Directions Marketing, a full-service integrated marketing communications agency, was awarded the Grand Prize for a futuristic package design concept it created for “Project 2020: The Consumer Experience” at PACK EXPO Las Vegas 2011, Sept. 26-28. The design competition is in its second year and was created to challenge the design community to envision how packaging will drive consumers’ purchasing decisions a decade from now.

The winning concept is a re-imagined pet food container created by Jeff Hillis, art director. Called Tri-tainer, the new design is engineered to bring functionality and recyclability to bulk pet food packaging. The container features an interlocking triangular design, with a uniform size and shape, which work together to make packing, shipping and warehouse storage more efficient. Accordion-type compression reduces container height as product is dispensed, and when empty, the container eventually folds flat for easy recyclability. Consumers gain additional convenience from built-in, pop-up handles and simplified dispensing.

Resealable lids and durable substrates protect product freshness and eliminate the need for consumers to transfer food to separate storage containers. Retailers and brand owners will appreciate the elimination of extraneous packaging, such as corrugated shipping containers, and the potential for a retail-ready display.

“The Tri-tainer design concept is really about not accepting the status quo,” Hillis says. “Just because something as ordinary as dog food packaging has seemingly always existed in one way, in a multilayer bag, doesn’t mean that solution is the only one, or the most successful one.

“This concept addresses two main challenges-portability and recyclability. Current dog food bag packaging is difficult to transport. And, once home, equally as difficult to manage. To make storage and dispensing easier, the food is often transferred from the bag to a separate container. The laminated bag is then thrown out, which causes recycling issues because of the multiple substrates used to make the bag. Tri-trainer solves these problems.”

To help promote the Tri-tainer concept, Directions Marketing created its own brand of premium dog food-“alpha.” The effort involved product naming, positioning, brand identity and overall packaging graphics design.

Directions Marketing