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Top 5 packaging developments of April

Top 5 packaging developments of April
Refills are more common in Europe than in the U.S. Will that change soon?

Developments in mystery-filled beer packaging, container refill stations, automation game changers, beverage packaging and mini packs each demonstrated maximum drawing power as the 5 Most Popular Articles at PackagingDigest.com the past month based on our website metrics.

Here are the developments that your packaging peers were most interested in over the past month and you may be, too, if you missed them the first time around. Our reverse-order list begins with a sustainable strategy that has had traction in Europe that is making inroads stateside, that of refillable containers for products, starting with water.

5. Sometimes sustainable packaging has less to do with eco-friendly packaging materials and more to do with how we actually distribute product. The bottled water industry, for instances, gets hit with quite a bit of criticism for how much unnecessary bottle waste is generated when most people have access to perfectly clean tap water. However, some communities and several universities have been working toward the elimination of plastic water bottle waste by implementing water refilling stations.

How is that progressing? Find out by reading Are refill stations the answer to packaging waste?

Next: Less is more when convenience is at stake…

4. Single-serve and miniaturized packaging is hot and getting hotter, for food and beverage as well as health and beauty products. Consumer lifestyles are driving the trend toward smaller packs, with numerous factors playing a role. For food and drinks, issues like convenience, dietary awareness, freshness and reducing waste are core drivers. A growing range of eating and drinking occasions—at home, work, school and in-transit—is part of the mix, too.

When portability is a priority, size still means everything—except smaller and handier is better.

See why in Mini and single-serve packs prove less is more

Next: Please do touch the packaging…

3. It’s one thing to get a feel for consumers, it’s something different consumers touch your packaging. That’s the tack for these beverage packaging designs that elicit an emotional response from their target audience, a result that generally means that these packaged goods have done quite well in the marketplace. It could be a Millennial-favored new-age aseptic carton or an electrifying label that pulses to the beat at a club. Or any of the other eight of the 10 beverage packaging breakthroughs that get touchy-feely with consumers.

Next: A mystery-shrouded product launch purposefully made on Friday the 13th.

2. On Friday, March 13th Anheuser-Busch launched a new beer, Oculto with a novel formulation and brand positioning centering on mystery and spontaneity. The packaging of carton, bottle and can brings those elements to life in a high-end look that lives up to its name, which translates from Spanish as “hidden” or “waiting to be found.”

Experience the mystery in Mysterious Oculto beer serves on-package surprises

Next: If you thought that was a surprising article, wait until you see what’s #1…

1. What is most surprising about this most popular article in the month of April is that it is for a segment that typically does not have the draw—or for that matter anywhere near the breadth of draw—of say a packaging design story, similar to those that largely characterize the previous articles #5-2. This one is about automation, providing a visually-driven virtual tour of highlights of the recent Automate show. Your tour guide is a wizard at this kind of thing: John Henry, the Changeover Wizard, who will introduce you to new kinds of robots, economic vision systems and more in 13 automation game changers that ease engineering tasks

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