With packages like contoured beverage bottles and reclosable stand-up pouches making headlines it's easy to overlook a pillow pack made distinctive by a graphic redesign. But to the Mariani Nut Company this package facelift is responsible for a sales gain that's at least 25% greater than the company's original optimistic projections for the redesigned pack. This past holiday season was the first in which the redesigned pillow packs were available on a widespread basis in supermarket chains in the Northeast Midwest and West Coast. The walnuts and almonds are sold year-round but an overwhelming majority of sales are made during the holiday season when stores emphasize them with special displays. The graphic redesign was executed by Profile Design (San Francisco CA). Graphics appear on five SKUs: Shelled walnuts in 10-oz 16-oz and 2-lb sizes 10-oz chopped walnuts and 2-lb shelled whole almonds. Suggested retail prices range from $2 to $7 depending on size and variety. The new bag is converted by Duralam (Appleton WI) using 84-ga oriented polypropylene that's acrylic coated on one side and coated with polyvinyl alcohol on the inside. This film from Mobil (Pittsford NY) is laminated to 1.75-mil linear low-density polyethylene that acts as the sealant. The structure combines to provide better strength and oxygen barrier properties than the cellophane used previously. That's according to John Aguiar director of technical services for Winters CA-based Mariani Nut Co. He says product shelf life with the new structure is one year or more an improvement of nearly six months compared to the cellophane pack. The new structure is clearly more colorful than its predecessor which was printed flexographically in three colors. The present film is also flexo-printed in seven colors. Finished rollstock is shipped to Mariani where it's loaded onto form/fill/seal equipment from Triangle Package Machinery (Chicago IL).