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Articles from 2015 In January


Package design for men’s shaving soap aids in-shower shavers

Package design for men’s shaving soap aids in-shower shavers
Color coding on both the card-stock sleeve and the polypropylene case that holds Dave’s Shower Shave soap signals the product’s scent: Spruce Jojoba, Mandarin Mint or Sage Bergamot.

Entrepreneur Dave Nowacek—tired of shaving in front of a sink with chemical-based products on his face, only to get razor burn and nicks—had an epiphany: Stop the insanity, and start shaving in the shower. But the health and beauty aids (HBA) category isn’t exactly brimming with in-shower shaving products. So Nowacek created his own shaving bar, which he calls Dave’s Shower Shave.

The product is hand-crafted, 100% organic soap formulated—and packaged—for in-shower shaving. Each bar is packed in a travel-friendly, recyclable polypropylene case with a suction cup on the back for sticking to the shower wall. The front of the injection-molded case features a square mirror.

Wrapped around the case is a card-stock sleeve printed with brand graphics and color-coded by scent: Spruce Jojoba, Mandarin Mint and Sage Bergamot.

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Nowacek worked with Chicago-based design firm Webb deVlam to position the brand and create the package design. Ronald de Vlam, CEO and global managing partner of Webb deVlam, shares the details of the collaboration.

What were the goals regarding the brand’s packaging?

de Vlam: The goals were to take on a patented design during its infancy and develop it into a product that could be easily manufactured (with low-cost tooling), easily assembled (by hand, in batch production) and commercially viable should the business be ready for Phase 2: mass production. Phase 1 was all about getting the product off the ground with minimum capital investment.

Why include a mirror as part of the package? How is it protected from breaking?

de Vlam: The mirror was included in the packaging to provide a reflective surface and aid in the process of shaving in the shower. It looks like a glass mirror, but it is plastic, shatterproof and fog-resistant. It is highly reflective and has a de-misting layer that prevents the buildup of steam. We sourced it from China.

How does this packaging help the product become part of a man’s daily routine?

de Vlam: Dave’s Shower Shave is about encouraging men to shave in the shower. The shower is the perfect environment for a good, cleansing, safe shave. The steam and hot water help open the pores of your skin. The hot water becomes a soothing rinse and reduces post-shave irritation. [An] added perk is the lack of clean up; all the post-shave mess goes down the shower drain.

Many showers aren’t equipped with a shaving mirror. Our design allows the user to place the unit at a convenient height and position on the tiled walls of their shower. The mirror faces outward, using the suction cup provided on the back of the product. Because of its presence in the shower, the product also becomes a daily reminder to shave. The design is very useful if you’re traveling, and by no means is it gender specific; many women love lathering with Dave’s Shower Shave.

What material is the sleeve, and how is it printed?

de Vlam: The sleeve is made of paper stock: French Speckletone Kraft 140-lb stock. There is a layer of varnish complementing debased areas, and every color is a spot color, including the screen printing on the sides.

How do the sleeve graphics communicate key brand attributes?

de Vlam: We are trying to make Dave’s Shower Shave an ultimate shave destination by recalling the days of barber shops with steamed towels, leather chairs and the smell of masculine odors like mint, talcs and sandalwood. So the design is definitely retro, with simple colors and a mix of typography borrowed from yesteryear. Our mustache with shower rain coming down is an obvious reference to the in-shower intended use. Once you have it in your hands, the mirror, suction cup and shape all help communicate the key brand attributes.

Who supplies the sleeve and case?

de Vlam: The supplier is Crosspoint Intl. We worked with their Chinese plant. Lake County Press was the printer, and Midwest Gold Stamper (773-775-5253) was responsible for the debasement and varnish work.

Package design for men’s shaving soap aids in-shower shavers: Gallery

Color coding on both the card-stock sleeve and the polypropylene case that holds Dave’s Shower Shave soap signals the product’s scent: Spruce Jojoba, Mandarin Mint or Sage Bergamot.

Entrepreneur Dave Nowacek—tired of shaving in front of a sink with chemical-based products on his face, only to get razor burn and nicks—had an epiphany: Stop the insanity, and start shaving in the shower. But the health and beauty aids (HBA) category isn’t exactly brimming with in-shower shaving products. So Nowacek created his own shaving bar, which he calls Dave’s Shower Shave.

The product is hand-crafted, 100% organic soap formulated—and packaged—for in-shower shaving. Each bar is packed in a travel-friendly, recyclable polypropylene case with a suction cup on the back for sticking to the shower wall. The front of the injection-molded case features a square mirror.

Wrapped around the case is a card-stock sleeve printed with brand graphics and color-coded by scent: Spruce Jojoba, Mandarin Mint and Sage Bergamot.

Masculine is the new Millennial

Masculine is the new Millennial
Arla Foods’ Wing-Co Light chocolate flavored milk drink uses an aviator theme to promote “a proper man fuel that shoots down hunger fast”, and is packed with 40% more protein but with 50% of the carbs of most chocolate drinks. Image source: Mintel GNPD

With annual estimated direct buying power of $200 billion and another $500 billion in indirect influence, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Millennials have rightfully earned their place as the bulls eye of the consumer goods marketing target. But just outside the X ring, males are an emerging cohort on which progressive brand owners are setting their sights, savvy marketers are skewing product messaging and creative packaging designers are focusing packaging graphics.

Mintel’s 2014 Marketing To Men report outlines numerous do’s and don’t’s when it comes to capturing the hearts and wallets of men, especially the 50% of which, when surveyed, said they are solely responsible for grocery shopping, and the 42% and 37% are responsible for laundry and home cleaning, respectively.

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Just as the notion of what it means to be a man has changed, it’s no longer a matter of slapping a macho message on a brown corrugated or faux leather package and expecting men to buy in. Fiona O'Donnell, Mintel category manager, Multicultural, Lifestyles, Leisure and Travel, writes that as men become more engaged in such activities as household upkeep and their own personal grooming, brands must make an emotional connection with them.

But at the same time boundaries are blurring, men still want to be recognized as strong, manly and capable. For marketers, that’s a delicate tightrope on which they must balance and forge a connection with men by showing that they understand their challenges, as well as their sensitivities to either feminine-leaning products or over-the-top “dude-only” items and messaging. O’Donnell advises a dose of humor (but not at the man’s expense), along with recognition for their contributions (or a subtle pat on the back for stepping up) are underlying themes that can be used to connect on-pack with guys.

Marketers can specifically target men by promoting foods that men are most likely to make. For example, as seen in Mintel’s March 2014 Grilling and Barbecuing report, some 84% of men say that they typically do the grilling. Ads for meats, grilled vegetables and grilling accessories can make many men doing the grocery shopping feel like they are being recognized for their contributions. This category is among several considered low-hanging male-oriented marketing fruit.

Other mainstream end-use category targets of opportunity for male-oriented packaging include healthy food and lifestyle products, as well as personal care products. Utility, or all-in-one shampoos, as well as facial cleaning products and skin moisturizers are categories males—especially those living in a household with an income of at least $75,000—feel comfortable shopping for.

According to Mintel’s Man in the Mirror trend, taking pride in his participation in household chores, as well as being more confident by maintaining a well-groomed appearance, defines what it is to be a man in today’s society.

Going forward, brands that tap packaging to encourage that participation and support a man’s confidence will stand out on shelf, create differentiation and help men find products they like and will use—even if they still refuse to read the directions.

David Luttenberger is the global packaging director at Mintel. He has 24 years’ packaging experience. He can be reached at [email protected]. You can follow him on Twitter at @packaginggeek.

How brand owners can leverage nutritional labeling changes

How brand owners can leverage nutritional labeling changes
The present and proposed future Nutrition Facts label as it stands today.

The Federal Label Modernization Act (FLMA), set to be finalized by early 2016, is driven by consumers’ desire for clearer, more informative labeling on packaging. One expert, who urges brand owners to proactively think beyond the label and beyond the regulation, considers the implications including for labeling and packaging.

The FLMA is all about transparency; in the forthcoming revision of Nutrition Facts, serving size portions will be larger as will the corresponding calories declaration. In summary, the FLMA represents sweeping changes that are estimated to affect 60,000 consumer packaged goods companies and more than 740,000 UPCs/products. The regulations are set to be finalized by early 2016 with a compliance date by early 2018.

The pending changes to FDA food labeling regulations will rebalance the competitive context, presenting a “fantastic opportunity for brands to gain a competitive advantage,” according to Bruce Levinson, VP of client engagement at SGK. “It’s about choice and execution,” he said during a January 22 webinar, Turn FLMA Into Your Competitive Advantage. Brands that update their labels with shoppers in mind will win new customers and build stronger relationships with the ones they already have, he said.

During the 30-minute webinar, Levinson explained what the label update will mean for brands, and identified six steps brand owners should take to meet the changing needs of the marketplace. He likened it to a “cautionary tale” of California’s zero emissions requirement in the 1990s where companies either met the required regulations, as General Motors did, or look beyond it, as Toyota did by responding with the industry-changing Prius hybrid car.

Levinson’s 6 pieces of advice for brand owners to proactively react to FLMA (with packaging specific-ones bolded):

1. Know what consumers expect from your brand.

2. Anticipate changes to serving sizes and understand what you should change per consumer expectations.

3. Seize a competitive advantage, act boldly and consider reformulating your products and repackaging in a way that promotes consumptive behavior.

4. Understand your true design equities and assets and know what you can afford to change, move or remove. And do it now!

5. Touch the packaging only once: Determine what other design changes to make while you touch the label.

6. Assemble the right cross-functional team now so that you can begin planning. Start with conducting an impact audit.

Levinson also responded to several questions from attendees with these answers:

  • Use innovation to gain an advantage through new products and packaging such as a new format, size or way to package.
  • Center your efforts on research, ethnography and focus groups—and listen to consumers’ expectations.
  • The current science behind the controversial use/non-use and associated labeling for genetically modified organisms (GMOs) is that there is no analytical distinguishing between GMOs vs. non-GMOs. This is not a part of FLMA, but a separate issue to be dealt with in parallel, he noted, implying that should be addressed as part of Point 5 above.

His parting advice: Think beyond the regulation.

Masculine is the new Millennial: Gallery

Arla Foods’ Wing-Co Light chocolate flavored milk drink uses an aviator theme to promote “a proper man fuel that shoots down hunger fast”, and is packed with 40% more protein but with 50% of the carbs of most chocolate drinks. Image source: Mintel GNPD

With annual estimated direct buying power of $200 billion and another $500 billion in indirect influence, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Millennials have rightfully earned their place as the bulls eye of the consumer goods marketing target. But just outside the X ring, males are an emerging cohort on which progressive brand owners are setting their sights, savvy marketers are skewing product messaging and creative packaging designers are focusing packaging graphics.

Mintel’s 2014 Marketing To Men report outlines numerous do’s and don’t’s when it comes to capturing the hearts and wallets of men, especially the 50% of which, when surveyed, said they are solely responsible for grocery shopping, and the 42% and 37% are responsible for laundry and home cleaning, respectively.

Label change-up reduces L’Oreal’s eco-footprint

Label change-up reduces L’Oreal’s eco-footprint
Ultra thin labels improve L'Oreal's environmental goals yet are still stiff enough for easy application.

L’Oreal, in its Sharing Beauty with All sustainability initiative, has pledged that by 2020 it will reduce its “environmental footprint by 60% from a 2005 baseline whilst bringing beauty to one billion new consumers.”

Sustainable packaging, including labeling, is one area the HBA leader is scrutinizing as it makes it way toward that goal. To better understand the environmental impact of its labels and make greener procurement choices, L’Oreal Americas partnered with label supplier Avery Dennison.

The companies used the Avery Dennison Greenprint assessment tool to look at the impact of L’Oreal’s label materials at all stages of the label life cycle, from extraction of raw materials to manufacturing through end of life. The assessment showed that switching to a thinner, lighter-weight label material would reduce L’Oreal’s eco-footprint in several ways.

Based on the Greenprint data, L’Oreal switched to Avery Dennison’s Global MDO substrate for labels on a selection of its leading products. The substrate is designed to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, water use and post-consumer waste.

The transition to this substrate from Avery Dennison’s Global Co-Ex film has reduced L’Oreal’s environmental impact by 7% to 19% across several categories: GHG emissions, energy use, water consumption, fossil material and solid waste.

The Avery Dennison Greenprint screening tool was introduced in 2010, and the supplier uses it with clients on a case by case basis.

Edible marijuana labeling problem has an analytical solution?

Edible marijuana labeling problem has an analytical solution?
Increased accuracy for product potency means improved labeling and safer consumers.

Sage Analytics feels its new generation analyzer can increase the accuracy of potency amounts for marijuana merchandise, labeling and packaging for a more informed consumer and safer and more reliable products.

A recent report on CBS News claims that edible marijuana products from cereal and granola to chocolate chip cookies and gummy bears are causing an increasing number of visits to the emergency room. The report said that doctors, regulators and police from California to Colorado are observing a downside from the lack of adequate standards for legal marijuana products.

Sage Analytics, Boulder, CO the developers of a new generation of equipment for the testing of marijuana potency and moisture content, responded to the report.

"There's no way to know the content of the THC, nor what the other additives are, and clearly they are not done in the auspices of public health or standards for restaurant production," San Mateo Police Chief Sue Mannheimer told CBS News for their report, which also stated that edible marijuana makers seemed to place much of the responsibility for product safety on the consumer.

Sage Analytics president, Matt Kaplan, said that he looks forward to working with manufacturers of cannabis infused edible products, and providing them with tools and technology to address this critical issue so that they can independently and regularly test their extract or oil prior to manufacturing. This will lead to greater accuracy of potency amounts in their merchandise, more precise labeling and packaging, a more informed consumer, and safer and more reliable products.

Read more of this article at Pharmaceutical and Medical Packaging News.

Read more about marijuana packaging:

Marijuana packaging: Beyond the baggie

Marijuana packaging: Implied endorsement?

FDA to finalize the GRAS Notification process

Many packaging materials, past and present, are generally recognized as safe (GRAS) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which quickly clears the way for the products to be used commercially. However, the GRAS review process itself has been under review.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has agreed to issue a final rule on the GRAS review program by August 31, 2016, under a Consent Decree issued by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. This latest development in the evolution of GRAS substances stems from a lawsuit filed by the Center for Food Safety (CFS) in February 2014.

CFS claimed that FDA was operating its GRAS Notification Program under a 1997 proposed rule that was never subject to final rulemaking, essentially making the program illegal under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). The Center petitioned the court to vacate the 1997 proposed rule. To understand the significance of this latest activity, a little history lesson is in order.

Born in the USA

The GRAS concept was born with the Food Additives Amendment Act of 1958, which exempted substances from the definition of a "food additive" and formal preclearance requirements, if they are “generally recognized, among experts qualified by scientific training and experience to evaluate [their] safety, as having been adequately shown through scientific procedures (or, in the case of a substance used in food prior to Jan. 1, 1958, through either scientific procedures or experience based on common use in food) to be safe under the conditions of its intended use. (See 21 CFR §170.30)

FDA mandates that the same quality and quantity of scientific data required to support a food additive petition are needed to support a GRAS determination. It also requires that the critical data supporting the conclusion (usually, toxicology data) be published (in a peer review journal, for example) or otherwise available to the relevant scientific community. However, there is no requirement that the data be provided to FDA prior to marketing a product on this basis.

In 1958, FDA published a list of GRAS substances, which was originally incorporated into 21 C.F.R. Part 182. Since many substances that were considered GRAS by industry were not included on the GRAS list, manufacturers would write FDA and request the Agency’s opinion on the GRAS status of a substance. FDA would respond with an informal opinion letter. Importantly, these letters were often only available to the requestor and were not binding on the agency. FDA discontinued issuing informal GRAS opinion letters in 1970.

Following a comprehensive review of GRAS substances, FDA conducted a rulemaking in 1972 to establish a voluntary GRAS affirmation petition process. Under the process, an individual could petition FDA to review the GRAS status of a substance. FDA would publish a notice of the filing in the Federal Register, request comments, conduct a comprehensive review and then publish a final rule in the Federal Register, if warranted. However, by the late 1980’s, once a GRAS petition was "accepted for filing," petitioners would start marketing their products and FDA often did not bother to take final action on the petition.

Birth of the GRAS Notification (GRASN) process

The GRAS affirmation petition process was ineffective and created a backlog of petitions, which led to the 1997 GRAS Notification proposed rule, explained FDA’s Dr. Antonia Mattia, director, Division of Biotechnology and GRAS Notice Review at a 2013 Food and Drug Law Institute meeting. While the rule was never finalized, the agency started accepting GRASNs in 1998 as a substitute for GRAS Affirmation Petitions. In December 2010, FDA requested further comments on the proposed 1997 GRASN procedure with an eye to taking final action on the proposal.

Under the GRASN procedure, a company may notify FDA that a particular use of a substance has been determined to be GRAS, and provide the same type and quality of data to the agency as in the petitioning process. In this case, though, FDA is under no obligation to grant or deny a petition as part of a regulatory process.

Instead, after evaluating a the data, FDA will inform the notifier that: 1) the agency has no questions for the notifier with respect to its GRAS determination at this time, or 2) the agency has determined that the notice does not provide a sufficient basis for a GRAS determination. FDA may also cease to evaluate the GRAS notice at the notifier's request. The GRASN and FDA’s response are published on the agency’s website.

To date, there have been almost 500 GRAS Notifications submitted to FDA. Of those received by December 31, 2012, FDA had “no questions” for 79%, and determined that 4% did not provide a sufficient basis for a GRAS determination. The notifier stopped the process in 17% of the cases.

With settlement of the suit, it appears that the GRASN program will continue to live in the way that it has since 1998, and continue to serve FDA’s goal of eliminating resource-intensive rulemakings and providing manufacturers with an incentive to inform FDA of their GRAS determinations, as FDA’s Dr. Mattia put it. It is just that now, it will be done through a program that has been adopted by the agency through more regular procedures.

Author George Misko is a partner at Keller and Heckman. Founded in 1962, the respected law firm has a broad practice in the areas of regulatory law, litigation and business transactions, serving both domestic and international clients. Reach him at [email protected].

P&G’s foamed bio-film saves material

P&G’s foamed bio-film saves material
Foamed bio-film is a replacement for polyolefin films.

The Procter & Gamble Co., Cincinnati, has filed a patent on a better, more sustainable way to save film and package costs other than to reduce film caliper. The key is to use a foamed film made in part or whole with renewable, recyclable and/or biodegradable materials.

The patent filing published a month ago points out the extensive use of polyolefin (i.e., polypropylene, polyethylene and polyethylene terephthalate) as a family of reliable packaging polymers that provide clarity, strength and product protection for pouches, bags, labels and wraps. Downgauging of polyolefin substrates to reduce material and costs can be problematic in potentially weakening the package structure to a point that can compromise needed features such as an easy-tear opening and other functional aspects.

P&G’s proposed solution is to employ a film made from a renewable polymer that can be foamed as a thin layer with gaseous bubbles or cells. According to the patent, the foamed thin film includes a bio-based content of between about 10% and 100%, a caliper of between 10 and 250 microns, and a density reduction of between 5% to 50% compared to non-foamed film of about the same caliper.

While foamed polymers are nothing new, targeting a renewable material in this manner brings something new to the packaging table that’s a healthier alternative for the environment.

Click here to read more.

Advances improve automated package inspection

Advances improve automated package inspection
Examples of new noncontact inspection options include MT’s energy- and space-saving X36 x-ray inspection system (left) and DIR technologies’ I2VS system that uses thermal imaging (right) for online induction-seal inspection.

Packagers need to stay on the lookout for new packaging machinery technologies across many segments, but few are as crucial as inspection systems that can ensure packaged product integrity, quality and safety. We present examples of two recent developments within this packaging machinery segment that will be found at the first-ever Pack Expo East exhibition running Feb. 16-18 in Philadelphia.

Smaller is better: One of the newest systems from inspection specialist Mettler Toledo is the X36 x-ray inspection system, which uses more sensitive x-ray detectors to enable complete inspections with lower power X-ray generators. This reduction in power and cooling requirements results in a more compact system that can better fit into tight spaces on production lines.

Also on display is MT’s Profile Advantage, a new and unique advanced metal-detection system engineered to inspect high-moisture objects including foods such as meats and cheeses.

Pack Expo East Booth #1002

Higher-accuracy seal inspection: DIR Technologies’ breakthrough Induction Integrity Verification System (I2VS) leverages premium thermal imaging to provide high-speed, noncontact induction sealing integrity analysis through bottle caps. The vendor also has developed the Sachet Full Monitoring System (SFM) to provide 100% in-line inspection of sachets and pouches. The SFM is offered integrated in Mediseal systems. The DIR systems are either in use or in trials on packaging lines for several leading pharmaceutical packaging companies.

Originally developed for military defense systems, the technique is being implemented successfully for pharmaceutical packaging operations. Bob Hartwig will lecture on the technology at Pack Expo East on Tues., Feb. 17 from 11:00AM-12:00 noon. 

Quickie poll asks: Should manufacturers add more online packaging inspection?

Take our 1-question poll about inspection on packaging lines to help ensure food and beverage safety. Click here to take the poll and then you can immediately see the results.