Market-Driven Innovations

September 1, 2005
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Labatt Introduces Insulated Beer Can
A common complaint from consumers is that their beer warms up too quickly. Unlike traditional beer cans, the Labatt Blue “Cold One” is coated with DuPont (www.dupont.com) Cool2Go™ wrap, which provides a thin thermal barrier to protect the beer from heat transferred by warm hands, condensation and rising temperatures. Once chilled, the wrap reportedly keeps the beer colder longer than a conventional can. Dupont’s wrap consists of a polymer insulation sandwiched between two layers of the company’s Teijin Melinex film, which work with a shrink material by Multi-Color Corporation (www.multicolorcorp.com) to maximize the package’s insulating properties. Initial distribution is limited to the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec. This is one of the latest in a slew of recent packaging innovations by brewers who are attempting to win back consumers from the wine and spirits categories.
BIKE throws protective gear a curve
BIKE Athletic has launched its athletic protection line in a proprietary, clear plastic casing that curves around the product to make it the focus for consumers. The packaging also features a new graphic and color coding system that conveys brand messages of protection and performance and displays sizing and other product information to increase shopability for the line. According to Jenny Shulman, BIKE brand manager, the innovation is designed to change the image of the brand. “Our products are all about protection,” she says, “and the new packaging definitely portrays this.” For retailers, the design’s curved structure allows products to nest and stack neatly, fitting more than 50 percent more product on each peg wall display. The brand’s product development team partnered with MLR Design (www.mlrdesign.com) to develop and design the new packaging.
Domestic wine goes aseptic
Three Thieves recently launched Bandit Cabernet, the first all-domestic wine to be packaged in a Tetra Brik aseptic carton from Tetra Pak (www.tetrapak.com). According to Charles Bieler, a partner in the Oakville, Calif.-based company, the package helps the brand cut costs, increase shelf life and provide a high quality product to consumers at a lower price point. Bandit Cabernet is also distinct in that it is the first U.S. product to feature Tetra’s SlimCap closure, which consists of a reclosable plastic screw cap, ring pull and pull-tab, that improves product stacking and storage, provides an airtight seal until opened and tight re-closing, and enhances pouring accuracy. This latest packaging introduction by Three Thieves is part of an overall effort for the brand to reposition wine as more than a special-occasion beverage.
Dial-a-Hot-Sauce
Dave’s Gourmet Adjustable-Heat Hot Sauce features a pump spray closure that allows users to vary the spice level of the contents by turning the cap. The pump spray draws from the two interlocking chambers of the 7.1-ounce container, supplied by Versadial (www.versadialworld.com), and mixes the ingredients in different proportions in the cap to create sauce that is anything from “barely spicy” to “very zesty”. Graphic arrows and color cues on the closure direct consumers on how to best adjust the product to their personal taste. The product is said to be the world’s first adjustable-heat hot sauce. Suggested price is $9.99.
Snack ‘n Seal … ‘n snack again
Kraft Foods has introduced its Chewy Chips Ahoy! brand with a new patent-pending “Snack ‘n Seal” resealable top. The innovation is designed to keep cookies fresh and to make opening and closing the package easier for busy consumers—they just peel back the top, grab a cookie and then reseal the package by folding the peelable section back over the top. The new package also features narrow slits that appear on either end of the resealable section when the package is first opened, revealing any evidence of tampering for the consumer. The launch of this innovative technology is being supported with in-store communications, including interactive shelf danglers that announce the new Chewy Chips Ahoy! and Chocolate Chewy Chips Ahoy! 15-ounce packages.
Cargo Cosmetics flexes its packaging creativity
Cargo introduces Liquid Foundation in a collapsible flexible pouch, a new packaging format for the foundation category. According to the Toronto-based cosmetics company, the innovative package allows consumers to squeeze out precise amounts of product for an application that is more efficient and more hygienic than traditional screw-top or pump bottles. The pouch also features clear windows on its front and back to assist shoppers in making a precise in-store color match. Break-proof and without bulk, the new product is part of the cosmetic company’s philosophy to bring women make-up that travels with them—what the brand calls easy-to-grab-and-go. Cargo Liquid Foundation is available in 10 shades at a retail price of $24.

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