Market Driven

August 1, 2006
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Altoids: Curiously fussy
Altoids has traded in its red and white color scheme for classic black and white—but only for a short while. A “Curiously Fussy” limited-edition designer tin, turned out in a lace-like pattern and complete with a specially created liner, will be available for sale this fall in select boutiques in New York, Miami and Los Angeles. The New York-based artist Lindsey Adelman, who created the tin, was also presented with Altoids’ Curiously Strong Designer Award and a $2,500 grant to help her continue to create works that are “curious”, “strong” and “original.” The tin is among a number of recent flavor and package extensions designed to boost Altoids’ presence, and reflects the brand’s ongoing support of progressive art.
Brazilian map-wrapped bottle
Housed in a slender glass bottle wrapped with a leather band, Diageo’s Oronoco Rum earned the supreme gold award and the top prize in three other categories at the recent Starpack packaging awards. Part of the appeal of this package is the unique mix of materials, including the recycled leather sheath, embossed with a map of Brazil; the flint glass bottle, supplied by Saverglass (www.saverglass.com); the ABS cap embossed with a compass design; and the paper label—with the bottle and batch number applied by hand—that takes on the look and feel of a passport stamp. Oronoco Rum is currently available in San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles and will be in Miami and Las Vegas in September. The 750-milliliter bottle retails for $34.99.
Tropicana goes premium
Stepping outside the juice aisle and into the produce section, Tropicana Products is going premium with the debut of Tropicana Pure, a line of four 100 percent fruit juices in shapely one-liter bottles designed by laga | One80 Design (www.one80design.com). “Tropicana Pure is the first leading brand to enter the super premium juice category, one of the fastest growing categories in the produce section,” says Jim McGinnis, the company’s vice president of marketing. The brand is betting that the custom bottle will stand out in the category, which is currently dominated by small niche products with mostly stock packaging. The launch is also said to be a tactic to increase consumption of juice outside the traditional morning occasion. Tropicana Pure is offered at a suggested retail price of $3.79.
Category jumper
Multivet International, a maker of pet training products, worked with Pearlfisher (www.pearlfisher.com) in New York to create a brand that would extend its aerosol technology into new categories. The result is Hush, a home fragrance system that takes its aesthetic cues from the cosmetics sector. Under creative direction from Lisa Simpson, and with designer Kathryn Spitzberg, Pearlfisher developed the positioning, naming and graphics for the line. The Hush kit, which includes a battery-powered “aroma pulse” dispenser and a fragrance aerosol, retails for $30. The line is in independent U.S. retail outlets this summer and is expected to receive distribution across Europe, Canada and Asia shortly. (At press time, we were unable to determine the structural designer of the dispenser. But you’re not alone if you’re having a Freudian moment while viewing it.)
Enjoying a bumpy ride
BAWLS Guarana has expanded its product line with new 16-ounce cans featuring a spot-applied foaming ink that creates a tactile experience for users. The technology, developed by Crown Holdings (www.crowncork.com), creates a raised surface and, in effect, replicates the bumpy feel of the brand’s signature glass bottles. “Nearly ten years ago, we broke the mold with BAWLS Guarana’s bumpy, cobalt blue bottle,” says Hoby Buppert, CEO of Hobarama LLC, maker of BAWLS. Clearly, the brand understands the equity of its sensory cues. “We’ve turned traditional packaging into a unique, fun compliment to our premium product that will stand out in the crowded beverage industry,” says Buppert. The initial launch was in the St. Louis metro area, where Illinois-based Folsom Distributing reports the cans are winning new customers rather than cannibalizing existing bottle sales.
Flat-packed lenses
Recently unveiled by ClearLab is AquaSoft Singles, single-use contact lenses in flat-packs that provide easy lens access, simple right/left identification and require less storage space than conventional contact lens packaging. Each convex lens is compressed to rest inside the flat, peel-back foil and polypropylene packet, which is color-coded white for left or blue for right and labeled for easy distinction. While still in the development stage, the slim design, at one millimeter thick, will represent a significant advantage for contact lens wearers, according to Graham Mullis, ClearLab’s president. “People can slip two spare pairs of lenses into the credit card slot in their wallet,” he said. The singles are being developed internally by ClearLab with collaboration from IDEO (www.ideo.com) on aspects of industrial design. No word on a launch date at this time.

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