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Shelf Impact! Anne Marie Mohan

Berlin Packaging:
America's premier hybrid packaging supplier

Berlin Packaging is North America's premier supplier of plastic, glass, and metal containers and closures. Berlin Packaging's mission is to improve our customers' net income.

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On-pack environmental messaging ads value

Research shows that consumers consider environmental impact in their purchase decisions. Adding consumer-tested, on-pack environmental messaging to beverage cartons can: Increase brand loyalty, positively influence brand opinion and promote trial of new brands

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Free kit: Find out more about your innovation options

Fort Dearborn offers a variety of options to support your packaging related innovation efforts. The kit also contains various label samples highlighting innovative ink, coating and substrate examples.

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Shelf Impact! Advisory Board

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

March 6, 2012
In This Issue

thumb All the world's a stage...for visual metaphors in packaging!

Ah, the ubiquitous visual metaphor becomes very clear as it builds equity by creating a common reference point between two or more seemingly unrelated subjects.

thumbPackage Gallery

Beverage packs quench thirst for innovation

Eric Zeitoun, President, Dragon Rouge USA

Beverage packaging—including bottles, cans, cartons, and "cuboids"—is the focus of the Shelf Impact!/Dragon Rouge Innovation Survey of package design for the first quarter of 2012. Consistent with the results gleaned from previous surveys, our latest innovation survey rewards those products that have approached innovation from a holistic perspective. These products share the basic "table-stakes" of innovation and then some—where the same amount of focus and dedication is put forth throughout the entire process, from ideation to commercialization.

Innovation of concept, structure, and graphics builds a brand story

With composite scores ranging from 3.4 to 3.9 on a five-point scale, the leading innovations in the spirits and beverage industry are Ceethree's iO Natural Energy Drink in a cuboid container, Glacia's new Icebox water carton, a new limited-edition bottle for DANZKA vodka, and Diageo's QREAM WITH A Q™ cream liqueur bottle. (See complete package descriptions and images.) While all scored high across the board, they fared exceptionally well in relation to conceptual idea, structure, and graphics.

With the highest overall composite score, as well as the highest scores in both concept and structure, Ceethree's iO is a new all-natural energy drink set to shake up the functional drink market through the use of a convention-defying and eye-catching cube-shaped pack. The drink itself, based on green coffee and guarana, contains a variety of fruits and herbs resulting in a fresh, fruity beverage that provides caffeine (the equivalent of a cup of regular coffee), antioxidants, and vitamins in their purest form. The highly unusual cuboid bottle takes innovation to a new level, inviting consumers to engage in a different way with a bottle and ensuring differentiation at shelf.

In a category with longstanding packaging norms, the distinctive shape of the structure also makes it highly efficient from a retail and logistics viewpoint, as the bottles are easily stackable and optimize space, unlike conventional cylindrical bottles, where much space is wasted around the pack.

The key points of sustainability and efficiency that drew respondents to Ceethree's iO package are also the main points of differentiation for Glacia's Icebox water. Recyclability and sustainability are ongoing topics of conversation for the bottled water category, which struggles with consumer reactions to PET bottles. Glacia's Icebox Norwegian spring water in a box contains water pumped directly from the Rustad Spring in Norway. After pumping, the water is micro-filtered and cleansed with UV light before being packaged in paperboard cartons and in a bag-in-box configuration.

The company says that its goal is to use the most sustainable and nontoxic packaging available. The 5-L Icebox package is said to take up less space than occupied by the five 1-L bottles it replaces, resulting in reduced storage and shipping, and a corresponding reduction in energy consumption. According to the company, the carbon footprint of the box is only 24% of that of a comparable-size plastic bottle, even when transport from Norway is included.

Read the full article



All the world's a stage...for visual metaphors in packaging!

By Jackie DeLise, Vice President, HMSDesign

Ah, the ubiquitous visual metaphor becomes very clear as it builds equity by creating a common reference point between two or more seemingly unrelated subjects.

Consumer decisions are made based on the five senses, but it is the visual associations that we respond to much more rapidly, such as icons, logos, identities, symbols, shapes, colors—all manner of visual imagery.

And, with metaphors having the ability to straddle two or more modalities, such as language, visuals, sound, and gestures, the myriad of options are endless. They allow a brand to cross over into new categories and bring the consumer along with them through the use of commonly recognized elements. They allow a brand the freedom and flexibility to develop a platform for consumers to think beyond the original/typical lexicon and offer a range of possibilities previously not considered as a conscious reference point.

All the usual suspects that come to mind that we closely identify with global brands can be deemed visual metaphors. For example, consider Nike's swoosh, Target's bulls-eye, Apple', McDonald's arches, the Jolly Green Giant, Starbuck's siren, Pepsi's globe, and Budweiser's Clydesdale horses.

In packaging design, visual metaphors are used for illustrating ideas and are the basis of creating a mood, theme, character, or personality for the brand. Think about Godiva's Lady Godiva, which also uses a gold/foil color for this purpose.

Sometimes the metaphors are also locked up with a tagline, as in Origins Cosmetics' tagline, "Powered by Nature. Proven by Science," and McDonald's "I'm lovin it." These metaphors enhance the brand to expedite the consumer connection to complement a brand's communications hierarchy and not complicate it.

There needs to be strategic reason for each essential equity element to reside on a package, otherwise it is not just perceived, but considered visual "clutter."

Read the full article

OTC Help is on the way in inviting, simple package

By Jim Butschli, Features Editor, Packaging World

Help Remedies, a New York-based creator of minimalist over-the-counter medicine, is communicating the message that less—less drugs, less dyes, less coatings—is sometimes more. The company's statement, "Take Less," calls out "big pharma" for its excesses and promotes the idea of moderation in OTC drugs.

To be sure, a company press release notes, "Help isn't an anti-drug company; in fact they are a drug company, one that understands and values the importance of medicine, yet thinks that simplicity and moderation are desperately needed in the industry."

Founded in 2008 by former advertising executives Richard Fine and Nathan Frank, Help began as a response to personal distrust and confusion with OTC products, packaging, and language. The brand quickly amassed a cult following for its sleek, eco-friendly packaging, product monikers, and online wit.

The packaging is not only visually pleasing, but one touch offers a sensory delight as well. "Texture is an important aspect of Help's approach to packaging," says Kimberly Oliver, the company's consulting communications director. "Instead of the hard plastic prevalent in the OTC drug category, Help's paper pulp clamshell is soft, tactile, and non-threatening. The rounded edges also contribute to the inviting nature of the packaging. Help is meant to be comforting, with textures that people instinctively reach for when they aren't feeling well."

Read the full article

Package Gallery

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

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Moroccan colors, patters inspire custom brand icon

A stylized red bell-pepper design influenced by Moroccan tile patterns and shapes serves as the brand icon for the debut product from Casablanca Foods of New York City. Launched in spring 2011, Mina Harissa is based on traditional Moroccan harissa red pepper sauce, but is crafted to the unique taste and style of the co-founder's mother, Mina. The condiment's six key ingredients are cleverly represented in the icon, which serves as the main graphic element of the new product's packaging. The visual appearance for Mina Harissa was developed by Monday Collective, which was influenced by traditional Moroccan patterns, shapes, colors, and type, as well as Moroccan cuisine and other cultural influences says the firm's co-founder Rochelle Martyn. As for the exact representation of the ingredients in the icon, Martyn explains: "When a red bell pepper is cut in half width-ways, it forms a rounded, almost floral outer shape similar to that found in traditional Moroccan tile patterns. ...Four chili peppers form the cross, and in between each is a clove of garlic. In the center of the icon, there are four dots representing salt, and the four droplet shapes inside each curve represent oil and vinegar."

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Rebranded beer puts dragonfly in play

As part of a three-month project, design consultancy We Are Pure has produced fresh new concepts for Loddon's five core beers, as well a monthly special beer. The new branding places greater emphasis on the recognizable dragonfly logo and blue coloring, which both reflect the brewery's name, derived from the River Loddon. The logo is now much larger, with the dragonfly also featured on the neck of the bottle. New typeface has also been created to give the brand a more simplistic, modern feel.

Says We Are Pure owner and creative partner David Rogers, "Our work with Loddon presented an interesting challenge as we needed to produce an innovative concept that had clear shelf standout, whilst still retaining a sense of heritage and family. The brewery has an incredibly loyal customer base and whilst we were aiming to appeal to a new audience, we also didn't want to alienate existing consumers."

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Mr. Peanut adorns Planters holiday tin

A Planters holiday tin uses an illustrative format to weave an original holiday narrative featuring Mr. Peanut and a cast of characters that inhabit the world of Planters. Spring Design Partners executed the design of the richly colored and festive container. Crown is the container maker.

The third technology is new machinery that allows for production speeds of 300 bottles and 900 bottles per minute.

"Spring was incredibly helpful concepting and designing our 2011 Planters Holiday Tin," says Mindy Shaltry, senior associate brand manager at Planters. "It's a challenging process each year since key customers [retailers] often offer design input. Spring was able to seamlessly integrate customer input as well as our iconic Mr. Peanut character and produce a beautiful, hand-illustrated scene featuring Mr. Peanut in his naturally remarkable world."

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