Friday, February 23, 2007

Packaging HELP Needed

Packaging News You Can Use
Tip Of The WeekIssue #1271 - Feb 23, 2007
Publisher: JoAnn Hines ,
© Packaging News You Can UseBy JoAnn Hines The Packaging Diva

Packaging Diva's Consumer Trends That Can Make Or Break Your Business TeleSeminar

You have 2.6 seconds to persuade a consumer to pick your product up off the shelf. Thanks to the proliferation of products available at retail, you have to get their attention - and fast. If you want to make money, it's imperative that you fulfill the consumer’s wants and needs. But, you have to get their attention first!

Understanding and cultivating the consumer is an ongoing task. Consumer preferences can change on a whim. When it comes to product packaging, it's important to understand the mindset behind consumers’ decisions. Each year new trends move into the foreground. Yet, while some are here to stay others move on as quickly as the came into being. Some trends have great power and become mainstream across industries, ethnicities and generations... but which ones?

I know what the consumer wants. I've done the work for you. I have studied the market and I know what's hot and what's not. This valuable information is not available from anyone else.
To listen or for more insights visit

"10 Packaging Trends That Will Make Consumers Buy in 07" January 07

6. The Trend-Make It Mine.
Kleenex Uncorks Its Creative Juices — Tissue Giant Announces Plans to Add Customized Photos to Iconic Oval Packs
In a world where consumers can customize their Nike shoes, M&Ms candies and even their Heinz ketchup labels, the Kleenex box is jumping into the fray. Parent company Kimberly-Clark this week unveiled plans to sell the customized boxes. Each oval-shaped, cardboard pack can now be adorned with photos of just about anyone or anything folks want.

5. The Trend-Greenwash Me.
How Many Trees Went into Your Beauty Products?
While many of us greenies are focused on the environmental impact of roses, chocolate and even adult products on Valentine's Day, Dogwood raised questions about the amount of packaging used for health and beauty products. ...
Asda strives to cut packaging by a quarterPrintWeek - UK“We believe this return to traditional values could have a huge impact on the amount of packaging thrown away every day,” said Asda’s anti-packaging expert ...

Tesco top exec pushes back on green movement. . .
In a recent commentary, Tesco's Terry Leahy says, "We can't get rid of all can't force the pace of change even for sound environmental reasons." Leahy explains the variety of functions packaging perfoms including product protection, freshness and labeling. "So not all packaging is excess or optional. . ."

Packaging HELP Needed By JoAnn Hines Packaging Diva
Perhaps the number one request that I get is: “Help me fix my product packaging.” To which I always reply, “What exactly is the problem?” Surprisingly, very few people can actually answer why their product packaging isn't working. It seems simple on the surface but the true packaging problem might be caused by multiple reasons or a host of things that you have not done. I've created a short check list to help you determine what might create the problem. So, let’s think through a few potential problem areas that are easy to resolve.

1. Can you define your customer? Well, let me give you a clue. It's not everybody (which is a common answer by the way). You should have a target demographic in mind and you have to understand their wants and needs before you can package a product for them. Universal packaging that satisfies everyone. That's a myth. You can't be all things to all consumers. More importantly, your packaging needs to be on target to the right audience with the right message.

Drill down to your ultimate customer. Who is going to purchase your product and why? What is in it for them to purchase your product? Are you answers to those two questions evident on your product packaging?

Here are a few examples:Is the product easy to use or simple to prepare? Are you telling them that on the packaging? Words like easy, simple, ready in X, no assembly needed are crucial to conveying your product’s attributes.

Does the consumer need a solution for a busy on the go lifestyle? What about your product packaging addresses that issue? Is it portable, or easily carried, is it a single serving or portion? Consider this specific example: Campbell's® Soup at Hand® is a great way to eat right when you're on the run. Our heat-and-go microwavable cups let you enjoy sippable soup. Campbell’s saw a problem and provided a packaging solution.

2. Why would someone pick up your product off the shelf?Does it "speak" to your customer or is it tired and dull in comparison to the competition? Is it a different color, shape or does it have a unique feature that differentiates it from another product? Does it intrigue the consumer to take a closer look?

Here is a good example. I recently had occasion to look for some nonstick cooking spray. I went to get my old standby which is PAM. When I got to the shelf I was fascinated by a new entry, Mazola Pure. The uniquely shaped can had a soft subtle textured look that begged me to pick it up for a closer look. The package told me things in simple language: no alcohol, no silicone and fat free. Guess which product I bought?

3. What is your USP (unique selling proposition) about your package? Are you a "me too" brand? Are you mimicking the competition’s product rather than branding your own message? There has been a plethora of look alike products trading on name brands. Is it working? I don't think so. First, you may be infringing on someone else's trademark with "copycat packaging." Second, consumers are seeking out high quality non-branded products. Private label packaging is on the rise at the expense of branded products.

Think about what message you are conveying. Do you want to look like a cheap imitation or is your product packaging standing on its own merits?

4. How much competitive shopping have you done lately?When was the last time you walked the store isles? I know we all have an ego trip looking at our product up on the shelf. But I want you to step back and get a fresh perspective. Are you really seeing it from a consumer’s eyes? Shop other categories too. Look for packaging innovations that can crossover into your product category.

Think about how a novel or unique product packaging approach can solve a consumer problem or issue. One of the best innovative packaging examples I saw recently was the introduction of Wish-Bone® Salad Spritzers. They took a prime target (women) addressed dietary and health issues (weight watching) and provided an innovative way to dispense the product (spritzing vs. pouring).

5. What's new in the world of packaging that you can incorporate into your product packaging? Does your package smell or talk or do a myriad of things that help differentiate your product from the competition? Does your packaging tell you when it will expire or offer a safe date to give the consumer peace of mind in using your product? Think product recall fears. How can your product packaging allay consumer’s nervousness about product contamination?

The consumer wants to buy your product. That's why they are in the store. Make it easy for them to decide on your product vs. the competitor. Talk to them through your product packaging. Make it easy to understand, simple to use and allow it to satisfy a need. Above all, step back and look at your product from a customer’s point of view. What aren't you doing right that makes your packaging need HELP?

Need insights on packaging trends that can impact your business? Get the Packaging Diva on your team. Visit to find out about the latest packaging innovations and "Consumer Trends That Can Make Or Break Your Business" or call Danielle for more details at 1-814-288-5451.

US forests suffer from product packaging
Nearly 25 percent of this demand comes from paper packaging. Nationwide the United States lost an average of 831 square miles (531771 acres) of old-growth forest per year according to official figures. ... Do No Evil Stories -

HP's Redesigned Ink, Toner Packaging to Reduce Greenhouse Gas ...
HP announced that its redesigned print cartridge packaging for North America will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 37 million pounds in 2007 - the equivalent of taking 3600 cars off the road for one year. - all stories -

Advance Excelsior Introduces New Oxo-Biodegradable BubblepackBio-Bubble(R) Provides Companies with Environmentally Friendly Packaging Solution Advance Excelsior Company, a specialist in industrial packaging solutions, has launched Bio-Bubble, the world's first 100% Oxo-biodegradable bubble wrap. It contains Degradable Polymer Products' (DePoly) revolutionary additive d2w(R), which causes plastic products to degrade and ultimately biodegrade in a predetermined timeframe, causing unsightly plastic waste to vanish.

Friday, February 16, 2007

How To Avoid Costly Packaging Mistakes

Packaging News You Can Use
Tip Of The Week
Issue #1270 - Feb 16, 2007
Publisher: JoAnn Hines ,
© Packaging News You Can Use
By JoAnn Hines The Packaging Diva

This from Mike PVC Campaign Coordinator Center for Health, Environment and Justice who monitors all my articles on "green" packaging.

HP has joined many other companies such as Wal-Mart, Microsoft, and Johnson & Johnson in phasing out toxic PVC packaging due to health and environmental concerns...Best, Mike Schade, PVC Campaign Coordinator, Center for Health, Environment and Justice,

"Packaging Valentine's Day For Profit" February 07
The drugstore chain rolled out its annual "Heart Healthy" marketing push this month by enlisting product vendors for a tie-in to the American Heart Association's "Go Red for Women" campaign.

"It's easy Being Green Packaging Your Green Brand" May 06
It's Not Easy Going Green: Environmentalism May Help Your ...
Knowledge@Wharton (subscription) - Philadelphia,PA,USA
Since then, the company has begun to develop a far-flung set of environmental initiatives touching on packaging, logistics, and store operations. ...

"Packaging: The Hidden Power Player In A Global Society " August 06
More packaging solutions emerge to combat airport cosmetic ... - Montpellier,France
... such as packaging giant Nalgene, to respond with packaging concepts that specifically target the travel consumer, with the latest offering from Pactiv ...

"How To Package A Lobster" June 06
Whole Foods In Hot Water Over Maine Lobster

"THINK LOCALLY" MAY BE THE mantra for many of Whole Foods' environmentally-conscious customers, but at the moment, it's backfiring--at least in Maine.

Read this insightful article about what goes on behind the scenes.
I'm the feature of the week.

How To Avoid Costly Packaging Mistakes By JoAnn R. Hines Packaging Diva

You invest so much time and money in product development, why not invest a little more and protect yourself from making a bad packaging mistake? It is easy to make a packaging error that comes back to haunt you after you have packaged the product and sent it on its way to the retailer’s shelf.

We think about bad packaging when they hit the news. For example "Ecoli Outbreak Attributed to Packaging." Packaging that on the surface seems like a good idea but then backfires due to some unforeseen circumstance that takes place. Why wait until it becomes an issue?

Wolfgang Puck found out about "bad" packaging the hard way when his new self heating latte cans hit the retailer shelf and started exploding. Was it his fault? Probably not, but the words "Product Recall" were shouted from the isles.

"Fabuloso" experienced a similar problem when it designed the packaging for its cleaning products to look like soda or beverage bottles. Children confused the "fabulous" colors with the real thing. A few poisonings later they realized they had made a huge mistake.

All packaging problems certainly don't rise to the level of these two examples. A problem can be something of minor significance. Nonetheless, it is a problem and in many cases can be avoided or at the very least modified or anticipated. You would be surprised at how many people contact me knowing in advance that their packaging may have a problem yet they never do anything about it. Perhaps they will be the next big news story.

In any case, there are ways to foresee potentially “bad” packaging situations. A little forward thinking may alleviate impending problems. Here are some common questions that could pave the way to avoiding potential packaging problems:

Should I put my product in a plastic clamshell? The number one contested "packaging" issue revolves around the plastic clamshell and how difficult it is to open or penetrate without causing bodily harm. Can you anticipate this problem? You bet. Weigh your options when considering this type of packaging. Even with your best effort to make the clamshell easy to open, you may end up as an "Oyster Award" candidate and be labeled as one of the most difficult packages to open.

What is "green" packaging and how can I incorporate it into my packaging design? Whether to use green packaging or not should not be the question. What you should be asking is does utilizing environmentally friendly packaging materials make sense for my product?

Am I going green legitimately or just jumping on the "green" bandwagon to make a buck? Will I be mandated to use "green" packaging materials by retailers? What other options can I consider that aren't "green?” You really need to take some time to analyze these and other questions before you advance your packaging development in the wrong direction.

My packaging is working now should I change it to new and improved or give it a packaging makeover? Remember my negative packaging trend for 07. Don't fix it, if it ain't broken. Consumers hate change. When they go to look for their trusted brand on the retailer’s shelf, you want to ensure they recognize your product easily. If they don’t, they may be forced to buy from the competition. Keep packaging consistency and continuity to make it easy for consumers to buy from you.

Who regulates what needs to be on my product packaging? The answer is just about everyone. Outside of the various regulatory agencies that tell you what can and must be placed on your product packaging you could be mandated by a plethora out outside influences. Here are a few examples.

Going Green? Better listen to what Wal-Mart has to say with their "Packaging Scorecard."

Trading in the organic space? Better understand what the work organic means to your product and who is watching out looking for a mislabeled package or a claim that can't be validated.

Making weight loss claims or dietary claims on your product packaging? Just about every one will be on your case. These claims are heavily scrutinized, not just by regulatory agencies but by consumers too. They are taking charge of their own well being. They "can" and will read them.

Pay attention to these common packaging questions to which many companies don't find adequate answers before they embark on their product packaging. By doing so, you may anticipate potential packaging problems that could result in packaging problems. Do your homework. Use a little common sense and think about packaging issues relative to your product. Consider what you can do to avoid potential pitfalls before it’s too late.

Be sure and read my weekly e-zine "Packaging News You can Use."
Each week I discuss a packaging trend or issue that you should know about. If you are not on top of these issues you might find out too late that you have made a costly packaging mistake.


Biodegradable Packaging to Grow At 22%

Global consumption of biodegradable packaging materials in 2005-06 of nearly 43,000 tons, is estimated to grow to a figure of almost 116,000 tons by 2011, showing an annual growth figure of 22%, according to a new study carried out by Pira.

Polylactic acid PLA, which currently accounts for 43% of the market, will see consumption rise to more than 50,000 tons by 2011. Fresh food is the biggest end use sector for biodegradable packaging consuming nearly 18,000 tons of material last year. Consumption was led by Western Europe with a total of over 19,000 tons followed by North America with just over 16,000 tons. Eastern Europe, which offers the highest growth prospects at 24.6% pa, currently accounts for 821 tons.

More Warnings Planned For Aspirin and Tylenol Packaging – Can ...
Most people view drugs like acetaminophen as being completely safe, but misuse of the ... of the drug to be more prominent on the container

Alliance Faults Marketers For Fruity Packaging
MediaPost Publications - New York,USA
"The packaging of these products reminds people of fruit and its nutritional value without delivering the benefits." ...

Retailers to stop trans-fat use
BBC News - UK
"In the meantime, trans-fats should be clearly labelled food packaging so that people can make informed decisions about their diet." ...

Monday, February 05, 2007

You Invent It - I Package It

Even if you have a great invention without a package it will never sell. Lets face it consumers are a fickle bunch. It doesn't take much to turn them off. If fact, you only have 2.6 second to turn them on to your invention through your packaging. Yes, your package is your number one salesperson and once you have lost the opportunity you may never get it back.

Learn the full story when JoAnn Hines The Packaging Diva will be the guest speaker on Attorney Steven Leavitt and Jillian Freed's new interactive Internet radio show You Invent It Thursday, February 8, 2007. The show is broadcast live on WS Radio at 1:00 p.m. CST. Hear the Packaging Diva share her insights on "How To Package Your Invention To Sell."
The Packaging Diva says "People always contact me whenever they are in trouble. Most of the time it is after the fact and they want the quick fix to their packaging woes. Well, it doesn't work that way. Packaging is a complicated intricate process. Understanding it requires time and consideration. It’s not just about getting the product there. It’s also about getting the product to SELL."

That's where the unique role of packaging comes into play. Packaging is a complex equation. It IS the sales person. It IS your brand. It IS your company and if you haven't given it the consideration it deserves it will fail or most certainly not live up to its expectations. It’s a tangle of information out there and what you don't know CAN get you into trouble. So join the Packaging Diva this Thursday to learn the insiders tips on How To Package Your Invention To Sell. Learn why you should always make packaging your first thought not your last.

To listen live go to this page and in the upper left hand corner, click on listen live on show day at 1:00 CST.

For more details on "How To Package Your Invention To Sell" email Danielle at or call 1-814-288-5451.

For more details on the Internet radio show You Invent It contact Carolyn at or by phone at 469-698-0590

All things packaging -- If you are seeking packaging, packaging assistance, packaging help, packaging expertise, packaging consultants, packaging designers or requests for packaging proposals, I can help you with your packaging questions, issues and problems. I will find your packaging solution. Email me at