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Design Trends

In time for summer, Bud Light from St. Louis-based Anheuser-Busch, Inc. is being bottled in a sleek, contemporary, aluminum bottle. As the summer months heat up, A-B is bringing adult beer drinkers an exciting way to enjoy America's beverage of moderation with the national introduction of the new bottle. Featuring the familiar Bud Light logo in distinct white lettering against a cobalt blue, high-gloss finish that is cool to the touch, the bottle also features a pry-off cap.

The tall aluminum container features the familiar logo placed vertically—another new twist for Bud Light—on a pencil-thin-striped background. The bottle not only make a striking visual impression, but it's said to help keep the beer cold, according to A-B. The move to aluminum follows other beers, including the Budweiser brand, that have taken the plunge into aluminum and away from amber glass bottles. Suitable for those searching for a "stylish-looking beverage when at a club or bar," A-B notes, the bottle is also practical for those attending outdoor drinking occasions where unbreakable containers are required.

"We constantly look for ways to improve our beers—and our packaging—to make sure they remain the consumers' number-one choice," says Dan McHugh, senior director for Bud Light marketing at A-B. "This Bud Light aluminum bottle is a major image enhancer and the type of look adults want when out enjoying a beer with friends."

Initially available in the northeast and in coastal markets, the bottle's popularity and demand led to the national rollout. Manufactured by Exal USA (www.exal.com), the 16-oz bottle is available in bars and clubs as well as in supermarkets and convenience stores.

Says McHugh, "The Bud Light aluminum bottles are receiving a lot of buzz across the country, and this is a great way to bring something fun and fresh into the market in time for the summer season when people are out and about."

Along with Budweiser, Bud Light joins Michelob, Michelob Light and Anheuser World Lager as brands that feature the aluminum container.


New caps rain sales for White Rain

Diamond Products credits the new packaging for White Rain(R) shampoo and conditioner with a jump in sales. The products' custom polypropylene closures from O-I (www.o-i.com) give the line a premium look. Since the first quarter of 2005, sales of the shampoo and conditioner brand jumped more than 16 percent, the company says, following its packaging redesign that includes dramatically larger and user-friendly closures. The flip-up closures in opaque green and natural that match the color of the bottles feature O-I's Contour(TM) hinge-closure technology, which O-I worked on with Diamond's packaging engineers and brand managers. They complement the packages' enhanced artwork on bright green and clear, 15- and 19.95-oz polyethylene terephthalate and high-density polyethylene bottles (the former are proprietary; the latter are molded in-house).

"We wanted a larger cap to maintain our value image and yet achieve a very distinct premium look at the same time," notes brand manager Karen Flis. "The design itself gives the impression of purity, family friendliness and [the cap] looks like a cloud sitting on top of the bottle."

It's still early to predict long-term sales trends for the new packaging, Flis adds, but she says she's looking forward to the early success continuing as the equity in the brand continues to gain momentum.


Powerful pack for smoker's gum

XPL Smoker's Gum from XPL Innovations, a division of Yosha! Enterprises, is claimed to be the only gum product available in the U.S. marketplace that is scientifically proven to naturally help smokers' bodies break down and expel nicotine. Available through a website at www.xplgum.com, XPL can also be found at 7-Eleven stores for 99 cents a 12-pack.

RSY Partners (www.rsypartners.com) designed the packaging, which consists of a foil/film blister-pack that holds the individual pieces of gum and a .012 C1S paperboard sleeve, offset-printed by Cedar Graphics (www.cedargraphics.com) in four match colors plus an aqueous coating. XPL is merchandised alongside cigarettes. Says Patrick Carroll, president of XPL Innovations, "The targeted consumer of XPL is a smoker who seeks a health-enhancing and satisfying gum. The best thing for every smoker to do is to quit, but until they're ready to quit, they can expel the nicotine from their body with XPL." Developed by a Korean scientist and a professor at the University of Yonsei's College of Medicine, XPL helps the body expel nicotine by aiding the liver in the production of cotinine, the metabolite that breaks down nicotine. The blister is supplied and packaged for XPL by Ford Gum (www.fordgum.com).


Fresh makeover for Fresca

Coca-Cola North America announced in late May that its Fresca citrusy soft-drink brand will be given a fresh, contemporary look, including a new logo and new packaging graphics. The brand will also add two new, zero-calorie line extensions that will become available in the U.S. in September, the company says. The two new flavors include Sparkling Peach Citrus Fresca and Sparkling Black Cherry Citrus Fresca. The unique, bold flavor of original Fresca will remain unchanged.

All three flavors will be available in a variety of package sizes, including 12-oz cans, 20-oz bottles, 2-L bottles and multican cases. "We believe Fresca's new look and expanded flavor offerings will appeal to folks who are looking for a unique taste beyond the ordinary," says Alison Lewis, vp of Sprite and Flavors, for Coca-Cola NA.

Graphic elements include a bubble-like design of spherical shapes in flavor-coded colors on an aqua, silver and white background. A new Fresca logo in a modernistic, sans serif typeface has also been created.

Fresca's new look and line extensions are examples of Coca-Cola NA's "100 Days Of Diets" strategy, which includes the launch of Diet Coke sweetened with Splenda sweetener and Coca-Cola Zero.


Three Thieves launches first domestic wine in an aseptic package

Three Thieves, Oakville, CA, has launched the first entirely domestic wine packaged in the Tetra Brik(R) aseptic package from Tetra Pak (www.tetrapak.com). The new package for Bandit Cabernet, a premium wine available from Three Thieves, is helping to redefine how vintners and retailers position and merchandise wine, while supporting national growth of wine as more than a special-occasion beverage.

"This form of packaging is well-suited for protecting wine's sensitive flavor profiles," says Jeff Kellar, vp of strategic business development at Tetra Pak. The Three Thieves Bandit Cabernet is not only the first entirely domestic wine product distributed in this packaging, but it's also the first product in the U.S. to feature the Tetra Pak SlimCap(TM). This technology comprises a plastic screw cap, a ring pull and a pull-tab.

The new SlimCap provides practical storage and stacking, easy opening with tight reclosing to protect the product and pouring control and accuracy. The package is also airtight until opened, a valuable feature that other closures cannot achieve, the company says. Combining the new SlimCap with the technology behind Tetra Pak's aseptic packaging provides consumers with a premium Cabernet in a more convenient, versatile and cost-effective package.

The Three Thieves' idea for a wine in an aseptic package grew out of a trip to Italy. There, about 50 percent of all wine sold in grocery stores comes in aseptic cartons. Charles Bieler, one of the company founders, notes that carton-based aseptic wine packaging is emerging as one of the fastest-growing new product categories.

"Utilizing this type of packaging, we can cut costs, increase shelf life and provide a quality product at a lower price," says Bieler. "Tetra Pak's technology afforded us the opportunity to distinguish ourselves in our market and ultimately fulfill our pledge to bring great wine to the average wine buyer and still offer versatility, convenience, safety, freshness and flavor."

The carton of Bandit 2002 Cabernet debuted last April.


Digital wine label takes top honors during CMM

For a special label celebrating the Sneads Ferry 2004 Shrimp Festival, Sneads Ferry, NC, label converter Prestige Label (www.prestigelabel.com) received First Place in the Digital Label Printing category (for the fourth year in a row) in the 2004 Excellence in Printing Awards at the CMM Conference and Exposition. One of four projects converted by Prestige that were recognized during the event, the pressure-sensitive wine label adorned Waterman's White white table wine from Duplin Winery, Rose Hill, NC.

The digitally printed, high-definition wine label uses a foil-base substrate and multicolor process digital printing. Label graphics, designed by Prestige operations manager Terry Syme, replicate the intricate design details of a Lynn Padgett oil painting in perfect registration using advanced color-management technology.


Packaging Digest's designs win

Packaging Digest has won a gold award for best annual Buyers' Guide cover and a silver award for best redesign from the American Society of Business Publication Editors. The Buyers' Guide appeared in July 2004, and the redesign was launched with the August 2004 issue. Congratulations to Art Director Lora Lee Gelles and Creative Director Glen Luensman.


Stock bottles come to the rescue

A new package for foaming first-aid skin lotion from Inverness is functional, cost-effective and award-winning. Taking a bronze award in the pharmaceuticals category of the 2005 National Assn. of Container Distributors' (www.nacd.net) packaging competition, the opaque-white bottle is distributed by All-Pak, Inc. (www.all-pak.com) in a 7-oz size for home storage and a portable, 1.5-oz size for a pocket or a purse. Each packaging component is a stock item, All-Pak says. Chosen for its precision when metering the product, the pump dispenser creates foam without the use of gas propellants. Its patented technology allows for the precise mixing of liquid and air, resulting in a dose of rich, creamy foam with each stroke. The pump for the smaller bottle yields 0.4 mL/stroke, while the one topping the larger bottle yields 0.75 mL/stroke. The overcap prevents the pump from accidentally dispensing.


Alcohol-free Crest mouthwash kills germs with no burn

New Crest Pro-Health Rinse—the first Crest mouthwash—"knocks out" 99 percent of germs that can cause plaque, gingivitis and bad breath in just 30 seconds without the burn of alcohol. With this innovation, Crest has successfully formulated cetylpyridinium chloride (CPC), the active ingredient that delivers the product's health benefits, in a no-alcohol formula.

Think a mouthwash has to burn to work? Crest marketer Procter & Gamble says it doesn't. Crest Pro-Health Rinse provides the same types of oral health benefits as the leading mouthwash without the burn of alcohol. The new therapeutic rinse is suitable for use by the whole family (kids ages six and up) and will appeal to consumers who prefer alcohol-free products, the company says.

"Crest's first mouthwash provides consumers with an alcohol-free formula that makes daily rinsing an enjoyable experience," says Diane Dietz, North American general manager for Crest. "After more than ten years of development and testing, Crest Pro-Health Rinse provides dentist-recommended oral-health benefits without the intense experience from alcohol, making it easier for consumers to use twice a day."

A survey shows that less than a third of current mouthwash users rinse twice a day as recommended. "Rinsing can be a beneficial part of an oral care regimen," says Jennifer Salzer, D.D.S. "However, the leading mouthwash contains 21.6 percent alcohol. The alcohol can cause a burning sensation, which may discourage some patients from using it regularly, and from rinsing for the recommended thirty seconds. Crest Pro-Health's alcohol-free formula is exciting, because my patients can readily comply with their rinsing routine and can improve their oral health in the process."

In addition to killing 99 percent of common germs that can cause plaque, gingivitis and bad breath, Crest Pro-Health Rinse has been clinically shown to help prevent gingivitis, which is an early form of gum disease. It's said to provide 12-hour protection against plaque and reduces plaque growth by as much as 42 percent versus brushing alone.

The key to Crest Pro-Health Rinse's benefit is its no-alcohol formulation containing CPC. A safe and effective ingredient, CPC has been used in other mouthwash brands for years to help fight bad-breath germs. "The innovation is that Crest Pro-Health's formula unlocks more of CPC's potential to fight germs that can cause plaque and gingivitis," says Matt Doyle, PhD, P&G oral care product development. CPC, a positively charged compound, is attracted to the negatively charged cell membranes of bacteria, like the way that metal is drawn to a magnet. It binds itself to the germ's surface and causes it to break down. The end result for consumers is the plaque- and gingivitis-preventing benefits without the burn of alcohol.

Crest Pro-Health is available nationwide at a suggested retail price of between $1.19 and $7.99. The product comes in five sizes, ranging from 36 mL to 1.5 L. A 2-L bundle-pack can also be found in select clubstores.

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