Drinks Packaging

Tesco Hit The High Note

Posted in Cosmetics & Toiletries, Design, Drinks Packaging, Food Packaging on June 8th, 2010 by Jane Bear – 6 Comments

No singing for your supper in this case – sounds more like it’s going to sing to you, albeit with a very limited repertoire.

Great novelty idea from Tesco. World cup sandwiches which sing ‘Ole, ole, ole’ to you. The packaging for these Jalapeno Chicken sandwiches contains the same sort of technology as singing birthday cards.

I’m sure there must be lots of other packs you could add this technology to, whether it is just for fun, or for more serious reasons. Personally I think Tesco should do cucumber and salmon sandwiches specially for Wimbledon that shout ‘that ball was in’ in a McEnroe kind of way.

Thanks to Sky News for shouting about this one, they are even showing a video of it Sky News

High street packaging dreams – end in ‘the den’

Posted in Branding, Business News, Design, Drinks Packaging, Food Packaging, Healthcare & Pharma, Marketing, Opinion, Product News, Retailers on May 19th, 2010 by Chris Penfold – 598 Comments
Den Kit packaging branding

Den Kit packaging branding

Monday night saw the 2nd programme in the mini series High Street Dreams (8 programmes) on BBC1. The ‘reality TV show’ about product branding, packaging & design development. Over the series Jo Malone and Nick Leslau will help a number of individuals as they try to launch new products. From a packaging and design perspective, I don’t think that this week’s show was as good & fulfilling as the first, but still entertaining. The ‘guinea pigs’ included:

Primary school teachers from Shropshire – Jo Jones & Kay Miller who developed a ‘Den Kit’ – a fun and adventure product to help kids play & learn the old fashioned way! Good old ‘home farm’ values and fun!

Initially chopping trees down themselves in rural Shropshire to make ‘handmade’ wooden mallets, they proposed a huge retail price of  £40 per pack. However after visiting the annual Toy Fair where the average toy price was £6.70, they were forced to reconsider. Their mentor David Strang, an entrepreneur & leading toy manufacturer, emphasised the importance of  ‘eye catching’ packaging (good to hear!) which helped his own products increase sales by a factor of 25!

The ladies took this ‘on board’ and a “top graphic designer” was brought in to develop the branding, but I must say it left me disappointed. Although the typography was strong, with an ‘all over’ camouflage effect. Not sure that it had enough ’shelf stand-out, without any alluring photography or a means to view the products inside. But we didn’t have the benefit of a proper evaluation of competitor packs and ’sight’ of all packs on shelf together. Certainly if it had been our project we would have also considered other packaging options (rather than standard carton) to try and incorporate the above factors and try and add more consumer appeal, convenience & value.

The ladies did manage to get their costs down substantially by sourcing components from a brother in the Philippines. Enabling a revised price point of just under £30.

They christened their overarching brand as ‘Real Adventure’ & pitched to the MD Duncan Grant of the ‘Entertainer’ retail chain who was certainly ‘wavering’ and undecided on whether or not to stock the product. He loved the ‘down to earth’ product concept and I think that most of his concern was targeted at the packaging. He mentioned that the packaging  needed “more work” but did eventually give the ‘ go-ahead’ to try out the products in his 52 high street stores in the UK.

The revised Den Kit packaging

The revised Den Kit packaging

The kit contains: tarpaulin, groundsheet, handmade mallet, tent pegs, tent peg bag, 10m rope, metal mug, camouflage paint, webbing haversack & instructions

Since filming, Jo & Kay have certainly been busy and now have other products featured on their website which you can see here: Flibberty

You can follow them on Twitter: @DenKit

The second product featured on the programme was Nutriyum. Husband and wife, Paul and Maria Stricker quit their lucrative city jobs and invested their life savings (over £15K) to create Nutriyum – a healthy drink for young kids. Developing a drink that is both nutritious and tasty is tough enough, but they had just eight weeks to formulate a product in order to secure themselves a place on the highly competitive supermarket shelves. They enlisted the expertise of Ella’s Kitchen founder Paul Lindley and Little Dish’s Hillary Graves to help them focus, but sadly time was against them and despite bags of enthusiasm,  had failed to do their homework!!

The initial products offered by Paul & Maria were banana & strawberry flavours – but containing no fruit! The product was redeveloped within a matter of days from the previous synthetic mix into a chilled fresh fruit smoothie, which the couple were expecting to sell at the premium price of £1. Leslau affirmed the importance of pitching with a real product – NOT a prototype – something that we would strongly endorse. In our experience, retailers, buyers & marketers often find it difficult to visualise the ‘final product’, so it’s critical to get as close as possible with your product & packaging in any ’sales pitch’. Something that can be achieved quite easily these days with the ability to provide quick-turnaround physical mock-ups & realistic digitally printed artwork.

Leslau also emphasised the importance of gaining ’shelf space’ with retailers. I would also mention that stores sometimes measure profits in terms of the profit per length of shelving – which needs to be borne in mind in any pack design! Retailers need to be able to:

  • Restrict their investment to the lines that will sell
  • Buy in small quantities (keeping minimum stock)
  • Buy goods that generate the highest levels of profit

Indeed we would emphasise the importance of meeting the business needs of all supply chain parties – suppliers, manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers & customers – all are interdependent.

Manufacturing was shown in more detail this week, as the young couple hired contract filling facilities to fill prototypes – at a cost of £5000 (+£1000 for materials) – only to come to the conclusion that they had been packed in an inappropriate packaging format (an expensive mistake to make and underlines the importance of thinking these things through properly and employing ‘experts’ to help from the outset – which can actually work out more cost-effective in the long run!)

The packs chosen for filling were Guala ’style’ ‘doy’ packs, commonly used on drinks like Lucozade, but would have presented the wrong ‘messages, cues & triggers’ for the ’single shot’ proposition intended. The branding agency chosen by Malone and Leslau were ‘Identica’ who (not surprisingly) struggled to find a fit with the brand name ‘Nutriyum’ and also with the overall pack proposition (considering that the product ingredients were synthetic but supposed to be healthy and appeal to young mothers). So there was a big ‘disconnect’ there. If more market research had been undertaken by the couple before developing their product/brand a totally different & more focused offering would have been achieved.

Ultimately, Paul & Maria realised their problem and simply ran out of time, so decided themselves to ‘bow out’ – a very brave decision considering the allure of retail endorsement and the TV PR coverage they would have gained for their new brand (despite that – they certainly got some good coverage anyway!). I feel that they made the right decision and will ‘live to fight another day’, once they’ve got it right.

As it happens, I undertook some research on the web today, and it does appear that the couple have been ‘beavering away’ in the background. Although the product is “not in the shops yet”, you can find out more about their endeavours on-line (link below). As a matter of interest Nutri-Yum does already appear to been trademarked by someone else (which wasn’t mentioned in the programme by anyone!)  Paul & Maria do seem to have taken ‘on-board’ the comments made in the programme and redeveloped their branding & packaging (and no-doubt the formulation also). In fact a completely different product offering! Certainly an improvement on what was shown on the TV – but probably in need of a bit more work. The brand name has been changed to ‘nyum‘. According to Wikipedia, this means “Swallowing in Catalan” – which I suppose is reasonably appropriately. However, a quick search on Google, pulls up a huge array of ‘nyum nyum’ activity & ‘noise’ – much of which seems to relate to eating BUT none of which relates to this new brand – so I feel that more work is needed there guys! You can see the latest offering on their website www.nyum.co.uk

We wish all parties featured in the programme every success with their products, but the big learnings for anyone in their position are:

  • Include product development & design specialists from the start if you want success (we can give you a free consultation if you are unsure)!
  • Make your mistakes early on in the process, before you’ve spent too much money
  • Learn from your mistakes
  • Don’t be afraid to ‘pull the plug’ if it doesn’t feel right!

Next week the High Street Dreams team will help two sets of partners market fashion products. If you want to watch last night’s programme again you can download it on i-player here: 17th May programme

Cheers

Chris Penfold

Research For The Weekend?

Posted in Drinks Packaging on May 14th, 2010 by Jane Bear – 13 Comments

plastic wine bottleNow maybe this is a spot of research many of us could take part in or even reach a conclusion for ourselves.  Earlier this week Waitrose announced that it would stocking wines in plastic bottles especially to make it’s ‘festival going clientele happy’  This came hot on the heals of M&S who’d announced only a week ago that it would now be stocking wine in 25cl plastic bottles.  

Both of the stores claim that the wine looses none of its taste, or gains any taint from the plastic and is guaranteed to keep for at least 12 months.  Sounds great and will be ideal for the summer (if we ever get one) and alfresco dining, whether in the back garden or at a festival. BUT……………..

Also released this week is a report by researchers at the Institute of Vine and Wine Sciences (ISW) in Bordeaux, France.  They say they found that the alcohol starts to oxidise and that wine stored in plastic bottles and boxes loses its freshness within six months! 

That doesn’t bode well for the new plastic wine bottle trend.  Maybe we should all do a little bit of further research on this – of course I’m not encouraging anybody to drink, and if you do please drink responsibly, but if you are opening a bottle of wine tonight it would be interesting to hear your own views on plastic vs glass in the taste stakes. (Jane Bear)

You can find more details on the report here – Daily Mail

To read Waitrose’s claims just follow this link to our friends at Packaging News

Fun With A 2D Barcode?

Posted in Drinks Packaging, Marketing on May 4th, 2010 by Jane Bear – 12 Comments

2D barcode on HeinekenHeineken’s new summer marketing campaign will include the use of 2D barcodes.  Maybe not what 2D barcodes were intended for, but definitely a fun and engaging use for them.

The idea behind their campaign is that you text a number on the pack and they send you a link so you can download a free app which enables you to scan 2D barcodes with your phone.  You then scan the 2D barcode on the promotional packs and you’ll then be told whether you’ve won. 

Not really pushing the 2D barcode to its potential, but certainly making far more consumers aware of their existence.  According to Heineken ‘their consumers are early adopters of new technology’

I think it will be interesting to see where else the barcodes ‘pop’ up and who will be next to use them for interacting with their consumers? (Jane Bear)

To read the full article just follow this link to Mobile Marketer

Another ban for BPA

Posted in Drinks Packaging, Food Packaging, Legal, Materials, Safety on April 1st, 2010 by Jane Bear – 12 Comments

And so this story rumbles on with another country banning the use of BPA in certain products.  If you’ve still got products that might be affected by a similar ban in another country then you really need to be looking to change very soon, after all, who knows who will be the next country to join the ban. (Jane Bear)

Denmark has introduced a temporary ban on bisphenol A (BPA) in all food contact materials for young children amid fears the chemical could inhibit brain development.

Thanks Beverage Daily for highlighting this ban, to see their full article just follow this link  – Beverage Daily

Elo – packaging designer under the ”Creative Spotlight’

Posted in Branding, Cosmetics & Toiletries, Creative Spotlight, Design, Design Cognition News, Design Library, Drinks Packaging, Food Packaging, Gift Packaging, Marketing, Opinion, Uncategorized on February 25th, 2010 by Chris Penfold – 10 Comments

At Design Cognition, we are passionate about packaging, design & creativity. We like to work with some of the worlds’ leading edge packaging designers, but also identify and nurture some of the brightest up-and-coming talent coming into the industry. We’re on a mission to unearth the very best designers and creators to see what makes them ‘tick, what ‘fires them up’ to get out of bed in the morning and who/what inspires them. We’re starting a a new initiative called the ‘Creative Spotlight’. In the first of the series we’ve interviewed a fantastic designer from California called ‘Elo’ (MarcELO), who has a very distinctive style all his own. Enjoy! and watch out for other great designer interviews coming soon! Chris Penfold

1. Elo, could you tell us where you’re from and how you got started in the field?

I originally come from South America, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. I’ve also lived in Europe and Canada. Today I live in sunny San Diego, California. I came here for school, I graduated and I run my own freelance design company, ElO Designs. I was always involved with art ever since I was a kid. My sisters and I did some plays together and then I thought I was going to be a singer. I took singing classes for 1 year and I formed a band. We were great but too many. Then things started to fall apart and the band was over after a year. Since I like traveling, I wanted to create a website to show my friends and family the places I was visiting at the time. So, I bought my first HTML book and started to learn all by myself how to create websites using only the codes and the notepad. I thought it was a lot of fun and after that I never stopped. My older sister was a graphic designer at the time, she didn’t have a computer and was doing all the arts by hand. Using amber leaf and ruby leaf, gluing stuff together, using the T ruler and ink
pens that needed to be soaked in water over night. “What a mess it was”, (laughs) but I learned a lot from her as well!.

Elo's lovely 'te' packaging for an upmarket tea range

Elo's lovely 'te' packaging for an upmarket tea range

2. Elo, what gives you inspiration when starting a design project? How do you blend all of your ideas in a harmonious way?

Well, my inspiration comes from various places: TV shows, patters, nature, magazines, or just from playing my games sometimes. There are days that my mind is a complete blank. And there are some other days that I get up in the middle of the night with a great idea. Then I either have to write it down or go to the computer and start working on it right away… Now, if I’m working with clients I have a questionare that I send to them to try to understand what they want me to do. Most of the time things go smoothly but sometimes clients have no idea what they want and it gets a little bit hard. In that case, I would say that, when working with indecisive clients it’s always good not to send them too many ideas. Limit yourself to 3 concepts. I like working with colors but I don’t like it when the colors overpower the final composition. So, I try to be really careful on that. It’s also good to know and understand color theory, color wheel, primary, secondary and tertiary colors. That helps to find the balance in the final composition.

Elo's 'old globe' brochure work

Elo's 'old globe' brochure work

3. Did you study graphic design formally in school/college (did that include packaging & typography?) or are you a self-taught artist? And in your opinion what are the pro’s and con’s of each route?
I went to a great Design School here in California and I got an AA( associate degree) in Graphic Arts with great professors. I’m specialized in packaging and print design. I think that when you have some talent school always counts and you can learn great techniques from other professionals. I have seen great design work from people with no schooling and I have seen portfolios from people with Bachelor Degrees that make me think ‘Ummm…really???’. So, I guess it all depends. School helps, It will also help to get technical if you’re not so talented. But school won’t make you. You are the only one who will find your own identity as a designer or artist.

Elo's artistic 'Explore' range of book covers

Elo's artistic 'Explore' range of book covers

4. How do you define yourself as a designer and what strong point do you think that every packaging designer should have?

I define myself as an artist who has a design career for now. I think every packaging designer has to think ‘outside of the box’. It’s important to think about sustainability and about the practical part of the design you are creating. The most important thing is to think about the target audience you are designing/creating for, because they are the ones who are going to consume your product.

Elo's 'naturals' men's packagng range

Elo's 'naturals' packagng range

5. How do you feel that packaging design work differs from other areas in which you work? Why do you think that is?

Well, I like packaging and branding the most amongst all other things that I do.. I also love what I have been doing at the moment, called: “Photo Illustration”. It lets me be very creative and show the ‘true me’ as a designer. But I think all areas have their own importance. Today as a designer you must know a little bit about everything. We are all visual human beings and we are surrounded by designs everywhere. From the time get up to the time we go to bed. If the color differs, if the shape differs, if the usage of the product differs, if you respect the visual hierarchy, the product will cause an instant reaction to the consumers and will stand out from the shelves. That’s when you know the design really works, when it stands out amongst others.

'Birds' - an example of Elo's amazing 'Photo Illustration' work

'Birds' - an example of Elo's amazing 'Photo Illustration' work

6. What’s your favourite piece of packaging design work that you’ve undertaken yourself and why?

I’m happy with all my designs. I never put anything out there if I’m not 100% happy with it. But one of my favorite pieces is my “Eko” Home Cleaning Supplies Design. I put a  lot of thought into it. I was really happy with the overall result and I think I accomplished it beautifully, from the color pallet to the cohesion of the illustrations. The design was recently asked to be featured in a Japanese magazine about packaging and design. I guess I can call it successful right?! (laughs).

Elo's distinctive EKO packaging design

Elo's distinctive EKO packaging design

7. What’s your favourite all-time piece of packaging design that’s out on the market (i.e. designed by someone else) and why?

Oh Man…. that is a tough question for me ’cause I like so many designs. Target these days has great packaging designs. I like “Method” home products, I like “Scotch Brite” eco-friendly sponges, I like Paul Michel shampoo packaging, Aveda has great packaging and great ads as well, I like Michael Graves(industrial design) and Apple designs.

Distinctive packaging of the 'Method' range of homecare products

Distinctive packaging of the 'Method' range of homecare products

8. Thinking specifically about packaging design, who would you say provides you with “design inspiration,” meaning designers that you look up to; and also tell us why you feel this way about  them, what makes them special?

I try not to look much on already done stuff. So, this way when I design something I get my own signature to the product I’m working on. But there are tons of designers that I appreciate, I Like: Michael Graves(Industrial designs) visit his website at (http://www.michaelgraves.com/mgdg.htm) The guy is a genius. Everything he does has this round polished shape to it and when you look at his products you say: “That is Michael Graves”!

One of Michael Graves' zany kettle designs

One of Michael Graves' zany kettle designs

9.  Any final thoughts for our readers?

When you do something in life, do it with your heart. Always try to push yourself over the limit to get better and better. Read, undertake research, visit blogs, create your own blog, connect to some other groups. There are so many fantastic designers around the world. Never limit yourself. You won’t have fireworks all the time. And you might also find people with huge egos, who will try to cut you off or turn you down as in any other artistic industry. But if you stay true to yourself you will get there!

10. Elo, where can we find you on-line?

My personal website is always an endless work in process. Right now I’m still working on it but you can find me on-line in various places. Here are some:
http://www.coroflot.com/elodesigns
http://elodesigns.deviantart.com
http://www.behance.net/elodesigner
http://thinksmartdesigns.blogspot.com/
http://twitter.com/elodesigner

That’s great. Thanks Elo and all the best for the future – you’re doing some wonderful work there – keep it up.

Cheers

Chris

Support for Packaging – at last!

Posted in Drinks Packaging, Environmental Issues, Food Packaging, Social Media on February 15th, 2010 by Jane Bear – 2 Comments

Packaging seems to have spent far to long now being demonised in the press, it’s nice to see an article in a main stream newspaper that actually defends packaging and it’s use to protect and prolong the shelf life of food.

Very interesting and thought provoking article by the New York Times.  Interestingly some of the comments below the article appear to have been submitted by individuals who haven’t read the article very carefully.

Great New Limited Design for Coca Cola

Posted in Branding, Design, Drinks Packaging, Product News on February 11th, 2010 by Jane Bear – 9 Comments

This limited edition Coco Cola design makes great use of their brand colours, very clean and unfussy.  Shame it’s only going to be available in the US.  Wonder what we will get in the UK for the summer Olympics.

Coco cola limited design

Coca-Cola has released special-edition packaging for the US market to celebrate the Vancouver Winter Olympic Games that start tomorrow.  For the full story visit packagingnews.co.uk

68k tonne cut in packaging weight – but is that good?

Posted in Business News, Drinks Packaging, Environmental Issues, Food Packaging, Marketing, Recycling on January 29th, 2010 by Jane Bear – 4 Comments

I don’t want to belittle the progress that Kraft has made in reducing the weight of its packaging but you have to ask the question, how much of this reduction is due to the move from heavy glass jars to light weight laminated pouches? 

There is no doubt that this will have had a huge positive impact on there transportation footprint, which is great – but what about the end life of the laminate pouch?  I’m still waiting to be convinced that high temperature recycling of laminates is really the right way to go.  And what about the end consumer, how many of them know how or where to recycle laminate pouches compared to those that can and do easily recycle glass jars?

Great marketing story though. (Jane Bear)

Kraft Foods has revealed it has cut 68,000 tonnes of packaging from its products around the world in the past five years.  To read the full article visit packagingnews.co.uk

Article by Simeon Goldstein, packagingnews.co.uk, 29 January 2010

Only 25% shoppers are ‘aware of renewable packaging materials’

Posted in Drinks Packaging, Environmental Issues, Food Packaging, Marketing, Materials, Opinion, Recycling, Retailers on January 26th, 2010 by Chris Penfold – 9 Comments

Why am I not surprised that only a quarter of consumers are aware of renewable materials in packaging and even fewer have heard of FSC, research from the carton producers association ACE has found. I wouldn’t say that the benefits have been particularly well marketed to the industry, let alone consumers.

Research carried out among 1,001 shoppers for the Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment (ACE) UK found that just 26% of consumers had heard of renewable materials being used in packaging, while 16% knew of the FSC chain of custody logo.

Although I’m aware that mixed material cartons are now collected at some supermarkets (in the UK), it seems to be ‘patchy’ to say the least. The Tetra pak website provides some useful information, but I for one am not convinced that widespread and adequate infrastructure is in place to process these once collected, what impact processing has on the environment and what real usage there is for the recovered materials afterwards. Tetra Pak state that materials can be “used in furniture, to generate energy or even separated out into pure aluminium and paraffin.” But I wonder how much of that actually happens?

Cartons may well state that “purchasing this FSC certified carton from Tetra Pak supports responsible forest management worldwide”, but there are no statements about the other materials that need to be separated.

So come on FSC, if you’d like to provide us with the relevant information so that we can all make an informed judgement as to the pros & cons, we (in the industry) can help you spread your message.

Chris Penfold

Here you can read the rest of the article: ‘Three shoppers in four ‘unaware of renewable packaging materials’: study‘ Dated 25th January 2009, Via Packaging News website.