For the first time, Gatorade introduced a limited edition bottle for sale exclusively on its web site, www.gatorade.com; the label commemorates the newly crowned Super Bowl champions. “We’re proud to offer this first-ever celebratory bottle to the New York Giants, a team that defied the odds and claimed their place in NFL history,” says Matt Knott, the brand’s vice president of marketing. The bottles became available for sale at 11:42 EST on Sunday, February 3, shortly after the New York Giants clinched the title. Consumers ordered the bottles individually for $2.25, or in a case of 24 for $24.99, plus shipping. Only 2,520 bottles were in stock and were sold on a first come, first serve basis.
A more mature brand of rum
Kilo Kai, a spiced rum from Apostrophe Brands, is targeting consumers looking for a “mature” rum. Its logo, for instance, takes a category cliché (a pirate’s skull and crossbones) and reinterprets it as an ownable, iconic brand mark, with two “Ks” making up the skull’s bones and teeth. Amber coloring is sprayed on the glass bottle in a matte finish that adds a premium feel, while a bottleneck label mimics the “gritty” texture of skateboarders’ grip tape, creating a tactile sensation for consumers and “touch memory” for busy bartenders. Kilo Kai launched in Illinois in November, and is rolling out in a dozen additional markets in 2008. Bottle, label and logo design: Turner Duckworth (www.turnerduckworth.com). Bottle engineering and decoration: Continental Packaging Solutions (www.continentalpackagingsolutions.com).
Method uses less plastic in refill pouches
Method had been selling 34oz refills for its liquid hand soaps in clear pouches that show off the colorful product, but the brand has just replaced them with opaque versions that aid readability. The flexible pouch uses 83 percent less plastic than a similarly sized rigid PET bottle; a calculation by an outside party determined it had one-seventh the ecological impact of an equivalent-volume PET bottle (it weighs less and requires lower energy inputs to make, transport and sell). But Method admits the pouches are not a perfect solution (they’re not compatible with U.S. recycling streams) and says it’s still looking for a recyclable option. The 34oz refill pouches sell for $6.
Meet Fred. He’s water
With a name like Fred, it’s hard to believe this brand is hip. But it is. The natural spring water was the idea of friends at an ad agency who gave the concept an ordinary name—Fred—to stake a position as the “anti-water” water brand. Avoiding the pretenses common to the category, Fred comes in a flask-shaped bottle, with nothing more than a simple, wave-like logo to suggest the idea of water. No snow-capped mountains or gurgling spring imagery here. Fred has “his” own personality, and a social life that includes a MySpace page and blog www.fredspot.com. Fred is available in 400mL and 600mL single-serve bottles and, most recently, in a recycled paperboard carrier, printed with soy inks, designed to hold six 400mL bottles. A 1L format and other multipacks are in development. Package design: Kurt Huggins and Ariel Broggi of Fred Brands.
Suncare packaging for outdoor extremes
Seattle-based K2 Sports has been rolling out its K2 Endurance line of sun care products designed to perform for outdoor sports enthusiasts in all climates and at all altitudes. The K2 Sunblock (pictured) comes in 1.5oz and 4oz sizes with a functional package design optimized with molded grips for use in active conditions. The K2 Endurance lip balm is housed in a cap-less silo-like tube featuring what the brand calls “one-handed ‘glove friendly’ functionality”. Motivating the package design is a desire to encourage young men to become proactive in protecting their skin; men are said to use significantly less sun protection and experience higher rates of skin cancer than women.
Packaging with a Twist
A Boulder, Colo., brand of biodegradable sponges and cleaning cloths, Twist introduced its latest product, the Naked Sponge, at the Winter Fancy Food Show in San Diego. The dye-free, 100 percent cellulose sponge is biodegradable and housed in earth-friendly, recyclable packaging...with a twist. To encourage reusing and recycling, the paperboard sleeve can be folded, origami-style, and converted into a bird mobile. The sleeve features a fun, “clean” brand identity and offers maximum product exposure for shoppers who may not be familiar with the natural product. Twist retails nationally at Whole Foods, with a suggested retail price of $2.79 for a two-pack. The company was started by the founder of the country’s first sponge cloth company and a co-founder of Oregon Chai and Organic Vintners. Package design: Teresa Forrester of Forrester Design, Boulder.
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In this issue of Packaging Strategies we have the annual Packaging Outlook, covering flexible and rigid plastics, glass, metal cans, paperboard and corrugated, as well as packaging machinery & automation and packaging design. Also covered is the trend of less is more in beverage branding, how dispensers can make or break a brand experience, one conveying company that’s setting the bar in vertical farming, a dairy manufacturer that moved to plant-based products and more. Enjoy!