Market Driven Innovations
May 1, 2007
Chocolate Now, and Later
San Francisco-based Recchiuti Confections has introduced a three-item line of chocolate bars in a custom paperboard sleeve that is recloseable, encouraging consumers to break off a few pieces of chocolate and then tuck the rest back in the package for later consumption. Designed by the Engine Room (www.theengineroom.cc), a design firm in San Francisco, each recloseable food-grade foil-lined pouch houses a four-ounce chocolate bar and retails for $7 online, in the company’s San Francisco store and in regional specialty retailers. “Everybody else does wrapped bars or bars in thin boxes,” says Dave Braden, principal of the Engine Room. “This bar stands on its own on the shelves.”
Savings for Suave
Suave is standing on the shelf with sleeker, more contemporary packaging developed by 4sight inc. (www.4sightinc.com) that gives Unilever the best of both worlds: more premium packaging to help Suave maintain its lead in the value hair care segment (and its Professionals and Naturals lines to gain share), and slimmer, light-weighted bottles with curves that allow for more efficient filling at higher speeds on the production line. “Not only is the major redesign of our relatively generic bottle a major win with our consumers, but the added production efficiencies and cost savings for Unilever made it a true win-win situation,” says Eric Yoch, senior brand development manager for Unilever. Already, the Suave Professionals line is said to be seeing a 51 percent dollar increase compared to last year.
Healthy breakthrough for kids
Honest Tea has introduced Honest Kids, the nation’s first organic kids’ drink in a portable pouch. The company created the line in response to the lack of healthy and natural options for kids’ drinks, according to Seth Goldman, Honest Tea co-founder and president. “We were surprised to learn that most drink pouches have more sugar per ounce than a can of soda,” he said. By applying the same health conscious approach behind its other products, Honest Tea has created a kids’ drink that provides the recommended daily supply of vitamin C and contains less than half the sugar found in most other juice pouches. To further set Honest Kids apart from its competitors, Honest Tea worked with Michigan-based design group Flowdesign (www.flow-design.com). The end result is packaging that is simple, clean and fun–much like the product itself. Honest Kids is offered in three flavors: Tropical Tango Punch, Berry Berry Good Lemonade and Goodness Grapeness. Pouches are sold individually and in packages of eight at natural food stores and a growing number of grocery chains, delis and coffee shops nationwide.
A salute to soccer moms
Car clutter beware. Honeywell Consumer Products Group and New York innovation firm 4Sight (www.4sightinc.com) have teamed up to create Blink, a line of accessories to help moms keep their cars clean and mess-free. The brand, created in response to research that surveyed women on their car cleaning needs and habits, consists of five coordinated products: Smudge cleaners, for removing fingerprints from windows; Trash Tossers litter bags; Tidy Totes clutter collector bags; Mess Lifters stain remover wet wipes; and Spill Grabbers super absorbent dry wipes. Each product was designed to “live” in the car, with packaging that slips into or attaches to a side door or seat pocket to create an easily-accessible cleaning tool. The Trash Tossers, for instance, feature a dual-purpose hook that can be used for hanging trash bags. Such functionality is important, but, according to Stuart Leslie, president of 4Sight, the line was also created to be fun. “We designed the products and packaging with a sense of style and feminine forms…to communicate friendly products, with personality, that are easy to use,” he says. Blink products, which range from $3.99 to $5.99, are also the first rigid packaging wipes to offer peel- and resealability.
Shedding new light on packaging
The eco-friendly design company Knoend (www.knoend.com) has released its first product, lite2go. What appears to be the packaging surrounding this energy-efficient light bulb is actually a shade that can be used to convert the product into a hanging light or a table lamp. The entire product is recyclable and biodegradable, non-toxic because it doesn’t use glues or varnishes and it saves waste with packaging that doubles as part of the product. Lite2go is the first step in Knoend’s campaign to change the way consumers view their purchases and to reduce manufacturer and consumer waste. The design company plans on extending the eco-friendly packaging concept into furniture, garden, tableware and fashion products. Lite2go is available in clear or green.
Enhancing pet meals
Finicky pups are the target consumers of Chomp Inc.’s Sniffers Shake-Ins, a dry easy-to-use addition to the growing category of pet meal enhancers. The target purchaser, though, is pet owners who want to offer their pets variety (a chicken-or-the-egg scenario if there ever was one). The nine-ounce shaker-style bottle launches in May and will be priced between $3.49 and $4.99 at more than 15,000 pet, grocery and retail stores around the country, as well as 27 countries around the world. In consumer polling by Chomp, dry toppings were selected over other meal enhancement items like gravies, powders and wet mix-ins, based on a preference for a “no mess” solution.