Thursday, September 21, 2006

Produce Packaging Crisis

Produce Packaging Crisis
Packaging News You Can Use
Tip Of The Week
Issue #1257 - September 22, 2006
Publisher: JoAnn ,
© Packaging News You Can Use By JoAnn Hines The Packaging Diva

The Packaging Bootcamp is now a reality.
If you have a product and you want it to sell, you better have the right package with the right message. After all what's on the outside is as important as what's inside. If your package the silent salesperson doesn't do its job your product won't sell not matter how good it might be.

Need to know more how to package products to sell? Learn from the #1 consumer product packaging expert and let her share her 30+ years of packaging expertise with tips, insights and innovations. Visit http://www.packagingbbootcamp/ to find out more or email

Is environmental sustainability of your packaging in your marketing plans?
Yes____ N____ Possibly______

X the answers and return to me. I'll compile the responses.

Please be sure and read Design for the Ages by Leah Genuario

"Eat Your Package Not Your Product"
Edible packaging seen as next wave of - Montpellier,France... oil. The experiment showed that starch films are more effective for packaging products with a high relative humidity.

"Packaging: The Hidden Power Player In A Global Society"....
Liquids Ban: Consumer Hassle and Marketing Opportunity
Experts Expect Uptick in Toiletry Sales at Airports

Produce Packaging Crisis by JoAnn Hines Packaging Diva
It's sad to say but it takes an event like the ecoli outbreak resulting from tainted spinach for the media to take notice of the role packaging has to play in our society. Now it’s coming under some serious scrutiny. I was surprised to hear network TV mention the packaging and food security this week and tie it to the threat of bio-terrorism. Are they finally waking up to the role packaging has to play in modern society?

I have been speaking about the issue of food security for years and repeatedly discuss what a threat it can be. I almost always mention it somewhere within my programs and it seemingly falls on deaf ears. I even have it listed in my media profile. Guess what. I haven't received a single call wanting to know more about packaging and security. Do you think my phone will ring off the hook now?

Well, the big boys are finally getting into the packaging picture. Did you know that the U.S. food supply is governed by a complex system administered by 15 agencies? Most people only think of the FDA. The point is, however, that you need to understand the ramifications of incidents such as the ecoli outbreak and the role of your product’s packaging. Many times an incident like this is totally out of your control. It may not even be in your product category but it can impact your business in serious ways.

For example look for "spinach" issues to spill over into other fresh products, such as lettuce, carrots, broccoli and so on. You need to understand how what happens with one product can crossover into other similar or like products. On the news this morning, they mentioned products being packaged in certain types of packaging. I actually heard the word "clamshell" mentioned. So packaging is in the picture. Now what do you plan to do about it?

But no matter what the outcome of where and how the product’s integrity was compromised, there will be ramifications on product packaging.What process of security validation do you have at your packaging manufacturing plant? Do you monitor who is going in and out of your facility? Several years ago I visited a flexible packaging manufacturer that had a very elaborate security procedure for identifying not only visitors but workers too. I was impressed that they thought about the impact of a potential threat to their packaging manufacturing long before it became a mainstream security issue.

You need a proactive strategy to protect your packaging interest and in many cases to utilize it as a marketing tool. Does your product/s have this "hot button" issue? The package can be easily opened and tampered with. Start rethinking how you can resolve the situation. Consider the clamshell. Many of these packages just pop open or have no security measure whatsoever. I know it’s important for people to see and have access the product. But I suspect there will be a demand for some type of security device to show that the clamshell has not been opened or tampered with. That being said, you better FIX it. In any case, I'd start marketing the "security" angle in your product packaging and if you don't have one get started.

Also be prepared for the "worst case" scenario even though its not the packaging's fault there is even some speculation that the category of "prewashed" greens produce might entirely disappear it from the supermarket if they can't get a handle on keeping it uncontaminated.

This issue will continue to be in the media forefront now that they have recognized that there is a problem. Let’s just hope that a more serious event doesn't have to occur to have companies sit up and take notice of how important the role of packaging security is to modern society.

For more insights on the hottest and most important issues in packaging call me at 1-678-594-6872 or email me at

Barbeque pouch targets convenience marketProcessors now have a means of putting a barbeque in a bag...

McDonald's, others pull spinach from menusMSNBC - USA... National Restaurant Association, an industry trade group, said ... more to regulate farming and packaging, including the ... to generate paperwork that shows they’re ...

McDonald's delays nutritional - Hamilton,Ontario,Canada... health advocates say the prospect of having labeling right on the packaging puts the ... pack a caloric punch, a recent study found that many people tend to ...

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Boomers Are A Booming Business - Why Boomers

Boomers are people just like you and me.

Boomers are a prime and growing target audience. Does your product speak to them? Does your product’s packaging compel them to buy it? If not, you are missing a very important market segment. According to Rick Adler, founder of The Senior Network: "Simply based on population growth trends, if a product is marketed to the 50-plus audience and maintains its market share, it should increase in sales by 35 to 50 percent in the next 20 years. Conversely, a brand targeted at the zero to 50 age groups will be flat in sales."

Do you know these important facts?

· Americans age 50-plus control $7 trillion, or 70% of all US wealth.

· The 50-plus group brings in $2 trillion in annual income that they want to and are willing to spend.

· One baby boomer turns 50 every 7 seconds of every day. Do a little calculating here about this market size? Think of all the boomers that you know besides me.

· With 76 million U.S. boomers in command of today’s buying decisions, the potential for profit and growth from this group is enormous.

· AARP estimates 54 million baby boomers will be between the ages of 50 and 64 by 2010.

· 90 million Americans will be age 50 or greater in 2010.

Here are some other interesting points about boomers that can influence your product packaging.

Boomers could still be parents or even grandparents and be in their 50s. This means they cross the gamut in their relationships with their families and can influence or are influenced by their purchasing decisions.

Boomers could still be working or in the early stages of retirement. Whatever the circumstances they don't see themselves as old. Most plan to work until retirement age. Many are starting new business ventures.

While boomers are still working they have the same convenience and lifestyle issues as other working families.

What this means to you is growth can come from unlikely areas. Markets that were once strong have become so diluted they have become unprofitable. Explore boomer product introductions in any category and look for new product innovations in all types of markets. See what can crossover into the health and beauty market.

Boomers view themselves as younger than they are (typically by 20 years). I can identify with this, I see myself in my thirties even though I’m well into the boomer years.

Boomers live active lifestyles and travel and mobility is high on their list. So think logically. Develop packages and products that go where the boomers go or are available where they travel ….. spas and resorts are an untapped opportunity. And most recently hotels with the added treat of airport security.

Gone are the days of over 50 being considered close to the end of life. Life expectancy is expanding. Boomers love discounts and don't feel at all intimidated in asking for them.

Regarding couponing -- if the deal is attractive enough will appeal to them. Example: Buy one meal and get one free or at a discount. They are not however coupon clippers.

Boomers grew up with TV so they understand advertising. The key is to choose the right message though the right medium. Packaging is a large part of the mechanism to reach them. Mainstream advertising is dying and packaging should step up to the plate to take its place.

Boomers are not children of the depression like their parents were. They expect lifestyles better than their parents and are willing to spend to make it happen. They want and can afford products that make them look or feel better. Hence the enormous potential of look good and feel good products especially in the cosmetics and wellness sector.

Boomers are connected. They are comfortable with technology and using the Internet. So don’t overlook the online market in fact this is one of the fastest growing markets for packaged goods especially for women.

More thoughts to keep in mind when packaging products to the over 50 market:

Consider all the products that can reach an active lifestyle. Again: Simply based on population growth trends, if a product is marketed to the 50-plus audience, and maintains its market share, it should increase in sales by 35 to 50 percent in the next 20 years.

Don't look at boomers as an aggregate mass. Even within the boomer segment, there are differences in the age brackets. Some are just entering that age bracket such as me and yet others could be octogenarians.

Don't assume the 50+ are brand loyal. They grew up on branding but are willing to make a change after careful consideration. Give them the facts and show how your product or service will make their lives better.

Brand loyalty can and will be changed especially when a product fails to fulfill a boomer’s expectations.

Don't hype or over exaggerate claims. This has a negative effect, not a positive one. If the claim is legitimate you will have a believer, one that will tell others about the product, but conversely if the claim is false they will tell even more people about their bad experience.

Use images boomers can relate to. Studies have shown that tapping into the "hey days" of the boomers' earlier lives don't always work. But boomers are nostalgic so do evoke positive memories, but also connect to their current life styles. Make your packaging relate to the audience though visual images or appeal and reflect their view of themselves.

Whether you use the word, "boomer," "senior over 50," or "aging," this age group doesn't want to be referred to as old. No "over the hill" context. Use words that are not considered negative. In a recent survey I conducted, the words "golden," "aging" and "elder" were disliked. More about this later in the presentation.

Sell Boomers the experience and the benefits that come in using your product or service. Lifestyle issues are important. Boomers expect to live well so conveying this in your product will create relevance.

Boomers are spending money to treat themselves luxury.

Go where the Boomers go. Reach out to them in places where there is a high level of comfort. When working on my survey I found out that even though boomers were connected to the Internet some of them just weren’t comfortable with online surveys. They wanted to complete them on paper not electronically.

Keep this in mind when developing your product packaging. Emphasize convenience or ease-of-use. Boomers are busy people--making their lives easier or more simplified is important. They like to spend time on activities together. They just don’t want to spend a lot of time.

What this means is products need to be simple to use or ready with minimal preparation time. The easier you make someone’s life, the more loyal the will become to your product. Use language that connects with Boomers. In most cases they are literate and informed. Communicate with them as such. Hip hop and other “in style" messages create a negative image rather than a positive one.

Stress the values that boomers appreciate. Connect both intellectually and emotionally. “Engage” their interest in purchasing your product.

Boomers don't respond well to scare tactics. They are turned off with the threat, "If you don't do this it will be to your detriment." So no “scary” product description words.

Use role models or visuals that represent the audience. Having a 20 year old touting the latest product benefits means nothing. Conversely, having a 50+ year old speaking to her daughter or granddaughter creates relevance.

Boomers are in the prime of their life.

Under no circumstances should we refer to this market as old, over the hill aging, ancient or any similar nomenclature.

Keep the packages easy to use and open. In some cases this can’t be helped but look for innovative new ways to make it easier for boomers to open.

Save your money on celebrity endorsements but keep in mind support from age related groups such as AARP

Make sure the labels are easy to read so they know what's inside. In this case bigger is better.

Keep it simple and easy to use.

They are tough crowd but easy to sell once you understand the parameters.

However you reach out and connect with boomers, it's important to visualize them as vital, active people. Eliminate the old stereotypes that we grew up with of people over the age of 50. Create relevance by using images of people who realize they have the best years of their lives ahead of them.

Come here more from the Packaging Diva at her new Packaging BootCamp For Entrepreneurs, Small Business And Inventors

You have a product - RIGHT? You need a package - RIGHT?

You realize your package is your best sales agent – RIGHT? You know nothing or very little about packaging - RIGHT? You have no idea where to start - RIGHT?

That's what this workshop is all about. It has been designed to give you the nuts and bolts for packaging. It offers all of the fundamentals necessary to package your product to sell.

Before you ask why you need this workshop think about this: without a package you can't have sell a product.

You want to sell your product - RIGHT?

If you plan on selling ANYTHING you better have the right packaging. The package is vital to your product’s success. You have invested in your product, don’t stop short of the finish line and leave out the most important component.

In half of a day with the Packaging Diva, the number one consumer products packaging expert, learn how to package your product for sales success.

For details visit or email

Monday, September 11, 2006

Make Packaging Your First Thought Not Your Last

The Packaging Diva, JoAnn R. Hines, has come up with a basic workshop on packaging products to sell, Packaging Boot Camp. This program offers the "Nuts and Bolts" of how product packaging works. It is comprehensive in nature and covers the "How To" of packaging your product for consumers.

If you have a product, you need a package - RIGHT? If have no idea where to start or you know nothing or very little about packaging, this workshop provides all the essentials necessary to package your product to sell. You do want to sell product - RIGHT?

“I just got a call from an entrepreneur whose packaging was a disaster. She never thought about the role packaging has to play until her retailer said "NO WAY" to her product packaging. This cost her lot of money,” reports Hines. “I get hundreds of inquiries a month on how to package products to sell. Most people don't think about packaging till it’s too late.”

This intensive hands on seminar is for you if you answer "yes” to any of the following questions:
I need a better package for my products;
I want my package to capture the consumers’ interest. (In less than 60 seconds- that's all the time you have.);
I need to target my product to a certain demographic;
I plan to sell my product to major retailers.

Don't wait till it’s too late. Workshops are limited in size to ensure a productive learning experience. Find out more details and register online Or contact the packaging Diva via phone 678-594-6872 or via email

If you are a small business, an inventor, an entrepreneur or you have a product that you want to sell, you should attend this workshop. The Packaging Diva has over 30 years global expertise packaging products to sell. What's The Bottom Line On Packaging A Product To Sell? Without a package, you can't have a product and without the right package you can't sell your product. Don’t miss this opportunity to get the facts of packaging.

For more information on JoAnn Hines and her programs, please email

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Wooing Women With Packaging

Wooing Women With Packaging -
Packaging News You Can Use Tip Of The Week
Issue #1257 - September 7, 2006
Publisher: JoAnn
© Packaging News You Can Use
By JoAnn Hines The Packaging Diva

I'M HAPPY TO ANNOUNCE: has been updated and
is now live. So when you get a minute check them out there is lots of great packaging information and insights.

If you have a packaging blog send me the details. I'm creating a packaging blogroll on my blog at

"The Packaging Of Sex Toys Goes Mainstream"
The First and Only Personal Lubricant Made From Carrageenan -- A ...PR Web (press release) - Ferndale,WA,USA... Kehoe is a widely acclaimed product development expert who has created many well-known consumer heath ... Carrageenan™ is a natural choice for women looking for ...

"Controversial Packaging Topics Make Great Media Fodder"
MarketWatch scribe Gerencher suggests tapping researchers as trend spotters for greater success when pitching national media outlets

Wooing Women With Packaging by JoAnn Hines Packaging Diva

I've seen a host of recent articles about how to package products for women.
It's an interesting read about what consumers good companies think will appeal to 50% of the population. Duh!

From cute cuddly critters to pictures of exotic and glamorous movie stars or even basic pink product packaging the message is the same: We think this is what women want. But is it?

So what's the driver behind all these new offerings? Quite simply, it is the demographics. Women either make or influence 85% of the purchasing decision and companies are finally waking up to that fact. Unfortunately, just taking the man off the box and replacing it with a woman isn't the answer. Nor is it to use pink packaging or other feminine colors.

So what do women really want in their product packaging? What will entice them to pick your product off the shelf? What siren screams "buy me" as she walks down the isle? The answers are not what you might think. Women perceive products differently than their male counterparts. They have different expectations of products. Women say that they product manufactures don't understand their wants and needs either. In fact 59% of women feel misunderstood by food marketers.

This market segment accounts for 60-70 of all product packaging. So, how do you get this powerful consumer to connect with your packaging? First, see the product though the woman's eyes not the designer’s or brand manager’s. In my recent research, product attributes such as the shape and color were important to people in the packaging industry but not so important to the average consumer.

The mostly highly rated characteristics that both groups agreed upon were convenience, ease of storage, and female friendly elements such as the size of package and handles for carrying. Second, consider how and where the product will be purchased. External factors can influence the purchasing decision as to how and where a woman shops.

Recent studies show that women on average no longer make a big “stocking up trip" to the store. In fact they make numerous short trips to get the essentials for the moment. Today's shoppers are under tremendous time constraints and are willing to pay a premium for the privilege of more free time.

Finally, it is imperative to get noticed. How can you grab their attention? Make packaging simple, easy to read, and use. Get rid of the gimmicks and the hype. More than 89% of survey respondents said they would not purchase a product because it was endorsed by a celebrity, and those that did were embarrassed to admit it. Cause marketing also scored low on the scale of importance in influencing a purchase as did their concern for the environment.

So listen to your female buyers the next time you designee a new product, bond with them on an intrinsic level not through gimmicks or the current "in" celebrity. Make your product easy to read, use and time sensitive. By adhering to these fundamentals you will have garnered her attention.

For more insights on how to package products SHE will buy email me at

PROOF: Market Research & Development for Package Design conference is scheduled for Sept. 25-27, 2006 at The Drake Hotel in Chicago.

The Senior Factor: How To Motivate Them To Buy Your Products:
Every seven seconds, someone turns 50. With 76 million U.S. boomers in command of today’s buying decisions, the potential for profit and growth from this group is enormous. With 70% of all purchase decisions made in the store your product only has about 2.6 seconds to compel seniors to pick it up. (Or do they even want to be identified as seniors?)
This is your product's first moment of truth: your packaging.

Is it on target to capture the attention of the fastest growing and most affluent group of consumers – the Baby Boomers?
Do you know the right "hot buttons" on or in your packaging to compel this group to purchase your products?
Gain insights into the senior market and find out what packaging sells product, and the best ways for your packaging to connect with these lucrative underserved consumers.

4:30 The Packaging Diva’s Makeover Challenge
JoAnn Hines, Founder, Women in Packaging, Inc.
Enjoy a fun interactive session, facilitated by the “Packaging Diva.” This session has been formulated to link and validate everything you’ve learned throughout the day. The audience will be divided into teams, given a product and will be asked to critique and offer suggestions on improving its packaging based on a pre-assigned demographic. Learn additional techniques from an expert panel consisting of a researcher, brand strategist and designer on how to rebrand the package. Brainstorming is encouraged while you share ideas and get to know your peers. This session will motivate and challenge you with new strategies for reinventing the design process.

Putting the ubiquitous paper coffee cup on the endangered listOttawa Business Journal - Ontario, Canada... "However, people are also realizing that green events offer a competitive advantage and an evolution is starting to happen in the way planners are packaging ...

Plastics and paper industry fight over bag taxSolid Waste & Recycling - Toronto,Ontario,Canada... CPIA) and the second from the Paper & Paperboard Packaging Environmental Council ... Many seniors and disabled people rely on plastic shopping bags because the ...