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4-Fresh or Quattro – Original or Copycat

KR Castlemaine, an Australian meat processor, launched an innovative new four-pack design for fine meat products. Comprising a range of shaved hams, chicken, turkey and salami products, the new format offers the consumer convenience and freshness with either 4 x 30g portions or 4 x 50g portions. The four-pack, neatly held together by a printed outer cardboard sleeve, is a revolutionary design for the small-goods category, delivering key benefits to the retail trade.

Optimo Designs, one of Australia’s leading graphic design agencies won Gold and Silver at the prestigious 2008 Australian Packaging Awards for this “innovative” 4-Fresh-design for KR Castlemaine.

Despite globalisation it still can happen obviously that at one side of the globe a company introduces a new packaging design as being revolutionary and award winning while at the other end of the globe the same design is not new or revolutionary at all as it is an existing and even patented packaging design. You wonder how it is possible that international operating packaging companies can ‘borrow’ designs, accidentally or by purpose from others, and even pushing it for winning an award, in this case the Amcor Consumer Packaging Innovation Award, of which is said that the judges focus on real innovation in retail consumer packaging. You even start wondering about the qualification of the judges.

Anyway, it is an interesting design, so let’s have a look at two identical packaging designs, the Optimo 4-Fresh-design, as the Australians call it and the some years older design of the Quattro-packaging of Cgl Pack, a small but very innovative packaging company in Annecy/France.

Basically the 4-Fresh or the Quattro is a very simple as well as a very clever idea. Leave four deep drawn thermoformed bottoms, as individual trays grouped together. Don’t separate them, just perforate for easy separation by the consumer. Take a triangular design for the deep drawn thermoformed bottom, fold the four portion-controlled sections together into a neat pack, either a quatro as Cgl does, or in an 8 as Optimo does. The result presents a valuable large surface for point of sale by sliding the folded pack into a paperboard sleeve.

The pack can stand upright on the shelves or in the refrigeration section and can even hang. All faces of the cardboard sleeve can maximise sales impact with well executed graphics. The novel construction delivers a space-saving, sturdy pack that is modular, flexible, easy to use, convenient and attractive.

4-Fresh/Quattro demonstrates a high level of innovation, based on simple technologies, which yields multiple benefits in design appeal and visual impact, the convenient portion control system via four folding ‘easy-peel’ pockets, great shelf display and recyclability. The concept is an eco-designed packaging for all types of products but particularly solid food products. Its design is minimalist, compared to the traditional market solutions with a (thermoformed) plastic tray inserted in a cardboard sleeve, but still with a high consumer satisfaction impact.


The triangular thermoformed packages for KR Castlemaine are made with a Multivac machine using a film from Amcor. It is not known which type of machine Cgl in France uses for their Quattro-packs. Cgl’s Quattro Pack is said to be available up to 850 ml volume (4 x 200) equivalent to a 1/1 tin. While Amcor kept the material composition for KR Castlemaine proprietary, Cgl France advises for products that should be sterilized or pasteurized a PP/EVOH/PP film and for fresh products a PP or PS/EVOH/PE. Finally Cgl France claims to own the original design and is said to have a patent.
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Flexible packaging includes all kinds of pouches, but the popular stand-up pouch was and still is the most impressive driver in the market, particularly with the breakthrough of the various material compositions, and fitments that enhance consumer convenience, and have led stand-up pouches move dramatically into new applications. … read the full article: The Evolution of the Stand-Up Pouch

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