Market Driven

October 1, 2005
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Blistex is on the Ball
Blistex R&D came up with a formula—a liquid lip balm—then looked for just the right packaging to house it. The brand’s solution? New Blistex Lip Infusion, launching at drug, food and mass merchandise stores this fall with a stainless steel, rolling tip applicator that is reportedly the first of its kind for lip balm. Blistex president Mike Donnantuono describes the liquid formula and the rolling tip as breakthrough elements that combine lip care with a unique sensory experience. “No other lip balm provides a smoother, more pleasant application while delivering the type of skin protection and moisturization advances that consumers have come to expect,” he says. Lip Infusion, which retails at a suggested price of $2.49, comes in a .14-fluid-ounce plastic tube. TV advertising running from November 2005 through March 2006 will support the launch.
Welch’s grapes: fresher, longer
Seedless grapes on the stem are the latest fresh-cut produce items to be packaged for effortless and immediate consumption. Beyond the obvious convenience cues (the clear plastic container makes a “Washed & Ready to Eat” claim and is sized to fit a car cupholder), Welch’s single-serve grapes offer a secondary benefit for both consumers and retailers: extended shelf life. Proprietary modified-atmosphere packaging technology from FreshXtend Technologies (www.FreshXtend.com) is said to place the produce in a state of “hibernation,” extending the viability of the brand’s red grape variety to 17 days and its green variety to 12 days. The single-serve grapes are available in five-ounce sealed plastic cups for between $1.69 and $1.79 at a limited number of supermarkets and super centers. Other cup sizes and fruit products are said to be following this initial product launch.
Wine bottles get the sleeve
Italian wine labels typically feature ornate representations of picturesque villas and rolling vineyards. Click Wine Group has given that imagery the boot. Launching recently during New York’s Fashion Week, the company introduced its Bootleg wine collection in packaging that suggests the shape of the wine’s country-of-origin (Italy) and its reputation for progressive fashion and design. The bottles feature a shrink sleeve label, designed by Turner Duckworth (www.turnerduckworth.com) in San Francisco, which is printed by UK-based Decorative Sleeves (www.decorativesleeves.co.uk) to resemble a zippered leather boot. By simplifying its labels and giving the line a fun memorable name, the company seeks to make wine more accessible to U.S. consumers. In-store, the label’s matte finish works to differentiate the brand from its glossy counterparts on the shelf. Synthetic corks in clear PVC capsules top four of the brand’s five varietals (Chianti, by law, must receive a natural cork).
Pedigree zips in with an innovative multiwall bag
Pedigree’s new Slide-Right zipper is one of the biggest advances in multiwall paper bags—and the first such closure on a mainstream dry dog food. Working with bag supplier Exopack (www.exopack.com) and zipper manufacturer Pactiv (www.pactiv.com), the brand spent four years commercializing the packaging, which requires a multi-walled liner and adhesives to reinforce the heavy-gauge zipper. The zipper helps keep food fresh for Spot and, important for Pedigree, keeps the food in the bag: Pedigree research revealed that 60 percent of dog owners were emptying pet food into containers that offered greater in-home convenience. By eliminating that need, Pedigree keeps its brand identity in front of consumers, longer. The zipper was introduced on all Pedigree varieties in 15- to 22-pound bags, at no additional cost to consumers; $8 million in marketing support is planned for the launch.
Rhino Records boxes a genius
“Pure Genius” is an eight-disc box set of Ray Charles’ legendary 1950s recordings with Atlantic Records. The collection—seven CDs and one DVD in Shorewood Packaging’s Digipak sleeves (www.shorewoodpackaging.com)—is housed in a vintage record player-style case produced by Shorewood, covered in FiberMark’s (www.packaging.fibermark.com) latex-saturated Shadow decorative material and topped with a custom handle by Sagoma Inc. (www.sagomaplastics.com) in Biddeford, Maine. Inside, a molded turntable insert continues the retro theme and sits atop a linen-bound 80-page biography of Charles; the CDs and DVD stack neatly in the record player case on an inclined plastic base. Rhino Records introduced the lavish collection on September 20th—just days before what would have been the legendary musician’s 75th birthday—after five months of package development.
Plump gloss launched in “plump” packaging
A cult beauty brand in the UK, Pout recently brought its popular Plump lip gloss to the U.S. market. The peppermint-infused gloss causes increased stimulation that is said to swell and “inflate” lips—a claim the cosmetics brand has smartly reinforced with its packaging. The gloss is suspended inside a clear inflated air “pillow”, sourced by Swallowfield (www.swallowfield.com), a cosmetics manufacturer in the UK; the airbag is screen printed on the front with the brand’s signature lingerie-inspired design and dressed with tinted labels on the back. A hand-tied ribbon bow is the finishing touch. Pout’s whimsical personality is reinforced by the fact that consumers must pierce the bag to deflate it and access the lip gloss inside. The idea for the airbag, according to the brand, was sparked by similar packaging used to protect mobile phone chips and other delicate tech items.

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