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.

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


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