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Shelf Impact! Jim George

TricorBraun®: Options Plus

TricorBraun is a leading source for rigid packaging, with extensive capabilities in package design and engineering, logistics, and international sourcing. Our dedication to customer service coupled with the belief that options are essential for the success of any business, has led to what we now call Options Plus.


Digital and litho printing and extended-text labels fuel package redesign

Naturopathica® executes a new packaging strategy with digital and litho printing, and extended-text labeling. The re-branding effort for the ECOCERT-certified beauty products line is built on strong graphics cues and includes bilingual copy. Products are more visually defined, creating an easy-to-navigate line.

WS Packaging Group Inc.

Gain the competitive advantage with Henkel's Specialty Coatings

Learn how our sustainable specialty effects will bring your packaging ideas to life

Henkel Corporation

HBA Global Expo & Conference

Join us, June 28-30, 2011, for the HBA Global Expo & Conference at the Javits Center in New York. HBA is the only B2B event that provides the top personal care/beauty manufacturers of new ingredients, solutions, supplier resources and world-class education to help bring new product and innovation concepts to market.

HBA Global Expo & Conference

Labeling project in the works?

New! Download this free, 70-page Labeling Playbook jam-packed with strategies for success, best practices, and pitfalls to avoid. Whether your job involves machinery engineering, package design, package development, or production, download this playbook now.

Packaging World

Shelf Impact! Advisory Board

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

April 18, 2011
In This Issue

thumb Meijer Design Director: Packaging is the 'skin of commerce'

One of the recurring themes at this year's FUSE conference, held April 11-13 in Chicago, was the critically important need to persuade through emotion, and that's where packaging can help induce sales.

thumbPackage Gallery

Mobile lab lets Morton Salt get retail-ready game on

By Jim George, Editor

Retail-ready packaging is fast becoming a preferred marketing tactic as retailers and consumer packaged goods companies scramble to satisfy fickle consumer purchase motivations, which can turn on a dime. In more aisles of the store, retail-ready packaging is becoming a game-changer, and Morton Salt provides a great example of how this trend is playing out in club stores.

The Chicago-based manufacturer of food salts has noted a shift to more at-home cooking, which has stayed with many consumers even as the economy has improved. That trend has opened doors to Morton Salt to expand its salt presence in club stores by rethinking its approach to product merchandising, giving rise to new retail-ready trays of the company's table salt.

What makes Morton Salt's approach to retail-ready packaging innovative is how and where the versatile trays are designed and made. The company owes its success to a "Design on Wheels" lab that brings design and production right to the company's doorstep. The patented mobile lab, created by Menasha Packaging, takes the displays from design to concept in just one day. It provides on-site assistance with package and tray design, pack-out, assembly line modifications, performance issues, cube utilization, packaging audits, and lean-manufacturing solutions.

The ingenuity of this approach enables Morton Salt to very quickly get the trays into club stores where they either can be wheeled directly to the sales floor on display pallets or placed individually on shelves. The result is an all-around effective response to consumer and retailer demands for ever-changing product assortments and packaging formats that compel shoppers to make frequent return visits.

Morton Salt's trays are designed exclusively for club stores, where they have been rolling out in the first half of 2011. Mostly, they're earmarked for display pallets. Each pallet contains 504 4-lb cartons, a departure from the company's rounded, 26-oz containers familiar to shoppers in grocery stores. The club-store cartons are packed 12 to a case, and seven cases in each of the pallet's six layers.

"With a traditional approach, it would have taken months, weeks at least," to produce them in a normal linear approach, says Jon Burdette, Marketing Manager for Morton Salt.

Read entire article

Meijer Design Director: Packaging is the 'skin of commerce'

By Jim George, Editor

One of the recurring themes at this year's FUSE conference, held April 11-13 in Chicago, was the critically important need to persuade through emotion, and that's where packaging can help induce sales.

Vickie VanHurley, Design Director, Packaging, at Meijer Stores, emphasized this point beautifully in her discussion of "passion brands" and why they're so successful on shelf. They speak directly to "the pleasure principle" among shoppers, who seek ways to feel good. "We have to design not for ourselves, but for the people who buy our products," she says in what appears to be an obvious statement but one that too many package-design projects fall short in achieving.

One reason why brands fail to adequately express themselves through package design, VanHurley explained, is that too often the focus is on the relationship between shopper income and value.


She shared a quick anecdote about why that approach doesn't work when it is the only area of focus-gleaned from Meijer's own shopper research. "One unemployed shopper told us she still would pay more for the value she wants and believes she deserves."

VanHurley offered several tips for better package design that have proven worthy at Meijer, especially as its attention has turned to improving its own brands such as the Meijer Gold lineup of products:

  • Design for the shopper, based on what you know to be true about them.
  • The product quality, package functionality, and the package design must be on equal footing for consumers.
  • Packaging is the “skin of commerce.” It should be designed to initiate a relationship with shoppers.

Evidence of this already is in aisles of Meijer's own-brand products. In my mind, one good example is lemonade. A differentiating bottle shape and the brand's signature black-and-gold labeling, as evidenced with Meijer Gold French Berry Lemonade, along with inviting product photography of chopped lemons, makes the brand approachable. Beyond that, the packaging helps lend perceptions of product authenticity.

Photo Photo

Transitioning our brand for the future

By Jim George, Editor

We in the creative end of the packaging business like to talk about maintaining equities in times of transition. The same approach holds true here at Shelf Impact!, where we are announcing changes to our editorial staff.

I'd like to introduce you to Anne Marie Mohan, who takes over as editor-in-chief with 20 years of experience in business-to-business publishing. Anne Marie has the background and perspectives that create the necessary synergies to take Shelf Impact! solidly into the future as a strategic communications vehicle on the marketing impact of packaging.

You already may be familiar with her work. As Senior Editor at sister publication Packaging World, Anne Marie has authored articles on design and sustainability and other packaging topics for the past several years. Her articles have also appeared from time to time in Shelf Impact! In addition, she selects and manages the content for our Web site.

Please say hello to her at Annie Marie will welcome your comments and suggestions to continue Shelf Impact!'s success in providing the how and the why that help brand owners face marketing challenges.

By way of welcoming Anne Marie, I announce my departure from Shelf Impact!, which will occur at the end of April. As the founding editor of the franchise seven years ago, it is not easy to leave "my baby." But I'll be putting my insights and contacts from many years in this industry to work in my new role as Director of Education for the Institute of Packaging Professionals. I'm sure our paths will cross down the road!

Package Gallery

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

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WD-40 salutes military with commemorative cans

Collectible packaging continues to be popular with consumers, and WD-40 Co., San Diego, is getting into the act with a limited-edition series of collectible cans honoring American service men and women.

The series consists of four different designs. Three depict air, sea, and land themes, and the fourth design is a combined graphic showcasing all five military branches, including the Coast Guard. WD-40 Company will donate 10 cents per can purchased to Armed Services YMCA, the Wounded Warrior Project, and the Veterans Medical Research Foundation.

Crown Aerosol Packaging North America worked with WD-40 to launch the series of special cans. Crown also will make a donation to each charity.

A key hurdle in the success of the program was ensuring that WD-40 consumers would receive a thorough mix of designs, allowing them to collect an entire series. However, the typical printing process for aerosol cans, where a single graphic design is printed on a flat sheet of metal that is later sheared into strips that serve as the foundation for individual body blanks, would force contract fillers to sort the designs by hand before shipping. To eliminate this labor-intensive, manual process, Crown proposed a creative alternative: a "jumbled" approach that would place all four designs on a single printing plate. This approach guaranteed that the designs would be pre-mixed on pallets being shipped off to various contract fillers around the United States.

In the initial stages of product development, Crown collaborated with Leon Richman Design to create the graphics. Printing was done in four-color process, plus spot usage of WD-40's signature blue.

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New design modernizes premium spirit in Balkans

There is a fine line between doing too little and too much when it's time to update a longtime, classic brand. Decisions become even trickier when the brand holds a premium position in its category.

Those were the challenges facing Peshterska Grozdova Rakia, when the popular premium drink, positioned at the top end of the rakia market in the Balkans, recently redesigned its packaging. Vinprom, the brand's owner, asked Blue Marlin, an international branding and design agency, to create a contemporary classic.

As Blue Marlin Bath Creative Director Chris Hart relates, the design had to walk a fine line between updating the packaging and also reflecting the brand's longstanding values, which consumers cherish—at about $23 a bottle.

"The new look is all about evolution and enhancement; radical redesign was not an option," Hart says. "We needed to protect the essence of the brand, while gently updating it. We have made it look much more modern and of the moment, but in such a way as not to offend its loyalists."

The see-through, 750mL glass bottle includes a shield-shaped label, and both the primary and secondary label, in the bottle neck, are outlined in a regal silver-color border. The labels, along with an etched crown in the glass and a crown-shaped cap, help deliver on the premium positioning while also presenting the brand as contemporary.

Peshterska Grozdova Rakia will debut in May.

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LIV athletic drink goes to a full-body shrink label

The LIV organic athletic drink, initially geared at mothers and the organic market, needed a more energetic design to capture the attention of health conscious athletes, active adults and kids. To recharge its own brand and compete on store shelves, Founder Nancy Street turned to TANKindustries.

"The re-launch wasn't just about design. It was about the whole market and what was going on," Street says. "TANKindustries helped us first understand our audience and then provided the branding to match--it was a thoughtful and strategic approach."

The original design was simple and clean: LIV Organic came in a clear bottle that had a center band label with the logo as the central focal point. Each flavor (lemon, berry, orange and citrus passion) was distinguished by complementary beverage and label colors. Though the drink was visible through the bottle and provided an extra hue to the package, it also presented a problem. Product testing revealed that sunlight caused the organic ingredient colors to fade over time.

To protect the product from color degradation and appeal to its new audience, one decision was to use a shrink wrap label on the entire PET bottle, which comes from Amcor. Supplied by SleeveCo, the PETG label is gravure printed in five colors. It not only protects the product from sunlight but also provides greater shelf impact with more communication space.

To engage consumers, the label is chock-full of sports-related verbs in various font sizes and layout directions. Other details include a fuel pump infographic that reads "pure fuel for your body," and "6 ingredients, 0 garbage."

-Pat Reynolds

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