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Shelf Impact! Marie Mohan

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Flexible packaging project in the works?

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Shelf Impact! Advisory Board

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

June 4, 2012
In This Issue


Regulated categories: Designing with one hand tied behind your back

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Pinup girls position value beer brand for growth

Anne Marie Mohan, Editor, Shelf Impact!

The iconic Varga Girls of the 1940s and '50s have re-emerged in all their playful, voluptuous beauty on new package designs for Sleeman Brewing and Malting's Old Milwaukee beer brand in Canada. Launched in spring 2011, the designs use retro pinup-girl illustrations to add some panache to the value brand, while emphasizing its historical relevance.

First brewed in 1890, Old Milwaukee was reintroduced in 1955 as a value-priced beer by the Joseph Schlitz Brewing Co. In 1982, Schlitz and the Old Milwaukee brand were acquired by Stroh Brewery Co. of Detroit. In 1999, Ontario-based Sleeman brought the brand to Canada, when it acquired the rights to all of Stroh USA's value-brand beers.

In 2010, Sleeman set about updating packaging for Old Milwaukee with brand design firm Dossier Creative to capitalize on the steady growth in Canada of value-priced beers and to position it against the biggest mainstream beer brand in the market. "This redesign was really to position Old Milwaukee very firmly against Budweiser," explains Bryce Zurowski, partner and COO of Dossier, who at the time of the redesign was western regional vice president of Sleeman. "The redesign was intended to show consumers that a branded value beer can be number one, taste great, and have a more contemporized image without the big-budget TV media dollars that Budweiser boasts."

Launched on a staggered basis to the Canadian provinces beginning in spring 2011, the pinup-girl packaging was an instant hit, resulting in brand growth of up to 40% to 50% in some markets by summer 2011.

Read the full article



Regulated categories: Designing with one hand tied behind your back

Jean Campbell, Brand Identity Director, Interbrand

When designing packaging for products in highly regulated categories, such as food, tobacco, beverages, medical devices, cosmetics, and drugs—and constantly being warned "you can't do that" or "that doesn't meet regulations"—designers may feel like they are working with one hand tied behind their back.

Yet, despite increasing constraints and the sometimes subjective nature of government and industry regulations, it is possible to be a "design Houdini"—to ease (if not entirely escape) the ties that bind and create breakthrough package designs that break through the clutter on store shelves. Doing so requires a thorough understanding of how to incorporate government or industry regulations as part of a sound design strategy and architecture; in other words, to use on-pack restrictions to the brand's advantage.

While designers are accustomed to working under the strictures of a design brief or basic packaging guidelines, accommodating certain regulatory and industry restrictions can be quite daunting. The healthcare industry has some of the most stringent product packaging rules. Among them are regulations that deal with the size and formatting of fonts; on-pack design element hierarchies; warnings; and shrinking package structures.

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Private-label products: part of the 'new normal'

A just-completed wave of shopper research on private-label usage, conducted by Perception Research Services (PRS), shows that the vast majority of shoppers are purchasing some private-label products on a regular basis (86%, on par with the 84% seen in November 2010). This is true across income groups and other types of classifications.

The latest data shows that more types of private-label products are being purchased as significantly more shoppers claim to have bought more private-label products than they did in 2010 (38% vs. 32%), and reported purchasing 54% more product categories (7.4 vs. 4.8).

High levels of private-label purchases continue for paper products, cereals, cleaning products, and canned and frozen vegetables. And for the first time, cookies and salty snacks have now moved into the top tier of regularly purchased private-label products as well.

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The Beverage Roundtable Video Series
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Beverage Roundtable: It's good for you!
Watch three designer Guest Critics review three packages that promote healthy product attributes. Then scroll down for designer and product details and the comment thread.
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Package Gallery

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

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Pomegranate arils crowned with custom container

A custom PET cup, lid, and spoon set for POM Wonderful's new POM POMS Fresh Arils product exhibits the same evocative and iconic package style for which the Los Angeles-based pomegranate purveyor is known. Introduced in October 2011, POM's Fresh Arils includes a 4.3-oz single-serve and an 8-oz multi-serve size of pomegranate arils. The 4.3-oz version includes a clear cup, a translucent lid colored a pomegranate red, and a foldable spoon that snaps into the bottom of the lid. The 8-oz size uses the same cup-and-lid style, but does not include the spoon. Molded into the edge of the lid and the end of the spoon is a three-pointed crown shape, reminiscent of the top of a pomegranate. This design element has been used by POM in the neck of its juice bottles, as well as in the cap for its pomegranate pills. Package graphics are simple, with the product name splashed prominently on the front of the package on a clear label, allowing the ruby-red arils to show through. The product name is presented in the POM Wonderful logotype, which uses a red heart in place of the "O" in "POM." The POM logo is also molded into the handle of the spoon.

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Vaseline is easy on the skin; packaging's easy on the eyes

Vaseline, a Unilever brand, recently relaunched its core lotions range globally in striking new packaging crafted by strategic design partner Blue Marlin. The new packaging for Vaseline Essential Moisture body lotions in three varieties is designed to reflect growing consumer enthusiasm for natural ingredients in skincare products. The relaunch involves new packaging, new formulations, and a new communications platform. Unilever reformulated its 140-year-old brand, introducing natural extracts and its patented Stratys3 technology to deliver moisturization to all layers of skin with a light, silky feel. The brand's new communications platform communicates this via the phrase, "feels good, does good." Packaging is designed with warm tones and images of the ingredients, such as aloe vera, to create a modern, attention-grabbing look.

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Purity is prime driver for skincare packaging

New packaging for skincare specialist Marble Hill's 100% natural skincare oils range has been designed by We Are Pure to define the luxury, simplicity, purity, and nature of the brand. David Rogers, owner and creative partner for We Are Pure, explains, "Our challenge was to ensure that Marble Hill gets the recognition in the health and beauty market that it deserves. We developed the existing logo and created striking and color-coded containers with a frosted look, while still emphasizing the clean, soft, and gentle element of the range, with a 'less is more' approach." Marble Hill's range includes Sheasalve, a moisturizing and healing butter, and Q-24 Original, a blend of intensely conditioning oils. Joe W Doherty, general manager for Marble Hill, was thrilled with the end result of the package design. "The combination of product and brand identity was very important to us, and the straightforward idea of color coding adds to the simple message that we want to put out there," he says.

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