9 Packaging Ideas and Watch-Outs

Here’s some “out of the box” thinking from the PackEx Show in Toronto.

Needless to say, the packaging selection process should include getting performance test results from the supplier. It is also crucial to conduct performance tests with the actual product – in the lab, on the production line and in store.

Photo-pkg diecutDon’t be square

Draw attention to the product by changing the packaging outline with a distinctive die-cut shape.

Hiding weight loss

As packages shrink, boxes are getting thinner to maintain a larger face panel. Watch-out: Thinner isn’t always better. Be sure to test the filled box for stability. And if your brand trumpets authenticity, your customers may think you’re trying to deceive them if they notice the thinner box.

Photo-pkg mattThere’s no glossing over it

Like the emerging trend of pricey cars with matt paint finishes, matt packaging can say “high end”. It is also a visual cue to convey the contents are natural, organic, good-for-you, homemade, earth-friendly, etc. Consider matt packaging and ink finishes, with or without high gloss areas, to reinforce brand positioning.

Photo-pkg tetrahedronA solution that creates a problem

This tetrahedron-shaped pouch is easier to open. Watch-out: it doesn’t work on the retail shelf. A dump bin is the best place for it.

Photo-pkg seasonalGet off shelf

Products suitable for gift giving can benefit from additional exposure through seasonal off-shelf displays. Watch-out: Take care not to make the label holiday specific or you could be paying for retailer markdowns if they don’t sell through, and saddled with unsaleable inventory that requires re-packaging.

Photo-pkg duo-packTwo is better than one

This dual pouch contains two separately packaged products. It’s ideal for pairings (like biscotti and coffee), two flavours and two-part products with different functions.

Photo-pkg retail readyLabour-saver

Big retailers love retail-ready-packaging because it saves them money by reducing instore labour. Watch-out: some retailers don’t use the trays, so check with your customers before investing.

Photo-pkg produceFresh and sustainable

This innovative stand-up pouch for fresh produce is 100% recyclable, unlike conventional laminated pouches. A proprietary resin provides a high degree of rigidity so it stands up better. Plus, a built-in handle makes it easy to carry and it’s resealable. Watch-out: don’t spend the money on features that don’t matter to your target customer. www.farnell.ca

Photo-pkg fibre bottleOn the horizon

For environmentally conscious brands (even wineries) that want to differentiate, these patented molded fibre containers consist of two recyclable components. Although the package has been developed, Kruger is still working on how to fill the containers cost effectively.


As a packaged foods consultant specializing in strategy, brand and packaging development, Birgit Blain makes brands more saleable. Her experience includes 17 years with Loblaw Brands and President’s Choice®. Contact her at Birgit@BBandAssoc.com

© Birgit Blain

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