How innovation is making its way into store-brand packaging

07/03/2014

Every year, there seems to be more and more innovation take place for in-store packaging. As such, Robert Hogan, director of global business development and Asia for Zip-Pak, recently presented at the Store Brands Decisions (SBD) Conference and talked about some key packaging innovation trends in store brands. Naturally, he used research and insights from Zip-Pak as examples, but there are still some important takeaways to keep in mind.

1. Pay attention to Japan

If you want to see the highest quality innovative packaging, Hogan said just look to Japan, where packaging is regarded as a piece of fine art, created not only for ease of use but also for aesthetic pleasure. A Tokyo hotel, for instance, offers individually packaged Q-tips by laser-scoring vertical lines on the plastic package to help the consumer access each one separately. Another example is gum packaging. In North America, consumers complain that packages of chewing gum are difficult to open and reseal, resulting in packaging failure and the gum falling out. Japanese gum packages open neatly, and consumers can access each piece easily. There are even instructions for use on the Japanese packaging, another example of their extreme attention to detail.

2. Quick turnaround

Increasingly, consumer preference at point-of-sale is being influenced by the addition of innovative features in product packaging, like a resealable closure on a bag of salty snacks. This shift in behavior is being observed for both new and established store brands. And with today's speed to market, retailers can readily afford a new consumer-preferred technology. In fact, Hogan said that technology converters can apply a zipper or other consumer-friendly feature to flexible packaging in as little as six weeks, with minimal disruption to the manufacturing process and little-to-no capital investment.
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