Packaging That Ignites the Senses

InVitamin_facial_careYou already know that presentation packaging is a big deal. As a protective vessel, as the first thing a customer sees, as a storage device, now more than ever, a box is more than a box. Luxury packaging has its own voice. Maybe it screams from the shelf, or maybe it whispers. Either way, it is the draw of the proverbial “cover” that reals consumers in.

Artwork is the most basic step. Breathtaking visuals can draw the eye, while the simplicity of an elegant font can breathe value into a product simply by exuding charm. But if you’re looking to go one step further, the next logical step is tactile. A unique cover material can make all the difference. As simple as a silky soft-touch lamination or as complex as as textured snakeskin, an exotic wrap material is hard to put down. When a customer actually gets a product into their hands, that’s a good chunk of the battle. And if there’s something that feels soothing to the touch, well, that battle turns that much more in your favor.

But what’s the next step after that? The next evolution? We have touch and sight covered, what about the other 3 senses?

Marketing experts already know the key to selling is engaging as many senses as possible. You see this in every commercial and print ad. But now it seems the marketing world is taking things one step further. Targeting the consumer in the store, at the moment of decision, with multi-sensory triggers. Infant supply aisles that waft of baby powder, beach-scented swim trunk sections. Some of these innovations are already in play–but if you can’t control a particular stores marketing trends, then will the future of packaging include these extra sensory upgrades?

Imagine it. Wine packaging laced with the buttery notes of a fine cabernet. A tree-trimmer that smells like fresh-cut grass, or the air before a summer storm. With presentation packaging, these experiences aren’t far off. Packaging is all about innovation, and nothing is more innovative than an engaging, interactive experience.

Demand for Packaging Professionals Exceeds Future Graduates

The coordinator of the Packaging Engineering program at the Universityof Florida, Brian Welt, believes there is more to be said about the future of packaging and the opportunities it has in store for the world’s youth. Along with lack of awareness, Welt believes there are numerous misconceptions that young people have about what the packaging industry entails. He told Plastics Today at the Pack Expo inChicago that many students are completely aware that packaging engineering was a career path and therefore have no idea the opportunities to come with it. Based on gross sales, packaging is the world’s third largest industry and entails a variety of career opportunities from engineering, to design, conversion of raw materials, and more. The demand for packaging professionals far exceeds expected graduates. “I think the packaging industry is the best kept secret in design and manufacturing,” said Jim Higley, professor of Mechanical Engineering Technology atPurdueUniversity. “There’s a bright future for those who go into packaging, but the key is to get students excited about it.”

A Glimpse Into The MYSTICal Future

The future. Such a fascinating idea. When I think of the future, I think of watching Back To The Future II as a 10 year old destined for a hover board and auto-lace Nikes (which Nike has filed a patent for recently by the way).

After seeing the new MYSTIC package design for Coca Cola bottles, it made me reminisce on those several occasions of watching Michael J Fox traveling to 2015 in pure envy. Are we now living “In the future”?

The design was created by French designer Jerome Olivet. The racy, aerodynamic style of the bottle and the classic red color gives the feel of a supernatural future world and adds even more power to a strong brand.

As we’ve seen many soft drink and bottled beverage companies change their package design on several occasions this past year or so, the transformations have all had an emphasis on the environment and eco-friendly packaging. Further, Coca-Cola has been in the news for their proactive approach on sustainability. This design however, focuses on the strength and legacy of one of the biggest brands in history. Very interesting approach.

We’re not sure when or where this design will hit convenience store coolers. But with such an attractive design, you’re sure to notice when it does.

The Future of Packaging, Part 1

Like many other industries, the packaging industry has suffered through the current recession. Sustainable packaging, however, has showed impressive growth from 2008 to 2009, and has been immune to the economic downturn. Sustainability has helped companies cut costs and reduce packaging waste by using recycled and reusable materials. Europe and the U.S. represent the largest regions for sustainable packaging, together accounting for more than 70 percent of the global market.

Sustainable packaging is projected to reach $142.42 billion globally by 2015, according to a report from Global Industry Analysts (GIA). Drivers for growth include increased awareness about environmental hazards related to disposal and recycling of packaging wastes, government initiatives to minimize greenhouse gas emissions, and stringent regulations.

As eco-friendly packaging becomes mainstream, many companies are implementing green packaging as a marketing tool. Manufacturers also are under pressure to use environment-friendly materials, and adopt methods that require low-energy consumption and reduce environmental impact of packaging.

In terms of market segmentation, recycled material accounts for the largest packaging category, contributing nearly 90 percent to the total demand in the United States. However, biodegradables represent the fastest growing segment in the packaging industry. Biodegradable materials are easily decomposed by microorganisms, and reduce packaging waste, while the materials preserve food products and sustain freshness. Among biodegradables, bioplastics are garnering the greatest attention in the green packaging market. As questions loom about the limitations of bioplastics, the demand continues to swell, presenting an opportunistic market as bioplastics evolve.

Markets using sustainable packaging include cosmetics and personal care, food and beverage, food service and shipping markets, and healthcare. As an example, the study cites more than 600 new beauty products with a green label were introduced in Europe alone during the past two years, driven by consumer preference for eco-friendly plastic packaging materials.

27 percent of products at major U.S. retailers are estimated to have sustainable packaging in 2010, and by 2015, this figure is projected to reach 37 percent.

To be continued…..

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