Straus solves seal issue on yogurt containers

David Briggs
Problems with the seals on Straus yogurt containers were the subject of experimentation.  

Straus Family Creamery says it has solved a little problem with its yogurt containers. In recent years, when a consumer removed the lid to pull off the plastic seal, oftentimes just a strip of plastic would come off: not because of flimsy plastic, but because of a problematic seal. Owner Albert Straus said that a couple of years ago, the seals were not sealing properly, and an adjustment caused the seals to “stick on so well that they were hard to remove.” Over the following two years, the Marshall creamery made multiple attempts to remedy the problem. Over time, around 20 different employees on the maintenance and operations teams looked at the heating process for the seal. They added a ridge to the containers and changed all kinds of things, according to Mr. Straus. “We made equipment upgrades, changed the containers. And every time we changed something, even if we knew we would have to change it again, we had to get through the inventory to start again,” he said. Straus sells 50,000 gallons of yogurt a month. The company is also known for its dedication to sustainability. The milk the dairy produces is sold in reusable glass bottles, and the yogurt is not sold in single-serving containers because of the waste. Mr. Straus said he is looking into even more sustainable packaging. “My goal is to get out of plastic altogether,” he said. “When we get enough space and move into a new plant, we will be able to make more sustainability upgrades.” He said they are planning to move to a new facility in the next couple of years. For now, after two years of trying, the lids function as they are intended. “I’m very happy,” Mr. Straus said with a laugh. “It was frustrating on our end as well.”