Title:
DISPLAY STAND WITH DISPOSABLE SERVING CONTAINERS
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A display stand with disposable serving ware containers, such as paper or plastic plates, platters, deep dishes or bowls, displaying the containers in a vertical position so the face of the front container is readily viewed by the consumer at the point of purchase.



Inventors:
Smith, Tracy C. (Stone Mountain, GA, US)
Application Number:
12/463843
Publication Date:
09/10/2009
Filing Date:
05/11/2009
Assignee:
Georgia-Pacific Consumer Products LP (Atlanta, GA, US)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
220/737
International Classes:
A47G19/00; B65D25/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
EPPS, TODD MICHAEL
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Georgia-Pacific LLC (Atlanta, GA, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A display stand in combination with a plurality of disposable serving containers, comprising: a display stand comprising: a front panel; a rear panel, substantially parallel to the front panel; a substantially vertically extending first side panel adjoining the front panel and the rear panel; and a substantially vertically extending second side panel adjoining the front panel and the rear panel and being spaced from and substantially parallel to the first side panel; and a plurality of disposable serving containers disposed in the display stand; wherein the front panel, the rear panel, the first side panel, and the second side panel define an open top portion and an open bottom portion, and the rear panel has a top portion that defines a shoulder that is adapted to support a portion of one of the plurality of disposable serving containers disposed in the display stand.

2. The combination of claim 1 wherein one of the plurality of disposable serving containers disposed in the display stand includes a face portion defined by an outer circumference, and the rear panel has a portion defining a concave curve that has a radius of curvature that is generally the same as a radius of curvature of the outer circumference of the face portion.

3. The combination of claim 2 wherein the one of the plurality of disposable serving containers disposed in the display stand includes an interface with an outer rim, and the portion of the rear panel defining a concave curve acts as a shoulder to support the interface with the outer rim.

4. The combination of claim 1 wherein the front panel defines a top edge that does not obstruct a face portion of one of the plurality of disposable serving containers disposed in the display stand.

5. The combination of claim 4 wherein the top edge of the front panel defines a concave curve.

6. The combination of claim 5 wherein the rear panel has a top edge that defines a concave curve that has a radius of curvature that is generally the same as a radius of curvature of the face portion of the one of the plurality of disposable serving containers disposed in the display stand.

7. The combination of claim 1 wherein one of the plurality of disposable serving containers disposed in the display stand includes an outer rim and the first side panel and the second side panel each define a top portion that acts as a shoulder to support the outer rim of the one of the plurality of disposable serving containers disposed in the display stand.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is a continuation application of U.S. application Ser. No. 11/393,021 filed Mar. 30, 2006, which claims benefit of Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/672,733 filed Apr. 19, 2005, which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to a display stand for certain types of consumer products. More particularly, this invention relates to a display stand for disposable serving ware containers, such as paper or plastic plates, platters, deep dishes or bowls that will display the containers in a vertical position so the face of the container can be readily viewed by the consumer at the point of purchase.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Serving containers, such as paper or plastic plates are typically packaged in nested form in a plastic outer wrap. The containers are transported from the manufacturer ultimately to a retail outlet for purchase by the consumer. At the retail outlet, the containers are typically stacked horizontally on the shelves such that the consumer only sees the edge of the stack of packaged containers. For most purposes this arrangement is acceptable. However, some containers include decorative designs on the face of the container and some even include a theme such as animals. See for example U.S. Patent Publication No. U.S. 2004/0069788, the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference. When stacked horizontally on store shelves, the aesthetic appeal of these types of decorative containers is not readily apparent to the customer. In order to allow the store to stack these types of containers so that the decorative face of the container is readily apparent to the customer, a display stand for the containers that will hold them upright is required.

In order for the display stand to be economically viable, it must allow the footprint of the package to remain small and it must allow the various packages of the containers to be nested. This minimizes the space needed to transport the packaged containers and display stands and allows the retail outlet to display a large number of such packaged containers and display stands on the shelves. This in turn minimizes the frequency that the store shelves need to be restocked with those items. In addition, the display stand should be easily manufactured and combined with the consumer product to be displayed with the display stand to allow easy incorporation into the manufacturing process of the consumer products. This will minimize cost for the consumer product manufacturer. The display stand should also work with the retail outlets' current display system to avoid costly retrofitting of the retail outlets' current display system and to avoid the need for the retail outlets to purchase new display systems.

The display stand of this invention is preferably formed from a paperboard blank that is folded together to define an interior portion for accommodating a certain number of disposable containers. When the containers are placed in the display stand, the display stand holds the containers in a vertical position so the face of the container can be directed to the consumer at the point of purchase. The display stand has an open bottom and is defined by a straight bottom edge where the edges are substantially aligned with each other and generally perpendicular to a vertical axial line extending through the display stand. This straight bottom edge provides a flat surface on which the display stand rests to give the display stand, with the containers therein, stability. The front and rear portions of the display stand preferably have a concavely curved top edge such that the radius of curvature of the concavely curved portions are substantially similar to the radius of curvature of the face portion of the container. This provides the consumer with an unobstructed view of the decorative face of the container. It also provides a shoulder on which the rear of the container can rest so the edges of the containers do not extend below the bottom edge of the display stand, which could adversely affect the stability of the assembled package. The two sides of the display stand can be generally perpendicular to the front and rear portions of the display stand. Alternatively, each of the two sides can be formed from two angled portions so that each end defines a generally V-shaped configuration with the apex of the V pointing away from the containers. These sides of the display stand may also provide a shoulder on which the sides of the container can rest to also help prevent the bottom edge of the containers from extending below the bottom edge of the display stand to thus improve the stability of the package.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention will be described in detail in the following description of preferred embodiments with reference to the following figures in which like reference numbers refer to like parts and wherein:

FIG. 1 is a front perspective view of a first embodiment of the display stand of this invention with a plurality of disposable plates packed therein where the plates have an example of an aesthetic design on the face thereof;

FIG. 2 is a rear perspective view of the first embodiment of the display stand of this invention with a plurality of disposable plates packed therein;

FIG. 3A is a top perspective view of the first embodiment of the display stand of this invention;

FIG. 3B is a bottom perspective view of the first embodiment of the display stand of this invention clearly showing the open bottom therein;

FIG. 4 is a plan view of the blank used to form the first embodiment of the display stand of this invention;

FIG. 5 is a front perspective view of a second embodiment of the display stand of this invention with a plurality of disposable plates packed therein where the plates have an example of an aesthetic design on the face thereof;

FIG. 6 is a rear perspective view of the second embodiment of the display stand of this invention with a plurality of disposable plates packed therein;

FIG. 7A is a top perspective view of the second embodiment of the display stand of this invention;

FIG. 7B is a bottom perspective view of the second embodiment of the display stand of this invention clearly showing the open bottom therein; and

FIG. 8 is a plan view of the blank used to form the second embodiment of the display stand of this invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The display stand 100 of this invention is preferably formed from a paperboard blank that is folded together to define an interior portion for accommodating a certain number of disposable containers 600 therein. Preferably, display stand 100 can be formed from any paper-based material such as folding carton stock and corrugated paperboard, more specifically micro-flute corrugated paperboard. Display stand 100 defines an open bottom 200, which in turn is defined by the straight bottom edge 300 of the various flaps forming display stand 100. Straight bottom edge 300 provides a flat surface on which display stand 100 rests to give display stand 100, with the containers therein, stability. Typically the paperboard blank is cut from a larger piece of the paperboard on a standard flatbed die-cutting piece of equipment.

Preferably, the front and rear portions of display stand 100 have a concavely curved portion 110 such that the radius of curvature of the concavely curved portions 110 is similar to, or generally the same as, the radius of curvature of the outer circumference 605 of the face portion 610 of the container 615. This is generally located adjacent to the rim 620 of the paper plate and can in some cases be considered the interface 625 therebetween. The degree of similarity between the radii of curvature should be such that display stand 100 provides the consumer with an unobstructed view of the aesthetic design, i.e. the decorative face, of the container. Thus the radius of curvature of concavely curved portion 110 can be less or greater than that of the face portion of the container as long as the face is not obstructed. Concavely curved portion 110 also provides a shoulder on which the rear of the container can rest so the edges of the containers do not extend below the bottom edge of the display stand, which would adversely affect the stability of the assembled package. See FIGS. 2 and 6. In addition, the concavely curved portion 110 on the rear of display stand 100 allows the face of one package to nest with the rear of another package to minimize the amount of space needed to pack and ship a large quantity of display stands 100 with containers packaged therein. Although it is possible to configure only one of the front panel or the rear panel with a curved top edge, this is not the preferred arrangement. In addition, although a concavely curved configuration is preferred for the top edge of the front panel and the rear panel, any other configuration, such as a linear, angular or scalloped or some other complex curved configuration, could be used as long as the configuration provides a clear view of the face of the container to display the decorative features of the container. Also the configuration should provide (i) some type of shoulder on which the rear of the container can rest and (ii) space to allow multiple packages to nest and minimize the footprint requirements of the display stand with the containers packed therein.

The depth of display stand 100 is determined by the dimensions of the container and the number of containers to be packaged in display stand 100. Preferably the width of display 100 stand is less than the width of the containers to be packaged in display stand 100. This allows the ends of display stand 100 to provide another shoulder 120 on which the sides of the containers can rest to prevent the bottom of the container from extending below the bottom of display stand 100, thus adversely affecting the stability of the assembled package. See FIGS. 1 and 2. The two sides of display stand 100 can be generally perpendicular to the front and rear portions of display stand 100. See FIGS. 1-3. Alternatively, each of the two sides can be formed from two angled portions so that each end defines a generally V-shaped configuration 130 with the apex of the V pointing away from the containers. See FIGS. 5-7. Where such a V-shaped configuration 130 is provided for the ends of display stand 100′, preferably the apex of the V is inside of the tangent to the outermost side portion on the container or at most is aligned with the tangent to that outermost side portion.

The blank for the first embodiment of display stand 100 has a continuous straight bottom edge 300, a connection tab 410, a front flap 420, a first end flap 430, a rear flap 440 and a second end flap 450. As seen in FIG. 4, connection tab 410 is connected along its right edge to the left edge of front flap 420 along a first vertical fold line 415. Front flap 420 is connected along its right edge to the left edge of first end flap 430 along a second vertical fold line 425. First end flap 430 is connected along its right edge to the left edge of rear flap 440 along a third vertical fold line 435. Rear flap 440 is connected along its right edge to the left edge of second end flap 450 along a fourth vertical fold line 445. To assemble the blank into display stand 100, each vertical fold line is folded so that each portion of the blank is perpendicular to the adjacent portion. This allows connection tab 410 to overlap a portion of second end flap 450 and can be adhered thereto by any standard means such as an adhesive, staples or other mechanical interlocking means.

The blank for the second embodiment of display stand 100′ has a continuous straight bottom edge 300, first rear flap 510, a first end flap 520, a second end flap 530, a front flap 540, a third end flap 550, a fourth end flap 560 and a second rear flap 570. As seen in FIG. 8, first rear flap 510 is connected along its right edge to the left edge of first end flap 520 along a first vertical fold line 515. First end flap 520 is connected along its right edge to the left edge of second end flap 530 along a second vertical fold line 525. Second end flap 530 is connected along its right edge to the left edge of front flap 540 along a third vertical fold line 535. Front flap 540 is connected along its right edge to the left edge of third end flap 550 along a fourth vertical fold line 545. Third end flap 550 is connected along its right edge to the left edge of fourth end flap 560 along a fifth vertical fold line 555. Fourth end flap 560 is connected along its right edge to the left edge of second rear flap 570 along a sixth vertical fold line 565. To assemble the blank into display stand 100′ each vertical fold line is folded so that each portion of the blank is at an angle to the adjacent portion to allow first and second rear flaps 510, 570 to be aligned with, and preferably overlap, each other. This allows a portion of first and second rear flaps 510, 570 to be adhered to each other by any standard means such as an adhesive, staples or other mechanical interlocking means.

Thus, it is seen that a display stand is provided that is stable, economical, easy to manufacture and use with various consumer products, such as disposable serving ware, and that has a small footprint and allows for unobstructed viewing of the front face of the product.