Packaging technologies have come a long way in the past decade. As I’ve seen with many of my clients, some of this has happened by design, and some has happened by necessity. Recently I was thumbing through Packaging Digest (this publication has just celebrated 50 years, by the way!), and came across a great article titled “7 Key Developments” that I’d like to point you to.
It’s a nice encapsulation of where the packaging industry is headed. Some of the developments you’ll see are environmental, safety, RFID, convenience and smarter packaging design. Here is an excerpt to whet your appetite:
Convenience: A recurring theme
Everyone wants life easy. And that includes meals: Easy to prepare. Easy to cook, clean up and store. Easy to take-along on busy days. Easy to open for arthritic hands. Fortunately, CPGs have been quick to respond to these needs, devising a plethora of clever options to, well, make life a little easier.
Perusing the past 10 years of Packaging Digest uncovered a smorgasbord of hundreds of time-saving yet tasty examples. These are but a (free!) sampling:
In January 2012, U.S. Sugar Corp. introduced the ZipBox for its granulated sugar, replacing the time-honored paper sacks and paperboard cartons. The new carton incorporates an integral plastic head with attached zipper, making both opening and reclosing easier.
In 2008, Birds-Eye developed and marketed Steamfresh vegetables that can be quickly cooked in its self-venting microwavable bag-no pans to wash.
In a first for ready-to-serve breakfast cereals, also in 2008, Target’s Archer Farms brand moved several of its most popular cereals to reclosable, easy-pour paperboard canisters with a snap-fit closure to keep the crunch.
Even foodservice earned its share of time-saving, materials-reducing convenience. Two years ago, McDonald’s adopted the Convertible Clamshell. When open and lying flat, the clear clamshell serves as a food preparation tray for sandwich wraps; when closed, it is a package for sale of the finished sandwich. When opened by the consumer to eat, the flat package also serves as a plate.
Convertible Clamshell designer HAVI Global Solutions won the 2011 AmeriStar Best of Show award from competition organizer Institute of Packaging Professionals (IoPP).