Packaging Logo March 4, 2014 Forward
Package Development
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Learn to balance rigid structural design and brand management...
main image Ron Romanik, Contributing Editor
The recent lightweighting of retail water bottles illustrates the double-edged sword of efficient production and shipping vs. consumer acceptance and perceptions of quality. There may be a fine line when it comes to the many expectations consumers harbor about their experiences with primary packaging, and what they consider "cheap."

1. List all the factors and goals. In the early design phases, identify specific capacities while maintaining form and ergonomic intent. Then make sure to maintain structural integrity. Consider every aspect of the packaging requirements and restrictions: material cost, manufacturing speed, assembly, pallet efficiency, labeling, retail, etc. Consider investing in a proprietary structure, because structure is one of the main equities a brand can have and own, and it's one of the primary ways to differentiate on shelf. Briefs have a tendency to be constricting, but there's still room to create unique design, because even small design elements differentiate.

2. Understand competing goals and possible compromises. If there are tight restrictions in the design brief, find out who put them there. Rigid structure design is design with a big "D," because so many factors are competing for primacy as compromises are made between form, function, strength, and protection. Try to look at restrictions as challenging opportunities for innovation instead of insurmountable obstacles. Determine minimal wall thickness first at the most critical area of the package, then use design to stiffen structures where material reduction makes it challenging to have the same load weight requirements. Don't let others override this step; it's not okay to say: "We'll rework it later."

3. Research consumer attitudes and expectations. It's important to consider cost as well as consumer perception of packaging material use, which could cheapen the product's appeal. Consumers' desire for convenience has become more about versatility in a multitude of use environments. Think about how to make the user more functional with the package and how product delivery can be designed within a broader system. Remember, consumers expect more and more to be able to see the product and see its features—even interact with it—at retail. For durable goods applications, include a "Try Me" window without reducing the integrity of the package or its functionality in respect to product protection, pilfer-resistance, or durability.
Read the rest of the tips…
New materials and containers
Cartonboard for luxury packaging Renewably sourced whole poultry package
Cartonboard for luxury packaging >> Renewably sourced whole poultry package >>
Gradient plastic bottles BPA-free PET for large bottles
Gradient plastic bottles >> BPA-free PET for large bottles >>
Supplier News
Scholle hires Lani Craddock as VP, Food market Sector >> Plastipak acquires Constar >>
Squeezy Straw
WestPack 2014: Squeezy Straw - Barton Innovation Group
Single-serve patented dispensing technology aims to produce a low-cost, easy-to-use package for flowable liquid products such as water, energy beverages, etc. Patent is available for license. No restrictions on size, shape, amount of product or product itself.
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