Monday, March 19, 2007

Is What's On The Outside Of Your Packaging What Is Inside?

Packaging News You Can Use
Tip Of The Week
Issue #1272 - March 16, 2007
Publisher: JoAnn Hines
© Packaging News You Can Use
By JoAnn Hines The Packaging Diva

Missed out on some of the information packed insightful articles from the Packaging Diva? I have created the Best of the Diva 06 Anthology just for you.
From Topics as diverse as How To pPackage A Lobster to "Are You Wanted By The Packaging Police?" this compendium cover all the recent "hot" packaging topics.
Part one includes the following 23 titles. Email me at for a more complete description.

Packaging By The Numbers - Demographic Challenges
Bombed Out With Boomers? Your Package May Be The Problem
13 Packaging Trends That Will Make Consumers Buy In 06
What Can NASCAR Teach Us About Packaging?
The Outside Of The Box Is As Important As What Is Inside
Is Your Package A Candidate For The "Oyster" Award?
A Valentine Heart Should Be More Than Just A Box Of Chocolate
Fear Factor Packaging
Tips For Packaging Products SHE Will Buy
Has Your Packaging Gone To The Dogs?
Package Design Trends That Connect With Consumers
Today's Consumer Is A Moving Target
What's In Your Bottle?
How To Make Your Product Packaging Newsworthy
Earth Day Battle: Packaging VS. The Environment
Retail's First Moment Of Truth - The Package
Beer Profits Drop. Could it be the Packaging?
What Wal-Mart Wants Wal-Mart Gets
It's Easy Being Green - Packaging Your "Green" Brand
Packaging That Sells Products or Not By JoAnn Hines Packaging Diva
How To Package A Lobster
Are You Wanted By The Packaging Police?
How To Package "Skinny"

From Kevin at Point Of Purchase Online Network
i just read and posted this article...AWESOME ARTICLE!
The reality begs this question. Are you packaging "greenwash" to capitalize on a current media trend or are you saving the environment with "true" environmentally friendly packaging?this statement above in green hits the nail right on the head. there was a few "green" sections in the trade show we attended and i am sure these people/organizations have good intentions but the question you posed above should be asked by all involved. i, as you, have seen trends come and go...... this trend must become common practice for every good reason you can think of....good stuff here

"Baby's Got Bling - You can Packaging Anything" November 06
The latest dirt on Intel comes in a three-ounce bottle for $20
Austin American-Statesman (subscription) - Austin,TX,USA
Take the Berlin Wall, which was boxed up in small containers after it was torn down and sold at malls in commemorative packaging. Then there were the wooden ...

"What Can Nascar Teach Us About Packaging?" Febuary 06
Retailers and brands again illustrated the popularity of auto racing by ushering in the 2007 NASCAR season with a bevy of promotions.

"10 Packaging Trends - Trend #10 Code Orange" January 07

FDA Announces New Safety Guidelines for Fresh-Cut Produce

In light of contaminated produce scares that have rattled American consumers since September, U.S. health officials on Monday (March 12) released a draft of proposed guidelines for commercial processing of fresh-cut vegetables and fruits.

The voluntary guidelines from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration suggest ways that food industry processors can minimize contamination of ready-to-eat produce by harmful bacteria that are common in the processing of these products.In light of contaminated produce scares that have rattled American consumers since September, U.S. health officials on Monday (March 12) released a draft of proposed guidelines for commercial processing of fresh-cut vegetables and fruits.



Is What's On The Outside Of Your Packaging What is Inside? by JoAnn Hines Packaging Diva

The Prevention Institute, a nonprofit health advocacy group out of California, studied 37 heavily marketed foods with pictures of fruit on the packaging. Fifty-one percent of the products contained absolutely no fruit, a few had minimal amounts! Yikes, you have to be vigilant on all of these fruit claims. Just take a stroll down the fruit juice isle and try to figure out which product is real 100% juice.

We all have had that experience of buying something based up its package or label and then find out what is inside is not what we expected. I know it’s wishful thinking that we can believe all those fantastic marketing claims (a lot of people do as evidenced by the product’s popularity). Think get thin quickly, eliminate wrinkles in 10 days and, the new favorites, protect your heart or lower your cholesterol. The last example is a tribute to the fact that marketers are finally talking advantage of marketing to an aging population.

Consider the recent flurry of activity regarding misleading claims on trans-fats. Companies are taking this seriously and changing their claims. I have learned this: Trans-fats, which very rarely occur naturally in unprocessed food sources, have no known nutritional benefits. The sole utility of trans fats is to increase product shelf life by retaining flavor and texture, through the technique of partial hydrogenation. ICK, no wonder they are making changes.

People are concerned with what we perceive to be "healthy" as listed on the package’s ingredients statements and then find out that it is misleading or false. Some claims (even though they are within the context of the law) can lead consumers astray by giving foods an undeserved "aura of health."

Here is the definition for false advertising which includes packaged goods:
False Advertising -"Any advertising or promotion that misrepresents the nature, characteristics, qualities or geographic origin of goods, services or commercial activities" (Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C.A. § 1125(a)). So think about that when you are developing your product packaging. Can your claims be substantiated or are you "stretching" the truth, as in the case of fruit pictured on the outside but not actually inside?

I found lots of great information on how to read and UNDERSTAND a packaging label. WOW, it is confusing even to a seasoned professional. It is almost as if they are deliberately (ha, ha) confusing the consumer into make a purchasing decision. I did a little investigation before writing this article and was shocked by the number of product manufacturers that have been sued for false adversertising claims. This is a huge expense to defend the claims or pay to settle one that we consumers pay for in the product price.
From cold sore treatments to orange juice, they all have been sued for making unsubstantiated claims on their product packaging. Things as simple as this lawsuit against cereal packaging claims was aimed at food companies including Kraft Foods, General Mills and Kellogg alleging that "low sugar" breakfast cereals are leading the customer astray.

The suit claims that these cereals are misleading because they are not any healthier than cereals with regular levels of sugar. The food industry, in general, is coming under increasing pressure from food lobby groups and parents, to “clean up its act” and offer healthier alternatives to help combat the obesity epidemic facing America. Sugary cereals are frequently cited by these groups as guilty culprits, encouraging children to eat empty calories instead of nutritional whole foods.

No product packaging is immune. Consider these "hot" buttons currently being scrutinized if you manufacture products that make claims on any of the following attributes:
• Weight loss claims to reduce or lose weight in a specified manner or period of time;
• Healthy choice claims which imply or state benefits to a consumer from consuming;
• Organic or natural food claims that indicate the product is uncontaminated or pure from chemicals and additives;
• Nutrition claims such as rich in vitamin C that can not be proven or the alleged benefits proven.

This is just a start. Look for proof of environmentally friendly packaging and materials to be in the next wave of packaging being heavily scrutinized. Is it really "green" or just "greenwash?"

You can't stop the lawsuits and media spin; however, you can ensure you do your best to prove to the consumer that what is on the outside of the packaging is also what is inside.

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 me for more details at 1-678-594-6872.


Costco Challenges Vendors To Adopt X-Ray Inspection

Costco Wholesale Corp. Assistant Vice President Craig Wilson, who heads the club store's food safety department, recently challenged its vendors to consider adopting X-ray inspection systems. In an article in Food Engineering magazine, Wilson said Costco would soon require X-ray inspection systems in addition to metal detectors as a critical quality assurance tool in food and beverage manufacturing.

Boycott of Dove Products Urged As Nude Ads Air Prime Time
ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, New Jersey, March 5, 2007 ( - A new series of prime-time ads for Dove beauty products featuring shots of naked senior women is coming under criticism by pro-family and women's groups for contributing to the sexualization of women as a commercial tool, as well as exposing children to adult nudity.

Wal-Mart Announces Initial Results of Packaging Scorecard ...
said Matt Kistler, senior vice president of marketing, research, and insights for Sam's Club and captain of Wal-Mart's Packaging Sustainability Network. "We are in a unique position to drive positive change in the area ...
North Coast Green Spieler -

A Worldwide First - Cascades Launches Bioxo(TM) Oxo-Degradable ...
Packaging & Converting Essentials (press release) - Antwerp,Belgium
... the TDPAC additive gives the polystyrene foam special degradation properties without compromising the performance of the packaging products.

Chicken of the Sea’s New ‘Peel & Eat’ Cups Answer Consumer Demand ...
Business Wire (press release) - San Francisco,CA,USA
And as noted in the December 2006 issue of Packaging World, "The emphasis on convenience drives so many food and beverage packaging developments today, ...

Monday, March 12, 2007

Packaging Greenwash - Saving The Environment

Packaging News You Can Use
Tip Of The WeekIssue #1271 - March 12, 2007
Publisher: JoAnn Hines ,
© Packaging News You Can Use
By JoAnn Hines The Packaging Diva

This from Mike "Your blog is stunning. Jam packed full of useful information. Your a packaging expert par excellence! (only the best for the best!)"
I have so may requests for my articles I have decided to make the most popular ones available on a CD just for my readers.

For those of you that can read Portuguese I was interviewed for the
History of Packaging in Brazil. Read it online at

From Gwen at Design Taxi who just published my article "Baby's Got Bling- You Can Package Anything" at

"Has Your Packaging Going To The Dogs?" March 06
Is Man's Best Friend Really a Hedgehog? - Tucson,AZ,USA... for the exotic pets many of the stores sold, I began formulating, manufacturing, and packaging products for the exotic-pet trade," Korecky says. ...

"10 Packaging Trends That Will Make Consumers Buy in 07" January 07 - Negative Trend Don't Fix What Isn't Broken.

The Perils And Payoff Of Changing A Brand
NEW YORK, N.Y. (CBS) -- It has to be the most overused phrase in marketing: "New and improved!" But in business new isn't just a selling point, but it's a mantra. Companies walk a tightrope to balance the need to be the newest, the freshest; the best while staying stay true to the product that put them on the map.

What Wal-Mart Wants - Wal-Mart Gets 06
Wal-Mart Back Under Fire—Policy Group Slaps Retailer with Allegations of "Organic Fraud"
Working in Wal-Mart's PR department lately seems akin to crossing a minefield—every step is treacherous, and more trouble lingers around every bend. With worker's unions, consumer advocates, civil rights groups and even politicians still breathing down the neck of the retailer, a policy research group is now...

FEATURE ARTICLE: Adapted from an article I wrote for Package Design magazine

Packaging "Greenwash" - Saving the Environment
Wow, have I been flooded with a host of new "green" packaging innovations. Everyone is jumping on the environmentalist’s green band wagon. I am constantly asked if environmental sustainability is a flash in the pan. If this is any indication, the recent Sustainable Packaging Forum was sold out with attendees looking for the latest packaging news in saving the environment.

I have joked before that packaging is the true cause of "global warming." But seriously, what is the reality? What is the real truth behind companies touting green packaging for the benefit of society? Environmental issues are a hot topic right now, so people are climbing aboard. Global warming topics are on the news daily and people are looking for scapegoats as to its cause. Companies such as Wal-Mart are driving manufacturers to consider more environmentally friendly options in their packaging materials. In fact, they just unveiled their packaging scorecard to continue their commitment of reducing packaging across its global supply chain by 5 percent by 2013.

The packaging industry is often chastised for having unfriendly environmental policies. I'm not here to debate this point, but I do want to talk about using environmental issues in a positive and realistic manner.

Let's take the word "green" as an example. Obviously, we think of the color first. But what about the variations of the definition that relate to packaging? How green is your packaging world?
• Green could mean less damage to the environment.
• Green could imply producing packaging from renewable resources.
• Green could entail designing products for environmental sustainability.
• Green could connote the use of less material and recyclable and degradable materials.

So "green" can be maximized for branding purposes in a host of different ways. If you have a "green" packaging product what ways are you capitalizing on the current media exposure? (In addition to sending out a press announcement.) Here are a few points to consider:
• Did you support or promote participation in any Earth Day activities?
• Do you belong to one of the many organizations that support "green" and the environment?
• Did you orchestrate your new packaging introduction to coincide with Earth Day or other environmental events?
• Have you submitted your green product to the numerous packaging associations that offer opportunities for environmental awards?
• Have you submitted your package to any of the non packaging related organizations that have "environmental" awards?
• Do you have a plan in place for your staff to understand and utilize in order to build your "green" brand?
• Do your employees believe in being "green?" (This is a very important buy in.)
• Have you looked at any websites such as (great site with lots about packaging) to see what they are doing?

Sure it seems a bit far fetched but Treehugger lives in the blogosphere world and we all know how important blogging is to the media. Try a quick GOOGLE search for "green packaging." Yes, there are a few products listed but what is more important is what is NOT there. A huge area of untapped marketing potential is available for increasing the visibility for your packaging products.

No matter how unusual or "out there" the opportunity seems do not under estimate who will see and read about your "green" brand. The branding hot spots I want you to think about are:
(1) Is your "green" packaging product is a flash in the pan?
(2) Has there been serious brand integration of the "green" message throughout your company? (3) Are you using your "green" message in all the promotion, literature and media exposure? The reality begs this question. Are you packaging "greenwash" to capitalize on a current media trend or are you saving the environment with "true" environmentally friendly packaging?

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 me for more details at 1-678-594-6872.

International Bottled Water Association To Hold Convention Oct. 15 - Fort Atkinson,WI,USAThe IBWA event will be co-located with PACK EXPO Las Vegas 2007, this year's most comprehensive packaging trade show. PACK EXPO will be held at the Las ...

Fruit may only be on the box's labelScripps News - Washington,DC,USAStrategic Alliance narrowed down the foundation's findings to supermarket products that featured fruit on the packaging, a $3 billion-a-year industry. ...

FEBRUARY, 2007 - Updated Packaging Efficiency StudyThis study updates the original one prepared in 1995. Since then, there are many new and different types of packaging on the market. But one thing hasn't changed: source reduction, or waste prevention, can play the dominant role in creating more sustainable packaging. Read the Report to learn how and why:

Tree-Free Labels Latest Eco-Commitment by Square One Organic Vodka®Fast Pitch! (press release) - USAThe move comes as part of its ongoing commitment to using sustainable packaging wherever possible. At the time of the original production run, ...