Login| Sign Up| Help| Contact|

Patent Searching and Data


Title:
PACKAGING CONTAINER FOR SCOOPABLE CONTENTS.
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2017/155453
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A packaging container comprising a container body (2) comprising a container wall (3) extending from a container bottom (4) to a container body opening (6), and a closure arrangement comprising a lid (14), an interior compartment (1 1 ) being arranged in the container body (2). The interior compartment comprises scoopable bulk solids and the packaging container comprises a scoop (44) having a scoop handle (50) and a scoop head (51 ). The scoop handle (50) has a proximal end (52) at the scoop head (51) and a distal end (53) remote from the scoop head (51). A scoop retainer (40) is arranged at the container body opening (6), the scoop retainer (40) comprising a first scoop retention element (42) and a second scoop retention element (43). The first scoop retention element (42) is arranged to releasably engage with a mating fastening element arranged at the distal end of the scoop (44) and to hold the scoop (44) in a first retention position. The second scoop retention element (39, 47) comprises or consists of a scoop head retention opening (47) being arranged to receive and hold the scoop head (51) in a second retention position wherein the scoop handle (50) is held at a distance from the scoopable bulk solids (34) and is directed inward from the container wall (3) at the container body opening (6).

Inventors:
HERLIN HENRIK (SE)
Application Number:
PCT/SE2017/050213
Publication Date:
September 14, 2017
Filing Date:
March 08, 2017
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
Å&R CARTON LUND AB (SE)
International Classes:
B65D77/24
Domestic Patent References:
WO2015004386A12015-01-15
WO2014129887A12014-08-28
WO2013043219A12013-03-28
WO2014116838A12014-07-31
WO2015065818A12015-05-07
Foreign References:
US20070102061A12007-05-10
US20120279964A12012-11-08
US20130081364A12013-04-04
US20100308065A12010-12-09
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
VALEA AB (Göteborg, SE)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A packaging container (1 ; 101 ) comprising a container body (2; 102) comprising a container wall (3; 103) extending from a container bottom (4; 104) to a container body opening (6; 106) in a height direction (H) of said packaging container (1 ; 101 ), and a closure arrangement comprising a lid (14; 1 14), an interior compartment (1 1 ; 1 1 1 ) being arranged in said container body (2; 102), said interior compartment (1 1 ; 11 1 ) being adapted to contain scoopable bulk solids, said packaging container (1 ; 101 ) further comprising a scoop (44; 144) comprising a scoop handle (50; 150) and a scoop head (51 ; 151 ), said scoop handle (50; 150) having a proximal end (52; 152) at said scoop head (51 ; 151 ) and a distal end (53; 153) remote from said scoop head (51 ; 151 ),

characterized in that

a scoop retainer (40; 140) is arranged at said container body opening (6; 106), said scoop retainer (40; 140) comprising a first scoop retention element (42; 142) and a second scoop retention element (39, 47; 147), said first scoop retention element (42; 142) being arranged to releasably engage with a fastening element arranged at said distal end (53, 153) of said scoop handle (50; 150) and to hold said scoop (44; 144) in a first retention position, said second scoop retention element (39, 47; 147) comprising or consisting of a scoop head retention opening (47; 147) being arranged to receive and hold said scoop head (51 ; 151) in a second retention position wherein said scoop handle (50; 150) is directed inward away from said container wall (3; 103) at said container body opening (6; 106).

2. A packaging container according to claim 1 , wherein said scoop retainer (40; 140) is arranged at a container wall corner portion, said container wall corner portion connecting a first container wall portion (3a) with a second container wall portion (3d), said scoop retainer (40; 140) extending from said first container wall portion to said second container wall portion.

3. A packaging container according to claim 2, wherein said container wall corner portion connects a front wall portion (3a) with a side wall portion (3c, 3d).

4. A packaging container according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein said scoop handle (50; 150) is held at an angle to a horizontal plane (P) through said packaging container of from 0° to 20° when said scoop (44; 144) is in said second retention position.

5. A packaging container according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein said first scoop retention element (42; 142) on said scoop retainer (40; 140) comprises or consists of a retaining opening and wherein said scoop fastening element (43; 143) at said distal end of said scoop handle comprises or consists of a hook.

6. A packaging container according to claim 5, wherein said scoop retention element (42; 142) and said scoop head retention opening (47; 147) are constituted by a single opening (42, 47; 142; 147).

7. A packaging container according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein said scoop retainer (40; 140) comprises a scraping edge (41 ; 141).

8. A packaging container according to claim 7, wherein said scraping edge (41 ; 140) consists of a single straight edge arranged at a container wall corner portion.

9. A packaging container according to claim 8, wherein said scraping edge (41 ; 141) is a first edge of a scraper bar (160) and wherein a second edge (161 ) of said scraper bar (160) constitutes a portion of an edge of said scoop head retention opening (47; 147).

10. A packaging container according to claim 9, wherein said edge of said scoop head retention opening (47) further comp ses edges (162, 163) of a first and a second side bar (164, 165), which extend from said scraper bar (160) towards said container wall corner portion.

1 1 . A packaging container according to claim 10, wherein said scraper bar and said first and second side bars (164, 165) each have a width of from 1 millimeter to 5 millimeters.

12. A packaging container according to claim 10 or 1 1 , wherein said scraper bar (160) and/or one or both of said side bars (162, 163) has an upwardly arched surface in said height direction (H) of said packaging container (101 ).

13. A packaging container according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein said container wall (3; 103) comprises a front wall portion (3a), a rear wall portion (3b) and two side wall portions (3c, 3d) and wherein said lid (14; 1 14) is hingedly connected to said rear wall portion (3b) at said container body opening (6, 106).

14. A packaging container according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein a vertical distance between said scoop retainer (40; 140) and an inner surface (24) of said lid (14) in a closed configuration of said packaging container is smaller than a release distance for said scoop (44; 144), said release distance of said scoop (44; 144) being a minimum vertical distance between said scoop retainer (40; 140) and said inner surface (24) of said lid (14; 1 14) which is required for said scoop (44; 144) to be moved out of any one of said first retention position and said second retention position.

15. A packaging container according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein said scoop retainer (40; 140) is arranged on an upper reinforcing rim (15; 1 15) which is attached to said container wall (3; 103) at said container body opening (6; 106).

16. A packaging container according to claim 15, wherein said scoop retainer (40; 140) is formed integrally with said upper reinforcing rim (15; 1 15).

17. A packaging container (1 ; 101 ) according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein said packaging container (1 ; 101 ) comprises an inner peelable or openable sealing membrane (33; 133) forming a cross-sectional seal between said inner compartment (1 1 ; 1 1 1 ) in said container body (2; 102) and said container opening (6; 106).

Description:
PACKAGING CONTAINER FOR SCOOPABLE CONTENTS

TECHNICAL FIELD

The invention pertains to a packaging container for scoopable contents, the packaging container comprising a container body comprising a container wall extending from a container bottom to a container body opening in a height direction of the container, and a closure arrangement comprising a lid. The packaging container further comprises a scoop comprising a scoop handle and a scoop head, the scoop handle having a proximal end at the scoop head and a distal end remote from the scoop head. BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

In the area of packaging of consumer goods, and in particular when packaging dry flowable pulverulent consumer goods it is common to use rigid paperboard packaging containers which serve as protective transport and storage containers at the retail end and as storage and dispensing containers at the consumer end. Such paperboard containers are usually provided with an openable and closable lid, and with an inner removable or breakable barrier membrane which keeps the contents fresh and protected against contamination up until opening of the packaging container by a consumer. It is also important that the contents in the packaging container are protected from

contamination once the inner barrier has been destroyed in order to gain a first access to the packaged goods. It is a concern that the packaging container allows repeated and hygienic removal of packaged goods from the packaging container, in particular when the packaged goods is intended for ingestion by humans or animals. A packaging container for bulk solids usually contains more of the packaged product than will be used at each dispensing occasion. Thus, it is desirable that the product remaining in the packaging container remains fresh and un-contaminated at least for a time period corresponding to the time it is expected to take for a consumer to use up all the contents in the packaging container. When using a scoop to take out contents from a packaging container, it is desirable that the scoop is arranged inside the packaging container such that the scoop can easily be taken out of the packaging container and be used without needing to touch the scoop head and without having to dig out the scoop from the remaining contents in the packaging container.

It has been suggested to provide packaging containers with means for conveniently and hygienically holding the scoop inside the packaging container between dispensing occasions. One such means is attachment members arranged on the inner surface of the container lid. However, it has been found that users find attachments in a swinging lid to be difficult to manipulate with a single hand with the result that the attachments tend to remain unused. It has also been suggested to provide a packaging container with a ring- shaped scoop-holder placed on an inwardly directed surface of an edge rim, as disclosed in WO 2014/129887 A1. However, all such features which protrude into the container opening effectively reduce the size of the container access opening, i.e. the part of the container opening which is available for accessing the packaged goods. Furthermore, rounded and irregularly shaped features which protrude into the container opening, such as the scoop-holder in WO 2014/129887 A1 increases the risk that the feature will come into contact with the hand of a person taking out contents from the packaging container and become contaminated. Another risk is that the scoop accidentally catches on the scoop-holder resulting in that scooped-up material is spilled or that the scoop is dropped into the contents in the packaging container.

WO2006125363 A1 discloses a can box with built-in using tools in the can body, wherein the can body is provided with a support for a knife, fork or spoon at a portion of the can mouth inner edge. A tool handle or tool head can be inserted beneath a securing strip on the support and be held in place at the can opening. The support has a triangular shape and is arranged with a corner of the triangle protruding into the can opening and has two edges which can be used as a scraping means for scraping off excess material.

Like the scoop-holder in WO 2014/129887, the tool support in WO2006125363 A1 has the drawback that it considerably reduces the size of the access opening of the can.

Moreover, removal and attachment of a tool handle in the tool support in WO2006125363 A1 can generally not be made without touching or even gripping a tool part such as a scoop head at the opposite end of the tool handle. It is therefore an object of the present invention to offer a packaging container with improved capability of placing and holding a scoop in a user-friendly and hygienic position in the packaging container. A further object of the invention may be to facilitate hygienic removal of packaged goods from the packaging container.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to the invention, there is offered a paperboard packaging container for scoopable bulk solids, in accordance with claim 1 , which packaging container may offer a more hygienic and easier removal of scoopable bulk solids packaged in the packaging container. Further embodiments are set out in the dependent claims, in the following description and in the drawings. The packaging container comprises a container body comprising a container wall extending from a container bottom to a container body opening, and a closure

arrangement comprising a lid. An interior compartment adapted to contain scoopable bulk solids is arranged in the container body. The packaging container further comprises a scoop comprising a scoop handle and a scoop head, the scoop handle having a proximal end at the scoop head and a distal end remote from the scoop head.

A scoop retainer comprising a first scoop retention element and a second scoop retention element is arranged at said container body opening. The first scoop retention element is arranged to releasably engage with a mating fastening element arranged at the distal end of the scoop handle and to hold the scoop in a first retention position. The second scoop retention element comprises or consists of a scoop head retention opening being arranged to receive and hold the scoop head in a second retention wherein the scoop handle is directed inward, away from the container wall at the container body opening. The scoop may be held in the second retention position with the scoop handle at an angle a to a horizontal plane through the packaging container of from 0° to 20°. The scoop handle may be inclined slightly downward into the container, may be arranged horizontally in the packaging container or may be inclined slightly upward. It may generally be preferred that the scoop handle is arranged horizontally, or at least nearly horizontally when the scoop is in the second retention position. The scoop retainer in a packaging container as disclosed herein is a single element providing two alternative and selectable means for holding a scoop in a predetermined position in the packaging container. In both retention positions, the scoop is held with the distal end of the scoop handle readily accessible at the container body opening.

While a modified rectangular footprint with rounded corners may be preferred for the packaging container, the packaging container as disclosed herein may have any suitable foot-print shape, such as circular, elliptic, oval, triangular, square, rectangular, pentagonal, hexagonal, octagonal, etc. In a packaging container having a polygonal foot-print, the container body may have curved corner portions instead of being formed with sharp corners.

The scoop retainer may be arranged at a bent wall portion of the packaging container and may be arranged to bridge the bent wall portion.

As set out herein, the bent wall portion may be a container wall corner portion which connects a first container wall portion with a second container wall portion of a packaging container having a polygonal foot-print or may be a curved segment of a wall in a packaging container having a container body with a circular, elliptic or oval foot-print or a modified rectangular container body with rounded corners. The scoop retainer extends from the first container wall portion to the second container wall portion.

The packaging container may be rectangular cuboid, having a rectangular or generally rectangular foot-print with a container wall having front wall portion, a rear wall portion and two side wall portions. In a cuboid packaging container having a lid which is hingedly connected to the rear wall portion, the container wall corner portion across which the scoop retainer extends may be a corner portion which connects the front wall portion with one of the side wall portions.

As disclosed herein, a periphery of the scoop retainer may be defined by an inner bent edge which is adapted to the shape of a bent wall portion and an outer straight edge. If the bent wall portion is a corner portion, the scoop retainer may have a triangular shape or a modified triangular shape if the corner portion is a curved corner portion. As the outer straight edge of a triangular or generally triangular scoop retainer extends the shortest distance between the first and the second container wall portions, the scoop retainer intrudes minimally on the access opening of the packaging container.

By placing the scoop retainer in a corner portion of the packaging container, the packaging container in the second retention position may accommodate a scoop having a longer scoop handle than if the scoop retainer is placed at a planar or near planar wall portion.

The scoop retainers as disclosed herein, offering two different and distinct retention positions make the packaging container more user friendly, as it is more convenient to use for a larger number of users than a packaging container having only a single way of holding the scoop in the container. The provision of dual retention positions also increases the chances of the scoop retainer actually being used for hygienically holding the scoop with the scoop handle away from the packaged contents instead of just dumping the scoop back into the contents in the container after having used the scoop for removing contents from the packaging container. By way of example only, when the scoop retainer is placed in a left corner portion of a rectangular packaging container a left-handed user may find the first retention position more convenient to use, while a right-handed user may find that it is easier to insert and remove the scoop from the second retention position. If the scoop retainer is instead placed in a right corner portion the first retention position may be more convenient for a right-handed user and the second retention position may be more convenient for a left-handed user.

The second retention position with the scoop head inserted into the scoop head retention opening may be preferred by a manufacturer as it may be technically easier to place the scoop with the scoop head in the scoop head retention opening than to connect mating fastening elements with each other. In addition, in the second retention position, the scoop is neatly presented to a user when first opening the packaging container as it is being held horizontally or nearly horizontally and completely away from any sealing membrane or exposed packaged contents.

The scoop retainer allows a scoop to be held safely with the handle away from the contents in the container at all times. When the container is filled with contents, the scoop may be held above the contents in the second position with the scoop head resting in the retention opening and the scoop handle directed inward away from the container wall. As the container is successively being emptied from contents, a user may choose to instead place the scoop in the first position, with the fastening element at the end of the scoop handle engaged with the scoop retainer and such that the distal end of the scoop handle is immediately accessible at the container opening.

The scoop retention element on the scoop retainer may be a female fastening element, such as an opening or a depression which is arranged to cooperate with a corresponding male fastening element such as a hook or protrusion which is arranged at the distal end of the scoop handle.

Alternatively, the scoop retention element on the scoop retainer may be a male fastening element, such as a hook or a protrusion which is arranged to cooperate with a

corresponding female retention element such as an opening or a depression which is arranged at the distal end of the scoop handle.

It may be preferred that the scoop retention element on the scoop retainer comprises or consists of an opening and that the corresponding scoop retention element at the distal end of the scoop handle comprises or consists of a hook which can be hooked into the opening. The opening may be the same opening as the scoop head retention opening or may be an additional opening formed in the scoop retainer. A scoop with a hook at the end of the handle can be easily attached to or removed from the scoop retainer without needing to overcome an attachment force. The hook may be directed towards the opening in the scoop head, away from the opening in the scoop head or to a side of the scoop, i.e. parallel with the plane of the opening.

It is generally desired to minimize the presence of irregularities such as ridges and protrusions on the inner surface of the packaging container in the vicinity of the container access opening as pulverulent contents in the container may get caught on such irregularities. A user opening the packaging container and discovering an upper portion of the container which is soiled by the pulverulent material in the container, will perceive the packaging container as being messy and less hygienic than desired. Furthermore, it may be desired to keep the packaged pulverulent material away from the access opening where it is more exposed to contamination as it may more easily come into contact with the hands of a person opening the packaging container and removing contents through the access opening. Contaminated contents in the packaging container which are caught on features at the access opening may fall back into the container and may, in turn, contaminate the remaining contents in the container.

As the scoop retainer provides means for safely holding a scoop such that it is prohibited from falling down into the contents of the packaging container, and with the scoop handle in a position at the container opening, a user opening the container can easily find the scoop and safely remove it from the scoop retainer when wishing to use it for taking contents out of the packaging container. The first scoop retention element which is configured to cooperate with the mating fastening element at the distal end of the scoop handle, signals to a user of the packaging container how to correctly apply the scoop in the scoop retainer in the first position. The scoop head may preferably be provided with a cross-sectional shape which at least partly mimics a cross-sectional shape of the scoop head retention opening in order to signal to the user that the scoop head may be placed in the scoop head retention opening.

The scoop retainer in the packaging container as disclosed herein may comprise a scraping edge for scraping off excess scooped-up pulverulent material from the scoop.

By combining the scoop retaining function with a scraper function in a single element, the area of the container opening is only reduced to a small degree, and the packaging container is provided with a large access opening with a minimum of irregularities and inwardly protruding parts which may obstruct the access opening and make it difficult to safely and hygienically remove contents from the packaging container. Accordingly, even if provided with the scoop retainer as disclosed herein, the packaging container may have a large access opening with a regular contour without protruding features which greatly facilitates removal of the contents from the packaging container either by scooping or by pouring. The scraping function is preferably provided by a single straight scraping edge which bridges the bent wall portion, i.e. which extends the shortest distance across the bent wall portion.

The scoop retainer as disclosed herein may be formed as a generally two-dimensional structure such as a plate, a grid or a bar having a planar extension which considerably exceeds the thickness of the piece of material. The scoop head retention opening may be formed in a plate-shaped scoop retainer or between a scraper bar and a container corner wall portion. The scraper bar has a first edge facing away from the container wall and constituting a scraping edge and a second edge facing the container wall. A second edge of the scraper bar constitutes a portion of an edge of the scoop head retention opening. The edge of the scoop head retention opening may further comprise edges of a first and a second side bar, which extend from the scraper bar towards the container wall corner portion. The scraper bar and the side bars form a grid-shaped scoop retainer with a large open area. A grid-shaped scoop retainer may be preferred as it provides a scoop head retention opening with high shape stability and with a minimal surface on which scoopable contents in the container may be deposited. The grid shape is neat and hygienic and may be produced with very little material. In order to further reduce the risk that pulverulent material is caught on the scoop retainer, the scraper bar and/or one or both of the side bars may have an upwardly arched outer surface in a height direction of the packaging container. Upwardly arched surfaces include those surfaces having an curve shape such as an inverted U-shape, as well as upwardly peaked surfaces such as surfaces having an inverted V-shape. An upwardly arched surface as used herein has a maximum with a very small or preferably non-existing planar portion facing upwards in the packaging container and side portions sloping downward on each side of the maximum. By using profiled elements with a minimum of horizontal upwardly facing surface area, any pulverulent material falling onto the scoop retainer will fall or slide off the scoop retainer, back into the packaging container. A curved portion of the upwardly arched surface may preferably have a curvature of less than 10 millimeters.

The scraper bar and the side bars as disclosed herein may each have a width of from 1 millimeter to 5 millimeters. The scoop head retention opening may be formed with a three-dimensional shape. Purely by way of example, the scoop head retention opening may have a scoop head supporting flange at the opening edge forming a tapering receiving structure for the scoop head.

The scoop retainer may be provided as a separate part which can be attached by a user at any one of at least two selectable locations at the access opening of the packaging container. The scoop retainer is then preferably provided with snap-in locking means which cooperate with corresponding snap-in locking means on the packaging container, e.g. on an upper reinforcing rim allowing the scoop retainer to be attached by snapping it in place at the desired location and/or to detach an already attached scoop retainer and move it to another location. In a packaging container as disclosed herein a vertical distance between the scoop retainer and an inner surface of the lid in a closed configuration of the packaging container may be smaller than a scoop release distance between the scoop retainer and the inner surface of the lid, the scoop release distance being a minimum vertical distance between the scoop retainer and the inner surface of the lid which is required for the scoop to be moved out of any one of the first retention position and the second retention position. The vertical distance between the inner surface of the container lid and the scoop retainer is selected to be sufficiently small to prohibit a scoop which is connected to the scoop retainer from moving out of engagement with the scoop retainer when the closed packaging container is moved, shaken, or turned upside-down. The vertical release distance is > 0 millimeters. It may be preferred that the vertical release distance is < 40 millimeters.

The vertical distance between the scoop retainer and the inner lid surface may be a distance between a scoop restraining member arranged on the inner surface of the lid and the scoop retainer. The scoop restraining member may be a protrusion arranged to diminish the distance between the inner surface of the lid and the scoop retainer and may be made integrally with the inner surface of the lid or as a separate component which is attached to the lid. The scoop restraining member may be in contact with the scoop when the packaging container is closed or may be placed at a distance from the scoop. A scoop restraining member which contacts the scoop and optionally exerts a restraining pressure on the scoop may diminish a tendency of the scoop to rattle inside the packaging container. The scoop restraining member may be a pressure resilient member serving to dampen scoop movements and to further reduce rattling.

The scoop retainer may be arranged directly on the inside of the container wall or on an upper reinforcing rim which is attached to the container wall at the container body opening. The scoop retainer may be formed integrally with an upper reinforcing rim or may be formed as a separate part.

The reinforcing rim and the scoop retainer are preferably made as a single integral component from thermoplastic material which allows the reinforcing rim and the scoop retainer to be thermoformed, e.g. by injection molding. An injection molding process may be used to form plastic components having different polymer compositions in different parts of the plastic component. By way of example, the surface of a plastic reinforcing rim which is welded to the container body may be formed from a polymer composition having a lower softening and melting point than other parts of the reinforcing rim. Moreover, an abutment surface on the upper reinforcing rim may be formed from a resilient

thermoplastic polymer.

The upper reinforcing rim may be attached to the container wall by any suitable attachment method, including adhesive attachment, mechanical attachment and welding. It may be preferred that the upper reinforcing rim is welded to the inner surface of the container wall. Any suitable welding technique may be used, such as ultrasonic welding, hot air welding or high frequency welding, with high frequency welding being preferred. By joining the upper reinforcing rim to the inner surface of the container wall by means of welding, it is possible to obtain a tighter and slimmer attachment than is possible with an adhesive attachment. The welded reinforcing rim is preferably a plastic rim and connects the inner surface of the container wall with the inner surface of the container lid and contributes to create a barrier between the container wall and the container lid.

In a paperboard packaging container as disclosed herein an access opening has a shape which differs from the container body opening and which is smaller than the container body opening. The size and shape of the access opening is defined by an inner profile of the scoop retainer and of the upper reinforcing rim, if present.

The paperboard container may comprise an inner peelable or openable sealing membrane forming a cross-sectional seal between an inner compartment in the container body and the container opening. The inner peelable or openable sealing membrane is a transport and storage seal which is eventually broken or removed by an end user of the packaging container. The scoop may be placed by the manufacturer in the second position in the scoop retainer with the scoop head resting in the retention opening and the scoop handle directed inward away from the container wall at a distance above the peelable or openable sealing membrane. The scoop may alternatively be placed by the manufacturer on the membrane, i.e. not placed in the scoop retainer. The scoop may be inserted in the packaging container in a protective wrap, such as a plastic bag. When opening the packaging container for a first time, the user takes out the scoop, removes the sealing membrane, takes the scoop out of any protective wrap and can subsequently apply the scoop in the scoop retainer in any one of the two retention positions.

By an openable or peelable sealing membrane is meant a membrane that may be fully or partly removed by a user in order to provide access to an interior compartment of the packaging container either by breaking a seal between the sealing membrane and the inner surface of the container wall, or by tearing or otherwise breaking the sealing membrane itself. Tearable sealing membranes may be provided with one or more predefined weakenings, such as perforations or a cut partly through the membrane. A peelable or tearable sealing membrane may be gastight or gas-permeable. A gastight membrane may be manufactured from any material or material combination suitable for providing gastight sealing of a compartment delimited by the sealing membrane, such as aluminium foil, silicon-coated paper, plastic film, or laminates thereof. A gastight membrane is particularly advantageous when the pulverulent material stored in the packaging container is sensitive to air and/or moisture and to keep fragrances and aromas in the packaging container and prevent the packaged contents from taking up scents and flavours from the ambient air. A gastight membrane provides additional protection of the packaged goods before a first opening of the packaging container by a presumptive consumer.

It may be preferred that the inner peelable or openable sealing membrane is a gas-tight peelable or openable sealing membrane. It may also be preferred that the packaging container is a gas-tight packaging container. The barrier properties of the packaging containers disclosed herein may be designed to meet different requirements of tightness depending on the goods which is packaged in the packaging container. By way of example, in a packaging container for dried peas a lower barrier level may be sufficient than in a packaging container for e.g. infant formula which is highly sensitive to oxygen and moisture exposure. The packaging containers as disclosed herein may have barrier properties which remain largely unaltered even after removal of the inner sealing membrane. In other words, the contents in a closed packaging container may be equally well protected or nearly equally well protected regardless of whether the inner sealing membrane has been removed or not. This also means that also temporary seals such as a seal created by between the lid and an upper reinforcing rim and permanent seals such as a weld seal or adhesive seal between an upper reinforcing rim and the wall of the packaging container preferably have barrier properties offering the same level of protection of the packaged contents as the inner sealing membrane and other container components which separate the contents in the container from the environment outside the packaging container.

The packaging containers as disclosed herein are containers for scoopable bulk materials, which are flowable pulverulent materials capable of being poured or scooped out of the containers. The containers are generally disposable paperboard packaging containers, which are intended to be discarded when they have been emptied of their contents.

The paperboard packaging container may further comprise an outer rim or frame structure which is applied to the packaging container at the container body opening and which is mechanically connected to an inner reinforcing rim which is attached e.g. by welding to the inner surface of the container wall.

An upper reinforcing rim may form part of a lid component which further comprises a lid part. The upper reinforcing rim and the lid part may be connected by a hinge. In a corresponding manner a frame structure may form part of a lid component, which further comprises a lid part and wherein the frame structure and the lid part may be connected by a hinge.

A lid hinge may be a live hinge, i.e. a bendable connection between the lid and the container body or an upper plastic rim or frame structure. A live hinge may be formed integral with the lid and/or with an edge rim or frame structure or with an upper edge portion of a container body or may be a separately formed element which is attached to the container lid and to the container body or an edge rim or frame structure. Alternatively, the hinge may be a two-part hinge, with a first hinge part arranged on the container lid and a second hinge part arranged on the container body or on an edge rim or frame structure. The hinge may be arranged at any suitable location at the container body opening such as at a rear edge of the opening, at a side edge, etc.

The closure arrangement on the packaging container may comprise a locking

arrangement which is configured to maintain the lid in a closed position at the container opening.

In a packaging container provided with a lid which is attached with a hinge at a rear edge of the access opening, it may be preferred that the scoop retainer is placed across a forward corner portion of the packaging container where it is easily accessible for removing the scoop from the scoop retainer and for scraping off excess scooped-up contents if the scoop retainer is provided with a scraping edge.

The scoop comprises a scoop handle and a scoop head. The scoop handle has a proximal end at the scoop head and a distal end remote from the scoop head. The scoop retention element which is arranged at the distal end of the scoop handle is arranged to connect with the corresponding scoop retention element of the first scoop retention member of the scoop retainer. The scoop retention elements are mating fastening elements implying that when the fastening element on the scoop retainer is a female fastening element, the fastening element on the scoop handle is a male fastening element and when the scoop fastening element on the scoop retainer is a male fastening element, the fastening element on the scoop handle is a female fastening element.

The scoop handle may be provided with a fastening element which connects with the fastening element on the scoop retainer such that the opening in the scoop head faces towards the contents in the packaging container, or with the opening in the scoop head facing away from the contents in the packaging container or towards a side wall in the packaging container. By arranging a fastening element at the end of the scoop handle, the scoop may be held in the scoop retainer in the first retention position with the handle at the container opening and with the scoop head directed downward into the packaging. The opening in the scoop head may be directed upward, away from the scoopable contents, downwards towards the scoopable contents, or towards the container wall when the scoop is in the first retention position. A user can easily lift the scoop out of the scoop retainer without having to touch other parts of the scoop than the scoop handle. In particular, the scoop can be taken out of the packaging container without the user touching the scoop head which is the part of the scoop which will be dipped into the scoopable contents when removing contents from the container. The risk of contamination of the contents is considerably lowered by ascertaining that the scoop handle is kept away from the contents in the container compartment. Depending on the degree of filling of the packaging container, when the scoop is held in the first position in the scoop retainer the scoop head may hang freely downward in the container or may rest on the surface of the pulverulent material in the container compartment. Hence, when using the provided scoop retainer, no part of the scoop which is handled by a user comes into contact with the contents in the packaging container and the scoop is held in the packaging container in a hygienic and readily accessible way.

The scoop head is shaped and configured to fit in the scoop head retention opening and to be securely held in the scoop head retention opening in the second retention position. The scoop head has an open upper end and a closed lower end and is applied to the scoop retainer with the lower end inserted into the scoop head retention opening. The scoop head retention opening is sized and shaped to receive the lower end of the scoop head such that the edge of the retention opening comes into engagement with the outside of the scoop head thereby holding the scoop in a predetermined position in the scoop retainer.

Secure retention of the scoop head in the scoop head retention opening may be achieved in different ways. By way of example, the scoop head may have a tapering shape from the upper end towards the lower end allowing only the lower end of the scoop head to pass through the scoop head retention opening. The tapering shape may be a gradually tapering shape allowing the scoop head to be wedged into the scoop head retention opening or may be a shape with a distinct, step-wise change in the cross-sectional size of the scoop head. In the latter case, the wider upper part of the scoop head may rest on the upper surface of the scoop retainer and act as a stop for further movement of the scoop head down through the scoop head retention opening. The scoop head retention opening may be provided with a profiled edge, such as an edge flange having a shape at least partly corresponding to the shape of the scoop head to reduce the risk that the scoop will tilt when held in the second retention position. The scoop head may be provided with one or more retention elements arranged to cooperate with the edge or with elements at the edge of the scoop head retention opening to hold the scoop head inserted at a predetermined level in the scoop head retention opening. Such retention elements may be one or more knobs, ridges, ledges, etc.

arranged on the outside of the scoop head. It may be preferred that an edge portion of the scoop head located diametrically opposite the scoop handle is free of protruding retention elements as it may be desirable to use that edge portion of the scoop to scrape up scoopable material from the bottom of the packaging container. The packaging container may be delivered to the end user with the scoop attached to the scoop retainer in the first or in the second retention position. As set out herein, the scoop head is directed downward into the container when the scoop is attached to the scoop retainer in the first retention position. The scoop may be held with the scoop handle inclined downwardly, such that the proximal portion of the scoop handle is located below the distal part of the scoop handle. The connection between the scoop retainer and the scoop may be arranged to allow the inclination of the scoop handle to increase as the packaging container is successively emptied of its contents, such as when the fastening elements are constituted by a hook and an opening. When first opening a fresh packaging container as disclosed herein, the scoop head may rest on a sealing membrane, if provided.

In the second retention position, the scoop head is retained in the scoop head retention opening, and the scoop is held by the scoop retainer with the scoop handle extending freely out from the scoop retainer into the container opening and being readily grippable for removal of the scoop from the scoop head retention opening. The scoop head is held in the scoop head retention opening with an upper part of the scoop head above the scoop retainer and with a lower part of the scoop head below the scoop retainer. The part of the scoop head which is arranged above the scoop retainer should preferably be shielded by the container wall which means that it should preferably not protrude above the opening edge of the container. Furthermore, the part of the scoop head which is arranged above the scoop retainer should be adapted to be accommodated in the space between the scoop retainer and the inner surface of the lid when the packaging container is closed. As set out herein, the vertical distance between the scoop retainer and the inner surface of the lid in the closed configuration of the packaging container may be smaller than the distance which is required for moving the scoop head out of the second retention position in order to ascertain that the scoop is held in the retainer even if the closed container is turned upside-down or shaken.

The provision of readily identifiable mating fastener elements on the scoop handle and on the scoop retainer prompts a user to apply the scoop in a correct fashion in the scoop retainer, with the mating fastener elements connected with each other and with the scoop head directed away from the container opening. Depending on how the mating fastening element are arranged, the opening in the scoop head may be directed upwards, downwards or to a side when the scoop is in the first fastening position. By way of example, a hook placed at the distal end of the scoop handle may be arranged such that it is placed on the same side of the scoop handle as the opening in the scoop head or on the opposite side. A further possibility is to place the hook in a plane parallel with the plane of the opening in the scoop head such that the scoop can be hung sideways in the scoop holder.

As set out herein, it may also be desirable that the scoop head retention opening has an edge contour which matches a corresponding outer contour on the scoop head to indicate to a user that the scoop head is intended for insertion into the scoop head retention opening.

The packaging containers as disclosed herein are preferably paperboard packaging containers. As used herein, a paperboard packaging container is a packaging container wherein the container body is formed from paperboard web material. The web material may be provided in the form of a continuous web or may be provided as individual sheets of material. The paperboard container may be formed in any manner known in the art, e.g. by forming a container body by bending a paperboard material into a tubular shape and longitudinally closing the tube by joining overlapping or abutting side edges of the paperboard material. The join between the side edges may be covered by a sealing strip. The container bottom may be formed from a separate bottom disc which is attached at one end of the container body tube or may be formed by folding an end portion of the container body tube.

As used herein, a paperboard material is a web material predominantly made from cellulose fibers or paper fibers. The paperboard material may be a single ply or multi-ply web and may be a laminate comprising one or more layers of materials such as polymeric films and coatings, metal foil, etc. The polymeric films and coatings may include or consist of thermoplastic polymers. The paperboard material may be coated, printed, embossed, etc. and may comprise fillers, pigments, binders and other additives as known in the art. The paperboard materials as disclosed herein may also be referred to as cardboard or carton materials.

As used herein, the terms "bulk solids" and "scoopable bulk solids" refer to a pulverulent solid material which is flowable and which can be scooped or poured out of a packaging container. The bulk material may be dry or moist. Bulk solids in the context of the present application may be digestible, such as infant formula, coffee, tea, rice, flour, sugar, cereals, soup powder, custard powder, or the like. Alternatively, the bulk solids may be non-digestible, such as tobacco, detergent, fertilizer, chemicals or the like.

By a pulverulent material as used herein is implied any material in the form of particles, granules, grinds, plant fragments, short fibres, seeds, flakes, etc.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The present invention will be further explained hereinafter by means of non-limiting examples and with reference to the appended drawings wherein:

Fig. 1 shows a perspective view of a packaging container;

Fig. 2 shows a perspective view of the packaging container in Fig. 1 with an open lid;

Fig. 3 shows a schematic top view of a container opening with a scoop inserted in a second position in a scoop retainer;

Fig. 4 shows a side view of the scoop in Fig. 3;

Fig. 5 shows a top view of a container opening with a scoop inserted in a first position in a scoop retainer; Fig. 6 shows a schematic top view of a container opening with a scoop retainer;

Fig. 7 shows a scoop for use with the scoop retainer in Fig. 6;

Fig. 8 shows an embodiment of a scoop and a scoop retainer;

Fig. 9 shows a further embodiment of a scoop and a scoop retainer; Fig. 10 shows a reinforcing rim with a scoop retainer and a scoop;

Fig. 11 shows a packaging container with a scoop retainer and a scoop;

Fig. 12 shows the packaging container in Fig. 11 with the scoop in the first retention position; and

Fig. 13 shows the packaging container in Fig. 12 with the scoop in the

second retention position. DETAILED DESCRIPTION

It is to be understood that the drawings are schematic and that individual components are not necessarily drawn to scale. The packaging container, reinforcing rim and lid component shown in the figures are provided as examples only and should not be considered limiting to the invention. The scoop retainer as disclosed herein may be used with packaging containers having completely removable lids. The scoop retainer as disclosed herein is also useful in packaging containers having a hinge-lid arrangement different from the rim/frame arrangement shown in the figures. Such hinge-lid

arrangement may be any suitable hinge-lid arrangement as known in the art including hinge-lid arrangements where the hinge is a two-part hinge and hinge-lid arrangement without a reinforcing rim and/or without a frame-structure. Accordingly, the scope of the invention is determined solely by the appended claims. Furthermore, as set out herein, the scoop retainer may be used in packaging containers without an upper reinforcing rim.

With reference to Figs. 1 and 2, there is shown a packaging container 1 for pourable or scoopable bulk solids. The particular shape of the container 1 shown in the figures should not be considered limiting to the invention. Accordingly, the packaging container according to the invention may have any useful shape or size, as set out herein.

The packaging container 1 comprises a container body 2 formed by a tubular container wall 3 including a front wall portion 3a, a rear wall portion 3b and two side wall portions 3c, 3d. The container wall 3 extends from a container bottom 4 to a container body opening 6 in a height direction H of the packaging container 1. The container wall 3 has an inner surface 7 facing towards an inner compartment 1 1 in the packaging container 1 and an outer surface 8 facing away from the inner compartment 1 1 and being exposed to the exterior of the packaging container 1. A bottom disc 9 is positioned at the bottom 4 of the container body 2. The container body 2 is made from paperboard material as defined herein. The container body 2 may be formed by bringing together the side edges of a web of paperboard causing the material to assume a tubular shape, where after the side edges are sealed together. Sealing of the side edges may be made by any suitable method as known in the art, such as by welding or gluing, with welding being preferred. Sealing of the side edges of the container body web may involve using a sealing strip, as known in the art. The bottom disc 9 may be made from paperboard, metal, plastic, or from any suitable combination of such materials as known in the art. The edge of the container bottom 4 is reinforced by a plastic bottom rim 10 which is applied to the inner surface 7 of the container wall 3, on the outside of the bottom disc 9 and which has an outwardly directed flange which covers the paperboard edge of the container bottom 4 and forms a bottom edge 13 of the packaging container 1. The bottom rim 10 reinforces the paperboard edge of the container wall 3, stabilizes the shape of the container body 2 and protects the bottom edge of the container wall 3 from mechanical deformation. The plastic bottom rim 10 also serves as a protective barrier against water and other fluids which may be present on a surface on which the packaging container is placed. The bottom rim 10 delimits a downwardly open space between the bottom disc 9 and the bottom edge 13 of the packaging container 1 which may be used to

accommodate stacking elements arranged at an upper end of another packaging container when stacking two or more packaging containers on top of each other.

As an alternative to a plastic bottom rim, the bottom edge of the packaging container may be formed by a rolled edge of the paperboard container body, or may be provided by a simple, non-rolled join between the bottom disc 9 and the container body 2. The container bottom may alternatively be formed without a bottom disc by folding of the container wall material, as known in the art. The paperboard packaging container 1 is provided with a closure arrangement comprising a lid 14 and an upper reinforcing rim 15 extending along the upper edge of the container wall 3 and defining a perimeter of a container access opening 35 which is smaller than the container body opening 6 which is defined by the upper edge of the tubular container body 2.

As set out herein, the upper reinforcing rim 15 is preferably a plastic rim, most preferably a thermoplastic rim. As shown in Fig. 2, the reinforcing rim 15 may be attached to the inner surface 7 of the container body wall 3 at the container body opening 6. The upper reinforcing rim 15 has an extension in the height direction, H, of the container 1 and has an upper rim edge 19 facing away from the container bottom disc 9. The upper reinforcing rim 15 extends around the full periphery of the container body opening 6. The upper part of the reinforcing rim 15 protrudes upwards in the height direction, H, above the upper edge of the paperboard container body 2. The upper reinforcing rim 15 is joined to the inner surface 7 of the container wall 3 by means of a weld seal extending around the container opening 6. The weld seal preferably extends continuously around the container body opening 5 and is a sift-proof weld seal and is preferably also a moisture proof weld seal and most preferably a gas-tight weld seal.

The weld seal is formed by supplying energy to heat and locally soften or melt one or more thermoplastic components in a thermoplastic rim 15 and/or in a coating or film on the inner surface 7 of the container body wall 3 and by pressing the reinforcing rim 15 and the container wall 3 together in a direction perpendicular to the container wall 3. The thermoplastic material used to create the weld seal may be provided by a fully or partly thermoplastic reinforcing rim 15, by a thermoplastic film or coating on the inner surface 7 of the container wall 3, or by both a fully or partly thermoplastic reinforcing rim and by a thermoplastic film or coating on the inner surface 7 of the container wall 3. A plastic reinforcing rim 15 is preferably made from thermoplastic material which allows it to be thermoformed, e.g. by injection molding. Any suitable welding technique may be used, such as ultrasonic welding or high frequency welding, with high frequency welding being preferred.

The lid 14 is formed from an outer lid part 14a and an inner lid part 14b. The outer lid part 14a is a profiled part with a three-dimensional shape providing an upper outer surface 25 of the lid 14. The inner lid part 14b is a planar disk. The inner lid part 14b has an inner lid surface 24 which faces towards the bottom disc 9 when the lid 14 is closed on the container access opening 35. The outer lid part 14a is connected by a hinge 29 to a frame structure 30, the lid 14 and the frame structure 30 together forming a lid component 31. The hinge 29 is a live hinge, formed integrally with the upper lid part 14a and the frame structure 30 as a flexible connection between the upper lid part 14a and the frame structure 30. As set out herein, the illustrated hinge is only intended as a non-limiting example and it should be understood that any other type of functional hinge may be used for the connection between the frame structure and the lid. Moreover, the lid may be of the removable kind, without any permanent connection to a frame structure, a reinforcing rim or to the container body. In the packaging container 1 shown in Figs. 1 and 2, the frame structure 30 is applied to the packaging container at the upper edge of the container body 2 and is mechanically attached to the upper reinforcing rim 15 by a snap-on connection. The frame structure 30 may be attached to the upper reinforcing rim 15 after the reinforcing rim 15 has been welded to the inner surface 7 of the paperboard container wall 3. The frame structure 30 is applied to the upper reinforcing rim 15 by pressing the frame structure 30 down over the upper edge 19 of the upper reinforcing rim 15 until the frame structure 30 locks in place on the upper reinforcing rim 15 by means of mating snap-in features on the upper reinforcing rim 15 and the frame structure 30. When the frame structure 30 has been attached to the upper reinforcing rim 15, it can only be removed again by breaking or damaging the snap-in connection between the rim 15 and the frame structure 30.

The interior compartment 1 1 is sealed with a fully or partly removable sealing membrane 33 which is applied over the packaged goods 34 and which is sealed to the container body wall 3. The removable sealing membrane 33 may be attached to the container wall either from the top end of the container body 2 or from the bottom end of the container body 2, in which case it is attached before attaching the bottom disc 9. In the example shown in Fig. 2, the sealing membrane 33 has been applied from the top end of the container body 2, with a band-shaped upwardly directed edge portion 17 of the membrane 33 being attached to the inner surface 7 of the container wall 3.

In order to gain a first access to the packaged goods, a user needs to open the lid 14 and then expose the packaged goods 34 by fully or partly removing the sealing membrane 33. The sealing membrane 33 may be arranged to be peeled away from the wall 3 of the container body 2 or may be arranged with means for breaking the membrane 33 so that it can be at least partly removed from the container access opening 35. Such means may be in the form of one or more predefined weakenings (not shown), such as perforations or a cut partly through the membrane. When the membrane is of the tear-open type, a narrow edge part of the sealing membrane may be left at the inner surface 7 of the container wall 3. Any such remaining part of the sealing membrane should preferably not be so large so that it extends into the container access opening. It may be preferred that a remaining membrane part has an extension perpendicular to the height direction H of the packaging container of at most 7 millimeters such as from 1 - 6 millimeters, from 2 - 5 millimeters or from 3 - 4 millimeters. It may be preferred that the inward extension of a remaining membrane part is 4 millimeters or less. Although generally preferred, the sealing membrane 33 is an optional feature of the disclosed packaging container 1 and may be omitted.

Once the sealing membrane 33 has been removed, it is sufficient to open the lid 14 in order to gain access to the packaged goods 34 in the interior compartment 1 1 through the container access opening 35. As is seen in Fig. 2, which reveals the inside of the upper reinforcing rim 15, the area of the container access opening 35 is defined by an inner perimeter 28 or inner contour of the upper reinforcing rim 15. As the upper reinforcing rim 15 is applied on the inner surface 7 of the container body wall 3 and adds thickness to the body wall in an inward direction, the area of the access opening 35 is always smaller than the area of the container body opening 6.

The upper reinforcing rim 15 which is shown in Fig. 2 carries a scoop retainer 40 which extends across the front left corner portion of the reinforcing rim 15 as seen in the figures. The scoop retainer 40 is provided with a scraping edge 41 for scraping off excess scooped-up contents from a scoop. The provision of a scraping edge 41 is optional to the scoop retainer as disclosed herein.

As is shown in Fig. 4, a scoop 44 for use together with the scoop retainer 40, comprises a scoop handle 50 and a scoop head 51. The scoop handle 50 has a proximal end 52 at the scoop head 51 and a distal end 53 remote from the scoop head 51. The hook element 43 is arranged at the distal end 53 of the scoop handle 50 and is arranged to be inserted into the opening 42 in the scoop retainer 40 such that it is hooked over an edge portion of the scoop retainer 40, as illustrated in Fig. 5. Alternatively, the scoop retainer 40 may comprise a separate opening for reception of the hook element 43, which opening is provided in addition to the opening 42 which is shown in the figures. A separate hook receiving opening may be of a smaller size than the opening 42 which is designed to accommodate the scoop head 51. The scoop retainer 40 comprises a first scoop retention element 42 in the form of an opening which is arranged in the triangular area formed in the corner between the scraping edge 41 and the container wall 3. The first scoop retention element 42 is arranged to releasably engage with a mating fastening element 43 arranged at the distal end of a scoop handle 50, such as the hook arranged at the distal end 53 of the handle 50 of the scoop 44 shown in Figs. 3 and 4. When the first scoop retention element 42 on the scoop retainer 40 is coupled to the fastening element 43 at the distal end 53 of the scoop handle 50, the scoop 44 is held in a first retention position with the scoop head 51 hanging down from the scoop retainer 40, as illustrated in Fig. 5. It is to be noted that Fig. 5 shows the packaging container 1 without a sealing membrane, and with the pulverulent contents 34 visible.

A second scoop retention element 47 constituted by a scoop head retention opening and a scoop handle supporting edge portion 39 of the scoop retainer 40 which is found between the scraping edge 41 and the retention opening 47 is arranged to receive and hold the scoop head 51 in a second retention position with the scoop handle 51 resting on the scoop handle supporting edge portion 39 and extending away from the container wall 3 into the packaging container and at a distance from the sealing membrane 33 which is applied over the scoopable contents 34 in the packaging container. The scoop position shown in Fig. 3 may be used by a manufacturer to hold the scoop 44 in a non-rattling position which allows the scoop to be neatly and conveniently presented to a user opening the packaging container for a first time. It should be noted that even after the sealing membrane 33 has been removed, the scoop handle 50 is held well above the scoopable contents 34 in the packaging container when the scoop 44 is placed in the scoop retainer 40 in the second retention position. The scoop 44 may be held in the second retention position with the scoop handle 50 at an angle a to a horizontal plane through the packaging container of from 0° to 20°. Accordingly, the scoop handle 51 may be inclined slightly downward into the container, may be arranged horizontally in the packaging container or may be inclined slightly upwardly. It is generally preferred that the scoop handle 50 is arranged horizontally, or at least nearly horizontally when the scoop 44 is in the second retention position.

As illustrated by Fig. 3, it is not necessary that the contour of the scoop head 51 completely matches the contour of the scoop head retaining opening 47, as long as the scoop head 51 can be inserted in to the scoop head retention opening 47 and be securely held in the second position either by mating shapes of the scoop head 51 and the scoop head retention opening alone or by additional means such as a supporting edge portion

39 of the scoop retainer 40. In the arrangement shown in Fig. 3, the scoop head 51 has a straight front edge which does not conform to the curved contour of the scoop head retention opening 47. A straight edge at the front end of the scoop head may be desired for facilitating scooping up material from the bottom of the packaging container.

The scoop retainer 40 may be integrally formed with an upper reinforcing rim 15 as shown in Fig. 2 or with any other type of upper reinforcing rim. Alternatively, the scoop retainer

40 may be provided as a separate part which can be attached at any one of at least two selectable locations at the access opening 35 of the packaging container 1 as disclosed herein. A separately formed scoop retainer 40 is preferably provided with snap-in means cooperating with corresponding snap-in means on the upper reinforcing rim 15 allowing a user to select the most appropriate corner portion in which to attach the scoop retainer 40. The attachment is preferably a non-permanent attachment allowing a user to change the placement of a scoop retainer 40 according to his/her preference. By way of example, a scoop retainer which has been pre-attached by a manufacturer may be detached and moved to a more suitable location or different users such as right-handed users and left- handed users may wish to use the scoop retainer in different locations. When the packaging container 1 has a hinged lid 14 as shown in the figures, it may be preferred that a movable scoop retainer 40 can be attached at least across the container wall corner portions at the front of the packaging container 1 , i.e. the corner portions formed between the front wall portion 3a and the side wall portions 3c, 3d.

A scoop retainer 40 placed at the front of the packaging container may be preferred in a packaging container having a hinged lid 14 as such placement is convenient both when removing and fastening the scoop 44 in the first and second positions and when using the scraping edge 41 to scrape off excess scooped-up material. The provision of two different and distinct ways of fastening the scoop 44 in the scoop retainer 40 allows a user to freely choose the retention position which the user finds most convenient. By way of example only, when the scoop retainer 40 is placed as shown in Fig. 2 a left-handed user may find the first retention position more convenient to use, while a right-handed user finds that it is easier to insert and remove the scoop 44 from the second retention position. Other arrangements are contemplated in the packaging containers as disclosed herein. The scoop retainer 40 may e.g. be placed at the right front corner portion between the front wall portion 3a and the right side wall portion 3c or at one of the rear corner portions between the rear wall portion 3b and one of the side wall portions 3c, 3d. The scoop 44 may be arranged to be held in the first retention position with the opening in the scoop head 51 directed downward, towards the contents in the packaging container, as is the case for the scoop 44 in Figs. 8 and 10 or with the opening in the scoop head 51 directed upward, away from the contents in the packaging container as is the case with the scoops 44 shown in Figs.4, 5, 7 and 9. It is to be understood that any of the types of mating fastening elements which are used for attaching the scoop 44 in the first retention position may be used for attaining a position with the opening in the scoop head 51 directed downward or upward. By way of example, the hooks 43 at the distal end 53 of the scoop 44 in Figs. 4, 5 and 7 may be turned towards the opening in the scoop head 51 , instead of away from the opening in the scoop head 51 . Likewise, the fastening element 43 in Fig. 8 may be placed on the opposite side of the scoop handle 50 from that shown in Fig. 8.

The distance between the scoop retainer 40 and the inner lid surface 24 may be selected to be sufficiently small to prohibit a scoop 44 which is held by the scoop retainer from moving out of engagement with the scoop retainer 40 when the closed packaging container 1 is moved, shaken, or turned upside-down. The release distance is the minimum distance between the scoop retainer 40 and the inner surface 24 of the container lid 14 which is required in order to be able to move the scoop out of

engagement with the scoop retainer 40 from any one of the first and the second retention positons. The release distance is > 0 millimeters. It may be preferred that the release distance is≤ 40 millimeters.

As is illustrated in Fig. 2, the distance between the scoop retainer 40 and the inner lid surface 24 may be a distance between a scoop restraining member 60 arranged on the inner surface 24 of the lid 14 and the scoop retainer 40. The scoop restraining member 60 may be a protrusion arranged to diminish the distance between the inner surface of the lid and the scoop retainer 40 and may be made integrally with the inner surface of the lid or as a separate component which is attached to the inner surface of the lid.

Further, non-limiting examples of scoop retainers 40 and scoops are shown in Figs. 6-9. In the scoop fastening arrangement shown in Figs. 6 and 7, the scoop retainer 40 is provided with a scoop head retention element/scoop head retention opening 47 which is shaped and sized to receive and retain a forward portion 51 ' of the scoop head 51 while a rearward portion 51 " of the scoop head 51 is configured to rest on a supporting edge portion 39 of the scoop retainer 40.

Fig. 6 is a highly simplified top view of the access opening 35 of a packaging container 1 and shows the scoop retainer 40 arranged at a corner portion of the container body and with a sealing membrane 33 applied over the container body opening 6. The packaging container 1 in Fig. 6 is shown without components such as a lid or an upper reinforcing rim.

Fig. 8 shows an example of a generally triangular scoop retainer 40 for application in a curved corner portion of a packaging container, such as the packaging container shown in Figs. 1 and 2 wherein the container wall corner portion connects a first container wall portion 3a, 3b with a second container wall portion 3c, 3d and wherein the scoop retainer 40 is arranged such that it extends from the first container wall portion to the second container wall portion. The two shorter sides of the scoop retainer 40 conform to the shape of the container wall 3 in the corner portion with the long side forms an outer straight edge 41 which extends the shortest distance between the first and the second container wall portions 3a, 3b, 3c, 3d. By arranging the scoop retainer 40 in a corner portion, the scoop retainer intrudes minimally on the access opening 35 of the packaging container. Although less preferred, the scoop retainers 40 as disclosed herein may instead be arranged at a wall portion having no or only a slight curvature.

5 As set out herein, the scoop retainer may be formed as a generally two-dimensional piece of material such as a plate or a band having a planar extension which considerably exceeds the thickness of the piece of material. The scoop head retention opening may be formed in a plate-shaped scoop retainer or between a band-shaped piece of material and a bent container wall portion.

10

The scoop retainer 40 in Fig. 8 has a circular scoop head retention element/retention opening 47 which is arranged to cooperate with a correspondingly shaped scoop head 51 , and a first female scoop retention element 42 in the form of a small opening which is arranged to cooperate with a corresponding male fastening element 43 in the form of a

15 knob arranged at the distal end 53 of the scoop handle 50. When the scoop 44 is attached to the scoop retainer in the first fastening position with the knob 43 inserted in the small opening 42, the scoop head 51 will be directed downward into the packaging container and with the opening in the scoop head facing the scoopable contents in the packaging container. When the scoop 44 is held in the second retention position with the scoop head

20 51 inserted into the scoop head retention opening 47, the scoop 44 is prevented from

tilting in the scoop retainer 40 by means of a retaining flange 56 extending

circumferentially on the outside of the scoop head.

Fig. 9 shows a scoop retainer 40 with a scoop head retention element/retention opening 25 47 having an asymmetric shape matching the shape of the scoop head 51. The mating fastening elements for fastening the scoop 44 in the first retention position are constituted by a retention element 42 in the form of a male fastening element such as a knob on the scoop retainer 40 and a corresponding female fastening element 43 such as an opening at the distal end 53 of the scoop handle 50.

30

Fig. 10 shows a top view of an upper reinforcing rim 15 comprising a scoop retainer 40 formed integrally with the rim 15 and being placed at a straight or optionally slightly curved portion of the rim which may correspond to a front wall or a side wall of a packaging container as disclosed herein. The scoop retainer 40 is shown with a scoop 44 being

35 applied in the second retention position with the scoop head 51 inserted into the scoop head retention element/retention opening 47 and with the proximal end of the scoop handle 50 resting on a supporting edge portion 39 of the scoop retainer 40.

The packaging container 101 which is shown in Figs. 1 1 -13 is of the same general type as the packaging container 1 shown in Figs. 1 and 2, i.e. a packaging container for scoopable bulk solids, and comprises a container body 102 comprising a container wall 103. The container wall 103 extends from a container bottom 104 to a container body opening 106 in a height direction H of the packaging container 101 . The container body 102 is made from paperboard material as defined herein.

The paperboard packaging container 101 is provided with a closure arrangement comprising a lid 1 14 and an upper reinforcing rim 1 15 extending along the upper edge of the container wall 103 and defining a perimeter of a container access opening 135.

The lid 1 14 is connected by a hinge 129 to the upper reinforcing rim 1 15. As set out herein, the packaging container may alternatively have a completely removable lid.

The packaging container 101 has an interior compartment 1 1 1 which is sealed by a removable sealing membrane 133 which is applied over the packaged goods as illustrated in Fig. 1 1 and which is sealed to the container body wall 103. A scoop 144 is placed on the non-opened sealing membrane 133. In Fig. 1 1 , the scoop 144 is shown to be placed directly on the sealing membrane 133. Alternatively, the scoop 144 may be provided with a protective wrap, such as a plastic bag.

The upper reinforcing rim 1 15 carries a scoop retainer 140 which extends across the front left corner portion of the reinforcing rim 1 15 as seen in the figures. The scoop retainer 140 is provided with a scraping edge 141 for scraping off excess scooped-up contents from the scoop 144.

The scoop retainer 140 comprises a first scoop retention element in the form of an opening 142 which is arranged in the triangular area formed in the corner between the scraping edge 141 and the container wall 103. The first scoop retention element 142 is arranged to releasably engage with a mating fastening element in the form of a hook 143 arranged at the distal end 153 of the scoop handle 150. When the first scoop retention element 142 on the scoop retainer 140 is coupled to the fastening element 143 at the distal end 153 of the scoop handle 150, the scoop 144 is held in a first retention position with the scoop head 151 hanging down from the scoop retainer 140, as illustrated in Fig. 12. It is to be noted that Fig. 12 shows the packaging container 1 with the sealing membrane 133 removed but without any contents in the inner compartment 1 1 1. The opening 142 in the scoop retainer 140 does also serve as the scoop head retention opening 147 for receiving the scoop head 151 and holding the scoop 144 in the second retention position, as shown in Fig. 13.

The scraping edge 141 is a first edge of a scraper bar 160 having a second edge 161 which constitutes a portion of the edge of the scoop head retention opening 147. The edge of the scoop head retention opening 147 further comprises edges 162, 163 of a first and a second side bar 164, 165, which extend from the scraper bar160 towards the container wall corner portion. The remaining portion 166 of the edge of the scoop head retention opening 147 is defined by the contour of the reinforcing rim 1 15 at the container wall corner portion. The scraper bar 160 and the side bars 164, 165 are arranged as a grid in the container corner portion and form a scoop retainer 140 with a large open area with a minimum of structural elements on which scoopable contents in the container may be caught. As set out herein, the upwardly facing surface of the scraper bar 160 and the side bars 164, 165 may be arched in the height direction H, further reducing the risk of scoopable contents being accumulated on the upper surface of the scoop retainer 140.

As set out herein, the scraper bar 160 and the side bars may each have a width of from 1 millimeter to 5 millimeters. Fig. 12 illustrates how a scoop 144 having a sideways oriented hook 143 at the distal end 153 of the scoop handle 150 will appear when hanging down from the scoop retainer 140. As is seen in Fig. 12, the scoop 144 is oriented with the opening in the scoop head 151 directed sideways instead of the upwards or downwards orientation resulting from hooks arranged as shown in Figs. 7 and 10 respectively. The hook 143 is engaged with the scoop retainer 140 by being hooked over the scraping bar 160, into the central opening 142, 147 between the side bars 164, 165.

It is to be understood that the particular closure construction with a rim and a frame structure as disclosed herein is not essential to the packaging container of the claimed invention. The scoop retainer as disclosed herein may be applied to any packaging container for bulk solids having an access opening and being provided with a scoop for removing bulk solids out of the packaging container through the access opening including containers without reinforcing plastic elements.