FPA 4500-T Actuator with PouchCharles Meyn, director of engineering at Constellation Brands, will represent the U.S. based wine company at PACK EXPO Las Vegas 2013 (September 23-25; Las Vegas Convention Center). Constellation recently purchased two FPA-4500 ultrasonic pouch sealing systems from Rinco Ultrasonics and three PSG LE Full-Seal Machines from PPI Technologies GROUP.  This combination of machinery led Constellation to deliver an attractive and secure package for the launch of Arbor Mist Frozen Wine Cocktails in the spring of 2012.
Based on that success, Constellation Brands will attend PACK EXPO Las Vegas 2013 to explore additional equipment and new packaging formats for the business. “Every time I attend this show, it’s worthwhile; I always bring ideas home,” says Meyn.

All in the Family

Constellation was founded in 1945 by Marvin Sands as a small, family-owned wine company in Canandaigua, New York. Since that time, the company has focused on building sustainable growth by staying true to the core values and small business philosophies that are the cornerstone of its heritage.
The strategy worked. Now a world leader in premium wine, with a portfolio of more than 100 wines, beers and spirits, Constellation Brands is a S&P 500 Index and a Fortune 1000© company with 4,500 employees, sales in 125 countries and operations at 40 facilities worldwide.
Constellation produces several well-known brands including the Robert Mondavi, Clos du Bois, Kim Crawford wines along with Black Velvet, Canadian Whisky, and SVEDKA Vodka. It is also the importer of Corona beer. Still, one of the company’s most well-known and loved brands is Arbor Mist, with its fruity flavors that offer a refreshing twist on wine.

A Refreshing Change

In 1998, Arbor Mist debuted its first trio of fruity wine cocktails in a stand-out etched glass bottle with a matte pressure-sensitive label. With its launch, Arbor Mist became the first brand of wine to reach initial sales of 1,000,000 cases in 100 days from date of first shipment in nearly twenty years. 
Fast-forward to a little over a decade and the company created and launched Arbor Mist frozen wine cocktails. "When making a typical mixed drink, the consumer frequently must go to the liquor store for one ingredient and then the grocery store for another, before they ever make it home to pull out the blender and ice,” says Meyn. The new frozen wine cocktails were a convenient and satisfying solution for consumers who wanted quick refreshment. 
When it came to designing the package for this new, convenient beverage, Constellation chose a flexible pouch format, which would be filled at room temperature and sold in a liquid form. The consumer simply takes the product home and freezes it until the desired drinking occasion. At that point, the consumer massages the package, removes the tear-off top and pours the product into a glass to enjoy. 
“From a design perspective, this project was a bit of a challenge,” says Meyn. “This was our first use of a flexible pouch, but we saw them as a stand-out pack style that fit the needs of our application, so we made the choice to jump in,” says Meyn.
Constellation attended PACK EXPO in 2012 to search for a solution for pouch sealing technology. The company met with PPI Technologies GROUP and Rinco Ultrasonics. “PACK EXPO, the largest and most comprehensive resource for processing and packaging equipment in North America, made finding and obtaining the machines very easy,” Meyn says. “I was able to see what was offered from different suppliers, find the equipment I needed and meet with my chosen suppliers on-site.”

A Successful Trio

One of the partners that Constellation turned to was PPI Technologies GROUP, a well-known supplier of fill and seal machines for flexible packaging. PPI Technologies GROUP understood the challenges for this frozen beverage application. “We like to offer our customers a risk-free technology and we knew that this application required more than just heat seal technology,” says Charles Murray, CEO, PPI Technologies GROUP. 
That’s when PPI Technologies GROUP invited Rinco Ultrasonics, a fellow exhibitor at PACK EXPO, into the discussion. “With ultrasonic technology, you can reliably seal through any of the internal product that may have gotten into the seal area. In the event that the cosmetic heat seal fails, you’ve got a sturdy back-up solution,” explains Bill Aurand, national sales manager, Rinco Ultrasonics. 
Rinco’s FPA-4500 ultrasonic pouch sealing system offered an increase in barrier seal strength to contain the liquid product. “This is very important from a food safety perspective, as well. The ultrasonic barrier seal provides assurance in protecting the product from contaminants,” says Aurand. PPI Technologies GROUP worked together with Rinco to retrofit the ultrasonic pouch sealing system onto its machinery for Constellation.

Cheers to a Successful Launch

With the summer of 2012 quickly approaching, Constellation proudly launched three easy to enjoy Arbor Mist frozen wine cocktails in single-serve 10-ounce pouches: Blackberry Merlot, White Pear Pinot Grigio and Strawberry White Zinfandel. The flexible pack style can be easily frozen and opened without a pair of scissors- offering a portable and safe package to consumers. 
The flexible pack style offered additional benefits in that it creates a canvas for the brand to display its vibrant fruity colors in a way that stands out in retail environments. As Constellation continues to drive brand awareness, its customer base of retailers and consumers continues to grow exponentially. To keep up with demand, the company purchased an additional four FPA-4500 ultrasonic pouch sealing systems, but that’s only the beginning.
Plans for additional products and flavors are underway. To find new solutions and ideas for the next generation of fruity wine cocktails, Meyn will return to PACK EXPO Las Vegas this September in search of the necessary equipment. 
“In our business, people like to see the quality and finish of the machines in person. We’re also looking for new ideas and there is no better place and no bigger show to do that than PACK EXPO,” says Meyn.
To register for PACK EXPO Las Vegas 2013 or obtain more information, visit www.packexpo.com or contact PMMI’s Show Department: 703.243.8555 or expo@pmmi.org.
About PMMI
PMMI is a trade association representing 600+ packaging and processing supply chain companies that provide a full range of packaging and processing machinery, materials, components and containers. PMMI actively brings buyers and sellers together through its various programs including: The PACK EXPO family of trade shows, PACK EXPO Connected Communities, packexpo.com, PMT Magazine, PACK EXPO Show Daily, networking events, educational programs and more.
PMMI organizes the PACK EXPO trade shows: PACK EXPO International, PACK EXPO Las Vegas and EXPO PACK México, connecting participants in the packaging and processing supply chain with their customers around the world. Coming Up: PACK EXPO Las Vegas at the Las Vegas Convention Center, Sept. 23–25, 2013; EXPO PACK México 2013 at Centro Banamex, Mexico City, June 18–21.
Learn more about PMMI and the PACK EXPO trade shows at PMMI.org and Packexpo.com.