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Sculpting the cornerstones of innovation

I recently heard Robin Utay discuss teamwork and creating and producing great packages.

Utay, director of creative and packaging at Cadbury Schweppes Americas Beverages, says the best packaging comes about through a forward-looking, collaborative team. Every component is crucial, she says, from those who create the package to those who formulate and fill the package.

Utay adds, “Your suppliers should be coming to you with what’s new, what’s possible, what’s in-trend.”
What Utay is talking about is the need to be innovative. Contract packagers should be counting themselves among the group striving to help create the new-and-different. Consumer product companies that rely on contract-packaging services should be demanding innovative ideas from their vendors. The observations of Utay and others responsible for producing some of the top-selling brands today make it clear that if you’re not innovating, you’re stagnating—and likely losing ground in the battle for shelf presence. The pace of change is too swift for you to be doing things the same old way.

At Cadbury Schweppes, innovation is achieved by following the “four I’s”—insight, ideas, integration, and impact. Within these four principles, approaches abound for being innovative, and this issue of Contract Packaging is loaded with them. Among the articles you’ll find:

• Our Centerpiece story discusses thought processes at Limited Brands (Bath & Body Works), Procter & Gamble, and Coca-Cola.
• Elsewhere, a variety of perspectives are presented in the article “Four steps to get you in the innovation game.”
• There’s also an article on bundle wrapping, a packaging format that some contract packagers say may be poised for growth in the U.S.—beyond club stores.

See if some of the ideas expressed in this issue can’t help sharpen your operations.

P.S.: Whether innovation is a new strategic imperative with your company or you just want to fine-tune your approach, plan to attend our CP 08: Succeeding With Contract Packaging conference Sept. 16-17 in Chicago, IL. Innovation will be the conference theme. We’re asembling a stellar cast of speakers, and the early essential details are in this issue.

A new look for a new year

Contract Packaging greets you with a fresh look with this first issue of 2008. It’s a cleaner, softer, and more contemporary design that is easier on the eyes, says Art Director Jen Babiarz.

The new design also is easier to navigate. We’ve opened up more space in the front of the magazine to reorganize your Around the Industry section into reader-friendly departments. And charts and other visual aids are redesigned to be a quicker read.

The nature of our content remains the same. In each issue, you’ll still read insightful, on-trend feature articles and industry news. You’ll also receive important communication and the membership directory from the Contract Packaging Association.

I’m confident you’ll like what you see on the following pages. Contract Packaging is for you; please let me know how else the magazine can better serve your information needs at [email protected] or 630/897-7158. [CP]

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