Is Packaging Innovation The Chicke Or The Egg?
This from Tim at KTM Industries
I can only concur with your findings. As a producer of strictly sustainable packaging materials, I am amazed that the vast majority of packaging professionals that I have met with at some of the largest, most respected companies find Green Cell Foam a novelty or curiosity, even though we discuss that Toyota, Honeywell, Volvo, Sony and other majors have been using this for several years with excellent results. Why do so many packaging folks eschew “green” technologies? Here are my best guesses:
1. Investment – many companies are so heavily invested in machinery and fixtures that the idea of integrating new materials goes directly against corporate strategies
2. Overloaded – packaging engineers are so busy that they rather select materials and processes that are “tried and true” rather than go through the extra work of investigating/testing/etc.
3. Job protection – it’s a lot safer to use materials that are “tried and true” rather than try new materials that may go wrong (even if the chance is near nil)
4. Not important – “green” technologies are just not high on the list of imperatives (no bonus check for going “green”)
5. Relationships – many professionals have been working with the same companies/persons for many years and they remain loyal
6. Costs – while many “green” technologies carry a price premium, we’ve found that even at cost parity, companies stay with current designs to avoid the hassle of switching for no bottom line gain
7. Lack of vision – (I may be burned at the stake for this one) with energy costs going through the roof, hydrocarbon-based materials will cost a lot more in a very short period of time. Biobased materials, on the contrary, have a much lower energy cost component and, thus, are not subject to oil-based price increases. And with more cities/states/countries enacting environmental legislation, there will be a clear market advantage to using sustainable materials. Oh, yes, and add Wal-Mart to the list of drivers…
I travel extensively and I always carry Green Cell Foam with me. People invariably ask what it is and when I explain it to them – along with the environmental benefits and ease of disposal – about 118% of them instantly like the material (OK, so I need a new calculator…)
So how do we bridge the disconnect? Marketing…
I am starting to meet with the MARKETING departments of these companies, rather than the packaging and operations groups, to explain the benefits to the company through their customers. Will this strategy work? Clearly, I don’t know, but I believe that it comes down to this facet of the business to drive innovation.
“Is What’s On The Outside Of Your Packaging What’s Inside?” April 07
Cosmetics: A Fresh Face or Just a Waste?
Consumer Affairs – USA
The cleansers and toners that didn’t feature chunky images of fresh fruit on the packaging were instead covered with drawings of complex amino acid chains …
Plain truth on cigs
Melbourne Herald Sun – Melbourne,Australia
… attractive packaging to lure consumers, according to the council, which is calling for plain packaging to become the next weapon to stop people smoking. …
“I Hate Packaging” April 06
War on Packaging
One Fylde coast MP is, and is joining the growing number of people waging war on excess packaging.
Gordon Marsden, MP for Blackpool South is one of more than 100 MPs who have signed a House of Commons Early Day Motion calling on retailers to reduce packaging and to encourage the re-use of plastic bags.
The motion claims packaging accounts for 17% of the average family food budget and creates 4.6 million tonnes of rubbish in the UK every year.
All Packaging Diva articles are available in the Best Of The Diva Series. Email me for details.
“Packaging Greenwash” Available in the Best Of The Diva Part #7
email me for details at email@example.com
Brandweek Publishes Design Force President’s Editorial “Packaging …
openPR (press release) – Hamburg,Germany
“Packaging That Works For The Planet” is an important article that discusses the powerful impact packaging has on the Earth’s ecosystem. …
“Is Your Packaging A Candidate For The Oyster Award?”
Consumer Watch: Maddening Product Packaging
KFOXtv.com – El Paso,TX,USA
Consumer Reports asked people about tough-to-open packages and got a mountain
Is What’s On The Outside Of Your Packaging What Is Inside? Available in the Best Of The Diva Part #7email me for details at firstname.lastname@example.org
When a Brand Listens … It’s a Good Thing!
Supermarkets are jammed with over thirty thousand products – and these days tens of thousands are shouting out at us with their health claims. What can we believe in our search for the fountain of wellness and youth?
The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) thought that the statement on Quaker’s packages that this whole grain “actively finds” and removes cholesterol from your arteries is going a bit too far. So after a discussion (albeit with the threat of a CSPI lawsuit filing) Quaker Oats has agreed to drop this and other exaggerated claims on their labels and advertising.
Quaker’s new packaging and advertising will read, “as part of a healthy diet, the soluble fiber in oatmeal helps remove cholesterol” and “3 grams of soluble fiber daily from oatmeal may help reduce heart disease risk as part of a heart-healthy diet.” In addition, they will remove a graph that CSPI felt exaggerated the cholesterol-lowering potential of oatmeal. Although the changes are slight, CSPI says that they will no longer be misleading to consumers.
“100 Calorie Snacks Smart or Stupid”
Snack smart: Look for nutrients, not just clever packaging
The Casper Star Tribune – Casper,WY,USA
Packaging items in smaller containers can help control mindless overeating. Studies show the larger the container, the more people eat. …
“What Wal-Mart Wants Wal-Mart Gets” May 06
Wal-Mart Leaving Organic Growers Out in the Cold: Farmers Say Retailer Started Out Ambitiously, But has Since Backed Off Significantly
Last March Wal-Mart grabbed headlines by announcing its organic push. Stephen Quinn, a top marketing executive, told investors at a Bear Stearns conference that the company would double the number…
“Is What’s On The Outside Of Your Packaging What’s Inside” – March 07
Ribena admits it misled people about vitamin C content
The West Australian – Perth,Western Australia,Australia
GSK told the ACCC that advertising and packaging which implied Ribena fruit drinks contained four times the vitamin C of comparable orange juice products …