Title:
Snack food container
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A device for holding a first container within a second, larger container includes an endless band with a peripheral flanged lip extending outwardly from a top edge and an arrangement of flap members extending inwardly from a bottom edge of the band and forming a continuous curvlinear edge with inwardly directed arcuate sections surrounding a central opening. The device is removably fitted over the top of the first container with the arcuate edge sections engaging the underside of the container lid or an annular ring on the threaded neck of the first container. The flanged lip is sized, structured and configured for seated engagement on the top rim of the larger container with the first container held suspended within the interior of the larger container. A removable lid covers the top opening of the larger container with the first container held therein.



Inventors:
Schapiro, Edward (Boca Raton, FL, US)
Application Number:
11/582631
Publication Date:
05/03/2007
Filing Date:
10/17/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47G19/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MCKINLEY, CHRISTOPHER BRIAN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ROBERT M. DOWNEY, P.A. (BOCA RATON, FL, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A device for holding a first container inside of a second container having a rim surrounding an opening and a lid for covering the opening, said device comprising: an endless band sized and configured for receipt within the opening of the second container; a flanged lip extending outwardly from said endless band and being structured and disposed for seated engagement against the rim of the second container; and at least one flap member extending inwardly from said endless band and terminating at an inner edge that at least partially surrounds a central opening, and said flap member being structured and disposed for engaging, holding and supporting the first container in suspended relation within the second container with said flanged lip in seated engagement against the rim of the second container.

2. The device as recited in claim 1 wherein said endless band, said flanged lip, and said at least one flap member are integrally formed as a one piece unit.

3. The device as recited in claim 2 further comprising: a plurality of said flap members.

4. The device as recited in claim 3 wherein said inner edge of each of said plurality of flap members is curvelinear.

5. The device as recited in claim 4 wherein said endless band is configured to be congruent with the opening of the second container.

6. The device as recited in claim 2 wherein said flanged lip is structured to remain in seated engagement against the rim of the second container with the lid attached and covering the opening.

7. A device for holding a first container inside of a second container having a rim surrounding an opening and a lid for covering the opening, said device comprising: an endless band sized and configured for receipt within the opening of the second container; a flanged lip extending outwardly from said endless band and being structured and disposed for seated engagement against the rim of the second container; and a plurality of flap members extending inwardly from said endless band and terminating at inner edges in surrounding relation to a central opening, and said plurality of flap members being structured and disposed for engaging, holding and supporting the first container in suspended relation within the second container with said flanged lip in seated engagement against the rim of the second container.

8. The device as recited in claim 7 wherein said endless band, said flanged lip, and said plurality of flap members are integrally formed as a one piece unit.

9. The device as recited in claim 8 wherein said inner edges of said plurality of flap members are curvelinear.

10. The device as recited in claim 7 wherein said endless band is configured to be congruent with the opening of the second container.

11. The device as recited in claim 7 wherein said flanged lip is structured to remain in seated engagement against the rim of the second container with the lid attached and covering the opening.

Description:

This application is based on provisional patent application in Ser. No. 60/731,444 filed on Oct. 28, 2005.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

This invention relates to an assembly of containers for holding two or more products and, more particularly, to a device for suspending a first container within a second, larger container so that products in each of the containers are visibly exposed through a transparent wall structure of the larger container.

2. Discussion of the Related Art

Packaging two or more products as a combined unit is an effective marketing strategy for boosting sales and gaining market share, particularly when the products are sold alongside similar type competitive products of other manufacturers. In the past, products have been packaged together using shrink wrap or similar plastic film material which bundles the two or more products as single unit. This is commonly done with cleaning products such as dish detergent, laundry detergent, bath soap and shampoo. Various food products, such as crackers and cheese are often packaged together in a molded tray having separate recessed holding areas. Sometimes, a promotional (i.e. free) item is packaged with the main product in order to provide an incentive for consumers to purchase the product. For instance, cereal products often include a toy inside of the box with a reference to the toy surprise and a picture presented on the box packaging. This is a well known marketing strategy, aimed at children, and can be highly effective to influence parents to purchase the particular cereal products that include the toy inside.

While numerous packaging assemblies and methods are known for combining two or more products together, as described above, there remains a need for a container assembly which is adapted to support an insert container within an outer main container in a manner which visibly exposes all of the products and without increasing the size or altering the form and structure of the main container. In particular, there is a need for a container assembly which provides a larger container for holding a food product, such as a snack food product (e.g. potato chips, tortilla chips, pretzels, etc.) and a smaller container which is sized to be received through an open top of the larger container, and wherein a device removably holds the smaller container in suspended relation within the larger container so that a second food product in the smaller container can be packaged within the larger container while remaining isolated from the first food product.

OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION

Considering the foregoing, it is a primary object of the present invention to provide a simple, one piece device which is adapted to removably hold a smaller container within a larger container, and wherein a first product is visibly contained within the main, larger container and a second product is visibly contained within the smaller container.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide a simple, one piece device that removably attaches to the top of a first container, and wherein the device includes a flanged lip which seats on the top rim of a larger container, allowing the first, smaller container to nest within the open top of the larger container.

It is still a further object of the present invention to provide a simple device that attaches to a first container and allows the first container to nest within the open top of a larger container, and wherein a first product is stored in a larger container and a second product is stored within the smaller container without increasing the size or altering the shape or structure of either container.

It is yet a further object of the present invention to provide a simple device that allows a conventional smaller container to be inserted and supported within a conventional larger container so that two different products that are normally packaged and sold separately can be combined within the packaging of the larger container without altering the structure of either container.

It is still a further object of the present invention to provide a simple, one-piece device that attaches to a first, smaller container, and wherein the device is adapted to allow the smaller container to be received through an open top of a larger container with the device seating against a top rim surrounding the open top of the larger container while allowing a removable top to be secured on the larger container.

It is still a further object of the present invention to provide a simple, one-piece device that allows a smaller container to be removably supported in packaged relation within a larger container without changing the structure of either container, and wherein packaging the products within each of the containers is readily adapted to an existing assembly line process without significant alteration or cost.

These and other objects and advantages of the present invention are more readily apparent with reference to the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is directed to a device for holding a first container within a second, larger container. The device includes an endless band with a peripheral flanged lip extending outwardly from a top edge and an arrangement of flap members extending inwardly from a bottom edge of the band and forming a continuous curvlinear edge with inwardly directed arcuate sections surrounding a central opening. The device is removably fitted over the top of the first container with the arcuate edge sections engaging the underside of the container lid or an annular ring on the threaded neck of the first container. The flanged lip is sized, structured and configured for seated engagement on the top rim of the larger container with the first container held suspended within the interior of the larger container. A removable lid covers the top opening of the larger container with the first container held therein.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

For a fuller understanding of the nature of the present invention, reference should be made to the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a partially exploded front elevational view, in partial section, showing a larger container, a smaller container being received through an open top of the larger container, the device of the present invention fitted to a top neck of the smaller container, and the lids of both the larger container and the smaller container removed;

FIG. 2 is a front elevational view, in partial cut-away and cross section, showing the device of the present invention holding the smaller container in suspended relation within the larger container with the lids of both containers securely fastened to the tops of the respective containers;

FIG. 3 is a front, top perspective view showing the device of the present invention fitted to the top neck of the smaller container removed from the open top of the larger container;

FIG. 4 is an exploded perspective view showing the device of the present invention removed from the top neck of the smaller container;

FIG. 5 is a top plan view showing the device of the present invention secured to the top neck of the smaller container; and

FIG. 6 is a partially exploded top perspective view showing the device of the present invention secured to the top neck of the smaller container and the lid separated from the top of the smaller container.

Like reference numerals refer to like parts throughout the several views of the drawings.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Referring to the several views of the drawings, the container holding device is shown and generally indicated as 10.

The holding device 10 is specifically structured for supporting a first container 30 within a second, larger container 40, as shown in FIG. 2. The first container 30 may be formed of plastic or glass and includes a main side wall structure 31, a neck 32 extending upwardly from the side wall structure 31 and surrounding open top 33. The neck is preferably provided with outer threads for screw attachment of a lid 38 in order to cover the open top 33. The neck 32 further includes an annular ring 34 below the threads. The annular ring 34 is conventional on many containers or jars and is used in the assembly line process for lifting and/or moving the container 30 when packaging a product therein.

The larger container 40 includes a transparent sidewall structure 41 and a top neck 42 terminating at a top rim 46 surrounding an open top 44 that communicates with an interior of the larger container 40. The size and shape of the top opening 44, as defined by the surrounding neck 42, is sufficient to permit passage of the smaller container 30 therethrough, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. The neck 42 of the larger container may be provided with threads for screw attachment of a lid 48.

The device 10 of the present invention is formed as one piece and removably attaches to the neck 32 of the smaller container 30. With the device 10 attached, the smaller container 30 is dropped down through the open top 44 of the larger container 40. The device 10 hangs from the top rim 46 of the larger container to hold the smaller container 30 in suspended relation inside of the larger container 40 as seen, in FIG. 2.

The device 10 is preferably molded of a substantially rigid, yet somewhat flexible plastic material and includes an endless band 12 that is sized and configured to be generally congruent with the top opening of the larger container 40, as defined by an inner surface of the neck 42. It is noted, however, that the band 12 is dimensioned to be received within the top opening 44 of the container 40 so that the neck 42 of the container 40 surrounds the band 12 when the device 10 is seated against the top rim 46. The device 10 further includes an outwardly extending flanged lip 14 integrally formed on the top edge of the band 12. The flanged lip 14 is sized, structured and configured for mating, seated engagement with the top rim 46 of the container 40 with a remainder of the device 10 received within the top opening 44 of the container and surrounded by the neck 42.

In order to removably attach the device 10 to the smaller container 30, a plurality of inwardly directed flap members 16 are integrally formed on the bottom edge of the band 12. The flap members 16 extend inwardly and terminate at an edge 18. The edges 18 of the flap members surround a central opening 20 which is sized for passage of the lid 38 and top neck 32 of the container 30 therethrough. The edges 18 of the flap members 16 are curvilinear and form arcuate segments which bulge inwardly towards the center of the central opening 20. When the device 10 is forced downwardly onto the top of the container 30, the top lid 38 and threaded exterior neck 32 brush against the innermost portions of the curvelinear edges 18 of the flaps 16. The flaps 16 are structured to flex in order to yield to the force of the edges 18 against the sides of the lid 38 and exterior threaded neck 32 of the smaller container 30, thereby allowing the lid and neck to pass upwardly through the central opening 20 as the device 10 moves down around the sides of the neck 32. The flap members 16 and curvlinear edges 18 are structured to snap around the annular ring 34 on the neck 32 of the container 30 so that the flap members 16 engage an underside of the annular ring 34. The flap members 16 are sufficiently rigid to support the weight of the filled (i.e. including contents) smaller container 30 so that the container 30 is able to hang from the flap members 16. Thus, when the device 10 is attached to the smaller container 30, the assembly of the smaller container 30 and the device 10 can be dropped through the open top 44 of the larger container 40 until the flanged lip 14 seats against the top rim 46. Once nested within the open top 44, the smaller container 30 is suspended within the larger container 40, as shown in FIG. 2. The top lid 48 of the larger container 40 can then be fastened to the neck 42 to enclose and seal the contents, including the smaller container 30, within the interior of the larger container 40.

In one preferred embodiment, the larger container 40 may be used for packaging pretzels, potato chips, tortilla chips or other dry snack products, while the smaller container 30 contains a dip food product, such as mustard, sour cream mix, cheese dip or salsa. Alternatively, the smaller container 30 may be used for packaging a beverage or non-food product, such as a toy. The contents of both the larger container 40 and the smaller container 30 may be any of a wide variety of products and combination and are not limited to those disclosed herein.

While the present invention has been shown and described in accordance with a preferred and practical embodiment, it is recognized that departures from the instant disclosure are fully contemplated within the spirit and scope of the present invention.





 
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