open can ends.

Wildfires in California destroy 1 million acres and lead to 22 deaths.

Entertainer Michael Jackson is arrested on charges of child molestation (but acquitted in 2005).

Bob Hope, Katharine Hepburn, Gregory Peck and Johnny Cash die.

Nanocomposites in development to improve film’s barrier performance.

Proprietary polymer chemistry creates breathable oriented polypropylene film for fresh-cut produce applications.

First slider closure on deli-meat packs made on a horizontal thermoform-fill-seal system.


2004

Singer Janet Jackson reveals a naked breast in a “wardrobe malfunction” during the Super Bowl halftime show.

Congress delays implementation of country-of-origin labeling (COOL) for meat (Feb. p. 11) but resists attempt to kill it entirely (Jan. 2005).

Monolayer cast film can serve as inner sealant layer for retortable pouches.

Desiccating heat-sealable film for moisture barrier laminations.

Biaxially oriented polypropylene film replaces metallized paper for water-based, cold-glue label applications.

Al Qaeda terrorists bomb four commuter trains in Madrid, killing almost 200 people.

Prisoner abuse reported at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

The World War II memorial in Washington, D.C. opens April 29.

Conductive inks for RFID applications.

Metal detectors distinguish individual contaminated packages from among a row of product.

Hormel Foods’ SPAM Singles in shelf-stable pouches.

Ocean Spray’s owner-growers reject, 52% to 48%, a plan to merge with PepsiCo.

Former President Ronald Reagan dies on June 5.

Clemson University, which has one of the top packaging programs in the U.S., opens a Flexible Packaging Center. The cost, almost $1 million, was 95% funded by the flexible packaging industry.

The low-carb fad peaks.

Nestlé is namedFood & Drug Packaging’s Food Packager of the Year.

First frozen pizza with a crust that rises and bakes while microwaved.

Jennie-O whole turkeys in packaging that can go straight from freezer to oven.

President Bush wins re-election, with 51% of the popular vote.

Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat dies in a Paris hospital.

Hard-to-open packages incite older consumers with “wrap rage.”

PLA film is commercialized.

Blue Star Food Products is first with reclosable retort pouch for crab meat.

A 9.0 magnitude earthquake off the Indonesian coast triggers tsunamis that kill more than 150,000 people from Thailand to Somalia.


2005

The White House ends its search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

Condoleezza Rice is confirmed, becoming the first black female Secretary of State.

After many legal battles and moral debates, brain-damaged Terri Schiavo dies 13 days after her feeding tube is removed.

Sara Lee announces plans to divest its non-food divisions.

High-strength club-store carton combines exterior reverse-print film with laminated paperboard interior.

Treasury Secretary Alan Greenspan urges Congress to rein in the budget deficit, saying it is “unsustainable.”

Watergate “Deep Throat” identified as W. Mark Felt, a former FBI official.

COOL goes into effect for seafood.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad becomes President of Iran.

British Muslims coordinate four bombings during rush hour in London, killing 52 people and wounding more than 700.

After serving for 24 years, the first female U.S. Supreme Court Justice, Sandra Day O’Connor, retires.

Category 4 hurricane Katrina hits New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, causing massive flooding, deaths in the thousands and more than 220,000 refugees.

Security ink features traceable microtaggants.

InFood & Drug Packaging’s consumer survey, the five most consumer-friendly package types are: top-slide zippers, plastic jars, glass jars, pull-top cans and squeeze bottles.

Less than a month later, Hurricane Rita causes more devastation along the Gulf Coast.

Rosa Parks, Johnny Carson, Pope John Paul II, Saul Bellow and Richard Pryor die.

Bird flu virus threatens humans globally, killing more than 60 people in Asia since 2003.

Dannon Co. removes the overcap from its 6-ounce tubs of yogurt, saving 3.6 million pounds of plastic a year.

Kraft introduces resealable packaging for Chips Ahoy! cookies.

Campbell Soup Co. is our Food Packager of the Year.

Easy-pull inner seal.

Screw cap features pull-ring seal as integral component, providing tamper evidence without induction sealing.

First microwavable aseptic pouch.


2006

Kraft Foods to shutter 20 factories and cut 8,000 jobs.

Biodegradable shrink film.

Self-venting stand-up pouch for the microwave.

Micro-perf pouch help fresh-cut apples breathe, giving them a shelf life of 7-10 days.

Pillsbury easy-open chub package for cookie dough.

Degradable zipper makes reclosable pouches more environmentally friendly.

Western U.S. cities threaten to ban plastic grocery bags.

Child-resistant stick pack.

Easy-open feature allows for cross directional tear in oriented laminations.

Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Cadbury Schweppes agree to remove sweetened sodas and other drinks from schools by 2009.

Three people die and hundreds fall ill from fresh spinach contaminated with E. coli.



Microsoft’s Bill Gates retires.

Dog food in a ready-to-eat, resealable bowl.

Safeway unveils O Organics, the first major store brand to consist entirely of organic products.

Unilever introduces Salad Spritzers, dressings dispensed with a finger pump.

Supervalu Inc. becomes the third largest U.S. food retailer by acquiring Albertson’s Inc.

PepsiCo agrees to bottle and distribute Ocean Spray single-serve juices.

Anheuser-Busch, in the wake of its purchase from InBev, announces plans to transfer production of Rolling Rock beer away from Latrobe, Pa., to New Jersey.

Pluto loses its planet status and is demoted to a dwarf planet.

Prices spike for petroleum-based plastics.

Construction begins on elaborate border fence between U.S. and Mexico.

The Dow Jones industrial average rises to 12,000 for the first time.

H.J. Heinz Co. announces plans to cut 2,700 jobs and close 15 plants in 2007.

Sara Lee isFood & Drug Packaging’s Food Packager of the Year.

Multilayer bottle has special inner coating to expel product with extra efficiency.

Sara Lee consolidates into new headquarters in Downers Grove, Ill.

Wal-Mart unveils its Sustainable Packaging Scorecard at Pack Expo 2006.

Lids for microwavable containers incorporate special locks and vents to keep them in place during heating.

Found guilty of crimes against humanity, former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein is hanged in Baghdad.

Andrew von Eschenbach becomes FDA commissioner, after more than a year as acting commissioner.

Former President Gerald Ford dies.


2007

N.Y. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton announces candidacy for President.

PepsiCo changes graphics for its flagship cola cans more than 35 times in the year.

Tyson Foods unveils new packaging lab.

Dow Jones industrial average falls 3.3% in one day.

U.S. imposes duties on some Chinese goods.

Plastic additive interacts with microorganisms in landfills to break down non-bio-based polymers.

Kellogg and General Mills downsize some of their cereal boxes while keeping prices the same.

ConAgra’s Peter Pan peanut butter is contaminated with salmonella.

Melamine contamination in pet food.

Minimalized process makes polyethylene terephthalate (PET) is extra-pure and has reduced acetaldehyde.

Male student kills 32 people and wounds 15, then shoots himself, at Virginia Tech college.

Minimum wage goes from $5.15 an hour to $5.85, with 70-cent increases planned each year through 2009, to $7.25.

The seventh and final book in the series,Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallowssells more than 8.3 million copies its first day.

Bridge in Minneapolis buckles and sections fall into the Mississippi River. 13 dead; 60-plus injured.

Michael Owens, inventor of the automatic glass bottle-making machine, is inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

Patent for delta-style pick-and-place robots expires, driving down the price and opening the way for their use in more packaging applications.

San Francisco Mayor bans bottled water from all city and county offices.

ConAgra Foods rolls out Café Steamers frozen dinners in dual-bowl packaging that allows sauce to cook separately.

Heinz Foods is our Food Packager of the Year.

North Korea agrees to dismantle its nuclear facilities.

Nobel Peace Prize given to former VP Al Gore and the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for outlining ways to reverse global warming.

California wildfires burn more than 267,000 acres.

Former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto dies in attack, which also kills 23 other people.

Cross-machine-directional scoring technology creates easy-open flexible packs.


2008

Food & Drug PackagingbecomesFood & Beverage Packaging.

Federal Reserve cuts interest rates 0.75%, the largest single-day cut in history.

U.S. recession feared, after Labor Bureau cites loss of 17,000 jobs in January.

Pouch features separate compartments that consumers can combine just before dispensing simply by squeezing.

Multi-camera inspection system can read 360-degree graphics at high speeds.

On-package codes can be scanned by cell phones for link to company websites.

Deal ends three-month Writers’ Guild of America strike, which caused losses to the entertainment industry estimated at more than $2 billion.

Sci-fi author Arthur C. Clarke dies.

Senate overrides Presidential veto to pass the $307 billion Farm Bill, which increases subsidies to farmers and includes COOL legislation.

Coca-Cola announces an initiative to recycle or reuse 100% of the beverage cans and PET bottles it markets in the United States.

Wal-Mart expands Scorecard to its Canadian stores.

Easy-open vacuum shrink pack.

Non-foil die-cut lidding for yogurt cups allows metal detection on packaging line.

Newsman and “Meet the Press” host Tim Russert dies.

Comedian George Carlin dies.

G8 members agree to cut greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2050.

Manufacturing of glass baby bottles resumes, after 20 years of inactivity, in response to consumer demand for bottles free of the plastics additive bisphenol A (BPA).

As part of a general round of inflation, petroleum goes up more than 30% and corn almost doubles. Food prices rise 5% by summer, with higher increases in commodities.

Downsizing continues, with Frito-Lay (chips), Unilever (Hellmann’s mayonnaise) and Nestlé (Edy’s and Dreyer’s ice cream) among major processors charging the same for less product. Some companies like Blue Bell ice cream buck the trend to score points with consumers.

In a Consumer Network survey exclusive toFood & Beverage Packaging, two-thirds of respondents under age 50 say they’re trying to spend less because of the economy, and more say they decided against buying at least one item because it was too costly.

Russia invades Georgian territory, but then withdraws.

U.S. agrees to start withdrawal of combat troops from Iraqi cities in June 2009, with full pullout by end of 2011.

China hosts the Summer Olympics.

Merrill Lynch. Lehman Brothers. Washington Mutual. Fannie Mae. Freddie Mac. U.S. economy in freefall, as banks and mortgage companies fail and credit tightens.

Unemployment is the highest in five years, at 6.1%.

The Dow drops 778 points, its biggest point decline ever.

Paul Newman, actor and founder of Newman’s Own food company, dies.

Government passes $700 billion bailout plan to help troubled financial markets.

General Mills is our Food Packager of the Year.

ConAgra to use post-consumer recycled plastic in the trays for most of its frozen foods.

For the first time in 17 years, gross domestic product (GDP) drops.

Democratic nominee Barack Obama wins the election to become the first black President in U.S. history.

The Dow falls below 8,000.

PepsiCo is our Beverage Packager of the Year.

Unemployment rate rises to 6.7%.

Federal Reserve cuts interest rates from 1% to 0.25%.

Using the Narrow Neck Press and Blow (NNPB) manufacturing technique, one of the largest U.S. wineries lightweights its entire line of glass wine bottles by 3.3 ounces, resulting in a 14% reduction of its carbon footprint.

2009

As an ingredient in processed foods, salmonella-contaminated peanut butter kills six people and sickens hundreds.

Pittsburgh Steelers win Super Bowl for the sixth time, a first in the National Football League.

Unemployment rate hits 7.6%.

Many politicians call for a revamp of the nation’s food-safety system.

PepsiCo rolls out a drastic redesign of graphics for its flagship brand, including a variation on the red-white-blue circle logo.

PLA combined with pectin protects food from bacteria.

Nanolayers of coextruded polyethylene oxide (PEO) results in a material that has hundreds of times more barrier potential than conventional polymers with a fraction of the material.

Food & Beverage Packaging celebrates 50 years of serving its food and beverage readers!