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

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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.

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