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Design Trends

April 2, 2015

15 Min Read
Design Trends

They say "diamonds are a girl's best friend," but diamonds can also sparkle brightly for packaging.In fact, an innovative, single-serve, polymer-coated steel bowl with an easy-open, tabbed lid received the Diamond Award for its functionality and convenience in the 2005 DuPont Awards (www.dupont.com) packaging competition.The package was produced by Crown Food Europe, an affiliate of Crown Holdings,Inc. (www.crowncork.com), for France's ready-meal producer, William Saurin. Containing a line of meat salads, or "Salades Gourmandes,"the bowl features Crown's Peel-Seam (tm) peelable lid. After testing alternative packaging solutions, William Saurin concluded that a metal bowl with the Peel Seam technology was its best option for providing consumer convenience, withstanding a challenging retort process, ensuring product freshness and enhancing shelf-appeal.The bowl holds 230 g of meat salad, including ham, chicken and chorizo summer salad and giblets salad varieties.

The portable package meets consumer demand for on-the-go, healthy meals and helps achieve optimal food safety through the retort process, preserving taste, flavor, color and vitamins.Suitable for value-added market segments such as baby food, meat, fish and petfood, the container is recyclable and provides enough barrier properties for a three-year shelf life, according to Crown. Crown first launched the Peel-Seam lid in Europe.The lid consists of 99-mm, flexible aluminum foil, laminated with polypropylene film on the inside, lacquered and printed on the exterior and heat-sealed to a steel ring that's seamed onto Crown's 314-mL bowl and flanged in the double-seaming process.

The small pull-tab is easy to lift up, and the lid is printed with Saurin's logos and colorful graphics to enhance brand recognition.Consumers simply pull on the tab and peel the lid back to eat from the bowl directly, eliminating the need to transfer the contents to a separate bowl.

The body of the bowl is also printed in bright colors and wrapped in a paperboard sleeve;the bowl is presented vertically, ensuring strong point-of- purchase appeal.

"Our customers demand the convenience of easy-open ends,"explains Laurence Masce, product manager at William Saurin, SA, an established French food manufacturer founded in 1898 in Saint-Mande' France.Owned by CCA, William Saurin is considered a market leader in the production of ready-made meals."The Crown solution enables consumers to enjoy a tasty meal with a new level of ease,"Masce says."The package is lightweight and durable, and can be carried in a handbag, a briefcase or a lunch box without spilling.And consumers can enjoy the salads straight from the bowl."

The new container, which holds 230-g (about 10.5 oz) of meat salad, is available in supermarkets throughout France and Belgium.The rigidity of steel makes the bowl easy to distribute and handle.During testing, the packaging was able to maintain product freshness and taste throughout production and distribution, the company says.Crown's technical team worked closely with William Saurin to adapt the filling and seaming process to create a package that would ensure that product flavor remained intact.

Maintaining the flavor of the ham, sausage, chicken and giblets salads was also a top priority for William Saurin when selecting the package.Says Masce, "William Saurin takes pride in providing customers with flavorful meals.One of the reasons we selected this packaging is because it keeps our products crispy and flavorful."

More on the DuPont awards will be presented in the pages of PD (and online at www.packagingdigest.com) soon.

Labatt's insulated beer can wears a shrink label

What could be the world's first insulated beer can is on tap at Labatt Brewing Co., which is now adorning its 473-mL can of Labatt Blue Pilsener with a Cool2Go(TM) insulated shrink-sleeve label from Multi-Color Corp. (www.multicolorcorp.com), in conjunction with DuPont (www.dupont.com). The Labatt Blue Cold One(TM) was released into Canadian markets in May. Unlike most beer cans, the Labatt Blue Cold One, coated with DuPont's Cool2Go wrap, has a thin, thermal barrier that protects the beer from condensation and rising temperatures. DuPont says the wrap is made by placing a polymer insulation between two layers of its Melixnex(R) film, which results in the thermal barrier. Once chilled, the insulated wrap is designed to keep the beer colder longer. Multi-Color produces the specially designed shrink sleeve at its facility in Scottsburg, IN. The prepress work, including separations and cylinder engraving, was performed at Multi-Color's Graphics Services facility in Erlanger, KY.

The sleeve label is gravure-printed in bold colors of blue, red, white and silver, which represent the well-established Labatt brand, and is highlighted by silver metallic inks. The labels were printed using DuPont Cyrel(R) NOW plates. A special, shrinkable sleeve-label material, applied by a custom shrink system at Alliance Labeling (www.alliancelabeling.com) in Oakville, ON, maximizes the insulting properties, and the cans come in a six-pack carrier that's also printed in the same color scheme using Cyrel plates.

Weiman polishes up homecare packaging

Weiman has cleaned up the look of its homecare products with a taller, upscale package design featuring an embossed insignia and a unified look across the line. The results are spiffing up sales, with increases between 7 percent and 26 percent across all six stockkeeping units involved, the company says. Attracting new customers, including Target, Supervalu and Winn Dixie, the update was provided by Berlin Packaging (www.berlinpackaging.com) and its Studio One Eleven Design Division, in order to meet Weiman's request for a stronger shelf presence and a clear family identity.

The bottles, in 8-, 10- and 16-oz sizes, replace containers in disparate shapes. They are molded of polyvinyl chloride and high-density polyethylene by Monarch Plastics Group (www.monarchplastics.com). Varying in color and material according to the product, they're topped with black, white, cream and gold-toned caps that coordinate with each bottle and label. The custom molds, bottles and closures were sourced through Berlin Packaging. The clear and metallized labels are produced by Corporate Express (www.cexp.com), printed in two to five colors. The caps are made of polypropylene and are supplied by Mac Closures (www.mac.qc.ca) in Canada and Seaquist Closures (www.seaquistclosures.com) in Wisconsin. The label panel was enlarged with a corresponding decrease in depth to maintain the same fill size. A "W" is embossed on the face of each bottle to reinforce the branding.

Miller glows about South African promotion

SABMiller uses multiple pressure-sensitive label technologies — including glow-in-the-dark labels — for its 330-mL longneck bottles of Miller(R) Genuine Draft distributed in the South African beer market with help from IlloSpear. The newly formed company combines the assets of Spear's (www.spearsystem.com) European Division and )Illochroma (www.illochroma.com), Europe's largest manufacturer of cut-and-stack paper labels. The flint bottles highlight a limited-edition, glow-in-the-dark label that draws the consumer's attention to the brand with a UV-sensitive ink that glows under UV light in a dark bar or nightclub environment. The bottles also incorporate an on-pack promotion facilitating a giveaway of Ipods, designer merchandise and fashion vouchers.

The front label is a 2-mil biaxially oriented polypropylene with an emulsion adhesive on a 1-mil polyethylene terephthalate liner, rotary screen-printed in six colors at Spear's Cwmbran, Wales, facility using inks and UV coatings developed and supplied by Sun Chemical (www.sunchemical.com). The back label is a 2-ply white BOPP with a bottom ply that's UV-flexo-printed in two colors plus a cationic varnish (a UV-cured varnish that releases an acid when exposed to UV light to assist in curing). The top ply is also UV-flexo-printed in two colors plus varnish. SAB applies the labels on a bottling line in its Chamdor, Zaire, brewery, using a Krones (www.kronesusa.com) Top Module labeler. The top ply of the back label peels off, revealing a code the consumer may submit to enter the promotional contest. The bottles will be available in key South African cities until October.

Eye-catching holographic canister for Nicolas Feuillatte champagne

An elegant, new holographic container for champagne is turning eyes for Nicolas Feuillatte. The company wanted a package that would be reminiscent of the 1970's disco generation for the launch of its new Réserve Particuliére line of wine. To meet this need, Crown Speciality Packaging Europe, an affiliate of Crown Holdings, Inc. (www.crowncork.com), developed an elegant new holographic steel canister that contains the bottle. The package maximizes point-of-sale impact and reinforces the company's sophisticated brand image.

Crown created the three-piece champagne container using Protact(R) holographic polymer-coated steel from Corus Packaging Plus (www.coruspackaging.com). Protact holographic is a polymer-coated steel that is combined with holographic films to produce a durable, formable and unique material. Working with this material, Crown developed a breakthrough method of printing directly on holographic sheet. The consistent quality and superior print adhesion provided by this innovative printing technology results in eye-catching and distinctive package decoration. Crown produced the holographic champagne canisters at its plant in Chatillon, France.

"Crown's ability to print on holographic sheet means that brands can now combine the visual impact of holograms with the branding power of high-quality logo and package printing," explains Eric Chambert, sales development manager at Crown Speciality Packaging France. "The printed holographic packaging also serves as a powerful anticounterfeiting, product-authentication tool."

Since the canister' inception, Nicolas Feuillatte added a larger version that can hold up to four bottles of champagne. The new canisters are in major markets worldwide, and the champagne is scheduled to come to the U.S. in September.

Vodka-cocktail pack is fun and flirty

Paying homage to the "Sex in the City" lifestyle, the new Cocktails by Jenn(TM) line of premium, vodka-based beverages from Ukiah,CA-based Jenn's Cocktail Co. uses a trendy, purse-style multipack carrier and a frosty, no-label look for its single-serve bottles to appeal to a target audience of "modern, on-the-go women." Available in Appletini, Tropical Blue Lagoon, Cosmopolitan and Lemon Drop varieties, the beverages are offered in 100-mL glass bottles packaged four to a carrier. The pale green, blue, pink and yellow colors of the respective beverages are duplicated in the package graphics and in the walls of the semi-transparent carrier for a dramatic, colorful effect.

Recommended for serving "in your favorite cocktail glass," the naturally flavored vodka beverages are portioned in slim and stylish, miniature, clear-glass bottles with silver breakaway closures. Package graphics—the work of MOD/Michael Osborne Design (www.modsf.com)—include whimsical designs of items familiar to the modern woman, including a cocktail glass, an airplane, a diamond ring, an ice cream sundae and a cell phone. The no-label look of the bottle is achieved through a partnership between converter Multi-Color Corp. (www.multicolorcorp.com) and glass decorator G-3 Enterprises (www.g-3enterprises.com). Gravure-printed at Multi-Color's Framingham, MA, facility, the heat-transfer labels use the company's patented "frost" ink to achieve the acid-etch effect without the cost and environmental concerns of acid etching.

The cocktails' distinctive carrier—evocative of a frosted ice bucket—is from AGI/Klearfold, a MeadWestvaco Resource (www.agiklearfold.com). AGI/Klearfold says that when it was given the job to design the carrier, it was directed by Jenn's Cocktail to "create a brand icon that would endure past the consumption of the beverages and be kept as a functional collectible." To meet this objective, as well as provide durability, AGI/Klearfold selected its InSight(TM) patent-pending packaging system, which combines printed plastic sleeves with injection-molded endcaps.

Used in the Cocktails by Jenn application, the InSight structure creates a trendy, purse-shaped tote, made from an embossed, translucent polyvinyl chloride carton grade. The sleeves are decorated using a combination of UV flexo and screen printing and are printed in entirety with transparent inks to provide a color hue to complement each particular cocktail. The oval-shaped endcaps, made from a styrene acrylic copolymer called Zylar(R), attach to the sleeves using a unique locking feature. Undercuts in the bottom endcap engage die-cut tabs in the sleeve to lock the two components together, while undercuts in the top endcap facilitate a quarter-turn, twist-off opening feature. A removable, custom-designed, clear PVC partition separates the four bottles to protect the contents and prevent breakage. A matching-color ribbon that serves as a handle for the carrier is secured to the pack via small, round, die-cut apertures in the sleeve. A silver charm with an image of a cocktail glass on one side and the product name on the other, hangs from the ribbon.

A four-pack of Appletini, found by PD at a Chicago-area grocer, was priced at $15.99.

Samuel Adams moves up with limited-edition 'kettle'

In celebration of American Beer Month, the Boston Beer Co., maker of Samuel Adams, is offering a limited-edition brew in a collectible "brew-kettle," bottle, shaped like the copper brewing kettles used by brewmasters for hundreds of years. The bottle, available in a quantity of only 8,000, is for a beer dubbed the Samuel Adams Utopias(R), a truly unique brew that's 25-percent alcohol by volume. Since 2002, Utopias has been recognized in the Guinness Book of World Records as the "strongest beer in the world." Now it's back, after two years, to take the complexity and flavor to the next level. The company says extreme beers have a lot in common with collectible ports, fine wines and whiskeys, because they age well and are often limited in distribution.

Designed by Ceramarte (www.ceramarte.com.br) of Brazil, the extraordinary, 750-mL, copper-plated, ceramic bottle is shaped like a kettle, and is numbered and is embossed with Sam Adam's signature. With a liquor-decanter quality, it has a squat shape and a sophisticated look that tells you this isn't a chugging beer. Holding 16 servings, the decanter is suitable for pouring a 2-oz serving of the brew at room temperature, as an after-dinner drink. The beer will stay preserved in the bottle for many years, according to Boston Beer Co. A sliding-door feature on the bottle reveals a portrait of brewer/patriot Samuel Adams.

For the 2005 edition, the brewers selected some of the world's best single-use bourbon casks and oak barrels in which to age Utopias because, according to the company, they help provide a new flavor dimension and more complexity than with the 2003 release. Samuel Adams Utopias was made available in July at a suggested retail price of $100 per bottle.

Mineral water bottle recreates an Icelandic glacier

Icelandic Glacial, a new mineral water brand that premiered at this year's Cannes Film Festival held in May, is available in square, 50-cL and 1-L bottles with a striking relief design. Sleever Intl. (www.sleever.com) has produced the premium packaging for the new mineral water brand. The tall, glass-clear bottles are adorned with a transparent oriented polystyrene film called TH-050, which affords very high clarity in a wraparound label. Use of a clear sleeve on a clear bottle emphasizes the water's purity and makes it possible for Icelandic to reverse-print the label graphics and have them show through the bottle walls. In fact, the majority of the label graphics are printed on the reverse of the sleeve, Sleever's Eric Masson says. "You can see it through the bottle and get a play of light with the water, which makes for an attractive and striking effect," he says. Masson adds that the new film minimizes the "smile effect," while the printing—in striking metallic silver and different colors of blue—conveys a glacier-like feeling. The silver Glacial logo is placed vertically on the front of the bottle and called for a new type of varnish that imitates the appearance of foil blocking.

Foil water 'bottle' quenches a thirst for flavor

Dolling up dull, bottled water, a new flavor enhancer, Water Sensations(R) in six fruity flavors, has made its debut in a mini, foil-based pouch shaped like a water bottle. The inspiration of Nina Riley, founder and CEO of Water Sensations, Inc., Southport, CT, the single-serve flavor enhancer is designed to make it easier for consumers to get their recommended eight to 10 glasses of water per day and provide a healthier beverage option for kids.

Water Sensations—in Peach, Orange, Strawberry/Kiwi, Grape, Mixed Berry and Lemon—is a clear, naturally flavored liquid, sweetened with sucralose that is sugar-, caffeine- and preservative-free. Each serving is formulated to flavor a standard, 16.9-oz bottle or large glass of water, with no stirring or shaking required.

Notable is the product's patent-pending packaging, also a vision of Riley's, which consists of a unique, foil-based pouch shaped like a water bottle called the Liqui-pack(TM), supplied by CLP Packaging Solutions, Inc. (www.clp-packaging.com). Explains Riley, "I always felt that since this product is made for bottled water, a lot of brand equity would result from a bottle-shaped package." Designed first and foremost for convenience, the pack has a tearable top with a diameter that fits comfortably into the opening of a standard-size water bottle to eliminate mess while pouring. Preeminently portable, Liqui-Packs were made for packing in a briefcase, a purse, a lunchbox or a gym bag.

Water Sensations is sold in a flip-top carton from Malnove, Inc. (www.malnove.com) that Riley says "really communicates something clean, new and different." Each carton holds 16 Liqui-Packs for an average retail cost of $3.99—a great value when compared to flavored bottled water products, which Riley says can cost $3.99 for a six-pack. Since May, the product has been available in retail stores in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions, as well as on the company's website, www.watersensations.com Target begins its launch of Water Sensations this month.

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