July/August 2022 - 32

Thoughtful package design protects freshness
Packaging protects
By Tom Egan
VP of Industry
Services, PMMI
and identifies fruit and
vegetable products.
With thoughtful design,
this functionality can
be extended to enhance
the product, improve
the overall consumer
experience and make
the sale in the brief
time (an average of
seven seconds) that
a consumer looks
at the package in the
store, where it's estimated 68-80% of
purchasing decisions are made.
As noted in Fundamentals of Packaging
Technology, 5th Edition, a reference
published by the Institute of Packaging
Professionals, " Cluttered graphic designs
and contradictory messages cannot
deliver the buying message in those
critical seven seconds. " The authors
concluded: " Such products are simply
not seen by the potential purchaser. And
unseen is unsold. Sometimes, unclear
on-pack messaging leaves the consumer
confused about a product - even
unclear about product differences across
an entire category - and a confused
shopper may default to the safety of not
purchasing at all. "
Consumer packaged goods companies
(CPGs) shou ld therefore spend
considerable time, manpower and money
on package design. But when asked
" What are your top three operational
priorities? " CPGs ranked package design
seventh, according to " Key Challenges for
Packaging and Processing Operations, "
a report published in September 2021
by PMMI, The Association for Packaging
and Processing Technologies. This
suggests that CPGs are missing an
opportunity to drive sales and market
share with thoughtful package designs.
Some consumer demands that CPGs
should be considering include offering
environmentally friendly solutions
and standing out in an increasingly
competitive marketplace.
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Flexibility is key
With packaging materials and designs
constantly evolving, it's imperative that
brand owners closely collaborate with
material suppliers and OEMs to ensure
new concepts will run smoothly and
not create inefficiencies on existing
equipment. New equipment must be
flexible and future-proofed to handle
new materials and packaging designs
with minimal retooling. The growing
impor tance of more sustainable
packaging means that this flexibility is
more important than ever.
To further promote
interaction with a
brand, many produce
processors are adding
scannable QR codes,
which link consumers
to information like
recipes or the location
where the product
was grown.
For example, some processors are
achieving sustainability goals by shifting
from clamshells to lighter, space-saving
stand-up pouches, which can include
built-in convenience features like handles
and reclosable zippers. There's also been
growing interest in replacing plastic
packaging with corrugated, which is
derived from renewable sources, readily
recycled, potentially compostable and
often contains recycled content. CPGs
must invest in machinery that can move
between these new and varied types of
materials so they can meet changing
consumer expectations for reduced
plastic waste and environmentally
conscious packaging.
A package design may be developed
for a new product, but it also can
refresh a brand or category to boost
sales, capture the attention of a different
demographic, or celebrate a season or
holiday. Redesigned packaging also may
extend shelf life, add functionality, or
meet new regulatory requirements,
such as a change in nutritional labeling.
Such redesigns often focus on graphic
elements including logos, color, artwork
and typography. These elements work
together to establish a brand identity
and can create a unified appearance for
product lines with many stock-keeping
units. To further promote interaction
with a brand, many produce processors
are adding scannable QR codes, which
link consumers to information like
recipes or the location where the product
was grown.
Innovations at Pack Expo
Packaging that exemplifies how CPGs
are creatively adapting to consumer
needs and trends will be on display at
Pack Expo International (Oct. 23-26
at McCormick Place, Chicago) in the
Showcase of Packaging Innovations,
sponsored by WestRock. Located in
Booth W20042 in the Containers and
Materials Pavilion, the exhibit features
award-worthy packaging from around
the world.
It is more important than ever
that the packaging and processing
industries come together to share
insights and innovations, and the
best place to do that is Pack Expo
International. From connecting with
colleagues and hearing from experts,
to seeing new technologies, materials
and machinery in action, Pack Expo
is the most efficient and effective way
to discover packaging and processing
solutions for over 40 vertical markets.
No other event this year will showcase
entire production line solutions and
offer attendees everything needed to
compete in a changing marketplace. For
more information and to register, visit

July/August 2022

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