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Multi-pack Combines Two Seemingly Inconsistent Bottles

Originating from Pilsen in the Czech Republic, Pilsner is the most copied and most popular beer style in the world. Like most brewers in the world, Heineken classes its lager as a pilsner.

Being a pale lager of 5% alcohol by volume, the beer is the flagship product of Heineken International and the green bottles are also well-known in the USA. The beer is made from malted barley, yeast and hops, it is then force carbonated.

But what do you do, when you want to sell your beer in the country where pilsner is originated and which country has a long heritage of brewing the best beers in the world.

With the Holiday Season in mind, Heineken decided to go for a gift pack, they brewed a Premium Speciality beer in a 1,5 litre champagne-like bottle and wanted to add 6 standard 0,5 litre bottles of Heineken. And with this marketing decision they created a packaging problem: Design a promotional Multi-pack containing two different types of bottles. The 1,5 litre bottle with the dimensions: 100 mm (4”) diameter and 380 mm (15”) height and the 6 half-litre bottles each with a diameter of 70 mm (2.75”) and a height of 268 mm (10.55”). 

Ondřej Navrátil, a box designer with Smurfit Kappa Olomouc s.r.o. in the Czech Republic came up with a beautiful solution for a multi-pack. The Smurfit Kappa Group is a leading manufacturer of paper based packaging in Europe and Latin America, and headquartered in Dublin/Ireland.

Smurfit Kappa Olomouc constructed a multi-pack from three layers corrugated B flute board with inside dimensions of 321×141x383 mm (12.64”x5.55”x15.08”). Note, that all bottles stand upright. The box height is the height of the premium bottle, the box width the sum of the diameters of two small bottles, and the box length the sum of the diameter of the premium bottle and the diameters of three small bottles.

To secure the bottles and in particular the premium bottle a window was created at one of the corners of the box. By pushing the material inside the insert for the gift bottle became part of the packaging and allowed visualization of the bottle itself. The pushed-in insert also secures the six smaller bottles in the pack.

To solve the problem with the differences in bottle height, Smurfit Kappa created a crate-like top with double folding flaps, which lie on top of the 6 small bottles and feature a hole to secure the large bottle once more.

This attractive and original promotion multi-pack for the 2008 New Year celebration was easy to handle due to the carrying handles, had a good fixation of the bottles, and allowed for a high load capacity enabling optimal palletisation. This multi-pack perfectly combines two seemingly inconsistent types of bottles.

The original construction solution and the interesting graphic design from CD Ogilvy & Mather in Bratislava/Slovakia and printed in offset in four colours and locally dispersed varnish, make this packaging attractive and practical, turning the multi-pack container into an ongoing billboard for the brand.

The packaging was awarded in the prestigious national packaging competition “Obal roku 2008” (packaging of the year 2008) in Czech Republic and by the WPO (World Packaging Organisation) as well.
Beer that “fits the hand” – The design process of a special beer bottle - The young Brazilian consumers are open to new and innovative packages and products. The latest innovation comes with the launch of Summer Draft beer.
At the time the summer period, which accounts for about 40% of total sales in this segment, starts (southern hemisphere) Cervejarias Kaiser introduces Summer Draft beer in a special long neck. The …. continue reading

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.
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

True Innovation from Process to Packaging

“Preshafruit’s unique triangular bottle really sets it apart from other offerings in the juice aisle,” said Beverage Innovation magazine Managing Editor Claire Phoenix. “The bottle immediately gives the product a super-premium feel and the whole presentation, including the sophisticated labelling and unique closure, gives consumers plenty of clues as to just how good these drinks taste. First purchase is pretty much assured through the packaging innovation, repeat purchase is guaranteed through a really great tasting and refreshing drinking experience”.

Quite often a fruit juice receives lauding words, but in this case every word is well earned by this exceptional innovation of Preshafood for its fruit juice range which uses a new high pressure processing system and consequently is presented in unique triangular bottles.

Presha fruit juices are made by Australian Donny Boy Fresh Food Company,  a food processing company established in 2006 utilising High Pressure Processing (HPP). Its first commercial product, an apricot, peach and apple mix for yoghurt, was the world’s first HPP fruit product used in the dairy industry. And this time it is again the world’s first to use HPP, not heat pasteurisation, to create fruit juices. All juices, (apart from freshly squeezed juices) are heat pasteurised, a process that affects the level of nutrients and taste of the final product.

HPP, a technology developed in Europe and used predominantly for meat and seafood, is a method of food preserving where food is subjected to high pressures (up to 87,000 lbs/sq inch or approx 6,000 kgs/cm2), to achieve microbial inactivation or to alter the food attributes in order to achieve consumer-desired qualities. Most vegetative micro-organisms (bacteria, yeasts and moulds) inactivate at pressures above 60,000 lbs/sq inch. HPP retains food quality, leaves the vitamins and bioactive components unchanged, maintains natural freshness, and extends shelf life.
In a typical HPP process, the product is packaged in a flexible or semi-rigid container (usually a pouch or plastic bottle) and is loaded into a high pressure chamber filled with water. The water in the chamber is pressurised with a pump, and this pressure is transmitted through the package onto the food itself. Pressure is applied for a specific time, usually 2 to 5 minutes.
The HPP process basically follows the Law of Blaise Pascal which implies that by increasing the pressure at any point in a confined fluid, there is an equal increase at every other point in the container, i.e., any change in pressure applied at any point of the fluid is transmitted undiminished throughout the fluids.
As the pressure is transmitted uniformly (in all directions simultaneously), food retains its shape, even at extreme pressure levels.

To cope with the enormous pressures of HPP, the tube-like pressure vessels are very small. The HPP machine, manufactured by NC Hyperbaric of Spain, for Donny Boy’s Preshafruit has a pressure vessel with a diameter of only 19 cm, consequently requiring the juice bottles to be triangular in order to fit efficiently in the machine’s circular pressure vessel. This in itself created a unique approach to the packaging as six of the Preshafruit triangle bottles form a hexagon which fits exactly in the circular shape of the pressure chamber, consequently creating a juice bottle as no other in the market.

It was up to Design By Pidgeon to complete the design for a highly competitive market and to communicate Preshafruit’s benefits and points of differentiation. The triangular bottle allowed Design By Pidgeon to design three faces on each bottle to communicate the three different messages of the brand’s key story - 100% Australian, pressurised cold, just picked taste. The triangular or wedge shaped bottle allows for an especially effective promotion in the supermarket aisles.

VIP Packaging, a leading plastic and steel packaging solutions provider in Australia and New Zealand, manufactures the unique 350ml PET bottle and closure for Preshafruit juices.

A brilliant packaging innovation.

Creative Packaging Ideas

90933-seedbottle4.jpgAfter my last post, which highlighted a non-glamorous item, it is time to enliven this blog a bit. Worldwide industrial designers come up with new packaging ideas, a large part of these ideas is just self-employment, in other words there is no client involved. They are just the fruits of a creative spirit, no commercial or technical requirements and restrictions limiting the brainwave. Of course a great deal is useless, too far fetched or impossible to execute or manufacture. But sometimes you encounter a packaging design concept, of which you say: “Nice idea, maybe it is worth to give it a try.”

As this blog has as goal to promote ‘green’ creativity in packaging, both design ideas described here, are sprouted from ‘green’ spirits. Be aware also, that concepts do need some detailing work for the real world, while at the other hand the choice of material is free, and both ideas might offer a strong marketing incentive in regard to sustainabilty, a word which is on everybody’s lips.

In my article “EcoPak and Ecocentric - What’s in a Name?“  I described the plantable Pangea body-care packages with its herb seeds moulded in the 100% post-consumer paperboard sides of the packages. Soak it in water, after use and plant it in soil.

90933-seedbottle5a.jpgThe designer Yun Hwan Sung comes up with an interesting twist on recycling, as despite the fact that PET-bottles are relatively easy to recycle, all too many end up in landfills or even worse in nature. His bottle with the “Seeds in the Bottle” concept is actually a variant of the Pangea paperboard packages. In this case the seeds are stored in an indent in the side of the bottle and covered by a label. After drinking down or using the last drop from the bottle, simply tip the bottle upside down, remove the bottom, fill the bottle up with soil, remove the label and take out the seeds, drop the seeds in, spray with water and wait to harvest your own fresh herbs.

Imagine the bottles themselves made attractive with a nice looking picture, and no consumer would mind having these plants (and your iconic bottle) all over his house.

About the designer. The first information I received about Yun Hwan Sung was that he was Chinese or Taiwanese. However my friends in Taiwan have not been able to locate him and state that the way the idea is presented is the Japanese style, but, according to them, Yun Hwan Sung definitely must be a Korean. Whatever the nationality, the Seoul Design Foundation doesn’t know Yun, I haven’t been able to gather more specific information.

As always is the case with ideas and concepts few technical aspects are known. The second creation is no better.

The NNew Can stands out as it has a deliberate round spiral shape. Designed by Choi Kwenyoung and Park Jiwoon (both from the Kongju National University, Korea) for those who separate garbage to have a quick and easy time crushing cans into a size of one third of a normal can.

90933-newcan2x.jpgI know, I know, seeing this concept will make the hair of many a technician stand on end. Let’s have a closer look.
First, of course is the shape with spirals enabling easy crushing of the can. What is the can doing when stacked high in a warehouse? In principle there shouldn’t be a problem, as the cans have a concave indent in the bottom as well as the pressure inside. It is even said, and certainly imaginable, that such structures as these spirals have indirectly formed ribs around the can, strengthening the structure instead, due to the surface deformations created.
If this is the case there should be found a balance between the above and the enabling to crush the aluminium can more easily.

The second problem is the manufacturing. In my opinion this can with its spiral structure only can be blow-moulded, as a high-speed draw re-draw (DRD) process can’t be used. But who am I to deny creativity in re-designing the DRD-process. After all, if this can gets picked up by any of the big beverage companies, this could certainly change how cans are produced.

And furthermore there is new shaping technology in aluminium bottles (CCL Containers) that features dramatic curves and contours the full length of the container. So, in other words, I think, that the production problems can be overcome.

Ok, maybe not for the big boys, as Coca-Cola, Pepsi etc, but think in terms of a healthy energy drink. It just might be the extra incentive to underline the green credentials and differentiation in the aisle.
90951-boxal-france.JPGThe stuffy wine industry which is still overwhelmingly marketing its products in the old industry-standard glass bottles with the same old, uninspiring labels, sees some progressive wineries executing a packaging design revolution in their attempt to attract new consumers. Read: “Aluminium Bottles for Wine adding Value to the Drinking Experience.

A Perfect Complement with the Compliments of the Publisher

How can you get special attention in the book trade for one of your strong titles with which the (female) reader dives into great emotional worlds. This question stood at the top of the deliberations about how to market the new title of Nicole C. Vosseler, “Unter dem Safranmond” (Under the Saffron Moon) and published by the Lauterbacher publishing house Lübbe.

And when a critic wrote: “Unter dem Safranmond” is an entertaining love story that especially appeals to female readers moving them to tears.” the (marketing) idea was born.

The creative heads at ServicePlan, a marketing agency in Munich/Germany lit upon the idea of creating a facial tissue box that at first glance resembles the heart-rending new novel. However when you open the lid the reader finds facial paper tissues, enriched with printed quotations from the book.

An excellent idea, with the 588 pages of the novel moving the reader to tears, facial tissues in a gift pack are provided with the compliments of the publisher. A perfect complement.

Headquartered in Lauterbach, Germany, STI - Gustav Stabernack GmbH, a leading European display manufacturer, and among Europe’s top in the packaging sector, produced 5.000 tissues-books (115 x 50 x 190 mm or 4.53” x 1.97” x 7.48”) using 1,9 mm (0.075”) grey board for the hardcover of which both sides are laminated with 130 gr/m2 wood free silk paper, printed in 4 colours and a matt lamination. The box with the tissues made from paperboard is glued to the ‘book’-cover. The quotations from the book are printed on the tissues in one colour.

The tissue-book received a bronze lion at the annual Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival, the advertising industry’s premier event and a gold medal at the New York Festivals, another competition looking for the most creative marketing work from around the globe.

Is The Allure of Real Wood Eco-friendly? In one of my last posts I wrote about natural packaging materials, as bamboo and ceramics. Although requiring special attention during production, natural packaging materials are able to create beautiful packages that turn them into ‘born’ collector’s items with an exceptional high attention value.
One of these materials is wood veneer. Let’s start with the ecological consequences and eco-friendliness of wood veneer in general and as packaging material in particular. … read the full article

Unique closure Creates a Serving-Tray

This upside-down package, called 1-Seal Kupa, is specifically designed to allow for the lid of the package to be used in upside-down position as a serving tray for the Arboga/Atria skivbarpastej (sliceable pâté). The design of the lid/tray of the packaging allows the vacuum seal to be broken while opening the container without damaging the meat product inside. This was accomplished by varying the thickness of the sides, notching the bottom, and utilizing moulded ridges for gripping the sides.

The 1-Seal Kupa is designed by Arta Plast AB, located in Tyreso, Sweden, a manufacturer of injection moulded plastic parts for food containers and medical devices. The production technique is injection moulding with IML. A robot insert the IML label into the mould, the mould closes and plastic is injected, the mould opens again and the robot takes from the mould the plastic lid with the IML label on it. This is quite standard, but the speciality is, that the patented 1-Seal technology allows for the package to be sealed using the in-mould label on the bottom tray as the sealing mechanism without an extra inner foil or membrane.

The key to the elimination of the generally required membrane is a combined PP lid and PP seal. By offering a pure PP sealing solution the need for an aluminium membrane seal isn’t necessary anymore, optimizing production efficiency, and expanding opportunities for recycling.

At the same time, an ultra thin lid seal area allows for short sealing time and low sealing temperatures. The product can be pasteurized directly in the packaging which withstands autoclaving and hot filling, while the air and watertight tamper evident sealing secures the freshness of the products at the store and at home.
The packaging is user-friendly for opening and re-closing, heat tolerant and microwaveable, allows for the highest quality graphics through the in-mould label and is 100 % recycleable.

Note: As of October 1, I shall stay in a hospital for some surgery, which is estimated to take 21 days from my life in freedom. The good hospital promised me to arrange for an internet connection. So, depending  my physical and mental condition I will continue to post here at Excellence in Packaging. Don’t blame me when I fail.

An Exotic Change of Scenery

A major player on the highly competitive Finnish wine market, the Franco-British wine dealer and producer, Boutinot, introduced its two South-African Seriti wines in a distinctive exotic style. The Seriti Chenin Blanc features the delicate detail of a zebra skin, while the Seriti Merlot wine opted for the might of the cheetah.

Boutinot, a Cheshire-based wine production and distribution company, always has sought to remove the aura of elitism which has surrounded wine drinking, with light-hearted brand names such as "Old Git" and "Old Tart" carrying labels with caricatures of old gits and old tarts. Others are named "Italia" or "Big Mamma’s Italian Red" and a best-selling French wine is called "French Revolution".

There are no details about quality or regional origin on the labels of some of the wines, as the branding, which is certainly untypical for a wine business, is aimed at young drinkers in search of value as well as quality.

As a consequence of this positioning in the market Finnish wine lovers were conquered and gladly embarked on a trip to the savannah: the new packaging of these two wines intrigued and captured the attention of consumers.

The secret to this packaging success lies in the sleeves that startlingly reproduce the graphics of wild animal skins. Designed by DareDesignSleever International developed a solution that reinforces the intensity of a zebra and a cheetah skin.

Both sleeves are made from a special steam SI-PET-TG/050-Z film, particularly popular due to its shine and shrink properties, as the bottle’s shape required a shrink factor in excess of 60%. The "zebra" sleeve features 5-colour helio-engraving, including high-precision aluminium and a matte varnish (3/10th accuracy front printing) on the black areas. The "cheetah" sleeve for its part features 9 colours including one aluminium. In addition, the quality of the printing accuracy guarantees a homogeneous finish that intensifies the contrasts and the shine of the visual result. Aluminium and matte varnish accentuate the depth.

It is not the first time Sleever International shows its experience in creating ‘wildlife skin’ sleeves. In 2007 they created the incredible feel of six exceptional (and as original highly condemned) leather finishes of among others lizard, python and ostrich for Cognac de Luze’s limited series of leather-encased XO Cognac flasks. For Luze OX Cognac, Sleever used a mono-oriented elastomer-based film which has the unique property of remembering its shape after heat shrinking, which made it possible to create relief effects or three-dimensional patterns.

The stuffy wine market is transforming itself into a highly innovative one, not only MonOxbar-PET bottles, bag-in-boxes, TetraPaks or Astra’s Winebag, but now also in a material the wineries always have left alone: Aluminium.

Read the article: “Alu-Bottles for Wine adding Value to the Drinking Experience” at the blogspot: Best In Packaging 


“Optimum Pack” - An Optimal Eco-Design

Developed in 2008 as the optimal environmental solution in packaging by CGL Pack, a small but very innovative packaging company in Annecy/France, the “Optimum Pack” finally encountered its first customer: the French manufacturer of diced cheese “Menus du Monde” (Menus of the World).

The brand Menus du Monde launches diced cheese products that can embellish salads. There are three versions: Ponte Vecio/tapenade/tomatoes, Feta cheese/tomato/pesto, and Emmental/artichoke/tomato.

CGL Pack developed a 300 ml (110 g of product) format which is now available as standard and complemented it with a 500 ml. The Optimum Pack can have a tailor-made, transparent or opaque cover which is, as well as the tray made from PCR APET, in other words post-consumer recycled amorphous polyester, in this case from recycled mineral water bottles. The thermoformed plastic tray sits in another tray, made from folding cardboard that provides the necessary rigidity and gives the printing possibilities. No glue is used. It is a real eco-design, as the packaging facilitates an easy separation of the two materials (cardboard and plastic) when discarded, as there is no glue or other fixative between the two.

With this design CGL Pack has become the reference for optimal solutions in terms of ecology, i.e. a design which environmental impact is minimized while satisfying customer needs.

CGL Pack is also the one who took the initiative to develop a calculation method (3×3 Eco bilan) to quantify the environmental impacts of each new proposed packaging solution to its customers. A methodology audited and validated by Bio Intelligence Service.

The concept of the Optimum Pack is an eco-designed packaging for all types of packaging 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. The Optimum Pack allows (according to the manufacturer) for a 45% energy consumption reduction, a 45% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and a 47% reduction on the eutrophication impact (water pollution).

At the other side of the world A&C Packers of Australia developed an Easy Pour Container for dangerous liquids. To bypass the generally necessary fluorination step, they designed a proprietary six-layer extrusion/blow-moulded HDPE container with the alternative barrier made of DuPont’s Selar polyamide, an amorphous nylon resin that needs no fluorination. Besides the special barrier construction, the container also offers a new 63-mm, Easy Pour “glug-free”, tamper-evident, wedge-seal neck design from Dorony Pty Ltd. An elegant solution to the glugging problem which …….. read the full article

Taking a Consumer Product to the Level of Fine Art

The bottle of the latest version of the exclusive FlowerbyKenzo fragrance is capped by an ingenious, high resolution flower image captured by Rexam via the latest in tampo printing technology.
The tampo printing process transfers the ink from an etched printing plate to any kind of surface using a silicone rubber pad. The main advantage of this method of printing is its ability to print on virtually any kind of irregular surface. It is used to print plastics, metals and ceramics. Constant refinement of this process, which in the case of FlowerByKenzo involves precise registration of the four colours, has resulted in a fragrance closure that showcases new levels of photographic realism with beautiful contrast and depth.

Rexam delivered an image resolution of 200 dpi, 25 percent finer than the standard tampo printing process, for optimal realism and shelf appeal. The cap is injection moulded and decorated by Rexam’s Center of Excellence in Simandre, France, using Surlyn, preferred by Kenzo’s marketing team for its transparency and fragrance compatibility properties.

Surlyn is a commercial thermoplastic ionomer resin that was introduced by DuPont in the early 1960’s. Moulded goods made with Surlyn are virtually unbreakable, and offer unusual design freedom, combining toughness, clarity and chemical resistance. It is one of the materials most favoured by designers, for complicated and bold designs.

The cardboard packaging, converted and printed by Autajon France, for the new FlowerbyKenzo scent, is made from 345 g/m2 Munken Print White, a board in Arctic Paper’s Munken range. Munken Print White has a unique natural surface which was chosen to enhance the packaging’s natural, artistic feel.

When you decide to create a dictionary, you know in advance that it never will be complete. Day-to-day life, developments and innovations create new products, words and abbreviations. Therefore the packaging dictionary I posted on my blog will be under perpetual construction, adding new definitions daily. However the result, as it is, is worth a visit. Looking for a definition in the wide world of packaging? Visit Packaging Dictionary at Best In Packaging.
Advice, suggestions, additions and comments are always welcome.

A Genetic Fingerprint in Colour-Code

Like a genetic fingerprint, SecuPack, developed by 3S Simons Security Systems GmbH, can be added to primary and secondary packaging as a legally binding counterfeit protection. Folded cardboard boxes, tubes and blister packaging of different materials secured with SecuPack enable on the spot authentication. Additionally, customary product security systems like seals, labels, holograms and closures can be optimised with the 3S technology.

The SecuPack 3S technology is based on the smallest micro colour-code particles, called SecuTag. SecuTags are made of melamine alkyd polymers, manufactured in different sizes ranging from 8 to 90 micrometers (μm). With the so-called sandwich method, the different colour components are layered on top of each other. The selection of the colours and their sequence make up over 4.35 billion individual company codes. If two or more colour-codes are combined, the number of possible codes is practically infinite. The layers are prepared with normal, ultraviolet or infrared colours and can optionally be provided with magnetic properties. The colour-codes are heat resistant up to 200ºC (392ºF) over a long period of time and up to 350ºC (662ºF) for a short time span. The particles also are resistant to organic solvents and chemicals, such as acids, bases and diluters.

In its purest form SecuTag has the substance of a very fine powder. In this condition, the code is added to various transfer media, such as clear varnish, adhesives and resins before it is applied onto a packaging. The colour-codes can also be combined with pastes, polymers in solution, liquids, powders and granulates. The colour-codes can be applied to different materials by established printing processes, directly added to the products or applied by a dispenser. The dispenser offers the possibility of easy application during the packaging process as no major changes in the packaging line are required. The application is effortlessly accomplished in-line with the packaging of the product. As a result, application on almost every solid matter, such as metal, plastic, paper, glass, aluminium and textiles, is possible.

It is a nice system and without doubt forgery-proof, but it has one big, big, problem. Colour-code protection is invisible to the eye, which means that the consumer is not able to verify himself the authenticity of the product he wants to buy. The retailer can, as a standard pen microscope is sufficient for identification, but the retailer can be as tricky as counterfeiting is profitable. No counterfeiting technology, how ingenious it might be, is satisfactory as long as the consumer can’t check it himself. I wrote before, it is time for the industry to include the consumer in its efforts to fight counterfeiting.
All hi-tech solutions, as inks, authentication, tracking and tracing are useless. You can only track and trace your own genuine products, not the counterfeited ones as they don’t have the codes. So, what happens: You discover a non-coded fake. What does it give you? In the meantime consumers have bought a fake and are disappointed by the quality, taste, fragrance and never buy your brand again. ….. read the full article: “Counterfeiting: The Industry is on the Wrong Track