Despite the huge and perpetual demand for baby formula, most brands are entrenched in structural packaging that resembles wartime rations. This shortcoming is particularly evident when one considers how advanced the design of baby toys and the plethora of other baby-related products has become.
Major food companies appear to be competing solely on the level of packaging graphics. But their lethargy offers a great opportunity to redefine the category by adding a new level of convenience and functionality through innovative structural packaging.
For instance, by transposing some of the convenience cues from the beverage industry, retortable polycarbonate jars can be headed with pre-assembled feeding and spooning closures to make feeding much less of a hassle when baby is away from home.
The huggable, cute shapes and pastel colors are seductive and appropriate for the category. The high temperature plastic is virtually unbreakable, and clean room assembly ensures that each closure is sterile and ready for immediate use. A removable shrink-wrapped band ensures that the outer surface of the bottle is safe enough to give to an infant.
The introduction of a 5-ounce packaging platform could extend from pre-mixed infant formula, to cereals, fruits and vegetable purees. And the ability to sterilize and re-use the plastic bottles offers an excellent closed loop “rinse and return” recycling opportunity.
Consumers are hungry for a baby food brand that considers the busy lifestyle of the parent and the health and safety of their children by offering a truly “thought out” and environmentally responsible product. The first food company to accept this challenge will undoubtedly win share. BP
The author, Robert Croft, is Managing Partner of Swerve Inc., specialists in 3-D brand design. Contact him at 212.742.9560 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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In this issue of Packaging Strategies you will find “The Latest Packaging Innovations Changing the Rules,” “The Future of Cannabis Packaging” and “OEE and a Multi-Metric Approach,” along with articles on beauty and alcohol social media influencers, batch vs. continuous and aseptic sterilization, challenger brands bridging ecommerce and retail, and a popular Michigan brewing company who has what it takes to tap into the community.