Friday, October 20, 2006

The Perils Of Packaging Junk Food

Packaging News You Can Use
Tip Of The Week
Issue #1259 - October 19, 2006
Publisher: JoAnn Hines ,
© Packaging News You Can Use
By JoAnn Hines The Packaging Diva

This from colleague Wendy Jedlicka reporting on the Sustainable Packaging Forum...
The BIG news: Wal-Mart is instituting a "points" system -- rather like a carrot with a HUGE stick attached. They're not going to "tell" anyone how to achieve Wal-Mart's sustainability goals (so as not to "inhibit innovation"), but if your "points" don't add up, they'll find someone who will. They also "say" they'll look at solutions that cost more per unit, but offer systemic profit advantages (like increases in energy savings, or back-end substrate sales). This remains to be seen, as their product buyers are still waaaaay under supported for out-of-the-box thinking. Look for more from Wendy soon on this issue. Wendy can be reached at for more insights at

"Has Your Packaging Gone To The Dogs"
Unilever and Mars have created the first real ice cream sandwich formulated especially for dogs. This product joins a plethora of newly launched products designed to reach the homes of pampered pooches. Way to go Sparky.

"Produce Packaging Crisis"
Lettuce from Salinas Valley recalled over E. coli concerns
San Jose Mercury News - CA, USA
... and "Green Leaf 18 Count, cellophane sleeve, returnable carton." Packaging is stamped ... the E. coli found in spinach that has sickened nearly 200 people and has ...

Yipee, I made the NYT. Thanks to Gail at Making Bread Magazine http://www.makingbreadmagazine in being the first person to let me know she saw me quoted in the NYT. See the complete article at

I'm designing packaging for a children's product that will need to be imported from the factory in China. How can I find a checklist of requirements for the packaging so it doesn't get stuck in customs?"

A special thanks to Edie Tolchin - EGT Global Trading "The Sourcing Lady"(SM) for answering this question. You may see her answers at

The Perils of Packaging Junk Food by JoAnn Hines Packaging Diva

We all know that headlines can put a scare into manufactures and processors, but lately it seems the food industry is being bombarded with positioning and marketing statements about the role of food in healthy eating and lifestyles. I, in fact, spoke about the growth and potential of this market at the Health and Beauty America (HBA) in my presentation "Boomers Are a Booming Business." Believe it or not, healthy lifestyles are an important issue to Boomers.

Just look at other food examples of a media blitz, such as the recent spinach crisis, to see how one out of control incident dramatically impacts your business. Literally over night people stopped eating spinach and restaurants changed their menus and replaced it with things like Arugula (by the way it isn't bad). OK, but what about the poor spinach grower? Be sure and read my article “Produce Packaging Crisis" available at

On another front what's new with Wal-Mart in the packaging world? The media loves/hates Wal-Mart. Every week there is a new position statement that gets mixed reviews: both pro and con. The results resonate within the business community. Wal-Mart is what I call a "retail driver" and should be considered an "early indicator." It can force other businesses and industries to follow suit in whatever they determine is the "hot" industry button of the week. Be sure and read more in the Diva's Picks Of The Week about Wal-Mart.

Now companies like Disney are getting into the fray with a line in the sand on "Junk Food." The have already started distancing themselves with purveyors like McDonalds and this week The Walt Disney Company introduced new healthy food guidelines which will soon apply to all licensed Disney products. This means anything you provide that has the Disney brand is subject to these new guideline. So look out for mandates, restrictions and instructions on any thing that has to do with product packaging if you want to do business with them.

You might remember that I wrote about this a while back, “The Perils of Packaging Making You Fat. Ha, ha. I may be a prophet because companies like Disney and Wal-Mart recognize the sign in the market and they can certainly put a strain on your piggy bank if you are one of their vendors

So where does this leave you? Waiting for the ax to fall? Or are you staying on top of industry trends and drivers that impact what and how we buy? I hope you read my newsletter each week. I watch what will drive the consumer of the future and how it will impact the packaging community. My forecasts on packaging trends usually turn mainstream about six months down the road.

So why do you need the Packaging Diva on your team? I write about this stuff before it becomes a major issue. I keep apprised of what's happening. Most people are too busy doing their jobs to stay informed in timely fashion. As a result, you can look to me for the latest industry trends, technologies and issues.

Speaking of trends....If you plan on selling ANYTHING you better have the right packaging. You have invested in your product, don't stop short of the finish line and leave out the most important component: the PACKAGE. Spend half a day with me, the #1 consumer products expert and learn the nuts and bolts of product packaging and the necessary fundamentals of packaging 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?

Get a refresher course on packaging basics, meet new clients, or simply have your product packaging critiqued by me JoAnn Hines, the Packaging Diva. Attend the accelerated learning course Packaging Boot Camp is filled with years of insights and expertise crammed into a four hour intensive workshop. Find out more here

What Wal-Mart Wants Wal-Mart gets, well almost
Wal-Mart grows 'green' strategies USA Today - USA
... powerful signal that already is having effects on the way people produce products ... before," says Matt Kistler, vice president of product and packaging innovation ...

Wal-Mart to Reduce Packaging Los Angeles Times - CA,USA
... In the latest effort to polish its environmental record, the world's largest ... its 600,000 global suppliers to find more efficient packaging methods, estimates ...,1,566856.story?coll=la-headlines-business&ctrack=1&cset=true

The Organic Myth
Pastoral ideals are getting trampled as organic food goes mass market
Next time you're in the supermarket, stop and take a look at Stonyfield Farm yogurt. With its contented cow and green fields, the yellow container evokes a bucolic existence, telegraphing what we've come to expect from organic food: pure, pesticide-free, locally produced ingredients grown on a small family farm.


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