PACKAGING INSERTS

The present disclosure provides a packaging insert for use with ice cream, frozen yogurt, or other foods or substances. The packaging insert comprises a first portion contiguous to a second portion along a first line; a third portion contiguous to the second portion along a second line, and a fourth portion contiguous to the third portion along a third line; wherein the first portion, second portion, third portion, and fourth portions are part of a single piece of material, a back surface of the second portion is adjacent a back surface of the third portion, and the first line is positioned adjacent the third line.

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Description

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 61/716,187, filed Oct. 19, 2012, the disclosure of which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety.

FIELD

The present disclosure relates generally to an insert for use in packaging containers. More specifically, the present disclosure relates to a removable insert for dividing a container into multiple sections.

SUMMARY

The present disclosure provides a packaging insert. The packaging insert comprises a first portion contiguous to a second portion along a first line; a third portion contiguous to the second portion along a second line, and a fourth portion contiguous to the third portion along a third line; wherein the first portion, second portion, third portion, and fourth portions are part of a single piece of material, a back surface of the second portion is adjacent a back surface of the third portion, and the first line is positioned adjacent the third line.

In another embodiment, the present disclosure provides a method of forming a packaging insert. The method comprises providing a single piece of material including a first portion, a second portion adjacent to the first portion, a third adjacent to the second portion, and a fourth section adjacent to the third portion; folding the single piece of material in a first direction along a line between the second portion and the third portion to form a first folding edge; folding the single piece of material in a second direction opposite the first direction along a line between the first portion and the second portion to form a second folding edge; folding the single piece of material in the second direction along a line between the third portion and the fourth portion to form a third folding edge; and moving the second folding edge to be adjacent the third folding edge.

In still another embodiment, the present disclosure provides a method of mixing food items in a container. The method comprises providing a container having a container wall, a top opening, and a bottom defining an interior space; sectioning the interior space into a plurality sections by positioning a packaging insert at least partially in the interior space, the packing insert comprising a single piece of material including a first portion, a second portion contiguous to the first portion and positioned at a first angle to the first portion, a third portion contiguous to the second portion and positioned at a second angle to the second portion, and a fourth portion contiguous to the second portion and positioned at a third angle to the third portion, wherein the first and third angles being about 120° and the second angle being about 180°; dispensing a first food item into a first of the plurality of sections and a second food item into a second food item into a second of the plurality of sections; removing the packaging insert; and mixing the first food item and the second food item.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The features of this disclosure, and the manner of attaining them, will become more apparent and the disclosure itself will be better understood by reference to the following description of embodiments of the disclosure taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawing.

FIG. 1 illustrates an exemplary packaging insert according to the instant disclosure positioned inside a container;

FIG. 2 illustrates the exemplary packaging insert of FIG. 1 in a fully unfolded position;

FIG. 3 illustrates the exemplary packaging insert of FIG. 2 in a partially folded position;

FIG. 4 is an overhead view of the exemplary packaging insert of FIG. 2 in a fully folded position;

FIG. 5 is an elevated perspective view of the exemplary packaging insert of FIG. 2 in a fully folded position;

FIG. 6 illustrates another exemplary packaging insert according to the present disclosure in a fully unfolded position;

FIG. 7 illustrates still another exemplary packaging insert according to the instant disclosure positioned inside a container; and

FIG. 8 illustrates the exemplary packaging insert of FIG. 7 in a fully unfolded position.

Corresponding reference characters indicate corresponding parts throughout the several views. Although the drawings represent embodiments of the present disclosure, the drawings are not necessarily to scale and certain features may be exaggerated in order to better illustrate and explain the present disclosure. The exemplifications set out herein illustrate an exemplary embodiment of the disclosure, in one form, and such exemplifications are not to be construed as limiting the scope of the disclosure in any manner.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The embodiments disclosed herein are not intended to be exhaustive or limit the disclosure to the precise form disclosed in the following detailed description. Rather, the embodiments are chosen and described so that others skilled in the art may utilize their teachings.

With reference to FIG. 1, an exemplary embodiment of a packaging insert 10 is illustrated positioned at least partially inside container 12. Container 12 includes an interior area 14 accessible through top opening 16. Interior area 14 is bounded by container wall 18. Illustratively, top opening 16 of container 12 has a larger area than closed bottom 20 of container 12. In this embodiment, container wall 18 has a larger perimeter at top opening 16 than at closed bottom 20 of container 12. In other embodiments, top opening 16 has the same area as closed bottom 20 of container 12, and container wall 18 has the same perimeter at top opening 16 as at the closed bottom 20 of container 12.

Although illustrated as a frustoconical in shape, in other embodiments container 12 has the shape of a cylinder, a cone, a triangular pyramid, a triangular, a triangular prism, a hexagonal prism, triangular prism, rectangular prism, a frustum or other portion of any of the foregoing shapes, or other suitable shape. In some embodiments, perimeter at the top opening 16 is larger than the perimeter at the closed bottom 20.

Packaging insert 10 can be inserted into container 12 to divide interior area 14 of container 12 into multiple sections. Illustratively, interior area 14 is divided by packaging insert 10 into first section 22A, second section 22B, and third section 22C.

Packaging insert 10 includes a first divider formed from first portion 24 of packaging insert 10 separating first section 22A and second section 22B, a second divider formed from a second portion 26A and a third portion 26B of packaging insert 10 separating second section 22B and third section 22C, and third divider formed from a fourth portion 28 of packaging insert 10 separating first section 22A and third section 22C. Second portion 26A and third portion 26B are folded against each other to form the second divider. Illustratively, the first divider formed from first portion 24, the second divider formed from second portion 26A and third portion 26B, and the third divider formed from fourth portion 28 each extend from central axis 30 of packaging insert 10 to container wall 18.

Although packaging insert 10 includes dividers separating interior area 14 of container 12 into three sections 22A, 22B, 22C, in the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 1, in other embodiments, packaging insert 10 includes more than three dividers and separates the interior area 14 of container 12 into more than three sections (see FIGS. 7 and 8). Additionally, although the first divider formed from first portion 24, the second divider formed from second portion 26A and third portion 26B, and the third divider formed from fourth portion 28 meet along central axis 30 in the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 1, in other embodiments, not all the dividers may meet in a common position, or the common position may not be along the central axis 30 of packaging insert 10 when positioned in container 12.

Referring next to FIG. 2, the packaging insert 10 is illustrated in a fully unfolded state. In the illustrated embodiment, the packaging insert 10 is formed from a single piece of material 32. Illustratively, the material 32 is formed from water resistant material. Exemplary water resistant materials include paper and cardboard having a plastic, wax or other suitable coating, and other suitable water resistant and water proof materials.

In the illustrated embodiment, material 32 has a top side 34 and a bottom side 36. Material 32 includes first portion 24 corresponding to the first divider, second portion 26A and third portion 26B corresponding to the second divider, and fourth portion 28 corresponding to the third divider. Because the top opening 16 of the illustrative container 12 has a larger area than closed bottom 20 of container 12 (see FIG. 1), each exemplary portion 24, 26A, 26B, and 28 is substantially trapezoidal in shape such that each portion 24, 26A, 26B, and 28 is larger on the top side 34 than bottom side 36. For containers having a top opening 16 with the same area as the bottom, each exemplary portion 24, 26A, 26B, and 28 is rectangular in shape such that the top side 34 of each portion is the same size as bottom side.

Suitable sizes and shapes for portions 24, 26A, 26B, and 28 are selected based on the size and shape of container 12 and the desired size and shape of sections 22A, 22B, and 22C. Illustratively, each portion 24, 26A, 26B, and 28 is the same size and shape to produce equally sized sections 22A, 22B, and 22C of interior area 14 of container 12. As illustrated in FIG. 1, the equally sized sections divide the interior area 14 of container 12 into first section 22A, second section 22B, and third section 22C, wherein each section comprises about 120° around the central axis 30, providing about ⅓ of the total interior area 14 in each section 22A, 22B, and 22C. In other embodiments, portion 24, 26A, 26B, and 28 may be different sizes and shapes, producing differently sized and shaped sections 22A, 22B, and 22C. In the illustrative embodiment, shown in FIG. 1, the height of the packaging insert 10 is such that it is even with or extends slightly beyond top opening 16 of container 12 when placed inside interior area 14 of container 12. In other exemplary embodiments, the height of the packaging insert 10 is such that it does not extend beyond top opening 16 of container 12 when placed inside interior area 14 of container 12. In one exemplary embodiment, top opening 16 of container 12 is about 4⅜ inches in diameter. In another exemplary embodiment, top opening 16 of container 12 is about 5⅛ inches in diameter. Other suitable containers having diameters larger or smaller diameters may also be used.

Referring again to FIG. 2, center folding edge 38 is positioned between second portion 26A and third portion 26B of material 32. Second folding edge 40 is positioned between first portion 24 and second portion 26A. Third folding edge 42 is positioned between third portion 26B and fourth portion 28. Material 32 further includes edge 44 defining one end of first portion 24 opposite second folding edge 40 and edge 46 defining one end of fourth portion 28 opposite third folding edge 42.

In an illustrative embodiment, one or more of folding edges 38, 40, 42 includes a perforated channel to assist in folding material 32. Exemplary perforated channels include a plurality of spaced apart holes, indentations, dimples, or one or more scored lines to assist in folding material 32. In still other illustrative embodiments, folding edges 38, 40, 42 do not include a perforated channel to assist in folding material 32.

Referring next to FIGS. 2-4, a method of assembling the exemplary packaging insert 10 from the unfolded state shown in FIG. 2 is provided. Material 32 is folded along center folding edge 38 as shown in FIG. 3, and a surface on the back side 35 of second portion 26A is folded against a surface on the back side 35 of third portion 26B. In an illustrative embodiment, an adhesive is applied to the surface on the back side 35 of portion 26A or portion 26B or both to adhere portions 26A and 26B together. Exemplary adhesives include glues, cements, waxes, and other suitable adhesives.

Material 32 is next folded along second folding edge 40 and third folding edge 42 as illustrated in FIG. 3. A surface on the front side 37 of second portion 26A is folded towards a surface on the front side 37 of first portion 24. A surface on the front side 37 of third portion 26B is folded towards a surface on the front side 37 of fourth portion 28. In other embodiments, material 32 is folded along one or both of folding edges 40, 42 prior to folding material 32 along center folding edge 38.

Second folding edge 40 is positioned adjacent third folding edge 42 as illustrated in FIG. 4 to form the fully folded state of packaging insert 10, as illustrated in FIG. 5.

In the exemplary embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 4 and 5, second folding edge 40 and third folding edge 42 are positioned adjacent to each other to form central axis 30 of packaging insert 10. First portion 24 forms a first divider defined between second folding edge 40 and edge 44. Second portion 26A and third portion 26B form a second divider defined between center folding edge 38 and second and third folding edges 40, 42. Fourth portion 28 forms a third divider defined between third folding edge 42 and edge 46.

The trapezoidal shape of illustrative portions 24, 26A, 26B, and 28 result in folding edge 38, edge 44, and edge 46 being further from central axis 30 at top side 34 than at bottom side 36. This allows packaging insert 10 to fit tightly in a container 12 with a larger area at the top opening 16 than at the closed bottom 20.

In one illustrative embodiment, top opening 16 of container 12 is about 5 inches in diameter, and first portion 24, second portion 26A, third portion 26B, and fourth portion 28 snugly fit against the interior sides of container wall 18. In another illustrative embodiment, as shown in FIG. 1, each of the first divider formed from first portion 24, the second divider formed from second portion 26A and third portion 26B, and the third divider formed from fourth portion 28 forms an angle of about 120° with the other two dividers.

Illustratively, packaging insert 10 is placed the interior area 14 of a container 12 such that center folding edge 38, edge 44, and edge 46 are positioned along the interior of container wall 18. One or more substances are dispensed into container 12. In an illustrative embodiment, different substances are dispensed into one or more of first section 22A, second section 22B, and third section 22C. In a more particular embodiment, a first substance is dispensed into first section 22A, a second substance is dispensed into second section 22B, and a third substance is dispensed into third section 22C. The first, second, and third substances may be foods. Exemplary foods that may be used with the present packaging insert include, but are not limited to, one or more flavors of frozen desserts such as frozen yogurt and ice cream and toppings including candies, syrups, sprinkles, cream, whipped cream, chocolates, and fruits. Other suitable foods may also be used.

In the embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 1-5, packaging insert 10 is removably positioned in container 12 prior to dispensing one or more foods into container 12. Packaging insert 10 keeps the foods in different sections 22A, 22B, and 22C to reduce or eliminate mixing of the foods. In an illustrative embodiment, packaging insert 10 is removed by a user prior to consuming the one or more foods. In this embodiment, the user is able to mix the one or more foods together in the interior area 14 of container 12 prior to consuming the food.

Referring next to FIG. 6, an alternative packaging insert 10′ is illustrated. Packaging insert 10′ is similar to packaging insert 10 illustrated in FIGS. 1-5. The same numerals used to refer to components of packaging insert 10 are used to refer to similar components of alternative packaging insert 10′. As illustrated in FIG. 6, alternative packaging insert 10′ is shown in a fully unfolded state. In the illustrated embodiment, the alternative packaging insert 10′ is formed from a single piece of material 32′. The material is formed from a paper or cardboard with a plastic or other waterproof or water resistant coating.

Material 32′ includes portions corresponding to first portion 24′, second portion 26A, third portion 26B, and fourth portion 28′. Illustratively, each portion 24′, 26A, 26B, 28′ are substantially the same sized trapezoidal shape to produce equally sized sections 22A, 22B, and 22C of interior area 14 of container 12. In other embodiments, portions 24′, 26A, 26B, 28′ are rectangular in shape.

First portion 24′ further includes adjustable portion 48. Adjustable portion 48 is separated from the rest of first portion 24′ by folding edge 50. Similarly, fourth portion 28′ further includes adjustable portion 52 separated from the rest of fourth portion 28′ by folding edge 54. In an illustrative embodiment, adjustable portions 48, 52 comprise from about 5% to about 10% of the width of first portion 24′ and second portion 28′. In one exemplary embodiment, folding edge 50 is substantially parallel to edge 44 and folding edge 54 is substantially parallel to edge 46. In another exemplary embodiment, folding edge 50 is substantially parallel to second folding edge 40 and folding edge 54 is substantially parallel to third folding edge 42.

In an illustrative embodiment, one or more of folding edges 50 and 54 include a perforated channel. Folding edges 50, 54 allow adjustable portions 48 and 52 to flex and bend when alternative packaging insert 10′ is inserted into container 12. Folding edges 50 and 54 allow adjustable portion 48 of first portion 24′ and adjustable portion 52 of fourth portion 28′ to fit closer against an interior surface of container wall 18.

Referring next to FIGS. 7 and 8, still another alternative packaging insert 110 is illustrated. Packaging insert 110 is similar to packaging inserts 10 and 10′ illustrated in FIGS. 1-6. As illustrated in FIG. 7, packaging insert 110 divides container 12 into four sections 122A, 122B, 122C, and 122D. Although illustrated as being substantially similar in size, in other embodiments, sections 122A, 122B, 122C, and 122D may be different in size, and not all the dividers may meet in a common position, or the common position may not be along the central axis 30 of packaging insert 110 when positioned in container 12.

As illustrated in FIG. 8, the packaging insert 110 is formed from a single piece of material 120. Illustratively, the material 120 is formed from water resistant material. Exemplary water resistant materials include paper and cardboard having a plastic, wax or other suitable coating, and other suitable water resistant and water proof materials.

Material 120 includes portions corresponding to first portion 124, second portion 126A, third portion 126B, fourth portion 128A, fifth portion 128B, sixth portion 130A, seventh portion 130B, and eighth portion 132. Illustratively, each portion 124, 126A, 126B, 128A, 128B, 130A, 130B, and 132 are substantially the same sized trapezoidal shape to produce equally sized sections 122A, 122B, 122C, and 122D of interior area 14 of container 12. In other embodiments, portion 124, 126A, 126B, 128A, 128B, 130A, 130B, and 132 are rectangular in shape.

Center folding edge 138 is positioned between fourth portion 128A portion 26A and fifth portion 128B of material 120. Second folding edge 140 is positioned between third portion 126B and fourth portion 128A. Third folding edge 142 is positioned between fifth portion 128B and sixth portion 130A. Fourth folding edge 144 is positioned between second portion 126A and third portion 126B. Fifth folding edge 146 is positioned between sixth portion 130A and seventh portion 130B. Sixth folding edge 148 is positioned between first portion 124 and second portion 126A. Seventh folding edge 150 is positioned between seventh portion 130B and eighth portion 132. Material 120 further includes edge 152 defining one end of first portion 124 opposite sixth folding edge 148 and edge 154 defining one end of eighth portion 132 opposite seventh folding edge 150.

In an illustrative embodiment, one or more of folding edges 138, 140, 142, 144, 146, 148, 150 includes a perforated channel to assist in folding material 120. Exemplary perforated channels include a plurality of spaced apart holes, indentations, dimples, or one or more scored lines to assist in folding material 120. In still other illustrative embodiments, folding edges 138, 140, 142, 144, 146, 148, 150 do not include a perforated channel to assist in folding material 120.

One or more of folding edges 138, 140, 142, 144, 146, 148, 150 may include an adjustable section similar to those described with respect to FIG. 6.

Packaging insert 110 is assembly similarly to packaging insert 10 and alternative packaging insert 10′. Material 120 is folded along center folding edge 138, and a surface on the back side of fourth portion 128A is folded against a surface on the back side of fifth portion 128B.

Material 120 is folded along fourth folding edge 144 to bring a surface on the back side of second portion 126A against a surface on the back side of third portion 126B. Material 120 is folded along fifth folding edge 146 to bring a surface on the back side of sixth portion 130A against a surface on the back side of seventh portion 130B.

A surface on the front side of first portion 124 is folded towards a surface on the front side of second portion 126A. A surface on the front side of third portion 126B is folded towards a surface on the front side of fourth portion 128A. A surface on the front side of fifth portion 128B is folded towards a surface on the front side of sixth portion 130A. A surface on the front side of seventh portion 130B is folded towards a surface on the front side of eight portion 132. This forms packaging insert 110 as illustrated in FIG. 7.

In an illustrative embodiment, an adhesive is applied to the surface on the back side of one or more of portions 126A, 126B, 128A, 128B, 130A, and 130B to secure the portions together. Exemplary adhesives include glues, cements, waxes, and other suitable adhesives.

In the exemplary embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 6 and 7, folding edges 140, 142, 148, and 150 are positioned adjacent to each other to form central axis 30 of packaging insert 110. First portion 124 and eighth portion form a first divider extending from the central axis 30 to edges 152 and 154. Second portion 126A and third portion 126B form a second divider extending from the central axis 30 to folding edge 144. Fourth portion 128A and fifth portion 128B form a third divider extending from the central axis 30 to center folding edge 138. Sixth portion 130A and seventh portion 130B form a fourth divider extending from the central axis 30 to folding edge 150.

While this disclosure has been described as having an exemplary design, the present disclosure may be further modified within the spirit and scope of this disclosure. This application is therefore intended to cover any variations, uses, or adaptations of the disclosure using its general principles. Further, this application is intended to cover such departures from the present disclosure as come within the known or customary practice in the art to which this disclosure pertains.

Claims

1. A packaging insert comprising:

a first portion contiguous to a second portion along a first line;
a third portion contiguous to the second portion along a second line, and
a fourth portion contiguous to the third portion along a third line;
wherein the first portion, second portion, third portion, and fourth portions are part of a single piece of material configured such that when folded, a back surface of the second portion is adjacent a back surface of the third portion, and the first line is positioned adjacent the third line and when unfolded, the first portion is not adjacent to the fourth portion.

2. The packaging insert of claim 1, wherein the single piece of material is formed from a water resistant material.

3. The packaging insert of claim 2, wherein the water resistant material includes a water resistant coating.

4. The packaging insert of claim 1, wherein the first and fourth portions are substantially trapezoidal in shape.

5. The packaging insert of claim 1, wherein the first portion, second portion, third portion, and fourth portions are substantially trapezoidal in shape.

6. The packaging insert of claim 1, wherein the first and fourth portions are substantially rectangular in shape.

7. The packaging insert of claim 1, wherein the first portion, second portion, third portion, and fourth portions are substantially rectangular in shape.

8. The packaging insert of claim 1, the first portion comprises a main portion and an adjustable portion attached to the main portion by a perforated channel.

9. The packaging insert of claim 1, wherein when the insert is folded, the first portion is positioned at an angle of approximately 120° to the second portion and the third portion is positioned at an angle of approximately 120° to the fourth portion.

10. The packaging insert of claim 1, further comprising a container having a top opening and a closed bottom, the single piece of material being positioned in an interior of the container and dividing the interior of container into at least two sections.

11. The packaging insert of claim 10, wherein the single piece of material divides the interior of container into at least three sections.

12. The packaging insert of claim 10, wherein the top of the container has a larger perimeter than the bottom of the container.

13. A package comprising:

a packaging insert comprising: a first portion contiguous to a second portion along a first line; a third portion contiguous to the second portion along a second line, and a fourth portion contiguous to the third portion along a third line; wherein the first portion, second portion, third portion, and fourth portions are part of a single piece of material configured such that when folded, a back surface of the second portion is adjacent a back surface of the third portion, and the first line is positioned adjacent the third line and when unfolded, the first portion is not adjacent to the fourth portion; and
a container including a bottom, a top opening, and a container wall defining an interior space, wherein the interior space is divided into a first section bounded by the first portion and the second portion of the insert, a second section bounded by the third portion and the fourth portion of the insert, and a third section bounded by the first portion and the fourth portion of the insert.

14. The package of claim 13, wherein the container wall has a first perimeter at the top opening and a second perimeter at the bottom, the first perimeter being larger than the second perimeter.

15. The package of claim 13, wherein the first and fourth portions are substantially trapezoidal in shape.

16. The package of claim 13, wherein the first, second, third, and fourth portions are substantially trapezoidal in shape.

17. A method of forming a packaging insert comprising:

providing a single piece of material including a first portion, a second portion adjacent to the first portion, a third adjacent to the second portion, and a fourth portion adjacent to the third portion, the fourth portion not being adjacent to the first portion;
folding the single piece of material in a first direction along a line between the second portion and the third portion to form a first folding edge;
folding the single piece of material in a second direction opposite the first direction along a line between the first portion and the second portion to form a second folding edge;
folding the single piece of material in the second direction along a line between the third portion and the fourth portion to form a third folding edge; and
moving the second folding edge to be adjacent the third folding edge.

18. The method of claim 17, further comprising securing the second portion to the third portion with an adhesive.

19. The method of claim 17, wherein the single piece of material includes a perforated channel and at least one of the first folding edge, second folding edge, and third folding edge is formed along the perforated channel.

20. The method of claim 17, wherein the first portion comprises a main portion and an adjustable portion attached to the main portion by a perforated channel.

Patent History

Publication number: 20140110283
Type: Application
Filed: Oct 1, 2013
Publication Date: Apr 24, 2014
Inventor: Mark Edward Baugh (Carmel, IN)
Application Number: 14/042,852

Classifications