Isn’t it a wonderful feeling when packaging surprises you in a good way?
My packaging-induced wonder came upon a recent night-time visit to a nearby Aldi’s. As I perused the shelves, there it was: Benton’s “Music Tin with Sugar Cookies”, which captures exactly what it’s about.
It was so unexpected to find such a premium-looking, interactive item at the discount grocer that I was beaming like a kid on Christmas morning. Then I became self-conscious and looked around to see if my fellow shoppers noticed my reaction. If so, they may have thought I’d enjoyed some liquid holiday cheer beforehand.
Benton's cookie tin series offers four tin designs that each plays a different melody:
Red: O’ Christmas Tree.
Blue: Winter Wonderland.
Silver: Jingle Bells.
Green: Let It Snow.
The hexagonal design is impressive in fit and form and the metal makes it solid and substantial. A pressure-sensitive label affixed over the lid partially down the side is decorated with a color scheme that mimics the tin and calls out key facts including nutrition and the 6.17-ounce net weight.The tin stands 5.5 in. tall and is 4 in. wide.
The printed graphics on the embossed portions are in tight tolerance; for example, the embossing and print on the tiny antlers on the small buck on the red tin align flawlessly.
As well, there’s tight registration on the product information printed directly on the concave tin bottom; it appears in perfectly centered symmetry within the 8-sided base.
There’s a plastic bag of sugar cookies tucked inside, which were unexpectedly delicious, adding a measure of Deutsch baking know-how to the German engineering of the packaging. The musical secret is a clock-work-like device secured to the inner tin bottom and covered with a clear, protective plastic thermoform; the wind-up key protrudes from the tin’s recessed bottom.
The melody sounds just like that of a classic music box.
I paused to think of what it took for a $5.99 mass-produced music box of cookies from Germany to be designed, manufactured and assembled — and for the cookies to be formulated, processed, and packaged — then cased, palletized, and unitized before shipping across the Atlantic to arrive in mint condition on a store shelf in the middle of the US.
That's impressive and exemplary of modern global distribition.
Sure, there’s been supply chain disruptions lately, but the general clockwork-like precision and end-to-end reliability for prdoucts to get from there to here wherever that may be is another of those things we likely took for granted in the pre-pandemic past. You don’t miss it until it’s broken.
The music box tin appears to have been available for several years, but it was a new and thrilling find for me…a delightful packaging moment amidst the busy holiday season.
If you come across packaging that surprises or delights you anytime of year, I’d love to hear about it; you can email me at [email protected].