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Top 10 personal care packaging innovations of 2014: Gallery

Brut's new packaging design

Packaging designs for the personal care products category not only have to be good-looking, they have to provide consumers with another reason to buy. Better functionality? More convenient? Affordable? Yes, yes and yes!

Our top stories in 2014 tackle these packaging issues and more for major brand owners such as Procter & Gamble, Kimberly-Clark and Unilever.

10. Brut rolls out new scents and updates look

9. Touch-friendly top plates add glam to cosmetics compacts

8. Summer personal care promotions highlight convenience, design

7. The ‘beauty’ in keeping beauty care packaging out of landfills

6. Thinking-up-a-dimensional-label-for-kids-bath-products

5. Dual dispenser ‘highlights’ redken blonde conditioners

4. Kimberly-Clark invents oxygen-generating lotion bottle

3. Softlips puckers up with innovative cube packaging

2. Designer tubs take home top prize

1. P&G doubles up convenience in personal care, laundry packaging

Escalating e-commerce sales need better packaging: Gallery

While just about a third of respondents say their products are sold via e-commerce, we should see that number jump in the next three to five years.

Online sales have got the “Big Mo.” We wanted to gauge how this momentum will impact packaging so we devoted a section of the Packaging Digest 2014 Sustainable Packaging Study to the topic of e-commerce.

FDA says BPA is safe, new study says otherwise

FDA says BPA is safe, new study says otherwise

Earlier this year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released its 2014 safety assessment for the chemical Bisphenol A (BPA) citing that it is safe at current levels of exposure from food contact uses.

“As is the case when foods are in direct contact with any packaging material, small, measurable amounts of the packaging materials may migrate into food and can be consumed with it. As part of its premarket review of food packaging materials, FDA’s food contact regulations and food contact notification program assesses the likely migration from the packaging material to assure that any migration to food occurs at safe levels,” states the FDA.

In the fall of 2014, FDA experts from across the agency, specializing in toxicology, analytical chemistry, endocrinology, epidemiology, and other fields, completed a four-year review of more than 300 scientific studies. The FDA review has not found any information in the evaluated studies to prompt a revision of FDA’s safety assessment of BPA in food packaging at this time.

Pleased to receive the news is The North American Metal Packaging Alliance Inc. (NAMPA).

“The comprehensive review by FDA scientists should dispel any concerns regarding the safe use of BPA epoxy resins in canned food,” says Dr. John M. Rost, who chairs NAMPA. “Agency researchers could not have been more clear or definitive in their conclusion that an adequate margin of safety exists for BPA.”

However, a Korean study published in the American Heart Association Journal claims that BPA in cans is linked to raising one’s blood pressure when consumed.

The study tested urine and blood pressure levels shortly after two groups of women drank soy milk, one group from glass bottles and the other from cans with BPA linings.

“The idea that small amounts of thousands of toxins from thousands of sources in our food is safe is simply blatant allowance of corporations poisoning people,” says Michael Potter, president, Eden Foods. The company began replacing its packaging to be BPA-free in 1999. “There is no safe level of BPA because one molecule of it can trigger cancer in a cell. All toxins should be kept out of our food and the Precautionary Principle should be legally binding and determinant of responsibility for harm.”

According to the FDA, this safety assessment may be revised accordingly pending completion, review and identification of data from these or other studies relevant to a dietary safety assessment.

McCormick stirs up liquid sauces category

McCormick stirs up liquid sauces category

McCormick and Co. plans to expand into an already "packed" market for liquid sauces for one-skillet meals where other offerings are already available from Campbell Soup, General Mills and Frontera to name a few.

The skillet sauces come in an easy-to-open and -pour pouch design and are available in flavors like "Stir-fry" and "Fajita."

The company is responding to the trend where busy consumers want a home-cooked, fresh tasting family meal in little or no time, which is driving the sales of prepared foods. Also, research shows that Millennials are taking up an interest in the kitchen.

“In the U.S., our data shows that both McCormick’s gourmet and everyday products are well represented in Millennial households,” says Alan Wilson, chairman, president and CEO, McCormick & Co., during an Oct. 2 call with financial analysts to discuss third-quarter performance.

The announcement came as McCormick reported a 1% drop in sales in the U.S. Overall sales rose 3% on rising demand in China, Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

"We continue to be encouraged by the growing consumer demand for flavor in markets around the world. To meet this demand, we are introducing exciting new products, including Skillet Sauces, Freshlock herbs and, in early 2015, will relaunch our premium gourmet line in the U.S.,” says Wilson.

“These flavors leverage mainstream family favorites with a bit of a twist,” Wilson adds. “Both the gluten-free items and skillet sauces are designed to build upon our momentum in the recipe mix category. We are already gaining good retail acceptance of these new products and anticipate strong consumer trial and repeat purchases. Again, improved results for our consumer business in the Americas are going to take some time but we have had initial progress with the actions that we have under way.”

Leading label innovations for 2014

Leading label innovations for 2014

In 2014 alone, Packaging Digest has covered several labeling topics in the industry ranging from GMO, gluten-free to even changes to wordage on recycling labels. To capture this hot topic I've compiled a slideshow of our best-read articles for the year.

Use the red View Gallery button above to launch the slideshow.

10. High-impact labels feature bold design

9. New Vermont GMO labeling law fuels debate

8. Labelexpo celebrates 25 years as a new technology showcase

7. Shrink sealer applies full-body labels and T-E bands

6. Miller64 participates in voluntary labeling

5. ACI releases labeling and packaging guidelines for detergent packets

4. False Labeling Complaint Center launches national initiative

3. Automated shrink labeling opens new markets for wine

2. Pasta maker installs a custom, 3-applicator labeler

To read the number one labeling article for 2014, click here.

Leading label innovations for 2014: Gallery

10. Because the packs were originally developed for TV shopping, the label designs feature bold colors and designs that help to catch the eye and communicate the quality of the products. The labels are printed in seven colors with strong single color backgrounds that distinguish the different product types combined with illustrations of the products in action on bodywork, tyres, wheels and interiors.

10. High-impact labels feature bold design

9. New Vermont GMO labeling law fuels debate

8. Labelexpo celebrates 25 years as a new technology showcase

7. Shrink sealer applies full-body labels and T-E bands

6. Miller64 participates in voluntary labeling

5. ACI releases labeling and packaging guidelines for detergent packets

4. False Labeling Complaint Center launches national initiative

3. Automated shrink labeling opens new markets for wine

2. Pasta maker installs a custom, 3-applicator labeler

To read the number one labeling article for 2014, click here.

Beverage carton competition fuels 'green' options for brand owners

Beverage carton competition fuels 'green' options for brand owners
Elopaks’ latest Pure-Pak carton that uses certified renewable polyethylene is claimed as the greenest ever.

Two major beverage carton vendors from Scandinavia play a continual game of one-upmanship when it comes to sustainable packaging that benefits packagers worldwide. Read here about the latest round.

It’s a tale of one region that’s a hotbed of innovation in the world of beverage cartons where two of the major players hail from Scandinavia: the first, Tetra Pak, is Swedish; the second is the Norwegian company Elopak. The companies, who engage in a perpetual game of anything-you-do-I-can-do-better, have both put great effort into the development of "green" packaging, introducing redesigned cartons that combine convenience with an improved environmental profile. That round looked to have been won this year by Tetra Pak: in what it called an industry first, Tetra Pak announced in April that all of the packages it produced in Brazil would from that time on make use of biobased low-density polyethylene (LDPE).

In October, the company said it would be making the industry's first carton made entirely from plant-based, renewable packaging materials commercially available in early 2015, and in November, that company collected two awards at the World Beverage Innovation Awards ceremony in Nuremberg, Germany for "environmental innovation."

Elopak, however, now claims to have gone one better. The company said that a range of Elopak cartons featuring certified renewable polyethylene (PE) will be made commercially available in the coming months, making Elopak the first company to offer beverage cartons with renewable coating to the European market. And in another industry first, Elopak is using second generation renewable PE, made of European-sourced biomass not in competition with food supply.

You can read the full article at PlasticsToday.

A toast to the Top 10 beverage packaging developments of the year

A toast to the Top 10 beverage packaging developments of the year
Even celebrities got in on the top packaging "acts" of 2014, at #9 (shown) , #7 and #2.

2014 overflowed with articles centering on beverage packaging innovation. These include the following 10 highlights that feature Hollywood-enhanced branding and atypical container formats comprising a hexagonal whiskey bottle, a paper wine bottle and worldly wines served in a pouch.

Use the red View Gallery button above to launch the Slideshow Gallery.

You read, we tallied and now present the Top 10 Beverage Packaging Articles of 2014 at as measured by our website analytics. Our reverse-order listing is dominated by alcohol beverages and carbonated soft drinks, and starts with a rarity: a secondary package that made the cut. The fact it’s an innovative offering from a major brand owner likely had something to do with that…

 10.   A downsized, budget-minded secondary package from a major brand owner debuts.

9 . Star-studded alcohol packaging dresses up in style.

8. Proximo puts a hex shape on this bottled whiskey launch.

7. Another star-studded beverage can makes its Oscars debut.

6. These pie-flavored libations for adults come in Apple Pie, Cherry Pie and Pecan Pie flavors.

5. This wine’s single-serve packaging is portable, unbreakable, resealable and worldly.

4. This paper wine bottle is a first in the U.S

3. What’s all the buzz about polyethylene furanoate as a feedstock for bottles?

2. This wine from Italian American television personality and journalist Giuliana Rancic drew a lot of attention.

1. Among all of our beverage packaging articles of 2014, this one was a roaring success.

Robots for packaging exhibit performance enhancements

Robots for packaging exhibit performance enhancements
Advances in robotics from Pack Expo include ABB’s “extremely accurate” simulation software (left) and Blueprint Automation’s infeed sortation system (right) designed to be positioned upstream of robots.

These two developments from Pack Expo exemplify how robotics suppliers like ABB and packaging machinery builders like BluePrint Automation are responding to interest and growth in deployments for robotics in packaging and other industries by continuing to optimize robots’ capabilities.

The proliferation of robotics for packaging was literally on display throughout the halls of Pack Expo (see article links below) along with the corresponding advancements in hardware and software to make these systems perform better for packagers.

Richard “Rick” Tallian, manager, packaging products & applications, ABB Inc., provided an insightful booth tour during the show that pointed to hardware developments. For example, ABB’s IRB 1200 models are lighter in weight and 10% faster and operate within a larger work envelope. All this broadens their applicability in packaging-related functions.

Notably, the firm has made corresponding software improvements including, according to Tallian, recent updates to RobotStudio and the Palletizing PowerPac. “In the palletizing PowerPac, we can simulate the complete robotic palletizing work cell.”  ABB has compared the performance in the virtual robot environment to physical robot performance; Tallian calls the simulation results “incredibly accurate.”

The Robot Studio Picking PowerPac is a new feature for “pick simulation” (a screen display is seen in the above left portion of the image for a delta-style robot setup) to virtually predict and optimize the functionality of robotic systems. “The Picking PowerPac allows systems integrators and end users alike the ability to easily design and develop picking simulations that can be directly downloaded to the robot controller for operation in the real world,” says Tallian.

Blueprint for optimized robotics

This sortation and spacing system from BluePrint Automation optimizes the flow of one of the most popular and yet challenging packages to handle, flexible packaging.

The narrow, modular system takes product in bulk such as pouches and singulates them ahead of vision-guided robotic operations downstream.  At the booth, the unscrambler (shown in right side of top image) singulated pouches ahead of a delta-style pick-and-place robot. The system allows the packager to install as many or as few modules as needed; the demo system was a dual-lane configuration of 10 modules each.

It will automatically space and turn packaged products and is claimed to be easily adjusted in pitch and roll. It is a capable of speeds up to 300 bags per minute and can handle products in thermoforms as well.

Company spokesman Robbie Quinlin informed Packaging Digest that about 10 of these systems were installed for one customer about three months earlier.

For more on robots, see also our two previous reports from Pack Expo: Packaging machines integrate robots to increase production flexibility and 5 trend-setting robots in action at Pack Expo.

Glass packaging is clearly growing globally

Glass packaging is clearly growing globally
The glass packaging market is moving along at a nearly 4% growth rate. Photo shows glass jars speeding along on a conveyor.

For being a “mature” packaging format, the $58 billion global market for glass containers seems to be anything but static, growing annually at 3.9% CAGR 2014-2019, according to a new report Glass Packaging Market by Applications and by Geography - Global Trends & Forecast to 2019 from Research and Markets.

Some report highlights:

The largest market for glass packaging is Asia-Pacific;

The fastest growth is in alcohol beverages, driven especially by the above market and Eastern Europe;

The market in food containers is declining in North America;

The market for pharmaceutical packaging is growing in North America and Europe.

For old news on glass packaging, read our recent report on glass bottles from the fascinating National Bottle Museum in New York.

For a sneak peek at fresh news on glass packaging: Before Christmas, we will be posting at the site a feature on a brand owner’s launch of a new, consumer-driven glass container and the new production line at the state-of-the-art facility that packages it. The above image that shows the jars speeding along on a conveyor at the New York plant serves as a teaser.