Wednesday, December 20, 2006

2006 Packaging Predictions Revisited

Packaging News You Can Use Tip Of The Week
Issue #1265 - December 21, 2006
Publisher: JoAnn ,
© Packaging News You Can Use
By JoAnn Hines The Packaging Diva

A short opinion piece of mine appeared in Packaging Design magazine December issue
Packaging 'Greenwash' — Branding the Environment

You have heard from Wendy before. See what she is up to now.
Sustainability by Design
ON THE WEB ONLY: Sustainable Resource GuideCompiled by Wendy Jedlicka
This annual supplement to Package Design Magazine takes a close look at what "sustainable packaging" means to designers, printers, manufacturers, and consumers. The 17+ pages of editorial cover the importance of this movement, explore how designers can use it to their benefit, and highlight innovative case studies, forward-thinking designers, and real world examples of companies taking a leading role.

"Produce Packaging Crisis"
Q-and-A on foods that make people sickSitNews - Ketchikan,AK,USA... Washing may be incomplete, or some step in packaging may become unsanitary. Increasingly, people are turning to pre-mixed or pre-cut veggies, and some experts ...

California crops again put in questionBoston Globe - United States... agency has said it expected the number of cases from the latest outbreak to grow ... months has triggered a new round of inspections at farms, packaging plants, and ...
Food Safety In Question After Latest E. coli BreakoutAM850 - FL,USAThe latest being the E. coli breakout in green onions at Taco Bell restaurants in ... because its grown on farms all over the nation, sent to packaging plants, and ...

"The Death Of The Plastic Clamshell"
New Toy Packaging to Reduce Frustrations
The days of struggling to get that baby doll or electronic device out of the clamshell packaging may be over.
Packaging experts say this will be one of the final holiday seasons requiring you to pull out scissors box cutters or a jack hammer to open packaging.
There's even a term for the frustration you feel when opening the packaging wrap rage.
Easy Ways to Open Tough Plastic - Johnstown,PA,USAPlastic packaging is designed to be tough – it keeps things securely in place on ... they want to discourage shoplifting, to make it harder for people to steal

2006 Packaging Predictions Revisited by JoAnn Hines Packaging Diva
I wrote this in January and I'm revisiting it for you to see whether I'll have egg on my face or that I'm still on target with my predictions. Be sure and let me know your thoughts. I will be working on 07 predictions over the holidays.

13 Packaging Trends That Will Make Consumers Buy In 06

The packaging industry remains in a state of flux with mergers, acquisitions and buyouts every week. Yet, new products and new players appear every day. Despite it all, packaging is virtually recession proof. Simply put, a product needs a package to sell it, so where would we be without it? Here are some important packaging trends for 06 that cannot be overlooked by anyone who wants their products to sell.

Demographics Rule
If you are not on top of these trends then you had better begin to be. Who buys what is constantly in a state of change. Many marketers think that it is ok to have one universal package that appeals to every one. Wrong. Each target demographic has unique needs. Two very hot packaging demographics include women and boomers.
Note: The first boomer turned 60 years of age on 1/1/06. That means that the largest purchasing demographic can be uniquely identified through product packaging. If you don't know or understand what they want, ask me about my special report:Packaging Products for Boomers.

Health Prevails
No matter what age they are, people are genuinely concerned about their health. They are watching what they consume. The better job you do in educating this consumer, the more products you can sell. Consumers will increase their awareness of what goes into the products they use or eat. A knowledgeable consumer will be your best customer and the package its where it all begins.

Big Brother IS Watching You
Yes, shades of 1984. With all the advances in intelligent packaging, product manufacturers really can tell what you buy and where. This is going to increase with the advent of new and innovative smart packaging applications. They ultimate goal will be to track every product from the manufacturer, consumer and disposal. There is quite a bit of interest around the “cradle to grave” concept.

Convenience Is King Or Queen
It's all about time or the lack of if. The more you can simplify consumers’ lives the more you will connect. Think of all the packaging categories that have developed around this concept. HMR-Home meal replacement, Grab and Go, and RTE-ready to eat categories all will continue to improve products and increase sales. Life is not getting any simpler for the majority of us so if you can't help through product packaging, step aside because other company’s products will.

One BIG Happy Family
Globalization will continue unabated. Don't just think US consumers. Some of the most intriguing products are not developed in the US. Other innovations will be seen in emerging markets that are not necessarily in North America.

Focus on Functionality
What can you do for me? Tell me why I should buy your product and what benefits I will receive from purchasing it. Don't obfuscate. Seventy percent of purchasing decisions are made in the store in 2.6 seconds. Get to the point and persuade me to buy. Otherwise, I'll spend my shopping dollars on a product that does.

DYI Body and Healthcare
Consumers are taking charge of their own well-being. They evaluate wellness and body care products on the deliverability of benefits. People are reading packages to become well informed about the value of the product.

Green and Greener
The environment is heating up (and I don't mean global warming). Companies are building brands around environmentally friendly products. Think about Wal-Mart and the use of corn-based plastics in the produce department. One major shift in consumer acceptance can cause a landslide of new product innovations.

Off the Wall Opportunities
Today's hot category could be tomorrow's loser. Trend tracking is where the latest action comes from. Be sure and seek out the latest trends and how they impact your business. If you are not marketing to women and the 50+ generation, you may be out of business soon.

Product Security Is Paramount
If you cannot prove that, your product is secure and hasn't been tampered with, look out. Just look at some recent examples: poisoned dog food and contaminated milk. Consumers are getting more and more wary of where products come from and how secure
they remain though the manufacturing process. Look for many innovations
that prevent counterfeiting, tampering, contaminating or any product degradation.

Think Value VS Price
What is this product going to do for me? I'll pay more if it solves a problem. A DuPont-sponsored survey on behalf of Cryovac found that 72 percent of US consumers are willing to pay more for improved food and beverage packaging that guarantees freshness. Wow that can move your product out of the commodity business in a hurry.

Product Saturation And Overkill
As more and more brands develop brand extensions, they are killing the category. Look at the growth of private label. Branded goods are going to have to work harder to capture a consumer’s attention. Advertising alone isn't getting the job done. The demand for private labels will continue to escalate at the expense of branded products.

Niche Me Please
There are lots of new and exciting niche markets just waiting for your products. Don’t overlook opportunities to market to new consumers in unconventional ways. Last but not least don’t overlook the Internet for you products. Remember packaging considerations for marketing online are different from conventional outlets.

So if you want to package products consumers will buy keep the above in mind and:
Look outside your industry for innovative packaging ideas.
Don't become so “industry” focused that you overlook opportunities in other markets.
Get grounded in hot consumer trends.
Don't just package hype.
Deliver value in the form of benefits consumers will derive from buying your product.
Keep current on who is buying what and where and don’t rely on what worked in the past.

Want to know more about the role of packaging?Need to learn how to package products people will buy?Just starting a business that needs to package products?Need brainstorming about what packaging works in the current economy? Contact the #1 consumer product packaging expert by email at or by phone at 678-594-6872 for a 15 minute consultation.

International Paper Agrees to Sell Beverage Packaging, Arizona Chemical Businesses; Sales Valued at $985 Million International Paper (NYSE: IP) has signed two definitive agreements related to the sales of its beverage packaging and Arizona Chemical businesses for combined proceeds of approximately $985 million.

WhiteWave Foods Recognized as One of the Nation’s Top Green ...
Business Wire (press release) - San Francisco,CA,USA... and Horizon Organic promote the use of green power on product packaging and online ... events, which are the largest natural and organic products trade shows in the ...

Officials Still Search for Source of Taco Bell E. coli OutbreakCBC News - Canada... And that packaging increasingly relies on plastic bags, which create an ideal ... Given the latest outbreak and the spinach problem in September, "it's fairly ...

Thursday, December 07, 2006

The Death Of The Plastic Clamshell

Packaging News You Can Use Tip Of The Week
Issue #1264 - December 7, 2006
Publisher: JoAnn Hines
© Packaging News You Can UseBy JoAnn Hines The Packaging Diva

You still have until December 15, 2006 to enter your work in I.D.’s Annual Design Review.You won’t want to wait another day; click here to enter the competition now.’s the best way to gain worldwide exposure for your finest work.You can enter in these 8 categories:Consumer products Graphics Packaging Furniture Environments Equipment Concepts Interactive media

Its official my first quote with the Washington Post
Read Do Not Pry Open Till Christmas... But just as people hit the outlet mall at midnight on Black Friday ... too materialistic, the always conflicted US consumer feels two ways about packaging, said the ...

If you are attending FlexPackCon 2006 December 14 – 16, 2006 Orlando, Florida
I'll be speaking on the morning of the 16th be sure and say hello.

"The Perils Of Packaging Junk Food"

McDonald's Slams FDA's Proposed Ban of Trans-Fat: CEO Considers Efforts Nothing More than Media Hype—and a Failed PR Stunt
Although the FDA's proposal for the limit and eventual ban of trans fat from restaurant offerings has the best of intentions—to curb the U.S.'s obesity epidemic...
"Is Your Packaging Going To The Dogs?"
How Much Is That Dog Dress in the Window? By Stan Cox, AlterNet. This Christmas, America's pets will be tearing open $5 billion worth of presents, making them luxury consumers in their own right.

"I Hate Packaging"
Wrap Rage: indestructible packaging, endless twisties turn nursery ...Blogging Stocks - USA... Estimates are that 6,000 people go to the emergency room every year after tussling with packaging, on toys, on tools, on home appliances. ...

The Death Of The Plastic Clamshell By JoAnn Hines Packaging Diva

Spare me, please. I'm sick of hearing about "wrap rage." It’s worse than ever this year and it’s not even Christmas yet. Despite all the publicity surrounding all the good things packaging does, keep the product safe and secure, the media is on the attack. It seems that this is a subject the public can really get in to (no pun intended). If you are into blogging, check out the words "Wrap Rage" and you will get an earful.

I faithfully respond to the blogs with one or two of my articles explaining the role of packaging in modern society to no avail. People just love to rant about the problems of packaging foisted upon them by the product manufacturers. As if we deliberately made these things difficult to open. Are we advocating increasing the amount of pilferage so we can pay more at retail? I guess we intuitively know what's inside because we don't have to actually see what we are buying. But seriously, don't forget we the "packaging people" are consumers too. Products are packaged a certain way for a reason and its not to make it more difficult.

I recently received sales pitches from companies producing nifty devices to open the plastic consumer nemesis (clamshell) purportedly without mishap. If you recall, I earlier mentioned that a smart marketer would include one of these devices free with every order. (It would have to be on the outside of the package, of course.) If you need some resources for this, please let me know.I have counted no less than five articles within the week decrying bad packaging but mostly focusing on the poor plastic clamshell. So, I spent a little time thinking about where we would be without it. What is a clamshell?

By definition and its function, a clamshell refers to a formed plastic package used to encapsulate and boldly display a retail product. The formed plastic package has one or more hinges. A single hinged clamshell usually includes a hanger tab that allows the finished product to hang on in-store pegs. A multi hinged clamshell offers additional features that can include a flat base for free standing of the package and the enclosed product. Let’s think of all the products that come in clamshell and all of those companies that manufacture plastic clamshells. Just GOOGLE that and you will be surprised. Bought any cosmetics, electronics, food, hardware, produce, office supplies, toys, toiletries lately?

There is support for the demise of the clamshell on other fronts too. Granted this came out of Europe but a major new study reveals that, given the choice, almost nine out of every ten shoppers would choose products packed in paper rather than plastic or other materials.The results were highlighted in a recent survey carried out by IPSOS, the world’s second largest market research agency. IPSOS based their conclusions on interviews with 6,500 consumers in seven major European countries. 93 per cent of the respondents said that they prefer paper because they consider it is more “environmentally friendly,” while 87 per cent of the group would choose paper because of “convenience” factors.

So are we seeing a revolt against the plastic clamshell? Will the plastic clamshell be subjected to a slow lingering death by detractors and naysayers? Or will consumers finally GET OVER IT and go about their business? Time will tell. In any case be sure and send me good examples of plastic clamshell packaging that works.

Don't forget you too can be famous or infamous depending which side of the fence you sit. Be sure and submit your Oyster Award Candidates. Go to their website and nominate your package for this year's awards.

Want to stay on top of the latest packaging trends that influence how and what you buy? Be sure and ready my weekly column or subscribe to have it delivered to your email box at

Rapak Pioneers Bag-in-Box For Beer

Plasmax makes beer last longerPlastics & Rubber Weekly - Croydon,UK... The latest developments in PET barrier technology and applications will be examined ... to focus exclusively on emerging and potential barrier packaging markets www ...

intellectual Property - IP Snapshot - Trade Marks, Designs ...Lawfuel (press release) - Wellington,NA,New ZealandThe High Court handed down its decision in this high-profile trade mark infringement case, finding that ‘look-alike’ perfume packaging infringed L’Oreal ... : Packaging For The Environmentally Motivated (press release) - USA... 2006 ( Levittown, PA ) --- is pleased to announce the launch of its broad line of environmentally friendly packaging products featuring PaperNuts ...