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Our packaging experts help shape the content and provide independent analysis.
In This Issue
Green battery pack seats six
"In consumer electronics, green isn't exactly a high-tech color," says Ernie Petrus, Vice President
of Consumer Marketing for Contour Energy Systems, an Azusa, CA-based startup portable power company.
Duane Reade finds a cure in private label
By Jim George, Editor
In less than two years, Duane Reade's private-label brands have doubled in sales. Some of the New York
City-based drugstore chain's private brands have emerged as bestsellers.
Beyond that, improved private-label sales have brought higher average gross margin rates and raised
overall store gross margin.
Duane Reade has achieved these eye-catching results by repositioning and redesigning more than 2,000
private-label SKUs, as well as giving its 250-plus stores a facelift. In the process, the retailer,
synonymous to New Yorkers with "pharmacy," has evolved into a store with a pharmacy, and Duane Reade
appears to be re-emerging as a meaningful shopping destination for consumers in New York City and
With its extensive makeover, Duane Reade paints a picture representative of retailers who are getting
more adept at leveraging packaging's power as a brand communicator and sales influencer, especially when
it complements other marketing efforts. The company has completed the arduous process of creating new
brand experiences, discontinuing products that didn't meet consumer needs, and upgrading food product
quality under its four primary private brands.
The new look emphasizes the tagline "New York Living Made Easy." Duane Reade's private brands bear such
package images as gritty photography capturing the character of the city and clever UPC code-like
depictions of New York landmarks, from the Empire State Building to the Brooklyn Bridge.
Working with CBX, Duane Reade gathered quantitative
insights in six or seven consumer product segments, and then narrowed the results to five segments where
focus would be placed. Duane Reade set out to improve its pharmacy and health-related product offerings,
make a stronger play in beauty products, leverage its strengths as a convenience store, and evolve into a
store that included a pharmacy, says Todd Maute, CBX Managing Partner. His company influenced the store
redesign and played a major role in package creation.
Adds Paul Tiberio, Duane Reade's Senior Vice President of merchandising and marketing, "Both the store
design and packaging originate from a clean, sophisticated look with a definite New York feel."
The packaging for Duane Reade's private-label products supports the overarching brand strategy by
integrating with the store layout and collateral materials. The use of color, imagery, and clever
wordplay all express Duane Reade's "New York Living Made Easy" mission. The brand names and package
designs reflect the store and the store reflects them, whether it's Delish All Butter Chocolate Chip
Cookies or Apt 5 Goes Green paper products (made from a sugar cane by-product).
"From the outset, our goal was to develop a European-style private-brands program at Duane Reade,"
Read the complete article.
Green battery pack seats six
By Anne Marie Mohan, Senior Editor, Packaging World
"In consumer electronics, green isn't exactly a high-tech color," says Ernie Petrus, Vice
President of Consumer Marketing for Contour Energy Systems, an Azusa, CA-based startup portable
power company. Parlaying the company's corporate color of green into an enticing consumer package
was just one challenge Contour faced when designing its first retail packagea blister pack for
six lithium coin-cell batteries for use with 3DTV glasses.
As Petrus relates, other challenges included creating a pack for the new brand that was
innovative and distinct. "We didn't want to be a 'me-too,'" he says. Reclosability was also a
requirement, as was a package design that provided some sustainability attributes, to align with
the company's focus on green. Contour's color scheme isn't a fluke; the company's core battery
technology, CFX, is said to provide a safer environmental design, as it eliminates heavy metals
and other toxic materials.
To help design and produce a package that met these challenges, Contour worked with
NextLife Packaging Group and its licensees
and manufacturer partners First
Choice Packaging Solutions (FCP) and
CardPak. The result was a cleverly constructed, reclosable blister pack made from
responsibly sourced, 100% recyclable materials.
Petrus notes that another one of the challenges of the package design was to create a blister
pack that could engagingly display six batteries, while still provide enough room on the card to
effectively market the new brand and its benefits. "We didn't just want to lay six batteries
across the card," he said.
FCP designed the package with a blister that features "stadium seating" for the six,
quarter-sized batteries. In the blister, a row of three coin cells is displayed prominently in
front, with three elevated coins seated behind. Contour also required that the value pack of
batteries include a reclosable feature to allow consumers to store unused coin cells.
The blister, made from 100% post-consumer recycled PET from IPF, is trapped by a card manufactured from a Sustainable Forestry
Initiative-certified source. The card is printed in five colors.
Read the complete article.
Greener Package Awards gain in prestige
By Anne Marie Mohan, Senior Editor, Packaging World
Entries are being accepted for the 2011 Greener Package Awards, the packaging industry's only independent
annual competition honoring the most innovative and environmentally significant approaches
to packaging sustainability. Since the second edition of the competition last year, Greener Package and its
Advisory Board of Experts
have revamped the award's entry requirements to more fully reflect the industry's
movement toward data-driven solutions.
To enable more objective awards criteria, entries will be evaluated against some of the
latest standards and guidelines under development for sustainable packaging. These include
changes pending with the new ISO
Standards for Packaging and Environment (TCC 122/SC 4), the Global Protocol on
Packaging Sustainability 2.0 from the Global Packaging Project (GPP), and recent changes to
FTC Green Guidelines.
Under the new requirements, applicants must now supply verifiable data for at least one
aspect of environmental impact: greenhouse gas reduction, sourcing metrics/impacts,
end-of-life recovery metrics/impacts, life-cycle metrics/impacts, and/or social impacts.
For end-of-life recovery metrics specifically, the judging subcommittee is looking for a
shift toward recovery outcomes. For example, when an entry claims recyclability or
compostability, judges will begin looking for at least some effort applied to increasing
the amount of packaging actually recovered through recycling or composting. Also for the
first time, questions have been added for water use and toxicity reduction.
Brand owners and designers that have commercialized a sustainable package, initiative, or
technology in 2010 or 2011 are encouraged to enter the competition.
Entries for the 2011 Greener Package Awards will be accepted through May 6, with results
announced July 29. Winners will be profiled in the August issue of Packaging World magazine (a sister
publication of Shelf Impact!), as well as at
A closer look at the newest trends in today's packaging.
PET wine bottle takes off with Air Transat
Societe de Vin Internationale LTEE, a Canadian supplier of fine wines, beers, and
alcomalts, has debuted Robels wine in a lightweight, 1-L PET bottle for the North American
airline industry. The package format is novel for this product category in airline service
which typically features glass bottles. The PET bottle, produced by
Amcor Rigid Plastics, contributes to
both fuel and package-cost savings while also delivering on perceptions of product quality.
Air Transat charter airline in Montreal, one of Canada's largest charter airlines, adopted
the use of the lightweight 1-L PET wine bottle for sustainability advantages, according to
Aldo Geloso, an executive with Societe de Vin Internationale. "We introduced the concept,
and they quickly came onboard because of a vital need to reduce weight on their aircraft
and consequently reduce fuel costs," he explains.
The PET stock bottle is one-eighth the weight of the previous 430-g glass container. It is
used for Societe de Vin Internationale's 1-L Claret wine format for its Costabella, Viejos
Robels, Massaria, and Bergerie du Loup wine brands.
Nested multipacks say 'so long' to corrugated materials
Unlimited Water Processing, a St. Louis-based water bottler, has debuted what is believed
to be the first shrink-wrapped 24-pack of bottled water using a staggered-row bottle
configuration for multipacking. This approach eliminates the need for a corrugated tray
or pad, because in a nested pack, the bottles themselves provide the strength and support
that the multipack needs.
The new multipacks use Polypack's
Nested Pack™ shrink-pack concept. The packs were put through a battery of tests and the
bottles stayed together in their shrink-wrapped covering through each test.
Besides using fewer materials, the new multipacks reduce the cost per case to Unlimited
Water Processing from roughly 45 cents to 10 cents.
According to Elliott Henry, owner of Unlimited Water, customers love the new, more
sustainable package because it uses fewer materials and is easier to dispose of, and
because it is more attractive than conventional bottled-water multipacks.
Off The Shelf: Gatorade's G Series appeals to the collector
Packaging World Editor Pat Reynolds talks about how Gatorade's G Series uses innovative
packaging that appeals to the collector that resides in all of us.