Friday, July 11, 2008

Green Packaging Noise

Packaging News You Can Use
by JoAnn Hines Packaging Diva
Tip Of The Week
Issue #1301 - July 11, 2008

From The Desk Of The Diva:

This week lots of interesting packaging news has come across my desk. I post most of it on Twitter. Not only is it a great way to communicate but it makes you get clever using only 140 characters to post.

If you want to follow me for more packaging insights I'm at
I'm changing the summer format a little since people are of on vacation and doing other fun stuff.
Here is what I need from you:

Examples of innovative product packaging to critique;
Packaging trends you would like to know more about;
Pressing packaging questions you need answers to.
Now on with the show.....

Feature Commentary:

Green Packaging Noise By JoAnn Hines Packaging Diva
I just got a call from Brandweek to comment on green product packaging backlash. I've been writing about it for a while but this week reading about square milk bottles brought it all to a head. While the idea of a square milk bottle looks good on paper and its attractive financially to the retailer, a lot of consumers hate it. It's just like the bag of milk I discussed earlier its cumbersome and very consumer unfriendly and mostly likely will never fly here in the US no matter how environmentally friendly it is.

Every week I get dozens of new green packaging press releases. Some of these are really a stretch. Its seems with green the "in" thing to do, everyone is trying to jump on the band wagon. Many of these innovations really don't make sense or in many cases won't "connect" with the consumer.

Just because its green, environmentally friendly, sustainable, compostable, recyclable or biodegradable doesn't mean that consumers will buy your product. Consumer acceptance is a very complicated issue. The growth of convenience and luxury categories flies in the face of the environmental movement too. They use lots of packaging and expensive too!

WE want it and we want it now. If it happens to tap into the "green movement" so much the better. The average consumer really does care about the environment they just aren't going to sacrifice their creature comforts to get there. In reality only about 10% of the American populace inhabit this space any way. Sure we can all use a little less packaging in our lives just take a look at your trash can. Remember however, without the package you cannot have a product so give packaging a break!

As I have said many times packaging has many roles to play ones in addition to protecting the product and getting it in your hands, attributes consumers will not willingly give up. Just think how you shy away from any damaged product packaging or reject the damaged or bruised product at the supermarket. The rejection rate is already 20% without packaging this would skyrocket. And who do you think pays the ultimate price for less packaging? It's not the retailers or the consumer products companies, its YOU the consumer.

When was the last time you saw a sales person trained to tell you all about the item you are considering purchasing? The packaging tells you the story about what is inside and why you should buy it. You know the "silent salesperson." So before you jump on the "less" packaging bandwagon give some consideration to why the packaging is there in the first place.

I wrote this little jingle for Twitter and that's says it all. "Toothpaste squeezes, eggs aren't cracked, pizza delivered, headache's better, beer anyone? Packaging a love affair you never knew you had."

Now don't get me wrong, I have seen some very interesting concepts in "green" product packaging some that make sense to the consumer. But I have seen a lot of crap too. Some companies that are just making some green packaging noise hoping to capitalize on some of the current media buzz. So think about your green product packaging message and how it integrates into your brand. Does it make real sense or are you just trying to spin green? Remember before you jump into the frenzy consider what your consumer wants and expects out of your product packaging. Will it truly make a difference in the eyes of your core customer?

Think about how much green packaging noise read about this week. Is it getting you to evaluate changing your product packaging? Before you leap I have two things to say: Consider purchasing my special report Sustainable Packaging - From Green to Great a retrospective about what green packaging works and what doesn't work. Order at

Or give me a buzz at 678-594-6872. I'm tapped in to the latest green packaging news. I can help you assess why or not you should consider changing your product packaging. At the very least I can tell you what your competition is doing.

If you are just chumming the "green" waters then be sure and visit and one of my web sites for lots of information and advice. Going green or not it pays to do your homework first.
Happy Packaging!


Blogger said...

Hi JoAnn!

I just wanted to plug our new 100% recycled label material. It works great with all types of packaging.


Matt Hamilton

11:42 AM  

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