Saturday, 27 December 2008

A Can You Can Drink From

It is a known problem that the top of beverage cans, in particular in disco, during sport events and outdoor activities, often are dirty by handling, cooling and storage. It is also a known fact that more and more consumers drink directly from a can declining the use of a cup or glass. A peel-off hygienic seal/cap atop aluminum beverage cans is therefore a must.

Advercan introduced in collaboration with 3M to AmeriCANtop a commercially feasible method of ensuring that beverage can tops remain clean, while also providing a marketing opportunity for distributors.
The newly developed pulp-based film will biodegrade over time as a result of combining certain additives into the extrusion process, allowing for an earth-friendly, sanitary seal on top of each can. In addition to the printable face that allows for marketing and promotion, the can tops also enable the “under the cap” type of promotions previously restricted to bottles.

The cover offers the possibility of printing in 4 colours, is water resistant and resists a wide range of temperatures, and mechanical obstructions during handling, distribution and storage.

But the most important aspect in addition to the extra advertising opportunities is the fact that it is a perfect fit for today's health conscious consumer and will consequently increase the popularity of the ‘covered-up’ beverage as well as the brand.

AdverCan claims to be the only one who offers a can cover film for advertising promotion. The AdverCan system is available under license agreement. AdverCan developed both the cover film and the equipment needed to place the cover on top of the can. The machine, which positions the can cover has a capacity of at least 5,000 cans per 8-hour and costs about USD 20,000. There is also 50 cans/minute and 200 cans/min machinery available, while the fastest which runs with 800 cans/minute cost USD 900,000.
Depending of the label design, printing technique and number of beverage cans to be covered the film will approximately cost USD 0,020 per can.

The license agreement covers a payment per applied AdverCan cover with the investment for the necessary machinery laid out by AdverCan.

The Clean-Cap can be applied using a IWKA conduction heat sealing machine.

This new top can label could be supplied with a RFID-tag, charity messaging, gaming, co-promotions, POS, impulse buying, coupons, scratch off, scent, taste, and retailer branding ... all whilst introducing a hygienic seal for beverage cans.

© Weslley Murylo De Souza Steeman

Back to: "The Best Innovations in Packaging"

Thursday, 25 December 2008

Water with a spiritual message - Water that purifies thoughts and deeds

During this for so many "sanctified days" of the Christmas season it is justified to present a spiritual packaging.
Water with a spiritual message. Water comes in all forms, in expensive glass bottles and simple PET-bottles, in stand-up pouches and fancy packages. New is "Spiritual Water", just an ordinay (mineral) water, not dedicated or sanctified, but just to drink, and while drinking a prayer can be read.

In a market where bottled water is the number two on the list of beverage sales and is dominated by a few big global internationals, new Spiritual Brands wants to become the number one distributor of bottled water. Not because the water has a special price or is presented in a more attractive packaging, but solely based on the hundreds of millions of (potential) consumers who are believers, the target of the company that focuses on the Spiritual World with Spiritual Water.
The water with a spiritual message is normal water, no holy water and not dedicated only just drinking water, but the labels are inviting the consumer to read a prayer, while they refresh themselves.
Or as the company puts it: "Spiritual Water was born as bottled water with spirituality, positive thinking, prayers, God, and faith. The consumer chooses the bottle, which fits his needs and feelings, reads the prayer, drinks the water, believes in God - and himself - and the sky opens."

The water is bottled in PET bottles with beautiful artistic labels, showing multi-colour images of Biblical figures and symbols, with prayers in English and Spanish and inspiring words and messages. Spiritual Water is available in the market in 11 different versions - each with its own unique message and related illustration, (only the "freedom bottle" is, for some unknown reason, without an image). Every time that the consumer drinks, he enjoys the soothing, appropriate prayers to pick up additional inspiration.

Merry Christmas to all of you
© Weslley Murylo De Souza Steeman

Back to: "The Best Innovations in Packaging"

Saturday, 6 December 2008

Smoothie in a 'twisted' bottle

According to Mintel, the US market, the birthplace of the smoothie showed, in the past 5 years, a growth of 80%. A smoothie (smoo) is a blended, chilled, sweet drink made from fresh fruit. In addition to the fresh fruit, many smoothies contain crushed ice, frozen fruit and frozen yogurt. They have a milkshake-like consistency that is thicker than slush drinks. Consumers are attracted to smoothies because they are seen as a healthier option to most sweets, snacks and on-the-go meals.
Now that the smoothie market is a proven success, companies are forced to bring the product to the next level - extreme differentiation. Similar to the coffee market, the "smoothie" companies have to develop innovative new flavours and additives (vitamins) to keep consumers interested.

Americans are accustomed to drink their smoothies in 'juice bars'. Market leader Jamba Juice, well-known blender of fruit with other healthy natural ingredients, opened his 700th juice bar in Portland, Oregon last December. Nevertheless more and more smoothie brands appear also on the shelves in supermarkets.
In December last year, Nestlé signed a global licensing agreement for the Jamba Juice ready-to-drink smoothies.

Nestlé chose Product Ventures, a well-known branding agency, for the development of a new bottle, which should accentuate Jamba's characteristics, such as health, refreshing and enjoyable.
Product Ventures used the essence of Jamba by creating a sculptured design, which imagines ‘freshly squeezed fruit’. The result is a twisted bottle, which displays the 'fresh squeezed' and fits pleasantly in the hand.

Being a Nestlé product, no details about material composition and print techniques of the shrink-sleeve are divulged.
A few days ago I received a new photograph from Nestlé. The bottle without a full-body shrink sleeve shows the twisting contours perfectly.
The bottle won the Silver PentAward 2008
© Weslley Murylo The Souza Steeman

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Water in an octagonal Bag-in-Box

Two major natural elements, water and wood, play a central role in the "Lindoya Vida" (Life in the Box) 22-ltr octagonal bag-in-box with mineral water from the Mineração Mantovani fountains. The BIB-pack consists of a corrugated cardboard case with two-die-cut handles and a laminated bag with dispensing tap.

The corrugated case is manufactured by Klabin - Brazil's largest producer and recycler of paperboard. The octagonal shape of the box was not only chosen from an aesthetic point of view, but also because it gives a perfect palletising pattern.

The two-layer bag, provided by DuPont Liquid Packaging Systems/Liqui-Box, has a 3.8-mil (96.5 mu) outside layer of a bi-axially oriented nylon composition and an inner layer of 2.5-mil (63.5 mu) polyolefin. DuPont Liquid Packaging Systems delivers the ready-made bags, both in 3 and 5-gal (11.35 and 18.93 ltr) sizes equipped with a dispensing tap. The bags are filled on the Liqui-Box model 1000 CIT-W filling machine with a capacity of four 5-gal bags/min.

Klabin wanted a sustainable packaging that could guarantee the quality of the water from the time of filling up till the moment of consumption. The definition of sustainable meant that it should be economically viable, environmentally and socially correct.
The economic viability refers to the price per litre of the new packaging, with a market price that should be between those of Brazil’s two most popular containers, a 20-ltr bottle and a 1.5-ltr PET bottle.
The definition ecological meant a 100% recyclable, biodegradable corrugated cardboard box made from renewable raw material resources harvested from the re-planted forests. The result is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, the international body that governs proper management of forests and their production chains. The plastic bag and the dispensing valve are also recyclable.
And finally, the condition: social justice. The packages are guaranteed fraud-resistant, while the companies involved in the manufacturing collaborate actively in a positive development of the communities in which they are located.
In addition to environmental benefits, the corrugated cardboard box prevents light from entering, as well as it insulates the water from heat, with which the sensation of "fresh water" is much longer experienced than with clear bottles.
The strong corrugated cardboard box, printed in three colours on a white kraft liner, is sealed with hot-melt. The tamper-evident valve allows the bag to be filled without any manual contact with the water.
80977 ©
Weslley Murylo The Souza Steeman

Sunday, 30 November 2008

Beer that “fits the hand” - The design process of a special beer bottle

The young Brazilian consumers are open to new and innovative packages and products. The latest innovation comes with the launch of Summer Draft beer.

At the time the summer period which accounts for about 40% of total sales in this segment, starts (southern hemisphere) Cervejarias Kaiser introduces Summer Draft beer in a special long neck. The draft beer is a Pilsner, light and refreshing, with low fermentation, a slightly bitter flavour, a bright colour with 4.7% alcohol content. The beer is double-filtered and made from special hops that are more resistant to UV radiation. That is the reason that Kaiser Summer Draft could be introduced into the market in a clear transparent 355 ml glass bottle.
The result: a beer, presented in a very special designed bottle, with a mild and medium sweet taste that typically must be savoured ice cold.

In general the blogosphere classifies Summer Draft in terms of taste and quality from reasonable to good, albeit one blogger writes: “My German uncle once said when tasting Summer Draft: In Germany we wash our cars with this!”
All right Summer Draft. Summer Draft is brewed by Femsa. FEMSA (acronym for Fomento Económico Mexicano SA) is a Mexican beverage company. Since January 2006 when it acquired Cervejarias Kaiser, the group operates in Brazil under the name Femsa Cerveja Brasil. Kaiser was purchased from the Canadian multinational Molson, which owns still 15% of the shares. Heineken controls 17% in this company.
The Brazilian beer portfolio includes brands such as Kaiser, Sol, Bavaria, Xingú, Santa Cervo, Summer Draft and Heineken. The group consists of thirty bottling plants, 235 distribution centres, 64 soft drink brands, 15 beer brands and employs some 56 thousand people in the nine countries where it operates, including Brazil.
FEMSA, the world's second largest Coca-Cola bottler, operates in Brazil the world's largest (in terms of production capacity) Coca-Cola bottling plant in the city of Jundiaí in the federal state of São Paulo.

The long-neck Summer Draft bottle has a height of 227 mm and a diameter of 62 mm and weighs, filled with 355 ml, 602 grams and is made of blow moulded flint glass, which has in addition to about 62% quartz a high content of lead oxide (about 24%), which gives the material a relatively high density of 3.5 to 4.8 gr/cm3.

The product is truly innovative; the design of the bottle with its anatomical contours gives consumers the feeling of a "handshake" as it fits perfectly in the hand, with recesses for the fingers and thumb. Exactly the way you hold a bottle when bringing it to your mouth.

The blow moulded flint glass bottle and the two self-adhesive transparent labels, both developed by Dil Brands, show the golden liquid in combination with the vividness of the silver and the graphics in black. The ‘S’-curve on a 'clean' forefront and the diagonal lines represent the new visual identity of Summer Draft.

DIL Brands specializes in the packaging design and branding. With 42 years experience in the Brazilian market, the company has offices in São Paulo, Buenos Aires and Santiago de Chile. It also is represented in New York, Amsterdam, London and Barcelona, as a result of partnerships with Bridge Design and Coleman Schmidlin. DIL Brands designed products for companies like Unilever, Nestlé and Parmalat.

The challenge for Dil Brands in this case was to create a new visual 'look' for Summer Draft (design of the bottle and the labels), with the aim to rejuvenate the brand. The package had to have a modern look and differentiate on the store shelves; it had to stand at the centre of attention.

The ultimate design is a modern asymmetrical shape which allows for easy grip in all conditions. DIL chooses an iconic image for the label. The reverse printed label on the back of the bottle gives an impression of a three-dimensional effect in combination with the front label. The combination of the label and the bottle creates a truly innovative and modern look for Summer Draft.

The accompanying photographs show the development process from the old Summer beer bottle to the modern Summer Draft bottle.
© Weslley Murylo De Souza Steeman

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Securing Exclusive Wines

The worldwide system that tracks the origin of a good glass of wine from the château to the consumers, is based on the offset printed seal (bottle closure) made from aluminium foil in which the "taggant" is incorporated. The taggant is a chemical registration, emitting a specific unique electro-optically signal linked to a particular brand (in this case eProvenance).
Justify Full
The system, designed by eProvence, comprises three components: a semi-active RFID tag placed in the shipping box to record temperatures throughout the distribution chain, a passive RFID tag with a unique code in the bottom of the bottle for tracking, stock management and discouraging pilferage; and a proprietary, and a tamper-proof neck seal with a covert code (deveoped by InkSure Technologies Inc) applied at the base of the capsule to authenticate the wine inside the bottle and thwart counterfeiters.

InkSure Technologies Inc. is a leading supplier of covert machine-readable security solutions (CMRT) for the detection of counterfeiting, fraud and abuse. Together with eProvenance LLC, this system is introduced in the market for exclusive wines. InkSure adapted the security ink to this market and developed handheld readers, which form an integral part of the eProvenance system to address the growing counterfeiting problems within the fine wine market. The printing is done by George Schmitt & Co.

In addition to authenticating the wine, the system monitors and records the storage temperature, while the origin of each bottle in stored a secure online database. With the eProvenance system, the bottle is secured, the content is secured and the conduct of the temperature maintained during the distribution chain monitored.

The first application will take place in nine vineyards in the Bordeaux region, including Chateau Bauduc, Chateau Lynch Bages, Chateau Margaux, Chateau Palmer.

The applied patent involves the integral system, with a fast, encrypted, online database of the unique bottle, the shipping box, and the identification numbers in the capsule, coupled with the authentic data of the chateau, the shipment data and temperature development, which together create the electronic originality data for each bottle.
© Weslley Murylo de Souza Steeman

The EnviroClear Refillable Water Bottles

According to the 2008 Global Bottled Water report from Zenith International Ltd, the worldwide sales of bottled water will rise from 206 billion litres in 2007 to 272 billion in 2012 (32%). The per capita consumption amounted to 30.8 litres in 2007, an increase of 1.4 litre compared to 2006. Bulk packages of more than 10 litres accounted for 36% of the total consumption.

A recent study of increased toxic antimony (also known as stibium, chemical symbol Sb, a silver grey metalloid) concentrations in 132 brands of bottled water from 28 countries, conducted by Dr. William Shotyk, director of the Institute of Environmental Geochemistry at the University of Heidelberg, shows that in PET bottles, the level of antimony increases the longer the water stays in the bottle. In his study Dr. Shotyk also included a number of PP bottles produced by the Container Corporation of Canada (CCC) and came to the conclusion that the water stored in the PP bottles showed no increase in antimony concentrations.

With this result in hand, Container Corporation of Canada (CCC), a world leader in the field of polypropylene (PP) injection stretch blow moulding technology, introduced the EnviroClear refillable water bottle.
The EnviroClear refillable water bottles are the first dishwasher safe, refillable, reusable, cost-effective bottles designed to reduce the number of PET water bottles, which, most likely, end up in landfill. The EnviroClear refillable plastic bottle is an example of "recycling", since it can be decontaminated or sanitized in the dishwasher. Reuse of existing PET bottles for water seems to be a feasible alternative, however, PET bottles are often distorted when they are exposed to the high temperatures of a dishwasher.

The EnviroClear refillable plastic bottle is perfectly safe in use for baby food and eliminates the risk of Bisphenol-A (BPA), which can lead to hormonal and neurological changes in small bodies and is present in polycarbonate.

CCC’s EnviroClear refillable water bottles are available in 250 ml and 500 ml sizes. The 250 ml bottle has a quadrilateral shape, can lie flat without rolling and is ideal for school lunch boxes and briefcases. The larger 500 ml bottle is perfect for the gym, office or car.
© Weslley Murylo De Souza Steeman

Saturday, 15 November 2008

Water Bottle for Children Doubles as Toy

The, by top designer Yves Behar of “fuseproject” in San Francisco, designed symmetrical Y-shaped single-serving bottles for Y-Water, Los Angeles, should attract the attention of children, since they, when empty, can serve as a toy, brick or as part of a game.
The small size of the 9 oz (267 ml) bottle, accentuates the health aspect (portion control and calorie use) of this new organic, low-calorie drink for children.

Although the package will certainly attract the attention of adults, the unique design is created with the children's market in mind. The bold, geometric shape - inspired by an upward-downward, three-dimensional Y - was enabled by the unique characteristics of blow moulding of the Eastar EB062 co-polyester resin from Eastman Chemical. Offering water-like clarity, this material was able to provide the wall-thickness necessary to withstand Y Water’s 185° F (85° C) hot-fill process and the durability to withstand rough handling and reuse by children. Justify Full
The effect on the store shelves is further enhanced by the biodegradable hang tags, which are placed around the neck of the bottle. The labels contain cartoon-like drawings and humorous texts such as “Bone Water … because you don’t want your skeleton walking out on you.”
The drinking opening is closed with an aluminium seal, while a cap completes the package.
Y Water currently comes in four preservative-free, artificial colouring and sweetener-free formulations: Bone Water is enriched with calcium, fluoride and vitamins A, C and D; Brain Water has zinc, molybdenum and vitamins B6, B12 and C; Muscle Water features magnesium, potassium and selenium as well as vitamin A and C; and Immune Water has antioxidants and vitamins A, C and E.

The playfulness of Y Water is further conveyed with its capability to be reused as a toy or building blocks. Natural rubber connectors called “Y Knots” allow end-users to connect different packages into molecule-like formations. The reusability of the Y Water package as a creative medium for children prolongs the useful life of the package, making it a more sustainable concept

Eastar EB062 is free of Bisphenol A (BPA). The polyester family is regarded as the most environmental friendly of all plastics, because it can easily be recycled and processed for other purposes.
Y-Water accepts empty bottles for recycling.

© Weslley Murylo De Souza Steeman

Saturday, 25 October 2008

The "kangaroo" bucket packaging

There are many consumer products, which consist of two components, and have to be packed separately as they have to be used separately, one after the other or mixed upon usage. Consequently they are often not properly used, because the consumer can’t find one of the components anymore or one is forgotten or neglected to be used. Following the successful introduction of the Eco-Cleaning Lab's Twin by TricorBraun, the same company introduces a "kangaroo pack" for Avlon Affirm Hair Care. Just as ingenious as simple.

'Hair Care Avlon Affirm’ is a two-step treatment for hair care, especially for hairdressing salons. The new 4-lb (1.8 kg) "kangaroo" bucket pack contains a "built-in space" in which a 4-oz (115 gr) pre-treatment bottle is stored. The content of the bucket is for the second treatment step. This merger of two packages avoids the problem that one of the bottles for the pre-treatment and the treatment itself, goes lost or is not used.


With the 'kangaroo' design, allowing the second bottle easily to be clicked into place in the recessed space in the bucket, Avlon Industries, a manufacturer of hair care products for the ethnic market, hopes to have introduced a constructive way to execute the two-step treatment correctly, by functionally merging the packages of the two components. Hair stylists may no longer overlook the pre-treatment, and can no longer use the excuse that the pre-treatment bottle was untraceable or ergo just skip the pre-treatment and forget the bottle to use what may be the case with separate products.

The unique packaging promotes the attention the product gets on the store shelves from both hair stylists and ordinary consumers.
Designed by TricorBraun, the 'kangaroo' bucket is, in addition to the attractive marketing aspect and increased efficiency in hairdressing salons, also in two ways cost saving. It increases the efficiency in production, as the two products don’t need to be packed separately in shipping boxes and the new ‘kangaroo’ packaging diminishes costs in the distribution chain, as the shipping boxes can contain now a relatively larger quantity of product.

© Weslley Murylo de Souza Steeman


Gaplast GmbH replaces a four-part production process with the one-piece AirLEssMotion Bag-in-Bottle System. The new co-extruded, blow moulded bottle consists of a rigid PP outer bottle and a flexible DuPont Surlyn inner bottle.

When an unnamed customer of Gaplast GmbH recently built a new factory, the company also decided to install a more efficient production process for its spray bottles with disinfectant. The existing 1 ltr bottles used for disinfecting laboratories and operating rooms required a four-step manufacturing process and a manual assembly. The bottles were HPDE extrusion blow moulded. A separate foil bag had to be fumbled into the bottles manually to guarantee the airless dispensing function, which is needed to ensure that germs or micro-organisms are not dispensed together with the disinfectant liquid. A connector and a gasket, manufactured by injection moulding, respectively, had to be welded to the foil bag to provide a sealing for the gasket.


Gaplast GmbH replaced the existing four parts from the old packinging by the one-piece AirLEssMotion Bag-in-Bottle System. The new co-extruded, blow moulded bottle consists of a rigid outside PP bottle and a flexible DuPont Surlyn inner bag. The old flexible inner bag was made from a polymer alloy of two different polymers. As the polymer alloy would stick to the PP wall of the outer bottle, a separation layer would have been necessary in the new bottle. Gaplast GmbH replaced the polymer alloy with a DuPont Surlyn bag.
However, when the dispenser was activated, the vacuum created by the dispensing pump turned out to be not enough to separate the Surlyn inner bag from the PP wall of the outer bottle. In order to solve this problem Gaplast GmbH made two ventilation holes in the outer bottle without punching the inner bag. These two holes ensure the inner bag to collaps once the dispenser is activated. Delamination of the inner bag from the wall of the outer bottle guarantees a constant dosage of the trigger pump. The airless technology and the gamma sterilization after filling eliminate the need of preservatives.

In addition to savings on raw materials, the new packaging also simplifies an efficient waste control, when removed, as bottle and bag belong the same polymer family.
The bag-in-bottle packaging received the prestigious 2008 Dupont Award.

© Weslley Murylo de Souza Steeman

Friday, 19 September 2008

Olfactory to improve taste

What people think they taste is solely the result of inhaling odours. The tongue recognises only the five basic taste varieties. All other tastes are the result of odours. Odours enter, to put it simply, the nostril to the nasal cavity, where they are detected by the olfactory receptors and after that translated by the brain into tastes. The person gets the perception that the aroma he smells will be the taste he is ready to experience.

That’s why a seducing aroma tells a consumer he wants the product. If consumers are let the choice, 80% will choose the product he can see as well as smell. With 70% of the purchase decisions made in the supermarket aisles it is time for the consumer product manufacturers to incorporate the olfactory sense with the visual and tactile ones.

The olfactory packaging refers to the packaging which activates the sense of smell. Stirring these emotional senses might have as goal seducing the consumer to buy, but on the other hand in a pre-programmed form initiate a quality and/or aroma improvement leading to a better taste of the product to be consumed.

Three smelling systems
The cosmetic and personal care industries certainly have mainly interest in seducing the consumer. At this moment roughly three systems are known, which give a fragrance to the packaging. The first is printing the packaging with special inks, which release the required odour for a longer period. The second is encapsulating the fragrance in the packaging material.
Several companies (see side-bar) developed co-polyesters and copolymers using small microscopic channels in which the pre-set odour is incorporated in the material composition. The third, a more modest option, is the scratch-and-sniff label. Here the fragrance is ´packaged´ within the label, which the consumer can scratch to experience the odour.

In all three options the aroma or fragrance experienced by the consumer is just an imitation of what is really in the package. Never is the aroma of the product itself sniffed.
With exception of the ...... keep reading

Saturday, 26 April 2008

Extravagance in Glass Bottles

The supermarket shelves are overloaded and the consumers can’t see the wood for the trees, thanks to the extensive assortments showcased. And thus the consumer product companies have to do anything to attract the attention of the consumer to seduce him to make the purchase. Packaging designs as well as the excessively printed graphics are crying out for attention, but it seldom leads to extravagance.

That aspect you see only in the spring water, spirits, wine and champagne market segments, where the manufacturer intently creates a high exclusivity for himself and his product, targeting the top of the market, not infrequently turning the product presentation into idiocy.
It is obvious that the question: “Is it or is it not extravagance,” for simple (spring) water is answered at much a lower level than for champagne and other exclusive spirits. When a consumer has to pay USD 8,00 or USD 10,00 for a 750 ml (although luxuriously designed) bottle of ordinary water, it can be called extravagance. However I laid the bar much higher. The here described Bling spring water will cost you roughly USD 40,00 or more a bottle.
Evian takes the cake with its exclusive Alpine spring water in a limited edition bottle baptized Ice Queen, which goes for a minimum of USD 1.000.

The other, here described examples are: Gold Flakes vodka with edible gold flakes which sells for USD 60,00 a bottle. Although the price is not extravagant, the design surely is. The next example is the very limited edition of Bombay Sapphire Dry Gin for USD 200.000 (Yes, you read correctly: two hundred thousand USdollars). Super extravagant, even with the entire proceeds going to a charity.
Last but not least Veuve Clicquot’s rose champagne with a packaging that includes the champagne and a champagne cooler. Just USD 4.500.
Judge for yourself.

Consumers buy bottled water for convenience, as a healthy refreshment or because of concerns about the quality of tap water. Bottled water sales have increased about 10 percent a year for the last decades, and some four years ago they passed sales of coffee, beer and milk in volume. But that is simple bottled water, a mass product, of which the consumer mostly doesn’t know where it is coming from. Ah, but there are magnificent springs in this world with crystal clear water and the companies which bottle from these springs like to be recognised in the world. Water for the upper class, the happy few.

The most lavishly decorated water bottle in the world
The bottle of Bling Beverages LLC, Beverly Hills, Calif., supplied by Saint-Gobain Containers and Vitro Packaging, is an acid etched frosted glass bottle hand-decorated with the most beautiful and luxurious genuine Swarovski crystals. Bling h2O, the creation of Hollywood producer Kevin Boyd, is available in 750- and 375-ml bottles, each size decorated with 60 genuine crystals. At the peak of ridiculousness, Bling offers the Swarovski crystal laced bottles of water at USD 34,95 per 750ml. Ridiculous or not, Bling h2O is an award winning water in an award winning frosted glass bottle with genuine Swarovski crystals and in the marketplace (bars and clubs, the product’s primary distribution channel), it often sells for substantially more.

Custom Beverage Solutions served as the product development consultant for this brand, strategically positioned to target the expanding luxury consumer market. Much of the USD 35 is due to the "limited edition" bottle decked out in Swarovski crystals. Billed as "couture water", it seemed as if people in Hollywood are flaunting their bottled water like it is part of their life-style. Whether the bottles had a cool shape or came from an exotic island, none truly made that definition, except Bling h2O. Arguably the most expensive bottled water in the world, before Evian came with its Ice Queen bottle, Bling h2o is clearly making water history.

Bottled at the Source in Tennessee, the water is a winner of the Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting Award. The spring flows a mere 275 m from the bottling facility thus reducing the possibility of contamination.

Over the last decade, the name Swarovski has become widely recognized as the brand that provides the sparkle on Oscar gowns, trendy iPod covers and Paris Hilton's crystal-crusted mobile phone. Crystals are fairly uncomplicated to produce: a combination of quartz sand and water melted at high temperatures. The rhinestone crystals, most often seen, are diamond like, clear and without colour. Its value as a luxury commodity comes from the perception of its quality and design, while the name Swarovski adds a certain prestige to a design. And it also raises the price.

Evian’s Ice Queen
Evian, one of the world's premier bottled water brands, is owned by the France-based Danone group. In 2001 the group became the world's largest producer of bottled waters (in terms of volume). But that’s not all. Since 1926 Evian is arguably, the No 1 in natural spring water in terms of quality. According to the factory every drop of Evian takes over 15 years to filter through the mineral rich glacial sediments in the pristine French Alps. Evian comes from the Cachat Spring located on the Southern shore of Lake Geneva, in the town of Evian-les-Bains and is bottled at the source.
To commemorate this exceptional position, Evian introduces, each year, a limited edition of its exceptional water in an exceptional bottle.

This year there are two designs. There is the one for the common consumer, who likes to go luxuriously once in his life. And there is the one for the happy few.
The Evian Prêt-à-Porter has a frosted lace pattern over the bottle, while the Haute Couture version is bottled with the same spring water but in an exclusive glass bottle in the shape of an ice queen with a voluminous alpine skirt.
The famous French fashion designer Christian Lacroix created both bottles.
The 750 ml Prêt-à-Porter hit the market in Canada for around USD 6,00, although up-market restaurants will charge you USD 9,99. The bottle, surely becoming a collectible, will end up at eBay, where the standard Lacroix bottle is offered at this moment for USD 50,00.
The Haute Couture bottle is a different story. Only 99 pieces have been created, which will be auctioned for a charity starting at USD 1.000. Doubtful that one will appear at eBay.

With creating new and innovative packaging Evian is not entering an unknown battlefield. The global premium spring water leader has been involved in fashionable packaging for decades. Unique designs like the Nomad sports bottle, the limited edition teardrop glass bottle, the flip-cap bottle, the 2007 French Alps bottle and the 2006 limited edition of Romero Britto glass bottle prove that Evian's commitment to packaging is firmly rooted. With the limited edition of Lacroix’s 2008 Ice Queen Evian obviously remains committed to providing creative appeal, premium style, and a luxurious experience to its consumers.

A Bottle As Gemstone
Bombay Sapphire London Dry Gin is a quality gin from the house of Bacardi and reports to be special due to the ten different plants used to flavour the gin. The brand is well-known around the world for its striking, translucent blue glass bottle design.
Having the aureole of exclusivity and craftsmanship, it is fitting then that through its links with the global design community, Bombay Sapphire supports the inspirational designs of international artists, designers and architects resulting in a highly limited edition of a very unusual bottle design.

Described as an artful collaboration between the distiller, the crystal polisher, the jeweller and the designer, Bombay Sapphire Revelation is a collection of only five absolutely breathtaking luxurious bottles. The bottles are honed in the shape of giant gemstones with 10-facets, each facet representing one of the botanical ingredients of Bombay Sapphire Dry Gin. All five bottles are identical with exception of the closures, which are each uniquely decorated with diamonds and sapphires.

The well-known Karim Rashid designed the five Revelation bottles, which were hand-crafted, honed and polished in France by crystal craftsman Baccarat, after which the British Garrard, the oldest jewellery house in the world, took care of the decoration with the diamonds and sapphires. Bacardi had simply to fill the bottles with the high quality gin.
The value of the collection is USD 1 million, but each bottle (price USD 200.000) will be exhibited separately, during a period of three months, at one of five international airports (London, New York, Dubai, Sydney and Singapore) around the world.
The proceeds of the sale will go to the charity, The Smile Train, which provides life-enhancing cleft surgery to children in poor countries. Along with the beautiful Revelation bottle the new owners will also receive a year’s supply of Bombay Sapphire gin.

Floating Edible Gold Flakes
Gold Flakes Supreme is a French quadruple-distilled vodka, made with 24-karat gold flakes that float and glitter magically in the glass.

Everything is special with Gold Flakes Supreme, the bottle as well as the liquid. It is an ultra-premium vodka drawn from crystal clear filtered underground spring water and distilled with the most expansive natural ingredients and adorned with 24-karat edible gold flakes, which float and glitter in the liquid.
The ultimate extravagance. And that is exactly the market segment Gold Flakes is projected at or as the company statement declares: “Gold Flakes is the perfect antidote to these uncertain financial times. It is a no risk venture, a liquid asset that will return the investment in pure pleasure.”

In the USA this unique French vodka is marketed by Shaw-Ross Importers for USD 60,00 a 750ml bottle.
Despite all its exclusivity, the unique ingredients, the with gold plated bottle and the edible gold flakes, this vodka costs only USD 60,00. You wonder whether it is all gold that glitters.
By the way never you are able to compare a martini mixed with this vodka, despite all its gold glittering, with the true extravagant and famous martinis as the “Engagement Ring Martini” or the one with the pearl at the bottom, but trendy clubs and upscale bars are starting to sell Gold Flakes as the next “it” thing in the world of glamorous drinking.

Veuve Clicqout Pink Champagne
For Karim Rashid it is the second collaboration with the Veuve Clicquot Champagne House, celebrating Veuve Clicquot's Pink Champagne. With Karim Rashid’s sweeping pink lines and feminine appeal, this Veuve Clicquot Globalight limited edition champagne cooler, he designed, intends to "encapsulate the bottle with warmth" and surround it with light. Karim Rashid is no stranger to luxury, as we have seen his designs for the extravagant bottle of Bombay Sapphire Dry Gin.
This is the latest collaboration between Veuve Clicquot and leading designers such as Andre Putman, Pablo Reinoso, Pucci, Christophe Pillet, Christian Schwamkrug of Porsche Design Studio, and Jason Bruges.

Reportedly Rashid drew his inspiration from a random brainstorming scribble and the idea of a purse or handbag. The creation serves 3 functions: serving as a way to showcase and carry the champagne, cooling the champagne, and lighting the champagne.
A bottle of Veuve Clicquot Rose will remain chilled for 4 hours and the LED lights will give a soft glow for the same time, making Globalight also an ideal accessory for exclusive outdoor entertaining.

Only 500 Globalights have been created worldwide. In the United States, they will be available from May on at for a suggested retail price of USD 4.500.

I know there are many more packages out there which you could classify as extravagant, but never forget that the term “extravagance” is a relative conception which definition often says more about the person than about the object. What is extravagant for me might just be luxurious for any other, or even common. As soon as it is a product exclusively for the snobbish or blasé populace and the used materials don’t have a technological function and the price of the final product is in disparity with the value of the product to be consumed, you can speak, in my opinion, of an extravagant packaging.


Friday, 11 April 2008

Who says: “Art and packaging design are hard to combine.”

Packaging labels often are imprinted with screaming promotion texts in gaudy colours in their attempt to attract the attention of the consumer, who often can’t see the wood from the trees. Luckily some consumer product companies are using a more educated market approach. To stand out on the crowded supermarket shelves they introduce real art in the printing of their packages with just a trifle of company promotion, inviting the consumer to reach out for the product to know more about it.

I sampled three recently introduced packages which combine art and packaging design so perfectly that they became collectables.

1. Coca-Cola Brasil
Each year during the Fashion Week in São Paulo, Coca-Cola Brazil launches its limited-edition Coca-Cola Light bottle decorated with a full-body shrink film from Sleever International.

The 237-ml glass bottle exclusively distributed during the Fashion Week and exclusively at places participating in the event has an outstanding printing quality for a fashion world highly sensitive to the aesthetic aspects of design and decoration.
The company used the Sleever Digisleeve to provide a high-quality personal touch to the decoration, providing full-body decoration with accurate positioning. The differences in the bottle’s diameter were overcome by optimal stretching of the film over the bottle’s contours.
The bottle won an ABRE Trophy in Brazil and a WorldStar for packaging.

2. Mountain Dew with Green Label Art
Last year Mountain Dew launched a limited-edition series of aluminium bottles featuring designs created by a variety of artists, the so called Green Label Art. This series marked the first time a carbonated soft drink was packaged in an aluminium bottle in the USA.
The Green Label Art artists are an eclectic mix, ranging in style and notoriety, from apparel and sneaker designers to a vinyl action/toy designer and a lead singer from a top indie band.
The artists were given a plain, 16-oz (474 ml) aluminium bottle and asked to create their expressions of Mountain Dew. Treating the bottles as a canvas, the artists used a variety of approaches and applications including: tattoo design, cut-and-paste materials, paint, charcoals and computer graphics.

3. Exquisite Wine and Contemporary Art
No doubt, art and packaging design combine perfectly.
After more than two decades in the limelight, Kenwood Vineyards' highly-acclaimed Artist Series Cabernet Sauvignon reigns as a premier marriage of fine art and fine wine. The combination of the fine art of winemaking with the work of contemporary artists creates an elegant, easily identifiable package, while promoting beautiful artwork at the same time.

The artistry displayed on the bottle and within makes each new Artist Series release an event and every Artist Series vintage a prime collectable. Yet Kenwood Vineyards has always seen the Artist Series Collection as a work in progress, with each vintage a unique opportunity to excel.
In the years since, the Artist Series has presented art by important artists from the past, including Pablo Picasso, Henry Miller, Alexander Calder and Tamara de Lempicka.
The Kenwood Artist Series for the Cabernet Sauvignon 2002 shows the inimitable style of the artist Kenjilo Nanao. The labels are pressure sensitive (so they can easily peeled off) and are printed on Estate # 8 paper. The label is six colours with foil stamping, with a high build silk screen. Heck Art in Beverly Hills, CA did the design adapting Kenjilo Nanao’s artwork.

For more images and enlarged images click here.

© Weslley Murylo De Souza Steeman

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

"Raccolto di Sardegna" - Microwave Artichokes Kissed by the Sun

Artichokes are a delicacy, but difficult to prepare and therefore not very popular in the common household. Either you buy artichokes green and fight to get the hard outer leaves and thorns off the plant to stay with the heart which really is the delicious part of the plant or you buy hearts in tins of which the autoclave sterilisation process have destroyed most of the delicate taste.

Wikipedia tells us that “The Globe Artichoke (Cynara scolymus) is a perennial thistle. It grows to 1.5-2 m tall, with arching, deeply lobed, silvery glaucous-green leaves. The flowers develop in a large head from an edible bud about 8–15 cm diameter with numerous triangular scales; the individual florets are purple. The edible portion of the buds consists primarily of the fleshy lower portions of the involucral bracts and the base, known as the "heart"; the mass of inedible immature florets in the centre of the bud are called the "choke."

Delicious but hard to handle. The Italian cooperative Santa Margherita came up with a simple as well as brilliant solution. Microwaving artichokes? Nobody ever tried it before. But Santa Margherita did prepare them for cooking in the microwave and launched this novelty under the brand Raccolto di Sardegna: four ready-to-use artichokes, packaged to be cooked in a microwave.

Raccolto di Sardegna has the flavour of the sun of Sardinia slightly allayed by the sea breezes that fill the air with salt. Only here, on the plains of Santa Margherita di Pula in the south of Sardinia, the combination of sky, water and land, tilted by generations of farmers, result in extraordinary climatic conditions that make every artichoke a much desired delicacy with a rare and inimitable flavour.
The Santa Margherita Artichoke is a variety known as "Carciofo Spinoso Sardo", because it grows on the Italian island Sardinia and it shows some thorns. Its taste is so intense and pleasant that it is locally consumed even uncooked.

The special packaging presented by Santa Margherita contains four fresh ready-to-eat artichokes. Santa Margherita took care of the product's selection, cutting and washing. Only the "hearts" of these exceptional artichokes are left, after having removed the external leaves and all the thorns, freshly packed ready for cooking.
The cooking takes only a few steps as the packaging (without its plastic film) can be placed in the microwave straight-away with a cooking time of only 3 min. after which the artichokes are ready to be served. Microwave artichokes have a shelf-life of 15 days.

source: FreshPlaza

© Weslley Murylo De Souza Steeman - 80349

From Fridge to Mouth in 60 Seconds - Oscar Mayer’s Deli Creations

You are hungry between meals or just want a quick lunch. What to do? If you go to the supermarket to buy a frozen sandwich and back in your office put the sandwich in the microwave, your hunger is over when you open the door after a minute and discover what the microwave have done with your nice sandwich. The meat or whatever is steaming hot and your roll is also hot, but soft and sad, sticking to the roof of your mouth when you try to eat it.

40% of the working Americans, according to a recent market research, eat lunch - it is amazing that it still has this title - still slaving at their keyboards. Approximately 70% continues working during lunch time or ‘steal’ just a few minutes to wolf down a quick bite. Of those who sneak time to eat, nearly two-thirds nibble on a cold lunch and say their meal is bland, boring or completely and utterly forgettable.
Oscar Mayer recognised the lunch problems.
“As we looked at the state of the lunch hour, we found many Americans were looking for convenient ways to free themselves of brown bag boredom and enjoy a hot lunch,” says Chris Carlisle, senior brand manager for Oscar Mayer, “So, we set out to create an innovative new product to satisfy America’s love for deli meats in a more convenient way.”

That’s nice sales talk, but how do you get a bread bun hot and crispy and your delis and other ingredients hot and nice tasting. And above all as quick lunch 60 seconds (We are in a hurry, remember)

Oscar Mayer’s Deli Creations sandwiches are complete. Each package contains all the fixings for a delicious sandwich with fresh-baked tasting bread, made with Kraft's proprietary dough technology, generous amounts of Oscar Mayer meats and Kraft cheese, plus Kraft condiments, specifically, Kraft steak sauce and Grey Poupon mustard. All ingredients are separately packed and are grouped upon a QuiltWave tray and packaged in a paperboard overcarton for marketing from the refrigerator case.
A consumer simply unwraps the various components to build the sandwich, and places the modelled sandwich on the QuiltWave tray for microwaving.
And that’s the secret.
The revolutionary QuiltWave active microwave packaging, a development of Graphic Packaging and composed from PET/adhesive/paperboard/adhesive/metallised PET/release coating, heats the bread to a soft and warm consistency, while at the same time fully melting the cheese and warming the meat. QuiltWave’s exceptional performance is due to unique laminated quilts, or pockets, which expand when exposed to microwave energy and provide close contact with the food product. The hot surface, immediately next to the food, drives away moisture and heats the bread just right to a fresh taste and texture without drying it out.

In addition to the QuiltWave microwave receptor tray, Deli Creations use a unique camphor-shaped outer carton produced by Graphic Packaging. The carton is made from 18-point (0,45 mm) solid unbleached sulphate and are litho-printed in seven colours, plus a glossy coating to attract shopper attention. The carton also incorporates a reverse-cut score opening mechanism for easy consumer access

Deli Creations are available in five stock keeping units (SKU's) - Steakhouse Cheddar, Oven Roasted Ham and Cheddar, Honey Ham and Swiss, Turkey and Cheddar Dijon, and Turkey Monterrey.

The QuiltWave microwave receptor tray allows the busy-bee to enjoy a delicious, hot Oscar Mayer Deli Creations Sandwich in about a minute

© Weslley Murylo De Souza Steeman - 70424

Sunday, 30 March 2008

EcoLab’s Computer Designed Cleaning Twin

Ecolab's Proforce Cleaners assemble a "work"-spray bottle nicely clicked in the contours of a bulk container. The consumer can refill the spray bottle from the bulk container. The TwinPack was specifically designed for two new cleaning products with the building service contractor (BSC) market in mind.
A bracket is mounted to the wall, similar to a bookshelf. The bottle glides into its place, securely held there by moulded-in grooves. The set up provides for a more organized and safer environment as the product is not stored underfoot and dispensing occurs without lifting heavy containers or spillage on the floor.

The 16-oz (474 ml) spray bottle is extrusion blow moulded from high-density polyethylene by MGS Manufacturing Group. The 1.25-gal (4,73 ltr) container, measuring 7 1/2”x5 1/4”x11 1/2” (18,8 x 13,1 x 28,9 cm), is extrusion blow moulded from high-resistance high-density polyethylene by Fortco Plastics. TricorBraun, the container distributor that supplied both bottles and other components to Ecolab, played a key role in the design and manufacturing.

Complementing the two bottles, the TwinPack comes with a dispensing spray fitment on the 16-oz spray bottle, and a spigot (used for refilling the smaller bottle) that fits alongside the 16-oz bottle in a “cave” created in the side of the larger bottle. There are also two screw caps on the top, a larger one where the spigot goes to dispense the cleaner, and a small cap that reveals a vent hole.
The packaging footprint was optimized for in-line filling lines with little changeover required. The package is very space-efficient for in-line handling, shipment and store display due to cubed shape and stacking nubs designed in the container top, bottom and side panels, as well as the indented “pocket” area in the package for the sprayer bottle and spigot.

The large container has a 7” x 18" (15,6 x 45,2 cm) pressure-sensitive label from Meyers adhering to three sides of the large bottle and manually labelled immediately after blow moulding when the bottles are still warm. The labels are designed with 4% shrink to reduce wrinkling as the labelled bottles cool. That keeps the graphics looking nice and neat. The shrinkage occurs within the first 15 minutes after blow moulding.

During the development, the Ecolab team called on Stress Engineering Services (SES), to conduct state-of-the-art stress engineering modelling to help in the design of the bottle and mould. SES also interfaced with TricorBraun, whose role was crucial in last-minute tweaking.
Design studies and computer modelling and simulations were performed to predict problematic areas, and adjustments to the package were made accordingly. A particularly effective feature is the load-locking nubs at the top of each container that fit into corresponding indents in the bottom of the container positioned above it. The design helps stabilize the load and contribute to a case-free pallet.
Its rectangular shape guarantees efficiency in handling, shipment, storing and display. An 80-count, two-layer-high unit load achieves 98.5% of “perfect” pallet utilization.

From the beginning the project was baptised “Legoland”, as it was targeting a solution in which the containers could be stacked in different orientations.

© Weslley Murylo De Souza Steeman
For more and more enlarged images go to: “The Best Innovations in Packaging - 2007″