Sunday, December 02, 2007

Is Packaging Innovation The Chicken Or The Egg?

Packaging News You Can Use
by JoAnn Hines Packaging Diva
Tip Of The Week
Is Packaging Innovation The Chicken Or The Egg?
Issue #1286 - November 27, 2007

Dear subscriber to: Packaging News You Can Use.

I'm changing the delivery date of Packaging News You Can Use from Fridays to Tuesdays.
I'm also changing the subject title from the name of the featured article to: Packaging News You Can Use by JoAnn Hines Packaging Diva.

You will have to open the email to see this weeks "hot" packaging topic written by me JoAnn Hines Packaging Diva.

Other important sections include what is hot in green product packaging (Packaging Greenwatch) and my picks of the hottest packaging news of the week.

Is Packaging Innovation The Chicken Or The Egg? by JoAnn Hines
Packaging Diva

It’s a long-standing quandary, which came first the chicken or the egg? It's sort of like that with consumer product packaging innovation. Let's face it. We are all in advertising overload. We see nearly 3,000 marketing messages a day. So what's a poor packaging professional supposed to do? Develop the product then the package or vice versa. No matter the answer, it’s evident that conventional packaging doesn't sell products or at the very least it produces flat sales. According to some of my latest research, the packaging may not sell the product at all in the future.

In preparation for a presentation on packaging innovation, I decided to poll my network about what they believe to be new in packaging innovation for consumer products. I posed these questions to my audience:

What is your definition of packaging innovation for consumer products? Have you seen any recent packaging examples that you consider truly different and why are they unique? If you could invent it what new types of new product packaging would you like develop?

Big mistake! Maybe I should say it was a true learning experience. You think I could have anticipated some of the responses. Remember, I have been researching packaging as a marketing tool for years. Most of the responses I received were not favorable to the packaging community.

One thing is clear. Our beloved "packaging" is under attack by the consumer. They just don't understand it.

A couple of surprising points came from this exercise.

1) The packaging professionals didn't seem at all concerned about this topic or for the most part wouldn't share their insights (non confidential of course) about the topic. I wonder if they are just too busy or they simply didn't care about packaging innovation.

2) The consumer (those people not in the packaging industry) registered loud and clear. They gave me the skinny on their dissatisfaction on everything from less packaging to "wrap rage" induced by product packaging. They took the time to express their opinions.

So to what do we attribute this dichotomy of opinions? Package professionals are involved in the third largest industry in the US. It is “packaging" and we are confident that we know what the consumer needs (or so we think).

Uninformed consumers are unhappy, outraged, dissatisfied and just plain angry with the packaging industry and it’s our fault. Our industry has done very little to educate the consumer about why they need packaging and what role it has to play in modern society. What about the consumer perceptions? These are sadly going downhill. With the holidays, we get a flurry of editors writing about "wrap rage." In addition with the "green movement" we are getting protest of environmentally unfriendly, excess packaging and so on.

But the truth is consumers need packaging innovation. They need all of the benefits it has to offer with threats such as product integrity and security, country of origin issues and so on.

So who is going to answer these dilemmas? Smart packaging professionals who will use packaging innovation to the consumers’ benefit. They will educate and inform consumers that the package is a whole lot more than what it seems to be -- on the surface.

To answer the age old chicken or egg quandary. Packaging has a perception problem which has to be resolved now. It is imperative that we "connect" with the consumer before the egg or the chicken are either conceived or hatched. Otherwise, packaging will continue to face detractors and complainers and reinforce the negative consumer perceptions.

Need to know who has got the latest concepts in packaging innovation? I know, that's what I do-track packaging trends and innovation and how it is going to impact your business. Get connected with me JoAnn Hines Packaging Diva at my websites or by phone 1-678-594 6872.


Going 'green' can be a mixed bag for consumer companiesMarketWatch - USABy Anjali Cordeiro Consumer product suppliers are pushing to make their products and supply chains more environmentally friendly in an effort to bolster ...

Engineering Green PackagingDesign News - Newton,MA,USABY THIS AUTHOR Food, beverage and consumer product packaging will soon get a whole lot greener. And much of the credit goes to Wal-Mart. ...

A Spotlight on the Green Side of Bottled WaterNew York Times - United StatesA. We use less packaging than sodas or other convenience beverages. Nestlé Waters is rolling out Ecoshape, a 12.5 gram plastic bottle that holds half a ...

Lessons Learned on Display at Wal-Mart's Sustainability - Peterborough,NH,USAIt can be an engine for innovation in products and packaging, even delivery systems. And it wants to help its tens of thousands of suppliers move in that


Target reducing use of PVC: reportReuters - USANEW YORK (Reuters) - Target Corp said it is reducing its use of the plastic polyvinyl chloride in packaging and children's ... like lunch boxes and 0071106

The Vinyl Institute Response to News Report on Target's Reduction ... PR Web (press release) - Ferndale,WA,USAThe Vinyl Institute (VI) expressed disappointment today over a news report that Target Corp. is reducing its use of PVC for packaging and children's ...

Sick lungs to be shown on packaging of cigarettesManila Standard Today - PhilippinesPICTURES of damaged and discolored lungs will soon be used on cigarette packs to further discourage people from smoking, an official said yesterday. ...

Monash student wins Cormack Innovation AwardFerret - AustraliaCormack Packaging Marketing Manager, Ron Hartman, said Sarah's design solved the frustration felt by many DIY people with the current vacuum formed ...

Battle Against Bottled Water Hits StreetBaltimore Sun - United States"People can choose bottled water, or they can bring their own tap water. We offer water in convenient, portable and resealable packaging that's readily ...

JoAnn Hines
Packaging Diva

WHO IS THE PACKAGING DIVA?I package people, products and services. Get started in the right direction by visiting any one of my websites for free advice, articles or just plain help. You can ask a question to a packaging expert too, list your packaging request or just e-mail me at I *will* find your perfect packaging solution!


Blogger rhartman said...

Jo Ann,

I am new to the packaging industry but not new to marketing. I am finding that the FMCG companies want true innovation but are very wary about it. I have found the FMCG industry to be very conservative and a lot happier to do small incremental innovations like introducing a new flavour. It seems that no FMCG marketer ever got fired by launching a dud flavour but someone must have be fired by being brave and launching an innovative product.

On the packaging industry side, I am finding the industry reactive and not proactive to their customers and cripplingly focused on price rather than value.

Thank you for the reference to our Cormack Awards where we try to foster innovation in the consumer industries by getting college design students to create designs for briefs set by industry packaging people and judged by packaging people. Not only has it created some new product ideas, it has got the Australian FCMG thinking more about innovation.
For more information see our blog at


Ron Hartman

2:31 PM  

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