5 Packaging Innovations

Photo-HeinzPackaging can have a big impact on sales (positive and negative) and be a powerful product differentiator.

Let’s take a look at the evolution of Heinz® ketchup, introduced in 1876. For over 100 years, there was only one ketchup formula. During that time Heinz® innovated their brand through packaging, introducing new formats and materials to respond to a variety of customer needs. They launched individual foil packets for food service; 32 oz. “Keg o’ Ketchup” for heavy users; the plastic squeezable bottle to make it easier to get the ketchup out; Dip & Squeeze® dual function single-serve packaging for on-the-go consumers; more environmentally friendly PlantBottlepackaging using up to 30% renewable plant-based material.

The introduction of the first upside-down bottle with a special cap solved a number of problems; syneresis (the watery stuff that comes out of the bottle first) was eliminated; the bottle fit in the refrigerator door for easier access; improved ketchup flow let consumers get their favourite condiment onto their burgers and fries faster.

5 Innovative Packaging Solutions from the Top 50 Packaging Ideas Expo

Warning: Before deciding on any packaging solution, ask the manufacturer for specifications and performance test results and test it yourself, repeatedly, to make sure it works. There’s nothing worse than a great product in a poorly performing package.

1. Omnidegradable® packaging breaks down in backyard composters with only the aid of microbes in soil or water. Available in kraft paper stand up pouches, bags and roll stock lined with a low to high barrier Biofoil or Bioliner, this packaging delivers shelf life up to 12 months. Salad trays and shampoo bottles are also available.

It’s worth considering Omnidegradable® packaging if your brand is positioned as organic, non-GMO, sustainable, caring for the environment, fair trade, healthy or “all natural”.

One potential downside is that brands can’t control how consumers dispose of packaging. What happens when it enters the recycling stream or landfill sites? Before choosing this option, investigate to ensure your brand is not adding to the problem. www.tekpaksolutions.com

2. The multipurpose Bandall® shrinkable tape banding system provides an array of solutions including security and tamper evident seals; banding together multiple packages – a great bundling solution for Costco; securely sealing and labelling clamshell containers; adding branding; replacing cardboard sleeves that can slip off at retail. An affordable tabletop shrink application machine is available for small food businesses. http://www.bandall.com/en/

3. Consumers love resealable packaging. Sealstrip® is a tamper evident, easy-to-open solution that lets consumers reseal packages without the need for costly zippered pouches that often do not function properly. There are other easy-open and easy-reseal solutions too. www.sealstrip.com

Photo-hooded shipping case4. This hooded shipping case was designed specifically for Walmart, to reduce labour costs at store level. The perforated, easily removable cover exposes the retail-ready tray inside. Granted this innovation comes at a premium price but if you are pitching to Walmart and other major grocery chains, it shows them that you understand their needs. Retailers love saving money on store labour. www.centralgrp.com. A similar concept is the Cabrio Case™ from American manufacturer Delkor Systems.

5. Resealable stand-up pouches are in demand. Unfortunately setting up a vertical form fill seal (VFFS) packaging line can cost $200,000 plus. The SPrint™ SidePouch® packaging system provides a more affordable solution. Automated Packaging Systems has a range of bagging options to accommodate operations of all sizes.

Ongoing Innovation

Packaging is a diverse industry that continues to innovate to improve functionality, food safety, shelf life, traceability, security, inventory management, printing technologies and machinery for food processors.

Exciting innovations include active packaging with absorbers and emitters to retard food spoilage and intelligent packaging with time/temperature sensors that indicate freshness and detect spoilage micro-organisms. What will they think of next?


Stay up to date with these informative websites:

Canadian Packaging http://www.canadianpackaging.com

Packaging Digest http://www.packagingdigest.com

As a packaged foods specialist, Birgit Blain transforms food into retail-ready products. Her experience includes 17 years with Loblaw Brands and President’s Choice®. Contact her at Birgit@BBandAssoc.com. Check out this recent rebranding project.

© Birgit Blain

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