Graham Packaging Company, L.P., a leading global producer of custom blow-molded plastic containers, has designed a new 64-ounce PET (polyethylene terephthalate) hot-fill grip bottle for Apple & Eve juices and juice blends that features unique three-dimensional, sculpted detail on the bell of the jar to make it more eye-catching on store shelves.

The bell displays the Apple & Eve logo-an apple with a bite taken out-on a basket filled with fruit. "The logo and the fruit basket are rendered in a very intricate way, to an extent that hasn't been done before in the industry," said John Denner, director of PET Packaging Development for Graham Packaging.

Denner credited Sheldon Yourist, a design manager at Graham Packaging, with pioneering a proprietary electronic design process that translates two- dimensional artwork into a three-dimensional relief design. The process creates a 2D "contour map" of the raised and lowered areas of relief, which is graphically projected onto a 3D bottle contour. This digital information is then used to create the molds in which containers are formed.

"This is the first time this kind of process has been used for plastic container design," Denner said. "It would be difficult or impossible to do this any other way, unless you were to sculpt the bottle by hand in clay or plaster and then reverse engineer it with a digital laser scan. Our process is much more efficient and cost-effective."

The intricacy of the three-dimensional artwork gives the Apple & Eve bottle a distinctive, more attractive look and reinforces the positioning of Apple & Eve juices and juice blends as higher quality products that stand out from other brands.

"Apple & Eve is a superior line of juices that is now being set apart even more because we're going from a generic bottle to a branded bottle. The fruit basket and logo on the bell of the bottle are unique, yet we can run the bottle on all of our production lines. Graham Packaging really pushed the envelope for us."

Apple & Eve, one of the largest independently owned juice companies in the United States, is headquartered in Roslyn, New York, and markets a complete line of beverages, including Apple & Eve 100 percent pure and natural juices and juice blends; Made in the Shade lemonades, iced teas, and tropical- flavored juice drinks; Sesame Street 100% Juices; and Tribal Tonics herbal- enhanced green teas with efficacious amounts of standardized herbal extracts.

Crane said Apple & Eve juices in the new bottle will go into production in late June and will begin showing up in stores on the East Coast shortly thereafter. He added that the new bottle also would eventually be used for the company's Made in the Shade and Sesame Street brands.

Based in York, Graham Packaging manufactures packaging for household cleaning products, automotive lubricants, personal-care products, beverages, and food products at 56 facilities in 11 countries-Argentina, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The company has more than 4,000 employees worldwide. It produced more than six billion containers and recorded worldwide sales of $716 million in 1999.