Here we are in December already, wrapping up 2013. It’s been a good year filled with innovative packages and notable headlines. For our Best of 2013 feature, we want to share with you some of the highlights from this last year, in case you missed them. Here is just a sampling of which headlines and package introductions created a stir in the industry.
Notable headlines from the year:
Research from Perception Research Services (PRS; prsresearch.com), a shopper and packaging research company, shows that shoppers are combining the digital and non-digital worlds when it comes to making product purchases. PRS’ research reveals that more than half (54%) of the shoppers surveyed own a smartphone and a majority (76%) use them while shopping. While smartphones are used by some to make purchases, they’re mostly used to gather information. Roughly half of those who do use their smartphones while shopping use them to check prices, find promotions, read product reviews or get product information.
Nearly all consumers buy private label products when grocery shopping, according to a new study of 6,600 consumers conducted by Market Force Information (marketforce.com). Of the categories studied, dairy products were the most frequently purchased private label groceries, while snacks ranked second, and cereal and cleaning supplies tied for third. Price and value were given as the top two reasons for buying private label in the four categories studied. Eighty-three percent of consumers indicated that they sometimes buy private label brands if the product is better or it offers a higher value than the national brand alternative in a particular category. Thirteen percent said that they always buy private label if one is offered in their desired product category, and only 4% are either unaware of private label products or never purchase them because they believe national brands offer a better value and product.
Pepsi has unveiled a new single-serve bottle for its Pepsi trademark portfolio including Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, Pepsi MAX and Pepsi NEXT, marking its first design update since 1996. A visual expression of the brand’s Excitement of Now positioning, the bottle rolled out in markets nationwide in April in 16-ounce and 20-ounce packaging, with full conversion taking a few years. The new bottle’s bold swirl and elevated profile reflect the brand’s attributes and youthful spirit, capturing the excitement of now for Pepsi consumers. The etched, grip-able bottom allows consumers to have a more stimulating, tactile interaction with the bottle itself. A new, 12-ounce glass bottle will also be offered as a premium package in select stores.
PMMI (pmmi.org), the owner and producer of the PACK EXPO trade shows, announced a brand-new regional event: PACK EXPO East, coming to Philadelphia Feb. 2–4, 2015. PMMI will stage the event at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. PMMI expects to draw attendees from a range of critical market segments including food, beverage, personal care, electronics and pharmaceutical and medical devices.
McDonald’s Corp. has confirmed that it will replace all polystyrene beverage cups with paper cups at its 14,000 U.S. outlets. The move comes in response to a shareholder proposal filed by As you Sow in 2011, asking McDonald’s to stop using the polystyrene foam. In 2012, the company agreed to test replacement of its foam cups with double-walled paper hot cups at approximately 2,000 restaurants, primarily on the West Coast. The company deemed the pilots successful and the paper cup will now become the standard hot beverage cup at all U.S. outlets. Several cities in California have banned or restricted the use of polystyrene food packaging and Mayor Bloomberg has proposed a ban on foam in New York City.
Over the past few decades, the demand for packaged water has rocketed exponentially. Just ten years ago world consumption stood at one hundred billion liters. Since then, and despite the global downturn, volumes have doubled. According to Canadean’s (canadean.com) latest calculations, packaged water will actually overtake carbonates as the leading soft drinks category in just two years. This anticipated result is being bolstered by its healthy image, plus actual necessity in those areas of the world lacking alternative, safe, water supplies. The main thrust behind this category re-positioning is coming from Asia. Volumes are predicted to rise by around 16% this year alone; that is more than twice the global rate of increase.
Five leading packaging companies in North America and Europe announced they intend to combine in order to operate as one global leader under the banner of Exopack Holdings Sarl (exopack.com), a new Luxembourg company (“the Combined Company”). The combined business will have 63 plants, 8,650 employees and aggregate revenues of more than US$2.5B, making it the sixth-largest plastics packaging company in the world. Joining Exopack, a U.S.-based producer of flexible paper and plastic packaging, and advanced coatings, will be four leading companies based in Europe – Britton Group, a flexible plastic packaging manufacturer; PACCOR, the second-largest rigid plastic packaging company in Europe; Kobusch, a producer of tailor-made flexible and rigid packaging systems; and Paragon Print & Packaging, a leader in private label packaging solutions in the UK.
New packages turn heads
Crown Holdings, Inc. (crowncork.com) introduced its first commercial application of its full aperture end in North America. The entire lid of the can is removable, allowing the user to drink from any of the can’s sides. The 360 End metal can is 100% recyclable and infinitely recyclable, meaning it can be reused again and again with no degradation in quality. The full aperture end created for the Sly Fox Brewing Co. cans takes sustainability one step further by using Crown’s patented SuperEnd beverage ends. The ends use 10% less metal than traditional beverage ends and make cans even more environmentally friendly.
Campbell Soup Company and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. announce an agreement that will bring together Campbell’s and Keurig®. Campbell’s Fresh-Brewed Soup K-Cup® packs will offer consumers the taste and experience of Campbell’s soups in a convenient snack that can be prepared at the touch of a button in Keurig brewers. Combining the trusted properties of a Keurig Brewed K-Cup pack and Campbell’s savory recipes, the soup will deliver a flavorful hot broth through the ease and convenience of the Keurig brewing system. Campbell’s Fresh-Brewed Soup consists of a broth K-Cup® pack and an included packet of dry pasta and vegetable blend garnish. Consumers simply brew a broth K-Cup® pack over this garnish to create a satisfying snack in minutes.
Zipz (zipzwine.com) has developed and trademarked a new 187ml single-serve wine glass and has partnered with Fetzer to bring this cutting-edge product to consumers nationwide. Fetzer released a fresh new line of premium wines, Crimson Red Blend and Quartz White Blend that will pair with Zipz. This innovation allows consumers to enjoy Fetzer’s high quality and delicious Crimson Red Blend and Quartz White Blend, on-the-go at stadiums, convention centers, special events and more. As part of this partnership, Centerplate, the largest provider of food and beverage services in North America’s sports and entertainment industry, collaborated with Fetzer and Zipz to bring this unique offering to select stadiums across the country. The 100% recyclable Crimson and Quartz Zipz glass can be enjoyed in four easy steps; pull the tab on the Zipz Clean Wrap™ covering the glass and unzip the wrap, remove the lid, snap the lid on the bottom, peel off the lift ‘n’ peel seal and enjoy.
Nature’s Coffee Kettle is a coffee brewing system for campers, hikers and coffee connoisseurs. Now the company’s updated spouted pouch from Flair Flexible Packaging (flairpackaging.com) helps Nature’s Coffee Kettle better communicate the unique brewing method and the freshness of the custom-roasted gourmet coffee. To use Nature’s Coffee Kettle, a user pours hot water into the pouch and through a proprietary self-contained filter pack filled with freshly roasted and ground coffee. After a few minutes, grasping a two-finger die-cut handle, the coffee is ready to be poured through a second spouted opening. The insulating properties of the custom engineered multilayer flexible pouch allow the user to safely handle the pouch even when boiling water is poured inside. The pouch brews 32-ounces of gourmet coffee.