I like to see validation in the consumer media about the importance of packaging. And every once in a while it happens. More...

I like to see validation in the consumer media about the importance of packaging. And every once in a while it happens. It came in a recent feature in the Chicago Tribune about frozen ethnic dinners.

The Trib rated three products in each of three categories: lasagna, Asian noodles and quesadillas. All three quesadilla packages include susceptors, which the Trib article pointedly mentioned. The description of the winner, Weight Watchers Smart Ones Chicken and Cheese Quesadillas from Heinz Foods, included this: “The crisper sleeve into which you insert the frozen quesadilla before cooking does its job.” The second-place finisher, Stouffer’s Lean Cuisine Baja-Style Chicken Quesadilla from Nestlé, got this packaging thumbs-down: “You practically have to destroy the carton to get at a crisping panel upon which the quesadilla will cook....And the tortilla doesn’t get all that crisp either.”

Packaging gets noticed. Sometimes it even gets praised, although a packaging professional who needs constant validation from the mainstream media probably is in the wrong profession.