When it comes to packaging, design options are endless with various material choices, substrates and graphics. Sustainability is a top concern of consumers and packagers alike, as is new designs, when warranted, for ecommerce shipping. Some of the products on-shelf last year in new packaging caught our eyes.
We have brought together the Packaging Group editors from this magazine and Brand Packaging, as well as Flexible Packaging magazine to choose the top designs in our industry. There were so many new packages on-shelf, despite the rough year, and it’s with great pleasure that we announce our Top 10 innovations from 2020. You will find each has a winning design along with packaging materials to match — a win-win for consumers.
Johnnie Walker Black In Paper Bottle
In July, Diageo created the world's first 100% plastic-free paper-based spirits bottle for its Johnnie Walker Black label. Diageo partnered with Pilot Lite to launch a new sustainable packaging technology company, Pulpex.
Pulpex Limited developed the first-of-its-kind scalable paper-based bottle designed to be 100% plastic free and expected to be fully recyclable. The bottle is made from sustainably sourced pulp to meet food-safe standards and will be fully recyclable in standard waste streams.
Pulpex Limited has established a partner consortium of world leading FMCG companies in non-competing categories including Unilever and PepsiCo, with further partners expected to be announced soon. The consortium partners are each expecting to launch their own branded paper bottles, based on this design and technology, in 2021.
Sunday Riley Foil Pouch
Beauty brand Sunday Riley chose a foil pouch for its new Charcoal Smoothie Jelly Body Scrub last summer. The 7 oz. holographic foil pouch includes a nozzle for a simple pour. It looks like a pouch for an alcohol brand and is a strange packaging format for such a luxurious brand but as it's marketed as being a ‘smoothie.'
The new Charcoal Smoothie is a body scrub designed to refine rough, bumpy texture with a combination of clarifying salicylic acid, natural exfoliating powders, coconut water and detox-loving charcoal. The brand had been a facial care-only brand until this product as well as a haircare product hit shelves.
Mtn Dew AMP Game Fuel Resealable Can
PepsiCo, in partnership with Xolution, strived to set the bar high with a resealable aluminum can for the brand’s new mid-calorie, lower-sugar beverage offering multiple flavors and functional benefits. A prominent feature of the resealable can is its tactile ink, which provides a no-slip grip. Mountain Dew AMP Game Fuel can uses a re-sealable can end to reduce the opening force and better communicate to consumers how to operate the mechanism. A key design aspect lets consumers see that when the feature is completely covered and the end is full re-sealed, thus preventing spills and protecting the re-sealing mechanism from damage.
The Mountain Dew AMP resealable can also was awarded a 2020 AmeriStar for Design Excellence by the Institute of Packaging Professionals (IoPP).
Snow Globe Gin
Berkshire Labels designed a festive shrink sleeve for a brand-new gin called Snow Globe. The customer, Gravity Drinks, is a London-based producer, importer and distributor of premium spirits products from around the world.
The colorful, eye-catching design is a technically complex shrink sleeve covering 360 degrees of the Snow Globe Gin bottle and shows an illustration through both sides of the glass. This allows the 3D festive winter scene to jump through the front window, which looks just like a snow globe with the round bottle shape and the design. Enhanced by an LED base light and suspended 23kt edible gold leaf, this is a fabulous example of how design and graphics can complement print production capability.
Maybelline’s FitMe® Matte + Poreless Foundation
Maybelline’s creative packaging for its FitMe Foundation reimagines its traditional glass bottle into an on-the-go flexible 1.3 oz. pouch with custom spout suited for ecommerce retailers, requiring no pre-shipping wrap. The design, by ProAmpac, is also tailored for professional use and is travel-proof. The pouch is 41% lighter than the glass bottle it replaces and adds about 1.3 ounces of additional product while reducing the packaging materials. This package also features one of the first applications of digital print for a spouted pouch in a clear, high-barrier pouch.
The FitMe Matte + Poreless Foundation pouch was chosen by the IoPP for a 2020 AmeriStar award in the Cosmetics Category.
No Evil Foods & A Plastic-Negative Promise
No Evil Foods, makers of small-batch plant-based meat, created a partnership with rePurpose Global, a movement of conscious consumers and businesses, to offset their plastic footprint. The brand has committed to going plastic negative by funding the recovery and recycling of two pounds of plastic waste for every one pound it generates. In doing so, No Evil Foods will become the first plant-based meat company to take a plastic-negative stance.
Each of the brand’s plant meat varieties are wrapped in an unbleached kraft carton for a fully home compostable package. Made from 100% compostable and recyclable materials, the packaging uses plant-based ink and water-soluble adhesives as well.
In the first year of the partnership, it is estimated that 8,000 lbs. of plastic from the ecosystem will be removed — two times the amount of plastic used to produce No Evil Foods’ products.
Victorialand Beauty’s Packaging for Visually Impaired
Victorialand Beauty, an indie all-natural skincare company, debuted The CyR.U.S.™ System of Raised Universal Symbols, a tactile recognition system comprised of a set of raised trademarked symbols to make its packaging more accessible with a simple touch. The beauty company has repackaged its all-natural line of skincare products to include raised trademarked symbols to make products accessible to all consumers.
The CyR.U.S. System is comprised of raised trademarked symbols that are located on the bottle or jar caps of each product. Additionally, all Victorialand Beauty packaging contains an embossed QR code that users can scan using a screen reader app on their smartphones, which provides auditory product descriptions and instructions.
Caliper Foods Flavored CBD Powder
Caliper Foods, an industry leader in water-soluble cannabinoid-infused consumer packaged goods and ingredients, introduced Caliper Swiftsticks — a new way to consume CBD — last fall. Caliper Swiftsticks are the first-to-market product of their kind, sold in single-serve sachet packets of flavored CBD powder that fast-dissolves directly on the tongue.
Swiftsticks were designed for easy on-the-go consumption, an innovation that was bred from consumer feedback and usage. Swiftsticks are available in Mixed Berry, Cool Mint and Lemon Lime and each sachet packet contains 20mg of CBD. Swifstick packets come in a 30-count resealable pouch.
P&G Eco-Box Portfolio
In May 2020, P&G expanded the Eco-Box portfolio to include more fabric care brands in smarter packaging, including Tide Original, Downy, Gain, Tide purclean, Tide Free & Gentle and Dreft.
Eco-Box products arrive direct to consumer as a sealed, shipping-safe cardboard box — with no wasteful outer boxing or padding needed. Inside is a sealed bag of ultra-concentrated liquid laundry detergent or fabric conditioner that can accommodate about 100 loads of laundry with 30% more cleaning per drop. It also includes a No-DripTM tap.
From developing the Eco-Box to provide a sustainable solution to packaging, with up to 60% less plastic than traditional packaging, to creating the No-DripTM tap, Procter & Gamble made the right choice.
Gorilla Super Glue Micro Precise
Gorilla Glue Micro Precise, created by Product Ventures, contains a metal cyanoacrylate tube of glue inside a black plastic shroud and orange-winged buttons for an easy-to-use, precise, controlled-dispensing tool that fits comfortably in the hand. The package opens by twisting the cap and nozzle assembly down onto the threads of the tube, which breaks the seal. The nozzle is captured by the ratchet mechanism, allowing just the cap to open and close without unthreading the nozzle from the inner tube. When the package is capped, it can be stored in any orientation. With the cap removed, the tube of glue stays secure in the pack without rotating and allows glue to be dispensed fully.
The packaging for Gorilla Super Glue Micro Precise also won a 2020 AmeriStar award for Best of Show from the IoPP.
SGK Anthem, Vrijdag Premium Printing, Generous Minds, Neurensics, Kurz and Merck got together to form Packadore Collective with the goal of designing packaging that is both attractive and sustainable.
‘Best before’ dates and ‘use by’ dates have little meaning once a product has been opened. Enter the DeXel conceptual design, which uses connected technology to transform jars and bottles into intelligent packaging. The food-saving timer device magnetically attaches to the packaging lids, using motion sense technology and an LED light system to help consumers reduce food waste.
Prior to opening the jar or bottle, the user scans the QR code on pack with a smartphone, enters the color of the device and the date into the app. The DeXel timer device is then ‘connected’ and can track and advise on the extended use of the product. For example, if the cross is fully lit in green, the product is safe to use. If the cross shows only one green bar then the product needs to be consumed that day. A red LED indicates that the product is no longer safe to use and should be disposed of.