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Shelf Impact! Anne Marie Mohan

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October 3, 2011
In This Issue

thumb A packaging lesson from...a tea bag?!

I am what you might call a methodically observant person.

thumbPackage Gallery

Social media: A communications revolution causes a packaging evolution

Jim Butschli, Features Editor, Packaging World

The packaging world is evolving as social media gives consumers ever-greater leverage in influencing package design. Through the use of social networks such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook, new channels of communication enable easier and virtually immediate connections at all levels of the distribution chain.

When Eight O'Clock Coffee changed its venerable package graphics late last year, some consumers used the brave new world of social media to vent their frustration with the new-look packaging. Among the comments were the following:

"Awful, awful, awful move...bye, bye Eight O'Clock, you lost this long-time customer."

"Whoever or whatever decided to destroy the branding the packaging built over 100 years and came up with the less-than-anemic 'new, crisp modern look' needs to be taken out back of the building."

"I can't imagine you did any consumer research on the new package among users...the new package is hideous."

The new packaging graphics, say the Montvale, NJ company, were developed with extensive consumer input, including an online [promotional sweepstakes] coinciding with the brand's 150-year anniversary. During that online promotion, fans of Eight O'Clock Coffee voted on their choice of two bag designs on Facebook.

"We may be 151 years old, but we don't have to look it," says Alisa Jacoby, senior brand manager at Eight O'Clock Coffee. "The new packaging unifies our brand family in a contemporary, more appetite-appealing fashion while maintaining key equities appreciated by our current consumers."

Read the full article



A packaging lesson from...a tea bag?!

By Rob Jolles, Jolles Associates, Inc.,

I am what you might call a methodically observant person. That means that I look for lessons in almost everything I do. I look for a lesson through the people I meet, the businesses I consult with, the seminars I deliver, and even the tea bags that arrive at my dinner table


While in Las Vegas [for Pack Expo Las Vegas 2011], I got together with a couple of old friends for dinner. This was no ordinary dinner; it was a special dinner reuniting three close friends who had not been together in over 35 years. It was only fitting that we wound up at a very nice restaurant. The staff at this restaurant seemed to take pride not only in what they served, but also in how they served it. The waiters were top-notch, the ambiance was terrific, and the food was delicious. There was one small product, however, that appeared on our table after the meal, and it made quite an impression on me. It called itself "Earl Gray Tea," and it was unique.

If you're a tea drinker, I'll bet you are well aware of Earl Gray tea. It happens to be one of the most popular teas sold, both here and abroad. It wasn't the name that made it unique.

It tasted pretty good, but it wasn't the flavor that made it unique.

Unless I missed something, the hot water looked like any other water I'd ever seen: It wasn't the water that made it unique.

The teacup looked rather ordinary, as did the spoon, and the sweetener was predictable as well. None of these things made it unique.

What made it unique was the packaging.

Read the full article

Resealable carton debuts for sugar


At Pack Expo Las Vegas 2011, it was announced that Plantation® brand natural "raw" sugar will become the first product to go to market in the new Zipbox® resealable carton format. The Zipbox is a joint venture between Zip-Pak and T.H.E.M.

Plantation, which will debut in the U.S. this year, says it chose the Zipbox because it alters the packaging landscape on the shelf, ensuring their product will stand out among traditional pouch packs in the "natural sugars" segment.

"When we were first introduced to the Zipbox, its novelty was compelling because we knew it would resonate with retailers as an innovative new package format," says William McDaniel, president and CEO of U.S. Sugar Co., Inc., Buffalo, NY, the manufacturer of the Plantation brand. "There has not been a successful packaging innovation in the sugar category for several years, and we are excited to take our Plantation brand to market as the first in this type of package."

Read the full article

Package Gallery

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

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'Smart bag' design for pet food educates, differentiates

Premium-quality pet-food provider Blackwood Pet Food of Lisbon, OH, has updated its packaging with the help of Ideas that Kick (Kick). Blackwood challenged Kick to create packaging in the company's dog food category that would help dog owners find the right food for the specific needs of their pet.

Says Kick account director Scott Behmer, "We leveraged insights into the primary pet caregiver in the home, the 'dog Mom.' She wants to be more informed about what she's feeding her dog, so our designs place key nutritional information on the front of the bag in an easy-to-understand format. Now she can be smarter and feel better about her purchase decision. Plus, our 'smart bag' design is a key point of differentiation for the Blackwood brand."

"Kick's new packaging provides consumers with a great shopping experience, easy access to key product information, and a clear articulation of the superior quality of our all-natural recipes," adds Doug Sapp, vice president of marketing for Blackwood. "Shoppers now have direct access to important information such as protein, fat and fiber content, the recipe, and the cooking process—all on the front of the bag for easy comparison shopping."

According to Sapp, Blackwood has received a resoundingly positive response to the new packaging from retailers, who recognize that it gives customers quick, easy access to the product details they need to make an informed purchase. In addition, the new packaging has led to a new partnership between Blackwood and PetEdge, a leading distributor of pet-related products, which will result in a substantial increase in Blackwood's presence in specialty retail stores through out the U.S.

"We are excited our design solutions are turning Blackwood pet foods into a Shelf Kicker™ brand," says Stefan Hartung, Kick's executive creative director. "This success shows that smart, strategic design can push out slow-moving competition and have a direct impact on a company's bottom line."

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Cottage cheese launch in single-servings

Friendship Dairies of Friendship, NY, has launched Fit to Go, a brand new line of single-serve cottage cheese offerings in their most popular varieties.

Dairy rich and utterly creamy, the new 5-oz servings are aimed at today's active, on-the-go lifestyles. The packs hit store shelves in the New York City Tri-State area at the end of September with expanded distribution soon following.

Available in 4% California style, 1% Low Fat, and 1% Low Fat with Pineapple, the single-serve cottage cheese containers are easy to spot. In keeping with Friendship's new look, each flavor features its own bright color and the dairy's iconic dove prominently displayed. This gives the containers an unmistakable presence on the shelf. And the company's personality comes through on the tubs and lids with fun facts about Friendship's simple, all natural ingredients and smart flavor profile.

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Cartoon in a can boosts soft drink sales

German grocery chain Edeka Hessenring, in cooperation with Ball Packaging Europe, has developed a promotion campaign with two unique features. The chain's new Cool Cola-Orange flavor—part of the Edeka Perquell own-brand soft-drink range—has hit the shelves in 33-cL sleek cans from Ball sold in a triangular six-pack from Smurfit Kappa Baden Packaging and with the help of an animated 3D animal character accessed via augmented reality (AR) technology. Appealing mainly to the 12- to 18-year-old age group, the promotion invites youngsters to let out the "toon" in the can and pose with it in photos on a smartphone.

This is how it works: A sticker on the triangular multipack draws attention to the Sprudeltier (Fizzy Beast), a cartoon animal character inside. Inside the pack are instructions showing how to let out the 3D animated figure. All it takes is a smartphone with the Junaio AR app. Point the phone's camera at the eye-catching design on the Cool Cola can—a zipper, the hallmark of the Edeka Perquell soft-drink range—and the cartoon figure poses in every photo taken with the camera. Friends can pose together with the apparently life-size figure. There is also an option to post the photos on Facebook.


"The unusual multipack from Smurfit Kappa Baden Packaging and the beverage can are great for retail promotion campaigns. The toon promotion grabs the imagination and makes for a real sales boost with young consumers," says Frank Sasse, European retail director at Ball Packaging Europe. "As a form of packaging, beverage cans offer a huge amount of scope for inventiveness in design, and that makes them an excellent medium for new communication techniques like augmented reality, which is the technology behind our 3D cartoon figure promotion. It is an ideal combination: The can is the packaging choice for young consumers—and now the can is being used with the new media favored by those same young consumers to promote a new product."

The Sprudeltier figure made its debut at an event staged for store owners by Edeka Hessenring on August 27 and 28 at its headquarters in Melsungen. The new six-pack and the figure were presented to some 500 retailers. The Cool Cola-Orange product is now on the shelves on a test basis in 60 stores. Beginning in September, the product also became available at many Edeka stores in individual cans (The cartoon figure can also be activated by pointing the smart phone on one single can.) Soon, the new design and the cartoon character will also be a feature with the flavors already in the range—apple spritzer, orangeade, and lemonade.

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Featured Video
Elements of edgy packaging
What gives some package designs their edge? Is it their quirkiness? Their rule-breaking formats? Sarah Williams creative director of Beardwood & Co. attempts to answer these questions while presenting some examples of successful packages with an edge.

Sponsored by Owens-Illinois
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