Graham Packaging Company, L.P., a leading global producer of custom blow-molded plastic containers, has unveiled a new 48-ounce HDPE (high-density polyethylene) limited-edition “caricature” bottle to help build brand awareness for Hershey’s Syrup. The bottle is whimsically molded in the shape of “Hershel Cow,” a character Hershey Foods features in its print and television advertising.

“We worked as a team with Hershey Foods to design a bottle that’s brand distinctive and fun to use for chocolate lovers everywhere,” said Sheldon Yourist, design manager at Graham Packaging. “We wanted to do something to capture the spirit of the kid in all of us.”

Designers used a computer to create the basic three-dimensional shape, then tooled a prototype, hand-sculpted the details, and digitized the finished version.

“We’re using the Hershel bottle for a limited time to generate awareness and excitement for Hershey’s Syrup and create a tie-in with our print and television advertising and our Web site,” said Michael Riley, a packaging specialist for Hershey Foods.

The bottle is currently being shipped to stores, and Hershey is running a contest encouraging consumers to “find” Hershel. Voice chips have been installed under the caps of five bottles and when opened will announce to the lucky finders that they have won an all-expense-paid trip for four to Hershey, Pennsylvania. More than 3,000 baseball caps, backpacks, and tee shirts also are being awarded as prizes.

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Since the Hershel bottle is being used only for a limited time, a critical part of the assignment was to come up with a design that would minimize changes in Hershey’s production line. “We succeeded in designing a bottle with the same basic footprint, height, weight, and overall width as the regular 48-ounce bottle we make for Hershey’s Syrup,” said Jay C. Arnold, business manager for Graham Packaging’s food polyolefins division.

The Hershel bottle is produced on a Graham Rotary Wheel with in-mold labeling, the same process Graham uses for other bottles it manufactures for Hershey’s syrups and toppings. Labeling is supplied by Spear Label Company of Mason, Ohio, and the special caps by Creative Packaging of Buffalo Grove, Illinois.

Hershey Foods Corporation, based in Hershey, Pennsylvania, is the leading North American manufacturer of quality chocolate and non-chocolate confectionery and chocolate-related grocery products and has a variety of international operations.

Graham Packaging, based in York, is a worldwide leader in the design, manufacture, and sale of customized blow-molded plastic containers for the branded food and beverage, household and personal care, and automotive lubricants markets with 57 plants throughout North America, Europe and Latin America.