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October 1, 2007
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Product and package
Ontario, Canada-based 1litre brand has a unique packaging concept: it’s a PET water bottle with a nested cup. The patented one-liter and half-liter design came out of research that revealed women preferred to drink water from a cup, rather than directly from a bottle. A year-long development process had company founders working with several suppliers to source and produce custom molds. The brand targets luxury consumers with distribution in hotels, restaurants, casinos, spas and resorts in 22 countries, including the United States, where distribution began in September. The concept is a reminder to consider how products and packaging might benefit from being more closely aligned.
Beach glass
Picture a beautiful beach stretching before you, framed by azure waters—and strewn with glass. That’s what officials in Broward County, Florida, are considering: using a combination of finely crushed glass from residential recycling programs and natural beach sand to combat beach erosion. “This material feels virtually the same as natural sand,” says Phil Bresee, the county’s recycling program manager. “Our studies have shown that finely crushed recycled glass and natural sand are geologically compatible.” If enacted, the project would make Broward County the first in the nation to use recycled glass in such a fashion. It’s said to be a more cost effective outlet for glass collected through recycling.
Backlash = Opportunity?
With estimates that Americans toss more than 38 billion plastic water bottles each year, the bottled water sector has become a target for environmental activists (despite industry protests that the bottles account for just 0.33 percent of the country’s waste). As category leaders contemplate how to get out of the negative spotlight, and consumers decide whether to own up to their responsibility to recycle, marketers in other categories are quickly stepping in to leverage the situation. Take the Brita Water Co. The company has teamed with Nalgene, a maker of reusable beverage containers, to launch the FilterForGood campaign (www.filterforgood.com), which encourages people to reduce their “personal waste” by making a pledge to switch to a reusable bottle and filtered tap water. Can bottled water brands learn something? Is there a future in Evian or Figi water filters, for instance? We can’t say. But the takeaway is that there’s an upside (read: opportunity) to every situation.
GOTCHA! gift box
Leave it to The Onion to find the lighter side of brand packaging. The satirical publication sells a line of “Gotcha” gift boxes with fake product graphics and descriptions designed to “confuse, disappoint and possibly anger” the recipient. Gift-givers house the real present inside the gag box. Our favorite? The USB Toaster, a single slice USB-powered “toasting computer accessory”. The boxes are sold as a set of three at the Onion Store (www.store.theonion.com) for $7.99.

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