Case Studies

Pennington/Central Garden & Pet

Pet & Vet

Pet & Vet: Pennington/Central Garden & Pet

Attracting the tiny and fleeting hummingbird is a passionate year round pursuit for backyard birders from Southern Alaska to the southern reaches of Chile. Fortunately for these bird lovers, providing a pretty, vibrant and sustainable way to bring these colorful birds to the yards of aficionados has been the specialty of TricorBraun client, Pennington Seed/CGP, for many years. As longtime partners, Pennington Seed/CGP and TricorBraun have worked together to create effective custom packaging for ready-to-use hummingbird nectar and nectar concentrate. So when Pennington Seed/CGP decided to bring a brand new, pre-filled hummingbird feeder to market, they knew just who to call.

Little Birds, Big Challenges

Because of their long association, Pennington Seed/CGP already knew that TricorBraun could help them design, source the best manufacturing partners and then deliver the first-of-its-kind, 32 ounce pre-filled hummingbird feeder. The challenge this project presented was clear: design a feeder that would hold one full quart of nectar that could be pre-filled, then sealed and shipped upside-down without leakage. And while the challenges inherent in designing and producing such a container were many, the award-winning design team at TricorBraun Design and Innovation took it on with customary enthusiasm.

“I would like to THANK the entire TricorBraun team for being the best supplier we have and the best one I have ever worked with. I have always been able to count on TricorBraun to provide us with whatever we have asked for. Whether it’s for a stock item or new design that we may have an idea for, you all bring it to life…. So it is best to say that TricorBraun earned and won the award.”
— Dan Pennington, Executive Vice President, COO, Pennington Seed/CGP

Transforming Challenges Into Victories

After designing a beautiful flower-strewn bottle and a precise, saucer shaped perch that provided access to generously spaced, feeding ports for multiple birds, TricorBraun’s Design and Innovation team developed 3D drawings, built models and certified the parts of the completed design. Then TricorBraun selected a trusted vendor, Altira, to manufacture the bottle including the “hanger eye” which would be used to suspend the feeder using a supplied red wire.

To accommodate the PET material that Pennington Seed/CGP was committed to using, Altira created a new, innovative and totally unique process – so unique, in fact, that Altira has since filed a utility patent to cover it! The base and the perch were manufactured by another longtime TricorBraun vendor, Master Molded, who also oversaw the development and construction of the injection molds. And finally, a handful of TricorBraun’s best completed one of the biggest puzzles: how to fill the bottle and seal it before the saucer shaped perch – which screws on like a closure but cannot be attached until the bottle is filled and sealed – could be added. The final, ingenious solution? Run the bottle down the production line, fill it, seal it with a heat induction lined cap, then remove the cap and screw on the perch. And a commitment to sustainability is in the details: these temporary caps are re-lined and reused in later runs of the feeder!

The Bigger The Challenges, The More Gratifying The Results

Thanks to innovative thinking, strategic planning and the reliability of trusted vendors, after just 15 weeks Pennington Seed/CGP brought their gorgeous, pre-filled hummingbird feeder to market. With its hummingbird-friendly bottle made of environmentally responsible, recyclable PET and a spacious perch that invited a multitude of hungry birds to dine simultaneously, they had a winner. In fact, this first-of-its-kind feeder was so innovative and thoughtfully designed, it got noticed by more than just hummingbirds; its recent crowning as Best of Show in the prestigious National Association of Container Distributor’s (NACD) annual packaging competition – TricorBraun’s second consecutive win! – means this eye-catching design was recognized as a stellar example of how experience, innovation and a passion for packaging can make all the difference.

For more information about TricorBraun Design & Engineering Group, please contact us at or 800-325-7782.

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Pennington/Central Garden & Pet

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