March 1, 2006
The French (rabbit) revolution
On March 1st, French Rabbit launched as America’s first vintage-dated French wine in a Tetra Pak prisma container (www.tetrapak.com), or ePod as the wine brand has dubbed it. Boisset America, which imports the wine, says it went with the one-liter recyclable container because it is collapsible, reducing packaging waste by 90 percent over glass; it weighs less than glass, saving fuel in shipping; and it makes fine French wine less intimidating to U.S. consumers. French Rabbit already reports success in Canada: one month after it was introduced there in both glass bottle and ePod packaging, the ePod format was outselling glass 21 to 1. By selling the one-liter ePod for $9.99, the same as the brand’s glass 750 ml bottle, French Rabbit gives customers two extra servings at the same price. The brand says it’s a strategy to push the “ecologically sound choice” of the ePod. Each varietal is distinguished with a unique fluorescent-hued band—platinum for Pinot Noir, green for Chardonnay, purple for Cabernet Sauvignon and pink for Merlot.
Continuous Spray: It’s all in the family
Coppertone introduced Continuous Spray packaging for two sunscreen products in 2005, reportedly the first suncare products marketed with an advanced barrier system: a bag within an air-pressurized can that forces a continuous product mist. Now, for 2006, Coppertone is extending that technology across its suncare family, including a dry oil formula and a formulation for kids. Key to the packaging’s success is its ability to spray product in any position, whether upright, angled or upside down. The aerosol can, from CCL Container (www.cclcontainer.com), is topped by a twist-and-lock actuator from Seaquist (www.seaquistperfect.com) that prevents leaks and eliminates the frustration of a loose cap going lost. Coppertone says consumer response led to this rollout across the brand family. “We are pleased to be broadening the line, so that even more people can enjoy the benefits of this innovative new form,” said Dr. Beth Lange, the brand’s senior director of suncare R&D and new technologies.
Dior puts the petal in the metal
Dior Homme, an iris-scented fragrance for men from Christian Dior, recently launched in a blocky glass bottle with a custom stainless steel cylinder that plunges directly into the fragrance. It marks the first time metal has been immersed into fragrance without altering its color or scent. The stainless steel tube, produced by Rexam China and assembled by Rexam Dispensing Systems (www.rexam.com), conceals the flimsy spray dip tube used in fragrance bottles. According to Rexam, Dior had to supply part of the fragrance formula, a closely guarded secret, to determine the specific stainless steel for the package. Both the steel cylinder and the exterior metal collar feature an engraving of the Dior name; the pump, also by Rexam, is “pure” in that it does not feature any metal components that might contaminate the fragrance. Development took six months, with close cooperation between the Dior Labs and Rexam teams.
Looking to win favor with mass market retailers, Rivet International recently refreshed the packaging for its line of personal-mobile-device attachment systems. The brand improved the legibility of its logo with bold lettering set in a modern proprietary typeface, but according to MiresBall (www.miresball.com), one of the biggest challenges was working within the small packaging footprint. “As today’s high-tech products and accessories become smaller, so does their packaging,” says Scott Mires, principal and creative director of the San Diego-based design firm. The solution was to minimize packaging copy and, instead, make better use of graphics and active color photos to tell the Rivet story. One of the more interesting graphic devices is a “thought bubble” that dominates the face of each package and explains how the product is used. The new Rivet packaging debuted at retail in November 2005.
Cleaning up with good design
Method recently introduced a line of shower gels and cream body washes in 15-ounce, custom tear-drop shaped bottles designed by Karim Rashid (www.karimrashid.com) and developed by Amcor (www.amcor.com). Each variety comes in a tinted PET bottle that aids product selection by matching the hue of the product inside: the Mango Mint bottle is tinted orange; Cassis Flower is pink; Olive Leaf is green; and Lavender Thyme is tinted purple. A two-color disc-top closure by Seaquist Closures (www.seaquistclosures.com) crowns the bottle, which features the Method logo embossed on the back panel. The San Francisco-based personal and home care company is reporting positive feedback on the introduction. “Our customers like the design and feel,” says Gerry Chesser, Method’s vice president of operations. The body wash line targets upscale urban women and retails for $5.