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Title:
A BOX FOR CONTAINING A FOODSTUFF
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2020/201710
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A box for containing a foodstuff, the box comprising a container portion and a lid portion, the container portion comprising a horizontal rectangular base portion having four base sides and four corners, and four side walls, each side wall having a side wall base side, two side wall sides and a side wall top side, each base side being hingedly connected to a respective side wall base side having the same length, each corner thereby comprising a pair of adjacent side wall sides from adjacent side walls, each pair of adjacent side wall sides being hingedly connected by a respective concertina portion, the concertina portion comprising material having a plurality of folds; and the lid portion comprising a rectangular top surface and four depending side surfaces; and wherein the box has three arrangements: a first arrangement wherein the side walls are in a hinged-down position wherein the side walls and the concertina portions are in the same plane as the rectangular base portion; a second arrangement wherein the side walls are in a partially hinged-up position such that the side walls in each corner are separated from each other; a third arrangement wherein the side walls are in a hinged-up position such that their respective side wall sides in each corner are in contact with each other and the four side wall top sides form a contiguous top rectangular perimeter.

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Inventors:
CRANE MATT (GB)
SUMNALL PHIL (GB)
PAICE BRIDGET (GB)
TAPPLY LAURA (GB)
HEENEY LUKE (GB)
COULING ANDREW (GB)
STAINTHORPE GARETH (GB)
POULTON JANE (GB)
LEADBITTER HOLLY (GB)
HAYWOOD SIMON (GB)
HOUGHTON CHRIS (GB)
BOSTOCK GEORGE (GB)
GIBSON PAUL (GB)
Application Number:
PCT/GB2020/050764
Publication Date:
October 08, 2020
Filing Date:
March 20, 2020
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
MONTYS BAKEHOUSE UK LTD (GB)
International Classes:
B65D5/24; B65D5/68
Foreign References:
US2386062A1945-10-02
US2643812A1953-06-30
GB1108660A1968-04-03
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
FORSYTH, Helen et al. (GB)
Download PDF:
Claims:
Claims

1. A box for containing a foodstuff, the box comprising a container portion and a lid portion,

the container portion comprising a horizontal rectangular base portion having four base sides and four corners, and four side walls, each side wall having a side wall base side, two side wall sides and a side wall top side, each base side being hingedly connected to a respective side wall base side having the same length, each corner thereby comprising a pair of adjacent side wall sides from adjacent side walls, each pair of adjacent side wall sides being hingedly connected by a respective concertina portion, the concertina portion comprising material having a plurality of folds; and the lid portion comprising a rectangular top surface and four depending side surfaces; and wherein the box has three arrangements: a first arrangement wherein the side walls are in a hinged-down position wherein the side walls and the concertina portions are in the same plane as the rectangular base portion; a second arrangement wherein the side walls are in a partially hinged- up position such that the side walls in each corner are separated from each other; a third arrangement wherein the side walls are in a hinged-up position such that their respective side wall sides in each corner are in contact with each other and the four side wall top sides form a contiguous top rectangular perimeter.

2. A box according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the concertina portions bias the container to adopt its second arrangement.

3. A box according to claim 2, wherein the biasing towards the second arrangement is provided by the concertina portions.

4. A box according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the box contains a foodstuff, preferably a heatable foodstuff.

5. A box according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the box is made substantially of cardboard or paperboard, preferably the box is made entirely of cardboard or paperboard.

6. A box according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the

container portion is made from a single piece of continuous material comprising folds to provide the rectangular base portion, the side walls and the concertina portions.

7. A box according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the box is substantially or completely free of any adhesive.

8. A box according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the box is substantially or completely free of plastics.

9. A box according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the

concertina portions comprise two sides perpendicular to each other, each of which is hingedly connected to respective adjacent side wall sides from adjacent side walls.

10. A box according to any one of the preceding claims wherein the

concertina portions comprise a rigid material comprising folds.

11. A box according to claim 9 and 10, wherein the folds pass through the intersection of the two perpendicular sides of the concertina portion.

12. A box according to claim 1 1 , wherein the folds are evenly spaced apart so as to divide the concertina portion into a plurality of triangular shaped regions, each having substantially the same angle at the point of intersection of the two perpendicular sides of the concertina portion.

13. A box according to claim 1 1 or 12, wherein the concertina portions comprise three folds.

14. A box according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the

concertina portions are arranged to be located in the interior of the container portion of the box when in the third arrangement.

15. A box according to claim 13 and 14, wherein the middle fold is directed to fold outwardly of the interior of the container portion, and the folds on either side are directed to fold inwardly of the interior of the container portion.

16. A box according to any one of claims 13 to 15, wherein the middle fold and the pair of adjacent side wall sides from adjacent side walls all come together into collinear contact when the box is in its third arrangement.

17. A box according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the

concertina portions are dimensioned such that, when the box is in its third arrangement, the concertina portions terminate at the plane in which the four side wall top sides form a contiguous top rectangular perimeter.

18. A box according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the

concertina portions are not attached to the side walls when in the third arrangement.

19. A method of heating a box according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the box contains a heatable foodstuff. 20. A method according to claim 19, wherein the heating is carried out in a heating apparatus, preferably a conventional oven.

21 . A method according to claim 20, wherein the oven is located inside an aircraft, and a plurality of boxes are positioned in an array on a tray in the oven.

Description:
A box for Containing a Foodstuff

Technical Field

The present invention relates to a box for containing a foodstuff, the box comprising a container portion and a lid portion.

Background and Prior Art

It is routine for food to be delivered in a retail environment in packaging. Such packaging comes in a wide variety of forms and typically depends on the intended use, the expected delay between sale and consumption, the location where the foodstuff is sold and whether the food is heatable or ready-to-eat. Packaging can comprises utensils to assist in consumption.

In the passenger airline industry it is very common for passengers to receive a foodstuff such as a meal or snack during the flight. Sometimes this foodstuff is heated. The foodstuff is typically prepared and packaged by a third party manufacturer and provided to the airline caterer located at the departure airport who loads the foodstuff into galley carts and onto the aeroplane.

During the flight the packaged foodstuff, if it is to be heated, is typically placed in an oven, which can have an operating temperature of around 160 to 200 °C. The heated foodstuff is removed from the oven when suitably heated and delivered to the passengers. The passengers then open the packaging and consume a hot meal.

Typically cutlery to eat the heated foodstuff is separately provided in hygienic packaging.

The provision of a hot foodstuff is desirable to airlines because it is deemed more luxurious than a non-heated foodstuff by consumers. Therefore the provision of a heated foodstuff is widespread in the passenger airline industry. Most packaging for heated foodstuffs involves the use of heat-resistant single use plastic packaging as this is economical and suitable for an oven environment.

However, it is known that such an activity does generate a large amount of waste that is not always recyclable. Airlines are under a significant amount of pressure to reduce the amount of waste that they generate and so there is a need for improvements in this area.

Cardboard or paperboard boxes are known which are rectangular and may be made from folding a flat sheet of cardboard or paperboard with pre-made folds or hinges.

Detailed Description of the Invention

In a first aspect, the present invention relates to a box for containing a foodstuff, the box comprising a container portion and a lid portion, the container portion comprising a horizontal rectangular base portion having four base sides and four corners, and four side walls, each side wall having a side wall base side, two side wall sides and a side wall top side, each base side being hingedly connected to a respective side wall base side having the same length, each corner thereby comprising a pair of adjacent side wall sides from adjacent side walls, each pair of adjacent side wall sides being hingedly connected by a respective concertina portion, the concertina portion comprising material having a plurality of folds; and the lid portion comprising a rectangular top surface and four depending side surfaces; and wherein the box has three arrangements: a first arrangement wherein the side walls are in a hinged-down position wherein the side walls and the concertina portions are in the same plane as the rectangular base portion; a second arrangement wherein the side walls are in a partially hinged-up position such that the side walls in each corner are separated from each other; a third arrangement wherein the side walls are in a hinged-up position such that their respective side wall sides in each corner are in contact with each other and the four side wall top sides form a contiguous top rectangular perimeter.

Thus, the box provides a convenient cuboid packaging for a contained foodstuff when it is in its third arrangement. Once the lid is removed from the container portion the container portion can adopt its second arrangement in which it provides a convenient dish-like structure for supporting the foodstuff for consumption by a consumer. In its first arrangement the container portion is planar and so this is a particularly advantageous form for initial manufacture and storage prior to forming into the box and also provides a compact form for disposal after use.

In the following description the term“rigid” is to be taken to mean a material what retains its own form under gravity, and therefore may have a degree of flexibility and includes cardboard or paperboard.

In a preferred embodiment, the container portion is biased to adopt the second arrangement. This has the effect that when in the first arrangement and the lid is in place, the side walls push against the depending side surfaces of the lid, providing a frictional force keeping the lid in place and preventing its inadvertent premature separation from the container portion. Additionally, once the lid is removed from the container portion immediately prior to the desired consumption of the foodstuff, the container portion will adopt the second arrangement, which places the container portion into the dish-like structure for supporting the foodstuff for consumption by a consumer.

Preferably the biasing towards the second arrangement is provided by the concertina portions.

In one embodiment the box contains a foodstuff. Typically the foodstuff is a heatable foodstuff. Preferably the box is made substantially of cardboard or paperboard. This provides the technical benefit that the box is industrially compostable and can be biodegradeable. Most preferably the box is made entirely of cardboard or paperboard.

In a preferred embodiment the container portion is made from a single piece of continuous material comprising folds to provide the rectangular base portion, the side walls and the concertina portions.

Preferably the box is substantially or completely free of any adhesive.

Preferably the box is substantially or completely free of plastics. The arrangement of the box is such that any adhesive or plastic is entirely optional and therefore is preferably absent for the reasons of improving suitability for heating and eventual disposal by sustainable means such as composting or recycling.

Preferably the concertina portions comprise two perpendicular sides, each of which is hingedly connected to respective adjacent side wall sides from adjacent side walls.

Preferably the concertina portions comprise a rigid material comprising folds. Typically the folds pass through the intersection of the two perpendicular sides of the concertina portion. The folds are preferably evenly spaced apart so as to divide the concertina portion into a plurality of triangular shaped regions, each having substantially the same angle at the point of intersection of the two perpendicular sides of the concertina portion.

Preferably the concertina portions are arranged to be located in the interior of the container portion of the box when in the third arrangement. Although the concertina portions will then intrude into the volume of the container portion, this will provide a neat exterior cuboid surface. In a preferred embodiment the concertina portions comprise three folds. If these passed through the intersection of the two perpendicular sides of the concertina portion, this would provide four triangular shaped portions. Of the three folds, the middle fold is preferably directed to fold outwardly of the interior of the container portion, and the folds on either side are directed to fold inwardly of the interior of the container portion.

Preferably, the middle fold and the pair of adjacent side wall sides from adjacent side walls all come together into collinear contact when the box is in its first arrangement.

Preferably the concertina portions are dimensioned such that, when the box is in its first arrangement, the concertina portions terminate at the plane in which the four side wall top sides form a contiguous top rectangular perimeter.

Preferably the concertina portions are not attached to the side walls when in the third arrangement. It has been found that, especially when the concertina portions are disposed within the interior of the container portion, it is not necessary to bind, adhere or attach the concertina portions to the side walls of the box. This helps to simplify the construction and remove the need for additional material such as adhesive.

Additionally, as the box is a cuboid, a plurality of boxes can be efficiently placed together in an array, e.g. on a tray for insertion into a heating device, such as a conventional oven. On an aeroplane, space in ovens is at a premium and therefore this is a significant advantage of the present invention.

Thus, in a second aspect, the invention relates to a method of heating a box as described, wherein the box contains a heatable foodstuff.

Preferably the heating is carried out in a heating apparatus, preferably a conventional oven, although it could be a microwave oven. In a particularly preferred embodiment, the oven is located inside an aircraft.

A preferred heating temperature is approximately 160 to 200 °C.

The invention will now be illustrated, by way of example, and with reference to the following figures, in which:

Figure 1 is a plan view of a container portion for a box according to the present invention in its first arrangement.

Figure 2 is a perspective view of the container portion of figure 1 in its second arrangement.

Figure 3 is a perspective view of the container of figure 1 in its third

arrangement.

Figure 4 is a perspective view of the container shown in figure 3 with a lid in place.

Figure 5 is a plan view of a second embodiment of container portion according to the present invention in its second arrangement.

Turning to the figures, figure 1 shows a container portion 10 for a box according to the present invention. As shown in figure 1 the container portion 10 is in its first arrangement and is in a planar form.

The container portion 10 comprises a square base portion 12 and four side walls 14, 16, 18, 20.

Base portion 12 has four base sides 12a, 12b, 12c and 12d. This provides four corners 12e, 12f, 12g and 12h. Side wall 14 has a side wall base side 14a, two side wall sides 14b, 14c and a side wall top side 14d. Likewise, side wall 16 has a side wall base side 16a, two side wall sides 16b, 16c and a side wall top side 16d. Likewise, side wall 18 has a side wall base side 18a, two side wall sides 18b, 18c and a side wall top side 18d. Likewise, side wall 20 has a side wall base side 20a, two side wall sides 20b, 20c and a side wall top side 20d.

Side wall base side 14a is hingedly attached to base side 12a. Side wall base side 16a is hingedly attached to base side 12b. Side wall base side 18a is hingedly attached to base side 12c. Side wall base side 20a is hingedly attached to base side 12d.

Corner 12e comprises adjacent side wall sides 14c and 16b. Corner 12f comprises adjacent side wall sides 16c and 18b. Corner 12g comprises adjacent side wall sides 18c and 20b. Corner 12h comprises adjacent side wall sides 20c and 14b.

Also provided are four concertina portions 30, 32, 34, 36. Concertina portion 30 comprises two sides 30a, 30b perpendicular to each other and meeting at corner 12e. Concertina portion 32 comprises two sides 32a, 32b

perpendicular to each other and meeting at corner 12f. Concertina portion 34 comprises two sides 34a, 34b perpendicular to each other and meeting at corner 12g. Concertina portion 36 comprises two sides 36a, 36b

perpendicular to each other and meeting at corner 12g. Concertina portion 30 is hingedly connected to adjacent side wall sides 14c, 16b. Concertina portion 32 is hingedly connected to adjacent side wall sides 16c, 18b. Concertina portion 34 is hingedly connected to adjacent side wall sides 18c and 20b. Concertina portion 36 is hingedly connected to adjacent side wall sides 20c and 14b.

Concertina portion 30 comprises folds 30c, 30d, 30e. Concertina portion 32 comprises folds 32c, 32d, 32e. Concertina portion 34 comprises folds 34c, 34d, 34e. Concertina portion 36 comprises folds 36c, 36d, 36e. The square base portion 12, side walls 14, 16, 18, 20 and concertina portions 30, 32, 34, 36 are all formed from one integral piece of rigid material, in this case cardboard or paperboard.

Figure 2 shows the container portion 10 in its second arrangement, where it takes the form of a tray, in a convenient form for consumption of a foodstuff. It can be seen that side walls 14, 16, 18, 20 are in a partially hinged-up position. It can also be seen that in concertina portion 30 the middle fold 30d is directed to fold outwardly of the interior of the container portion, and the folds on either side 30c, 30e are directed to fold inwardly of the interior of the container portion. Likewise, in concertina portion 32 the middle fold 32d is directed to fold outwardly of the interior of the container portion, and the folds on either side 32c, 32e are directed to fold inwardly of the interior of the container portion. Likewise, in concertina portion 34 the middle fold 34d is directed to fold outwardly of the interior of the container portion, and the folds on either side 34c, 34e are directed to fold inwardly of the interior of the container portion. Likewise, in concertina portion 36 the middle fold 36d is directed to fold outwardly of the interior of the container portion, and the folds on either side 36c, 36e are directed to fold inwardly of the interior of the container portion.

Figure 3 shows the container portion 10 in its third arrangement, wherein the side walls 14, 16, 18, 20 are in a hinged-up position. It can be seen that side wall sides 14c and 16b are in contact with each other. Additionally side wall sides 16c and 18b are in contact with each other. Additionally side wall sides 18c and 20b are in contact with each other. Additionally side wall sides 20c and 14b are in contact with each other. It can also be seen that side wall top sides 14d, 16d, 18d, 20d form a contiguous top square perimeter

In addition, the middle fold 30d and the pair of adjacent side wall sides 14c and 16b all come together into collinear contact. Additionally, the middle fold 32d and the pair of adjacent side wall sides 16c and 18b all come together into collinear contact. Additionally, the middle fold 34d and the pair of adjacent side wall sides 18c and 20b all come together into collinear contact.

Additionally, the middle fold 36d and the pair of adjacent side wall sides 20c and 14b all come together into collinear contact.

Figure 4 shows the container portion 10 as shown in figure 3 but with the placement of a lid 50 comprising a rectangular top surface 52 and four depending side surfaces 54, 56 (only two are shown). Also shown is a slit 15 into which can be inserted an item of cutlery, such as a fork or spoon, for convenience in consuming any foodstuff contained therein.

Due to the nature of the hinged portions in the container portion 10, it is biased to adopt its second arrangement as shown in figure 2. Therefore, the side walls of the container portion 10 push against the depending side surfaces of the lid and provide a frictional force keeping the lid 50 in place. Additionally, when a consumer removes the lid 50 from the container portion 10 the container portion adopts its second arrangement as shown in figure 2, providing a convenient form to provide a tray from which any contained food may be consumed conveniently.

In addition, all of the above technical features are provided without the need for any adhesive, and are provided only by the nature and location of the folds and hinged portions.

Figure 5 shows a second embodiment of container portion 100, which is functionally the same as that shown in figures 1 to 3 but wherein it has a rectangular base portion.