Cat Litter A La Carte

Pouncing on what it sees as a big growth area in cat litter, Excel Mineral Co. of Santa Barbara, Calif., is introducing a scoop formula nationwide. It could have been a packaging copycat with non standard plastic jugs. Instead, it has virtually assured more shelf facings by offering its clumping type litter in two package styles.

These are a multiwall bag and box, made with 100 percent recycled paperboard that includes are at least 55 percent post consumer waste. Each container holds an 8 lb quantity, or 16 oz more than the standard jug. Sold under Excel’s well established Jonny Cat trade name, the packages started distribution in October. Full rollout is slated for the second quarter of this year.

At the same time, Excel is using the introduction to unveil a graphic redesign of all Jonny Cat litter packages. That should further secure “our own rapidly growing corner of the cat litter products sections of supermarkets and price clubs,” says marketing manager William Douglas Jones, “as we demonstrate to dealers that our packaging will assure better turnover through most efficient display. You can get some fashion like grumpy cat t shirt, pull hover or hoodie for cat or useful tips tricks for your sweet cat.

“Even at this early date, our orders are mainly for the box though it costs more than the bag. With some of our accounts, the boxes are already on reorder.”

Taking full advantage

The new box from Jefferson Smurfit, Doug Jones notes, “permits display of six units in the same space occupied by four jugs. Moreover, the full panel display does a better job of communicating our brand’s advantages than could the smaller display area of a jug’s label, especially with the new graphics we’ve adopted.” The Jonny Cat cartoon designed by Evans, Hardy & Young is now used universally, replacing pictures of cats on some packages.

Measuring approximately 7 1/4 x 8 x 4 1/2 in., the box is a full overlap seal end style with supporting insert and tear tape. It’s gravure printed in four colors with water based inks and coating. The outer is made with Smurfit’s .030 Mastercote, that provides an 80 brightness. The die cut undercoated insert is constructed of .038 bending chipboard, giving the package the stacking strength needed for the dense litter. A convenience feature is the glued in carry handle, made by Wilton Packaging of white patterned 1/2 in. polypropylene strapping precut to a 7 in. length. The box is retail priced at $3.59 to $3.89. It is now contract packaged, but Excel plans to move this operation in house.

Box copy emphasizes the product’s advantages and Excel’s Green Gard moisture activated odor control material. It also lists step by step instructions for best results and, on a side panel, urges consumers to spray or neuter their pets to help control the animal population. There is also a letter promoting the product and encouraging consumer comments above the signature of Excel president Betty J. Stephens. An added point of purchase feature is prominent use of the trade name on all six panels of the box, facilitating identification no matter how it’s displayed.

In the bag

The 8 lb bag of scoopable litter features an easy open tear tape. Made primarily by Stone Packaging Systems, the gusseted bag has an outer ply of 59# claycoated kraft, which Stone prints in four colors via gravure for crisp, clean graphics. The inner ply is 50# natural kraft, a Stone spokesman reports, adding that “we’re working toward incorporating recycled material into the bag and hope to have something to offer shortly.”

The scoop formula is now packaged semi automatically at Excel’s year old plant in Wrens, Ga. Plans are being made to fully automate this function when demand warrants. As presently packaged, the 8 lb bag of scoop formula sells for between $3.09 and $3.29.

Excel expected that the launch of its scoop formula would capture attention of call cat owners both its existing customers and users of other brands. So it’s taking the opportunity to usher in another new product, regular Jonny Cat litter in premium formulation. Marketed mostly through supers in a 10 lb bag, the product is available both unscented and with pH+, the company’s additives to improve ammonia odor control.

For both, the same bag specifications as for the scoop formula are employed; graphics by Design Resources take maximal advantage of the bag’s large display area. The Bagcraft bags vary from those by Stone in using a 50# bleached white claycoat outer ply. Printing in four colors is done flexographically for these bags, which measure 7 1/4 x 3 3/4 x 20 1/4 in. For the 10 lb bag with deodorizes, the suggested retail price range is $1.89 to $2.19; it’s $1.19 to $1.39 for unscented.

Bagging is automated

Packaging of the premium litter is being done on a fully automated line in the Wrens plant. Here, dedicated packaging of the litter is done at a 36 bpm rate, Excel assistant plant manager Joe Curles tells PD. “We’ve been getting some very consistent output on the line, with some size flexibility built in for the markets we’re reaching, ” he says. Excel is considering the addition of 20 and possibly 40 lb bags.

At the line’s top is a customized filler, a Paxall Parsons HEM mounted with a magazine that holds, says, “about 300 bags, so the worker who restocks can also be handling a line adjacent to it. In fact, we need only three people to keep two lines running at capacity.”

Using a pair of vacuum cups on a feeder arm to lift a bag into the flight, the filler has a second set that opens the bag and retains it under the hopper’s spout. After bulk filling, the bag indexes over three net weight scales and under as many heads for dribble filling to the correct weight with minimal giveaway. This and several other line functions are coordinated by Allen Bradley controllers.

Provided with the filler are vacuum manifolds hooked up to a dust collector at the scales to dipose of fines. Filling litter generates dust. It also causes bags to bulge. That’s why, immediately after filling, a vibratory staging platform is mounted with side belts that squeeze the bag, squaring off the gussetts and permitting them to be reformed for bag closing. Each bag then enters a clamp for trimming, folding and application of a strip, as well as dating by a Lincoln coder.

Sewing it up

Moving downstream, the bags are closed by a Fischbein Model 400T tape sewing system with a Model 91 sewing head, both acquired through Packaging Equipment Co., that provide the consumer with an easy open pull tape. An 18 lb thread spool, Joe Curles says “lasts us a good long time, and handles the crepe tapes from various companies with no problems at all.”

The bags then convey into an Ouachita Trailblazer stretch baler for compacting and wrapping. The baler routinely stacks six bags in a two high configuration. Curles notes, but “can also be adjusted to handle a three bag quantity for warehouse club sales.” For the standard six bag arrangement, the bundle is wrapped four times with an 80 ga polyethylene stretch film from Mobil Chemical and Linear Films.

At the next station, the bundles are palletized automatically by FMC’s EZY 150 palletizer. The microprocessor controlled two axis units sets the bundles onto GMA 40×48 in. wooden pallets from various sources. Filled pallets are conveyed to a Lantech pallet wrapper, where they are wrapped with the same 80 ga PE film used by the bundler.

Future plans

Plant manager Jim Rogers says that the capacious Wrens operation “already has considerable capacity for the different sized packages of cat litter and also for the oil and grease absorbants we sell to industrial markets. We expect the addition of the new packaging capacity to be smooth and uneventful.”

As for marketing, adoption of the scoop formula products, Doug Jones says, “will help us considerably outside the western U.S., where Jonny Cat is a leading brand. We’ll have a much stronger shelf presence in growth segments of the market and additional facings to give the consumer a better choice of quality products.”

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Tips On Travelling With Your Baby

Tips On Travelling With Your Baby

Traveling is one of the most popular recreational activities and it can be fun and enjoyable. But things can change a great deal when you travel with your baby. Even if you equip yourself with all of the supporting items such as best pack and play for travel, things will go wrong and you will still struggle and feel really stressed.

There are a lot of thing that you need to prepare to make sure your trip with your baby go as smoothly as possible. As I mentioned above, you need to buy a lot of stuff such as best pack and play for travel. There are also some hints and tips that you should know and remember as well for a better preparation.

In this article, I will introduce some of the most useful advice that if you can remember and follow, you will sure have a hassle free trip with your family and your baby.

 
Here are some tips to prepare for your trip with your baby:

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Press Watch

Press Watch

Of all programs I’ve experienced on Afghanistan, not just one was extra chilling than Under the Veil, an hourlong documentary which has appeared usually on CNN. Its narrator, Saira Shah, a British girl of Afghan descent, spent five days and nights in the united states to check out what life there is enjoy. Shah were able to penetrate spots few Westerners reach see, incorporating a top secret classroom for girls and a village that suffered Taliban atrocities. She likewise visited a Kabul soccer stadium that, she stated, had offered as a general public execution floor. To again up her level, the documentary highlighted a clip of a guy adding a rifle to the top of a female clad in a burqa and blowing her brains out. Within an interview with the Taliban overseas minister, Shah asked what he imagined the overseas donors who provided funds for the stadium would declare if indeed they knew it had been being employed for executions instead of for sports. Very well, the minister stated, if they didn’t like it, they should provide money to build a independent arena for executions.

Press Watch

Press Watch

Shah’s record captures just how horrendous lifestyle in Afghanistan has become. The Taliban’s police-state tactics, together with its harboring of terrorists, provides fed a groundswell of support for its ouster. That, in turn, has focused brand-new interest on the Taliban’s primary opponents, the United Front side, or, as it’s even more familiarly regarded, the Northern Alliance. Eager to report on it, US journalists have got swarmed in to the sliver of territory the alliance handles in northeastern Afghanistan, where they’re cordially considered on tours by rebel commanders.

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To everything there is a season: fresh-picked food is just plain good

To everything there is a season: fresh-picked food is just plain good

Strawberries in January, peaches in March, tomatoes in December. Unless you live in a state with a long growing season, all of the above violate the laws of eating naturally–in other words, eating in season.

When we eat in rhythm with the seasons, we can appreciate Earth’s natural cycles. Let’s consider the peach. That fuzzy fruit defines summer. Fruits taste best and reach their nutritional peak when picked ripe and eaten shortly after harvest. We can buy imports from Chile all winter long, but out-of-season peaches lack fragrance and the sweet juice that drips down our chins.

To everything there is a season fresh-picked food is just plain good

To everything there is a season fresh-picked food is just plain good

Feasting on Fossil Fuel

Our global food system allows us to eat just about anything we want, any time of year. However, choosing foods grown and harvested thousands of miles away takes its toll on our planet and our health. For example, long-distance trucking to transport food from faraway places requires fossil fuel, adding hidden costs, such as global warming. “Seasonal eating is environmental eating,” explains David Bruce, an organic farmer from Wisconsin.

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Which watch? And why?

Which watch? And why?

AWHILE AGO, as I perused the wristwatch ads in the New York Times, something within me agitated–something that once in a decade, or maybe a lifetime, causes you to wonder about what you do measured comprehensively; like, oh, What percentage of your lifetime do you spend asleep? Or eating? Or–your mind, when roguish, will take you to antic lengths–defecating?

It happened to me at that moment, on the spot. I asked myself, How many hours (weeks? months?) of my life have I already spent looking at watch ads? The question fascinated me in part because my persistent habit hasn’t been motivated by any search for the Perfect Watch. This is so because quite by accident, a few years ago, I discovered the perfect watch; so that all the time I spend looking at the displays of watches for sale is entirely platonic. It’s just that there is something, for me, simply irresistible in watch ads.

Which watch And why

Which watch And why

I thought this an entirely personal idiosyncrasy until I devoted a newspaper column to a single Sunday’s watch ads. I was astonished by the number of people who wrote to me, or told me to my face, that they suffer from the same addiction. “Suffer” may be the wrong word, because manifestly our fraternity relishes the pastime. Granted, some voyeurs are engaged in the practical pursuit of awatch preferable to the watch they wear, but they would presumably expect that their curiosity would be extinguished upon finding their quarry.

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Let’s eat: one community’s vision for fresh, cheap, and accessible food in Halifax

Let’s eat: one community’s vision for fresh, cheap, and accessible food in Halifax

NORMAN GREENBERG really wants to be clear: this story isn’t about him.

I’m sitting in the rear of an antique boutique on Halifax’s swiftly gentrifying Gottingen Road with the volunteer chair of the Community Carrot Co-Op board of directors. He’s telling me about how the community’s vision for an accessible, cheap, community-owned grocery store came a few steps closer to being realized.

“Every project starts with an idea,” says Greenberg, 66. “But this is really about the community coming together to make something happen.”

Greenberg, a retired psychologist, had been working in the North End with people with mental illness for years bringing them back into their community through work placements and training programs.

One of those programs was a miniature grocery kiosk, run out of a community housing apartment. When he found the store’s tremendous success, Greenberg noticed that the kiosk was meeting an unseen want in the low-salary neighbourhood. His clientele had been struggling to find affordable produce nearby.

Read about best food savers – best vacuum sealer, vacuum sealer reviews to save your food

Let's eat one community's vision for fresh, cheap, and accessible food in Halifax

Let’s eat one community’s vision for fresh, cheap, and accessible food in Halifax

Residents of the area live just under 1.5 kilometres away from a major supermarket–a 20-minute walk, or a nine-minute bus ride, although specialty food stores dot the neighbourhood. Still, lugging food back from the big stores isn’t easy if you’re older or possess a disability–especially if you can’t afford a car.

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The Chinese Know: We Are How We Eat: We often think of food as something to pop into the microwave. In Taiwan, fresh food is a way of life

The Chinese Know: We Are How We Eat: We often think of food as something to pop into the microwave. In Taiwan, fresh food is a way of life

If you come across someone you understand on the road in Taiwan, he’s more likely to greet you by requesting, “Perhaps you have consumed?” The polite move to make is claim yes, but whether or not you haven’t, it’s likely that you will be having a genuine meal rapidly. In Taiwan, great food is under no circumstances difficult to find. Restaurants are 3 or 4 to a block, and outdoor grocery marketplaces flourish like dandelions after a rainstorm. Outdoor cafes range the streets throughout the day, while stands advertising snacks are a huge attraction of the favorite night markets, where one can acquire anything from Hello there Kitty toasters to leather shoes or boots.

Metropolitan areas like Paris and Florence come close to competing on the food front, but they can’t surpass the sheer variety that a walk down any street in Taipei reveals. From one direction comes the rich smell of frying bread, from another the aroma of boiled pork dumplings and from yet another fermented or “smelly” bean curd, a Chinese favorite. Even the raw fruits and vegetables in the markets give off their own sweet smell.

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Mass. Schools, Farms Link Up; Districts buying food fresh from growers

Mass. Schools, Farms Link Up; Districts buying food fresh from growers

Frank B. Maher Jr., the director of school meals providers for the 6,400-student Westfield, Mass., college district, knows accurately where his shiny apples, crisp pears, and vine-ripened tomatoes happen to be coming from.

About twenty five percent of the manufacture found in the district’s university lunch program originates from native growers. There’s an advantage to keeping profit the city, but there’s another clear as well as, Mr. Maher says: The locally grown manufacture simply just tastes better.

“Oh, yeah,” Mr. Maher explained. “It’s excellent. The kids had taken to it immediately.”

The district is normally among 70 individuals in the Massachusetts Farm to University Job. Those districts feed about 200,000 pupils in the talk about.

Nationwide, 35 claims and 1,000 districts be a part of some sort of purchasing arrangement with native growers, explained Marion Kalb, a co-director of the National Farm to University Course, which is maintained jointly by the city Food Security Plan, in Santa Fe, N.M., and the Center for Meals and Justice, at Occidental University in Los Angeles.

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Fresh Food

Fresh Food

In Competition No. 2854 you were invited to invent a name for a new cookery publication, with a fresh angle, and supply a publisher’s blurb.

With regards to the marketplace for bizarre cookery literature, an instant trawl of the net reveals that there surely is previously stiff competition out now there. The Superstar Wars Cookbook (may the sauce end up being with you) and Cooking food in the Nude both captured my eye, and those of you who recommended a roadkill-structured approach have been beaten to it by Buck Peterson, who published The Original Street Kill Cookbook in the mid-Eighties (yours, on Amazon, for under a fiver).

Commendations to D.A. Prince, Tracy Davidson, Sylvia Fairley and Nicholas Stone, who obtain applause if not really funds. The winners, imprinted below, pocket 30 [pounds sterling] each. Adrian Fry will take 35 [pounds sterling].

Fresh Food

Fresh Food

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Talk About Death Watch

Talk About Death Watch

All of this week Radio Five Live possesses been supplying us an insight into what it really is like not merely to confront loss of life each day but also to learn a minor error on your own portion might end someone’s lifestyle. In Junior Doctors’ Diaries on Sunday nighttime, Habiba, Andrew and Jeremy got us of their daily round, accompanied by updates through the entire week on Phil Williams’s night-time exhibit. It has been a timely reminder (politically motivated or certainly not) of just how much we are looking for very good doctors, and how unfortunate it really is that so most of them have felt motivated to be on hit. Sad because that it is a reflection of how undervalued they have grown to be, and of how little we understand in what they do. In fact, Habiba, a paediatrics expert, advised us she have been upset by some father and mother who, ‘rightly disappointed’ that the youngster was not enhancing as quickly as they had hoped, experienced questioned her experience. ‘It’s hard,’ she said, bleakly, before reassuring us that she loves her job and would do nothing else.

Talk About Death Watch

Talk About Death Watch

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