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Article | October 31, 2004
Hologram's cool graphics, cooling effect improve fish package (sidebar)
A hologram on its shippers helps the Honolulu Fish Co. answer two challenges in marketing fresh fish. The first is to establish a brand identity, and the second to keep fish as fresh as possible while it is air freighted from Hawaii to the mainland.
Packaging Technique: The company ships mahi-mahi and specialty seafood from Hawaii to upscale restaurants in the
continental United States. It uses corrugated shippers insulated with a 1”-thick sheet of expanded polystyrene on the inside. The fish itself is in a foil bag flushed with argon gas. The fish starts out at about 33º F and frozen gel packs help keep the fish cool enough to achieve a 48-hour shelf life.
But in an unusual packaging technique Honolulu Fish has a holographic paper laminated to the outside of the corrugated shipper. The holographic pattern reinforces brand identity and helps preserve product quality.
“We developed this package based on our commitment to quality” explains company president Wayne Samiere. He wanted a surface on the shippers that would reflect the sunlight that warmed shippers that sometimes sit in the sun waiting to be loaded on airplanes.
”We tried foil but it didn’t radiate enough energy” Samiere continues. “Then we tried the hologram and it reflected as much as 98 percent of the sunlight that hit it.”
The hologram from Proma Technologies is laminated to the shippers by Weyerhaeuser. With the protective technique in place Samiere faced a second question: How to decorate the box? He believes the packaging needs to help establish a brand identity among the chefs who use the product.
The answer was to create a custom holographic pattern. Many holograms are simply dazzling repeat patterns. However a custom hologram is a design that projects specific images. The custom holographic pattern for Honolulu Fish incorporates the company’s logo address phone fax and web-site and e-mail. And it displays icons of fish to reinforce the company’s image.
From a branding standpoint the tactic has been a success according to Samiere. “We’ve had a host of good comments from restaurants and heard of cases where the chefs fight over who gets to keep the shipper” he says.
A bonus of the graphics is the treatment the shippers get from delivery drivers who handle the boxes after they are unloaded from aircraft at destination cities. “The box immediately lets them know it is perishable fish so they take great care to handle it properly” Samiere says.
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