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Flexible Packaging and Source Reduction

Is flexible packaging as sustainable as it claims to be? Yes flexible packaging is manufactured using less plastic than rigid packaging resulting in less plastic to transport and dispose of, but flexible packaging’s sustainability may not be as straightforward as perceived.

 

Flexible packaging advocates boast its sustainable advantages, which are mainly true, however if these claims are exaggerated they could result in serious backlash. Unfortunately the method for quantifying sustainability is subjective. Flexible packaging’s source reduction can be a competitive advantage. Although the more easily quantifiable benefits, such as storage and transport, might reside more with supply chains than with the consumer.

 

To win the consumer, companies should make true product sustainability claims. Companies should avoid overselling product sustainability claims and expect consumers to think of sustainability as a tie breaker when all other factors are equivalent.

 

Growth for flexible packaging could be attributed to the utilization of technologies to provide competitive advantages. Examples of this are innovations that allow for multilayer structures for better barrier protection, the ability to create an interlocking strip system to store product for long periods of time without exposure, and producing see-through packaging for product visibility.

 

To read the entire article please visit:

http://www.greenerpackage.com/source_reduction/flexible_packaging_and_source_reduction

 

Source: Greener Package

Five Key Trends Shaping Food and Beverage Packaging

Lifestyles and eating habits of the population today have drastically changed compared to prior years. Demographic changes, such as fewer married couples, more people living alone, smaller household sizes and multi-generational households are impacting packaging developments. The shift in consumer attitude and lifestyle has effected behaviors regarding food and beverage packaging. One of the five new trends includes targeting millennials who have shown more interest and brand loyalty to fresher and/or organic products that are typically found on the parameter of the grocery store. Second, smaller packages have proven a bigger trend. Smaller households or those living alone have more of a demand for smaller or single-serve packaged meals or multiple packaged snack packs. Third, convenient packaging has been a big selling point in snack foods. Ease of opening, reclosing, and portability have been an influence on the packaging. Fourth, transparent packaging. The ability to see ones food prior to buying has had huge influence on the food industry. The demand for more transparency in the food industry has been of grave importance to the consumer, both figuratively and literally. Lastly, eco-friendly packaging options have huge appeal to consumers as of late.

 

For further reading, please visit http://www.packworld.com/package-design/strategy/5-key-trends-shaping-food-and-beverage-packaging

 

Source: Packaging World

Growth and fragmentation in flexibles gives brands food for thought

Flexible packaging is finding new applications for consumers, currently pouches and other flexibles are involved in snacking from adults to toddlers. They are finding a wide range of products to target every consumer. Flexible packaging is offering unique shapes, functions, and convenience. Quite literally, this form of packaging is presenting its self as flexible for the needs of many industries. The flexible packaging industry is not pigeon holing either, the genius of the product is that it is flexible for those looking to convert, and those who are looking to be innovative and differentiate their product.

Between 2012 and 2013, the use of pouches for snacks grew 7%, the use of pouches for sauces and seasonings saw growth of 20%. Over the past decade, pouches have become quite the competition for traditional rigid packaging and has been embraced by U.S. consumers for the ease of use and accessibility. Going forward, we can count of seeing innovative designs, convenient uses, and easy storing.

To read the full article please visit: http://www.packagingdigest.com/flexible-packaging/growth-and-fragmentation-in-flexibles-gives-brands-food-for-thought140731

Source: Packaging Digest

Plastic is the sustainable packaging choice according to new study

According to a new study titled Impact of Plastics Packaging on Life Cycle Energy Consumption and Greenhouse Gas Emissions in the United States and Canada by Franklin Associates for the American Chemistry Council and the Canadian Plastics Industry Association, six major categories of plastic packaging significantly reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions compared to packaging made with alternative materials. Using 2010 as a baseline year, the data shows replacing plastic packaging with alternative materials would result in 4.5 times more packaging weight, an 80% increase in energy use and 130% more global warming potential.

The study examines the six major packaging resins (low density polyethylene, high density PE, polypropylene, PVC, polystyrene, expanded PS, PET) against paper, glass, steel, aluminum, textiles, rubber and cork. The study considers the implications of the materials used in caps and closures, beverage containers, other rigid containers, shopping bags, shrink wrap, and other flexible packaging in a detailed life cycle assessment.

“The benefits hold up across a range of different kinds of applications and materials,” said Keith Christman, managing director of plastics markets for ACC. “Because plastics use so much less material in the first place it results in dramatic greenhouse gas reduction, and that’s just the start. It really adds up across the different types of packaging, to the equivalent of taking more than15 million cars off the road.”

Source: Plastics News

Packaging expectations for 2014

There are six developments expected to take place in 2014.

Flexibles rule– Data suggests that this is the year flexible packaging will become the primary packaging choice for food, personal care and pharmaceutical products. It’s estimated that Americans will be using (32.85 billion) more rigid plastic and flexible packs in 2017 than in 2012. Flexible packaging is the fastest growing segment in the United States packaging industry.

Retail ready packaging advancement– The move out of peg-displayed pillow pouches by cheese shredders will transform supermarket dairy cases into a more European (i.e., “pegless”) model.

Fewer one trick ponies– There will be a development in more interactive packages. Some of the developments include time/temperature indicators, regimen-compliance indicators, near field communications (NFC) and freshness/efficacy monitors.

Biopolymer packaging– Expect economics and performance shortfalls vs. petrochemical polymers to slow the advance of bio-derived polymers for packaging. Don’t expect packaging for bio-derived polymers until around 2020.

Leveraging technology– Five years ago a group of scientists and US regulators met to discuss nanotechnology and the packaging health and safety implications of engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) that are minuscule enough to migrate through barrier membranes that couldn’t be penetrated by larger materials. Nanomaterial applications have quietly expanded since then. This year we could see nanomaterials replacing foil in the classic paper/poly/foil structure to improve recycling and sustainability.

Beefing up for e-commerce and m-commerce- The explosive growth of consumer online and mobile transactions is going to trigger a surge of protective packaging to meet the more demanding, higher package-to-product ratio needs of single items traveling by USPS or carrier vs. conventional pallet load transport packaging of goods to brick and mortar retailers.

Source: Packaging World

http://www.packworld.com/trends-and-issues/unit-doseunit-use/packaging-expectations-2014


Packaging company Gualapack plans expansion

Italian flexible packaging company Gualapack is extending its international reach with plans to further grow its newly launched production plant in Latin America.

The company, already manufacturing through plants and partnerships in Europe, China, Japan and the US, expects to expand output at its facility in Costa Rica and increase the workforce fourfold from 30 to 160 by 2017.

It was in September last year that Castellazzo Bormida-based Gualapack formally opened its latest unit of 2,600 square metres in the Costa Rican capital San José. The group’s first plant in the region will turn out Gualapack’s full ‘Cheerpack DP’ spouted stand-up food and beverage pouch range.

Gualapack Costa Rica intends to penetrate Central and South America including Honduras, Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina and Chile.

The group, formed from the 2010 merger of two Italian flexpack suppliers Gualapack and Piacenza-based Safta, has three production units in Italy as well as joint ventures Secure Packaging in China, Cheer Pack North America and a partnership in Japan.

Child safe and child friendly ‘Cheerpack DP’ pouches are used for baby food, fruit purée, use its anti-choking ‘BabyCap’, and also have applications for dairy snacks, sauces, condiments and beverages, said Gualapack.

Apart from Italy, the firm operates a plant at Nadab in Romania which it established a little over two years ago.

Source: European Plastics News

US pouch demand expected to reach $8.8 billion in 2016

Reportlinker is reporting the demand for pouches in the US is projected to reach $8.8 billion in 2016 based on stand up pouches sustainability, functionality and branding opportunities over other packaging. Consumer acceptance of pouches over rigid containers will buoy demand, as will such advantages as superior aesthetic appeal, portability, light weight, reduced material use and significantly lower shipping costs than rigid containers. Heightened use of reclosing and dispensing fitments will increase the competitiveness of pouches against rigid containers.

Processed foods applications will show growth in the pouch packaging market based on the popularity of baby food and fruit snacks in spouted pouches and conversions from rigid containers. Growth opportunity is also expected in the beverage market as spouted pouches further penetrate alcoholic beverages, premixed cocktails, sports drinks and energy drinks.

Click here to read the entire report summary and/or purchase the report.

http://www.reportlinker.com/p0934667/US-Pouches-Market.html#utm_source=prnewswire&utm_medium=pr&utm_campaign=Packaging

CDF’s Smart Pail & Cheer Pack pouches selected for Heinz Technology Show

CDF Corporation will be co-exhibiting with Cheer Pack North America Corporation at the Heinz Technology Show/TOPS Exhibitions held at H.J. Heinz on September 12, 2012, in Warrendale, PA. CDF Corporation is one of twenty-two packaging suppliers selected by Heinz to exhibit. The packaging focus of the show is sustainability, new trends and cost-cutting solutions. Heinz is looking to develop next generation products referred to as “disruptive innovation”; products that can be placed in parameters of grocery stores, or alternative channels that can provide convenience, on-the-go, easy to eat food.

Representing CDF will be Joe Wanner, Product Manager of the Drum and Pail Division. Joe is responsible for the development and growth of several product lines including the Smart Pail brand on a global basis. Joe’s current focus is to bring the Smart Pail product line out of product development to the commercial stage and penetrate key market segments in the food, chemical, pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries. Joe has over 20 years of sales management and brand development experience in bulk liquid packaging, global logistics and flexible films. Combining a deep understanding of packaging, transportation, direct customer relationships and global logistics allows Joe to offer a consultative approach in all facets of the supply chain during the critical change and implementation phase of a new packaging and transportation program.

Cheer Pack North America will be represented by Blair Vance, Director of Sales and Marketing. Blair has over 20 years of local and international experience in the food and beverage industries, as well as a wealth of knowledge and expertise in package, product and category development and process and strategic management. Blair’s responsibility is to lead the sales and marketing teams. Cheer Pack North America is an international partnership between CDF Corporation, Gualapack and Hosokawa Yoko.

CDF offers a wide range of flexible products that satisfy customer’s environmental needs. The Smart Pail is a plastic pail replacement system. Its modern design consists of a cube-shaped, semi-rigid, flexible vacuum-formed plastic liner with the option of a hermetically sealed lid and/or snap-on plastic cover, corrugated box and corrugated lid. The end user removes corrugated lid, peels back sealed plastic lid, then pumps or scoops the product The Smart Pail is available in 5 gallon sizes and is ideal for the chemical, construction, cosmetic, and food markets.

The Cheer Pack is a flexible spouted single-serve retail pouch featuring a convenient, easy-flow straw and a reclosable, large tamper-evident, screw-on cap. This unique pouch format is ideal for packaging squeezable liquids, gels, pastes and purees. Cheer Pack is available in a variety of sizes, styles and film choices. Cheer Pack North America supplies a complete packaging solution, including package design and conversion, filling equipment options and technical support.

10 tips for sustainable package design

For nearly a decade, the biggest buzz in packaging has been the move toward sustainability, or “green” packaging. Driven by retailer requirements, public perception, economic pressures (petroleum, in particular), and government policies, sustainability impacts every aspect of a package-from the source of its raw materials to its end of life-and as such has proven to be an incredibly complex issue.

But over the years of debate and discovery, we have learned some core truths about the topic. First, there is no such thing today as a completely sustainable package. Instead, sustainability is a journey. The goal is to make incremental improvements over time in the sustainability of a package to reduce its overall environmental impact.

Second, in sustainability terms, packaging materials-including glass, plastic, paper, and aluminum-cannot be classified as good or bad. Each has its advantages and shortcomings, depending upon the product application and the goals and mission of the packager. Trade-offs are an inherent part of pursuing sustainability.

And last, packaging must be put into perspective by understanding its role in the full product supply chain. Packaging typically makes up less than 10% of the carbon footprint of a product; raw material production and consumer use often comprise the largest proportion. While packaging’s footprint may be small, its importance cannot be understated. If the package fails in its primary functions-protecting the product through the supply chain, enticing consumers to purchase, and facilitating consumption-all the energy consumed in manufacturing the product is lost when the product is wasted.

With these fundamentals in mind, following are some areas to consider when implementing changes to your packaging for improved sustainability:

1. Take a life-cycle approach to package design. There are many Life-Cycle Assessment (LCA) tools available today to help package designers understand the environmental impacts represented by different packaging options. One is the Sustainable Packaging Coalition’s COMPASS® (Comparative Packaging Assessment) online design software, which helps users make more informed material selections and design decisions by providing visual guidance on a common set of environmental indicators. PackageSmart LCA Software, one of several software-based LCA tools from EarthShift,
also allows packaging designers to evaluate the environmental impacts of their design selections.

One caveat, however: Sustainability metrics and standards are still evolving, so pick a program, and stick with it. Using different tools to measure the same package may yield slightly different results. The key is to be consistent and make sure you are moving in the right direction in the core environmental areas that are of greatest concern to your company.

2. Evaluate each component of your package. Ask yourself, “Can changes be made to use less material without compromising product integrity?” One successful example is all-natural sports drink-maker LIV Organic’s move from a traditional PET bottle to one with Amcor’s Groovy finish technology, which uses 31% less resin than a standard 38-mm finish. After LIV implemented the new design, the total weight of its 16.9-oz bottle was reduced 14.6%, from 36.8 g to 31.4 g. The technology also enabled the use of caps with 20% to 25% less resin.

Another example is GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare’s Os-Cal calcium supplement. In 2010, GSK rolled out redesigned packaging that included a high-density polyethylene supplement bottle in a bold, full-body shrink-sleeve label capable of holding all product information. Scrapped were the product’s secondary carton and an insert with outdated graphics. On an annual basis, GSK says the new package saves approximately 208 tons of paper, or 1,440 trees; eliminates nearly 330,000 lb of CO2 emissions (the equivalent of removing 30 cars from the road); and conserves about 2,052 million BTUs, or the energy used by 23 U.S. homes.

Suppliers are continually innovating with containers, caps, labels, and other components that improve the package-to-product ratio, resulting in a smaller footprint, and oftentimes in a smaller price tag, as well.

3. Consider new alternatives for distribution packaging. New machinery and material technologies are enabling packagers to use fewer materials to create multipacks, bundles, and pallets, as well as create shelf-ready packaging that minimizes waste at the retailer level.

For water distributor Unlimited Water Processing, Inc., switching from corrugated cases to new shrink-pack technology for its bottled water bundles was a risk that paid off. The Nested Pack™ from Polypack positions bottles in a staggered-row configuration that results in a sturdy, stable shrink-wrapped bundle that eliminates the need for corrugated trays or pads. After implementing the Nested Pack, Unlimited Water reduced its cost per case from roughly 45 cents to just 10 cents. And, according to company owner Elliott Henry, customers love the new package because it uses fewer materials, is easier to dispose of, and is more attractive.

Several options exist for more sustainable stretch wrapping/palletizing, including machines engineered to optimize film use. Another method is the elimination of stretch wrap and hot melt in favor of removable adhesives, such as those from Lock n’ Pop, that stabilize loads while reducing the footprint of the pallet. In California, artisanal food maker Premier Organics is employing a reusable polypropylene pallet cover that can be used up to 250 times. The company estimates that the system will eliminate 4,500 lb of material annually, or about 40% of its pallet-wrap usage.

4. Look for opportunities to make your packaging reusable—where it makes sense. In Costa Rica, Pizza Hut customers have been introduced to a new pizza box design that allows the box to be broken down into plates and a smaller box for leftovers. In 2010, Kentucky Fried Chicken debuted its Reusable KFC Sides Container. Made of polypropylene, with patented “ventless vent technology” that allows moisture to escape without requiring a hole in the lid, the clear container with red lid is promoted as being reusable, and microwave- and dishwasher-safe.

But reusability is not just for food packaging. PUMA garnered great attention when it introduced its “Clever Little Bag,” an attractive, reusable, red shoe bag used to package its footwear. As a result of the change, PUMA reduced its paper consumption by 65% and estimated it would reduce water, energy, and diesel consumption at the manufacturing level by more than 60% per year.

5. Consider changes in your product. The best example of a product category that has undergone significant change to accommodate more sustainable packaging is household cleaning products. Beginning with laundry detergents and rippling through other cleaner and chemical products, CPGs have turned to concentrated formulas to reduce the amount of water shipped from factory to retail shelf and to enable smaller package sizes. Perhaps the most compact of all: Method’s 8X-concentrated laundry detergent formula can wash 50 loads per 20-oz bottle, and 25 loads per 10-oz bottle. Also popular in the cleaning products industry have been systems that combine concentrated product refills with reusable packaging.

Another lesser-known yet very innovative example of a product modified to affect changes in packaging is General Mills’ Betty Crocker Hamburger Helper. Several years ago, the company reengineered the physical properties of the noodles within the meals to enable the design of a smaller carton size. The change resulted in a savings of 890,000 lb/yr of paper fiber, an 11% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs), and the elimination of 500 trucks on the road per year.

6. Whenever possible, design for recyclability. One of the most effective ways to preserve the energy expended in manufacturing packaging materials is through recycling. While many materials, such as paper and PET, may be widely recycled, oftentimes coatings, labels, and other elements added to enhance package functionality or aesthetics may render them unfit for the recycling stream. But new options are emerging.

One promising technology is from Smart Planet Technologies. The company’s EarthCoating can be used as an alternative to 100% polyethylene coatings in high-barrier folding carton applications. EarthCoating’s formulation includes powdered minerals, which reduces the plastic content in the coating, allowing the finished packaging material to be recycled under ISRI recyclability standards.

From PaperWorks Industries, a filmless holographic technology called HoloBrite™ is now being used for packaging to achieve a shimmering holographic appearance without the use of a film lamination. This process results in a package that can be recycled in traditional paperboard recycling streams without contamination from polyester and metal. In 2010, GSK Consumer Healthcare used the decorative process with a metallic coating from Henkel to create eye-catching, recyclable paperboard packaging for its Aquafresh White & Shine toothpaste brand.

Another new recyclable (and recycled-content) package technology that has caused consumers to take a second look is molded-pulp packaging from Ecologic Brands. The most well publicized application of the material is from Seventh Generation, which launched its 4X-concentrated liquid laundry detergent in the package in 2011. The container consists of a molded-pulp outer shell made from 70% recycled cardboard (OCC) and 30% old newspapers (ONP) that can be recycled up to seven times. The package’s inner film pouch with spout has been constructed of polyethylene only, making it suitable for recycling with plastic grocery bags, while the pack’s polypropylene closure is recyclable through Preserve’s Gimme 5 recycling program.

7. Employ packaging strategies that encourage product consumption. Approximately 34 million tons of food waste are generated in the U.S. each year, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. So packaging that increases the likelihood that the majority of a product is consumed provides a tremendous sustainability advantage. Among the technologies that can be used to help reduce food waste are reclosable features, clearly marked use-by dates, and technologies that assist in evacuating all of a product from its package. Hellmann’s Easy Out! Mayonnaise package employs a nonstick surface on the inside of the container that provides the slip properties needed to get the last bit of mayo from the jar.

And, while bulk packaging may seem a more sustainable alternative than single-serve packages, given its smaller package-to-product ratio, single-serve may prove a more environmentally friendly option if it ensures product consumption.

8. Know where your packaging materials come from. Increasingly, retailers and consumers are looking to CPGs for transparency. It is to your benefit to make sure you are using responsibly sourced packaging materials. For example, toy manufacturer Mattel recently faced very vocal criticism from Greenpeace, which accused Mattel of using paperboard packaging that contained significant amounts of timber from Indonesian rain forests. Since then, Mattel has launched new sustainable sourcing principles to guide its procurement of paper and wood fiber. Hasbro quickly followed suit.

For Stonyfield Farm, the use of non-Genetically Modified (GM) crops is a core value. When it switched to corn-based bioplastic for some of its yogurt cups, it learned its resin supplier could not guarantee the use of non-GMO corn in its feedstock. So Stonyfield became the first major purchaser of offsets through the Working Landscapes Certificates, which ensures that an equivalent amount of corn is grown to sustainable agriculture standards.

9. Evaluate your distribution system for space-saving opportunities. In a presentation at Michigan State University’s second annual Packaging Executives Forum, consultant Kevin Howard of Packnomics, LLC, emphasized the importance of designing packaging “from the outside in, rather than from the inside out,” to minimize distribution logistics costs. “It is vital to understand what is happening in your own environment,” he said. “Some packages that don’t pass ISTM [International Safe Transit Assn.] standards pass real-world tests and vice versa. Walk through your distribution pipeline.”

His message, in “Space…The Final Frontier,” was that wasted space in packaging results in excess materials, transport, handling, and storage. To reduce a package size while maintaining its integrity, he noted that the packager must begin by understanding the known sizing of the transport mode that will be used and then minimizing the package size to hold everything at the lowest possible cost.

Other takeaways: “Space is found around components, inside of boxes, on pallets and between pallets,” “Maximizing load density is vital to minimizing environmental impact,” and “Space costs money… minimize it!”

10. Consider materials made from renewable feedstock. Packaging based on renewable feedstocks-from bioplastics made of corn or sugarcane, to protective packaging constructed of mushroom roots-is a rapidly growing area. But there are many questions still to be answered regarding the viability of some of these technologies and their relative sustainability versus traditional materials.

When evaluating renewable feedstocks for use in packaging materials, as advised above: Use a full life-cycle approach; understand how these materials perform in the recycling stream; know where the raw materials are sourced from; and ensure that the resulting packaging provides the required functionality for your product.

Above all, be very wary of additives and other technologies that promise to make packaging “just disappear.” While it is a very alluring idea, many scientific experts debate the environmental safety of such technologies.

Source: Packaging World

‘Melting pot’ innovations merit high scores

The 2011 fourth-quarter Shelf Impact!/Dragon Rouge survey of innovative packaging awarded products that holistically combined creative concept, design, and execution: a wellness water that uses an active cap to deliver vitamins, a twist on concentrated cleaner packaging, and an appetizing pack design for organic baby food.

With a composite score ranging from 3.5 to 3.7 on a five-point scale, the three packaging innovations that lead our report are Karma Wellness Water, Ella’s Kitchen’s new organic baby food packaging, and SC Johnson’s new Smart Twist all-in-one cleaning system. While all three scored high across the board, they were exceptionally strong with relation to concept idea, structure, and graphics.

Taking the top spot this quarter is a new line of natural, nutrient-enhanced water. Unlike other nutrient-enhanced waters, where the vitamins are premixed with the water, Karma has developed KarmaCap, a proprietary technology that allows the vitamins to be contained in an airtight cap. When you’re ready to open the bottle and release the vitamins, simply peel off the top sticker, push the cap down, and shake! Since vitamins deteriorate in water, premixed drinks lose their strength over time. Karma allows you to enjoy all the vitamins’ benefits at their maximum potency.

With five different varieties, each focusing on a different health benefit, the line differentiates itself on-shelf through its square bottle shape, unique cap, and strong flavor cues. The uniqueness of the active cap technology caters to the idea of fresh convenience, clearly communicating the benefits and value of achieving the maximum vitamin potency when you need it most.

Fresh, on-the-go convenience is also exhibited in the new packaging for Ella’s Kitchen, an organic children and baby food brand in the U.K. The goal of the project was to harmonize and evolve the packaging to bring greater visibility and recognition of the brand mark across the line, provide a clear and simple communications hierarchy, and ensure that designs are appealing and differentiating. The new “at a glance” age-and-stage communication system cuts through the clutter, allowing moms to conveniently identify which product they need without having to invest time deconstructing the information on-pack. The vibrant colors and messaging such as “I’m Organic” further emphasize the freshness of the product.

Following the convenience theme, SC Johnson has introduced a new take on concentrated cleaning solutions with an all-in-one cleaning system. The system, called “Smart Twist,” was created to help consumers clean more efficiently and effectively by enabling them to choose three of their five favorite cleaners to dock at one time in a simple, lightweight sprayer that adds the water. Consumers simply fill the tank of the handheld sprayer with water and snap each of the concentrate containers into place. When they are ready to use the system, they simply twist the carousel to the desired cleaner. The new system is convenient for consumers and also takes up substantially less space than having to store each product individually.

 

‘True innovation’ requires a well-rounded approach
Regardless of average or above-average scores in one category over another, the three products that scored the lowest only further prove that true innovation requires a well-rounded approach—everything matters!

As part of its “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” initiative, nut processor John B. Sanfilippo & Son, Elgin, IL, decided to transition the current packaging for its Fisher Nuts brand from a composite can to a lightweight, clear PET package. The new see-through PET container provides more sustainability as well as a greater perception of freshness and in turn inspired a complete brand makeover. While the materials and production of the new packaging ranked high, the design concept and graphics fell short, as the new logotype and graphics don’t match the new overall contemporary look and feel of the structure and the campaign, “Freshness You Can See.”

Something Natural is a new brand of all-natural flavored sparkling water that blends the healthful and refreshing qualities of sparkling water with delicious fruit flavors. While the Something Natural brand was created to prove that less is more, the liquid and the name may deliver on this promise, but the design does not. Quite simply, the flock of birds design on the front of the bottle clutters up the pack, detracting from the simplicity and elegance of the overall design.

Similarly lacking in concept and graphics, Mountain Dew also falls short with its new bottle. The intent of the new structure and design was to reenergize the brand with a distinctive, new PET bottle design that more fittingly meets its promise of robust, spirited fun, exuberance, and refreshment. The new bottle features a distinctive silhouette that provides the package with a solid shelf presence. A label less than half the size of the brand’s previous label allows the bottle’s shape to be the point of differentiation for the brand. But respondents gave the new design unfavorable reviews, thus overshadowing the bold textural elements meant to add excitement.

 

Tips for 2012 design
As you wrap up 2011 and begin to think about how to create packaging innovation in 2012, try to keep these fundamental guidelines in mind:
• Begin with a solid foundation. If you don’t have an amazing concept, you won’t have anywhere to place a stake in the ground.
• Don’t overthink it! Simplicity and convenience are key… everything else will follow.
• Remember that the whole is greater than the sum of all parts—you can have really great design, a stand-out structure, sustainable materials, etc., but none of that matters if they don’t mesh well as a whole.

The author, Eric Zeitoun, is president of Dragon Rouge USA, an international brand and design consultancy. Contact him at eric@dragonrouge-usa.com or at 212/367-8800.

Source: Packaging World