Dole launches make-at-home smoothie.



Dole Packaged Foods needed a container for its new make-at-home yogurt smoothie beverage, which is made with frozen fruit and yogurt.

The need for a blender to make a smoothie at home was a big consumer complaint, said Paul Panza, director of marketing, based in Westlake Village, Calif. The solution lay in the packaging; consumers unscrew the cap, add about 7 ounces of a juice of their choice to the fill line, re-apply the cap and shake for about 30-45 seconds.

Panza said the package had to be designed in a way to easily break up the fruit and yogurt pieces inside the container when consumers add the juice. A flat surface at the top and bottom was needed, as well as sides that would not restrict movement of the product inside. The bottle is made of high-density polyethylene and has a full-body shrink sleeve.

Dole worked with blow-mold equipment maker Rocheleau Tools & Die Co., Fitchburg, Mass., to create various designs. Dole’s marketing and production teams balanced manufacturing concerns with consumer acceptability issues. Prototype designs were tested with consumers in focus groups to find the best shape that was easy for consumers to grasp and hold on to during shaking. Dole blow-molds the bottles at its Stockton, Calif., processing plant.

Dole’s Fruit Smoothie Shakers are available in three flavors and retail for $2.19 each. They will be available nationally by the first quarter of 2012.