As a further benefit to boomers, says LPK, look for larger type, too. The global market, NAFTA and changing U.S. demographics will also result in more multilingual package copy. The firm anticipates further gains for flexible packaging, particularly in cereal pouches and plastic bags for charcoal. Also, expect microbrews in bottles containing as much as 50 oz; an emphasis on shapely containers, such as Coca-Cola's contour bottle (see PW, March '95, page 2); unisex products/package design; and consumer preference for branded offerings rather than generics. Kathman also points out that the color green will stand for more than "environmentally friendly." "The use of the color green is beginning to be used by package designers to signify 'health' and 'low fat.' A few years ago, a product that was low in calories or cholesterol was silver in color, with labels boldly saying 'diet.' Now the trend and message are more subtle. The 'green wave' trend in packaging tells consumers, go ahead and buy me, I'm good for you." Cincinnati-based Kroger provides such an example with its Healthy Indulgence and Sensible Indulgence product lines, introduced in December and January, respectively. The two lines will carry a total of approximately 200 products, expected to be on Kroger shelves by the end of March. Dairy, bakery and grocery products include a green horizontal band carrying the Healthy Indulgence name. A red vertical ribbon that crosses the green band offers nutrition information. One of Kroger's first Healthy Indulgence product lines is ice cream (shown here). The high-density polyethylene tubs, injection-molded by Cardinal Packaging (Cleveland, OH), are unusual in that they're in-mold labeled. IML is not unusual in personal care bottles, but Sandy Giesting, marketing manager for Kroger's Ice Cream & Novelties Div., believes it's never been done with ice cream containers.
LPK makes packaging predictions
Package design firm Libby Perszyk Kathman (Cincinnati, OH) has probed its crystal ball to make public its "Packaging Predictions for 1996." "As baby boomers age, items we used to hide, like adult incontinence products, laxatives and dental adhesives, will be out in the open and packaging will be bolder to reflect this new, open attitude driven by the Woodstock generation turning 50," says Jerry Kathman, vp of client services.