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Shelf Impact! Jim George

Your roll-on label just got a lot harder to ignore

Introducing kp's new polyester roll-sleeve shrink film. It's the high-performance alternative to roll-on shrink-on and paper labels. Now you can show off your product with full-body, multiple-contoured coverage and superior graphics for maximum shelf appeal.

Klockner Pentaplast

White Paper: Which multipack style is best for your rigid container?

White paper from Roberts Polypro compares the pros and cons of three different multipack package formats for rigid primary containers: shrink wrap, paperboard and handled carriers.

Roberts PolyPro

Wine bottles deploy resealable extended-text labels

Cline Cellars had used tear-off pads on store shelves to promote its products and recipes, but switched to resealable extended-text labels that offered more space and ensured customer communication with each purchase.

WS Packaging Group Inc.

Application analysis discusses track-and-trace bar codes for fresh produce packaging

This Application Analysis explains the track and trace basics for produce packers facing PTI compliance. Read about a case printing solution from FoxJet and examine the costs.


Robotic automation meets today's packaging challenges

This white paper by Kuka Robotics describes the key considerations for evaluating flexible automation versus fixed automaton. The author describes how robotic solutions enable the operation to meet ever-changing packaging trends and market demands.

KUKA Robotics

Shelf Impact! Advisory Board

Our packaging experts help shape the content and provide independent analysis.

January 21, 2011
In This Issue

thumbOpening eyes to eye tracking

Consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies are becoming convinced that traditional consumer research techniques won't answer critical questions about purchase intent and package design.

thumb Package recommen-
dations for clarifying 'organic'

"Touchpoints" is a term that's become popular in marketing and packaging jargon, and I've discussed it previously in this space.

thumbPackage Gallery

Opening eyes to eye tracking

By Jim George, Editor

Consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies are becoming convinced that traditional consumer research techniques won't answer critical questions about purchase intent and package design. With millions of dollars hanging in the balance on the success or failure of a new product or a package redesign, they want to leave no doubt that their package will have the stopping power that gets shoppers to select their product. The path to success is discovering what appeals to shoppers, even if they can't articulate why.

One area where CPG companies are finding those go versus no-go answers is through eye-tracking research. Eye tracking got its start decades ago in military and medical applications, and in recent years has gradually crossed over into consumer behavior as well. Today, some CPG companies find eye-tracking research invaluable in guiding package design, and it seems poised to become a standard practice among product manufacturers of all sizes.

Christian Simms is among those who are acutely aware of eye tracking and works intimately with it at Procter & Gamble. Simms is Associate Director of Consumer Market Knowledge for P&G's Pantene and Herbal Essences brands, and he urges CPG companies to give eye tracking a serious look. In Europe, eye tracking confirmed that blue blocking would improved visibility for P&G's Pantene Aqua Light condition; the then-current color was too recessive.

"What consumers say and what they react to is a very different thing than what they spontaneously react to," Simms says of eye tracking's benefits. "We're interested in what they can tell us without saying it to us."

Pamela Waldron at Johnson & Johnson agrees. "The potential loss of sales to a business by diluting their equity and getting lost on shelf is enormous, and it's not a risk one wants to take in this day and age," says Waldron, Global Director, Oral Care, in J&J's Global Strategic Insights Group.

To which Scott Young, president at Perception Research Services, adds, "Eye-tracking gives you the only valid way of measuring shelf visibility, because it's fully a behavioral measure. If you ask consumers attitudinally what they saw on shelf, you're not going to get accurate information, because recall is biased by brand familiarity. If a shopper sees a soda shelf, she will 'remember' seeing Coke and Pepsi, even if they weren't actually on the shelf."

PRS typically uses eye tracking as one part of a larger study to pretest new packages before they are introduced to the market. The eye-tracking component measures a package's shelf visibility and gauges how a package is first viewed.

Beyond measuring a package's shelf visibility, CPG companies use eye tracking in a second way-to understand consumers' shopping habits in the store. This research requires a mobile approach in which a shopper wears a special pair of glasses to record viewing data as she goes through the store. Companies such as Tobii Technologies produce these glasses.

Read the complete article

Eye tracking validates the sizzle in bacon's new label

How to conduct an eye-tracking study



Package recommendations for clarifying 'organic'

By Nancy Brown, Managing Partner, CBX Strategic Branding, Minneapolis

The massification of organic products has created a booming market in which sales of U.S. organic food and beverages grew from $1 billion in 1990 to $24.8 billion in 2009. But there continues to be a lot of confusion about what "organic" is and there is no standardization for this claim across packaging. We think it's time that marketers figure out a better way to make this claim more prominent on packaging.

Organic refers to the way a product, or a product's key ingredients, is farmed. But the truth is, all farming was considered organic until the 20th century; it has only been during the past 100 years that synthetic chemicals like pesticides were introduced into our crops, bringing about a way of farming referred to as "conventional."


The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has established a dedicated program requiring all organic foods to meet strict government standards that regulate how such foods are grown, handled, and processed. Any farmer or food manufacturer who labels and sells a product as organic must be USDA-certified as meeting these standards. Only producers who sell less than $5,000 a year in organic foods are exempt from this certification.

To earn the "100% organic" label under the USDA system, a food must contain only organically produced ingredients. Next in line is "organic," in which at least 95% of the ingredients must be organic. The other 5% must be an approved ingredient, such as preservatives, thickeners, or other products, i.e., baking soda and spices. Products that have at least 70% organic ingredients can use the term "made with organic ingredients" on their packaging. Products that have less than 70% organic ingredients get no boasting rights beyond noting the organic elements in the list of ingredients. Products certified as 95% or more organic get to carry a USDA logo.

Here are CBX's recommendations for making a more prominent claim of organic on packaging:

  • Logo visibility: A more clearly defined logo/icon for certified organic would draw people's attention and make them feel good about buying the product.
  • Percentage graphic: This highlights what percentage of the product is organic. For example, a large "95%" could appear either in the lower right corner of the package or next to the new organic icon (in fact, this percentage could serve as the icon itself).
  • Color cues: Fat-free and low-fat products like Snackwell's and Healthy Choice owned green in the 1980s. Why not have organic own a color like red or aqua blue? Sure, they're not related to the organic ethos per se, but they definitely will pop on a package.
  • Logo placement: The organic logo should appear in the same place on every package. Or, it could precede the brand name.
  • Logo accent graphic: "Organic" routinely could be accompanied by or placed in a band of color, the way General Mills puts its Whole Grain information in a band of blue at the top of cereal boxes.

Read the complete article


Sustainable Packaging Symposium
March 16-18 in Chicago

Summit Media Group's Greener Package and the American Institute of Chemical Engineers' (AIChE) Institute for Sustainability have combined resources to produce a new conference, Symposium 2011-Advancing the Greener Supply Chain, which will focus on the technical foundations of successful sustainability programs. Slated for March 16 to 18, 2011, at the Hyatt Regency Chicago, the debut event will examine the pivotal role of packaging in implementing sustainability across the entire business supply chain.

"Sustainability plays a pivotal role in the packaging supply chain, yet critical questions remain," says Christine Smallwood, Greener Package Director of Business Development. "Our engagement with the Institute for Sustainability offers packaging industry professionals and a robust group of scientists and engineers the opportunity to come together and share insights on how to unleash sustainable packaging within a least-cost portfolio, while optimizing environmental outcomes."

If you're involved with sustainable packaging decisions at a consumer packaged goods company or package development firm or if you're a retailer or supplier to the field, you won't want to miss this new event. The conference is dedicated to providing a forum for education and discussion of the practical and technological advances related to sustainable packaging.

The event comprises four main topic areas — "Supply Chain: Raw Material to Package on the Shelf," "Horizon Issues on the Supply Chain," "Measurements, Data, and Analysis," and "Unintended Consequences/Global Perspective" — each featuring a number of presentations from industry experts. Among the speakers are:

  • Andrew Speck, Packaging Buyer, Marks & Spencer
  • Lars Lundquist, Packaging Research Scientist for Nestlé
  • Cynthia Arnold, Chief Technology Officer at Sun Chemical
  • Jim Hanna, Director of Environmental Impact for Starbucks Coffee Co.
  • Charles Walsh, Sustainability & Business Solutions, ECRM
  • Victor Bell, President of Environmental Packaging International (EPI)

Program Session Co-Chairs for the event are Sean Sabre, Manager, Global Supply Chain Innovation for ModusLink; Beth Beloff, President of Bridges to Sustainability Institute; Ron Cotterman, Executive Director of Sustainability for Sealed Air Corp.; Paul Earl-Torniainen, Senior Packaging Engineer for General Mills; Sara Hartwell, Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery for the EPA; Laura Rowell, Director, Sustainable Packaging for MeadWestvaco; and Lisa Grice, Principal, Sustainability and GHG Management Practice for Environ.

Two full days of education will include keynote presentations, technical sessions, panel discussions, a tabletop exhibit area, and ample time for networking. Early-bird registration is available until Jan. 31.

Package Gallery

A closer look at the newest trends in today's packaging.

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Printing gives distinction to new Sam's Club tequila

Sam's Club is making a play for a share of the global tequila market, which has grown 9% in the past decade, led by the premium and ultra-premium segments. Sam's Club has introduced its own tequila, marketed under the Calle Azul brand.

Collaborating with Dragon Rouge, Dragon Rouge a design consultancy, Sam's Club developed a brand that would appeal to consumers looking for top-quality luxuries for everyday enjoyment. The brand identity and package design were built around the concept of "mastering the art of tequila," explains Eric Zeitoun, president of Dragon Rouge's New York office. The idea was inspired by Mexico's enduring passion, culture, and history that uniquely cultivated tequila's refined taste and excellence.

The brand experience starts with the product name. Calle Azul suggests the path to the blue agave source and region. The brand's visual identity, expressed through the package, balances the best of old and new for Mexico.

A modern font conveys the contemporary feel of Mexico, and the signature sun icon references Mexican heritage and its central role in nurturing the qualities of agave. "The sun's presence has inherently mysterious qualities, similar to those associated with tequila, and is further enhanced by the dark blue, almost black color palette chosen," says Marcus Hewitt, chief creative officer in Dragon Rouge's New York office.

The graphics are printed in four colors directly onto the glass bottle surface with UV ink screening, which is similar to an applied color label but has a different curing temperature than an applied color label and doesn't have ink color limitations because of toxicity challenges. Vitro provides the 750-mL bottle.

The rich colors on the clear glass bottle contrast with the color of the tequila seen through the bottle, and they accentuate the richness of the 100% Agave Añejo tequila. The sun image repeats, in a different color pattern, in the neck of the bottle.

A cork/cap closure provides a sense of traditional-looking tequila packaging, and the cap area is sealed with a clear shrink-wrap, from Continental Packaging Solutions, for tamper evidence.

"Dragon Rouge's development approach produced a unique branding and creative solution for Calle Azul to position the brand relevantly and distinctively as an ultra-premium tequila," says Maurice Markey, Sam's Club's vice president of private brands.

Calle Azul is rolling out in about 200 Sam's Club stores across the U.S.

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Personal care packs embrace the healing power of the desert

Desert Essence is capitalizing on sustained consumer interest in personal care products by relaunching and redesigning eight namesake facial skin care, hair care, body care, oils, and dental care products.

Many of Desert Essence's product ingredients are nutrient-rich botanicals from the desert, including tea tree oil, jojoba, and aloe. The company's products previously were aligned by these key ingredients. But working with Beardwood & Co., a new system has been created that ties to product benefits, allowing consumers to easily shop both within a line and across product categories.

"The brand's packaging needed polishing to make it relevant for today's consumer," says Wendy Cockayne Lucas, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Desert Essence.

The new packaging retains one element of the old brand identity, the sun logo, and increases its prominence across the line.

Another major design challenge was capturing the healing renewal of the product ingredients without over-emphasizing the parched environment they inhabit. The solution is reflected in the tagline "Beauty Blooms in the Desert."

Vibrant desert colors of orange, green, and yellow dominate the design, evoking the richness of the botanical ingredients. The labels are color-coded by skin type, and lush photographs of the botanical ingredients capture the idea of harnessing the healing power of the desert.

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'Sculpture' — style tins for mints convey health, wellness

A graceful, tea leaf-shaped tin-at $2.99 each — with detailed embossing provides perfect storage for the new Minteas botanical-based tea mint collection in five varieties. One of the newest products from premium tea purveyor Tea Forte of West Concord, MA, Minteas has been launched to meet a growing trend toward health and wellness.

The new mints combine the anti-oxidant properties of green tea with other functional ingredients, such as fruit extracts and herbs. All-natural Minteas are vegan and sugar-free, and contain no aspartame or animal gelatin. Minteas ingredients are also Fair Trade Certified and organic.

Packaging for the delicate mints, which also come in a leaf shape with embossed veins, was designed by Tea Forte Founder and Owner Peter Hewitt to be the "soul of the product, demonstrating how healthy, natural, and delicious the product is," he says. "I wanted it to differentiate itself from the anonymous mint packages that occupy market space by changing the way the consumer would think about the tin. The Minteas package challenges the other offerings, as it is more than a package, it is a sculpture that demands that you look at it."

The silver, 1-oz tin is made through a 12-step steel-stamping, forming, and embossing process. The tin is then six-color screen-printed, and also receives selective gloss and matte varnish. The main graphic pattern on the resealable lid is of a leaf, decorated in various hues of green.

A colored band across each tin differentiates the five flavors.

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