What You See Is What You Get

Peek-a-boo packaging lets your product tell the story.

By Kate Bertrand Connolly, Packaging Editor

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Kraft created the structural designs in-house for both the multilayer-plastic pouch and the sleeve. Spring Design Partners (www.springdesignpartners.com), New York, created the graphics for the sleeve. Kraft Fresh Take launched in six flavors.

A new look at frozen fruit
In the freezer case, Dole is showing off its new single-serving fruit products. Dole Frozen Fruit Single-serve Cups hold 3 oz. of frozen "All Natural Fruit" and are sold in two-packs.

The product line, which includes Blueberries, Sliced Strawberries and Tropical Gold Pineapple, is available in select retail and Walmart stores and should be in national distribution in April.

In contrast to conventional frozen-fruit packaging — opaque pouches, that is — Dole's frozen-fruit cups make transparency an essential design feature. The fruit, packed in polypropylene cups, is completely visible. And the paperboard multipack sleeve is designed with a window to let consumers view the packaged fruit at point of purchase. That visibility communicates a key product benefit: the fruit's quality.

"Dole uses a proprietary patent-pending process that removes water from the fruit prior to freezing in order to diminish cell damage during the freezing process," explains Vanessa Beltran, business manager at Dole Packaged Foods LLC (www.dole.com), Westlake Village, Calif. "The resulting fruit exhibits improved appearance, taste and texture compared to traditional IQF [individual quick frozen] fruit."

She adds that the Nature Lock logo displayed on the front of each multipack "is Dole's way of letting consumers know that we've locked in all the nutrients of fruit at its peak moment to ensure consumers are getting the finest fruit available."

Dole chose polypropylene for the cups not only for visibility, but also for product protection. Polypropylene stands up well to freezing and "performs very well throughout the supply-chain process, ensuring we deliver the best product for our consumers," Beltran says.

Dole developed the structural package design for its Frozen Fruit Single-serve Cups in-house and worked with The DuPuis Group LLC (www.dupuisgroup.com), Westlake Village, Calif., on package graphics.

Tea tin with a window
The combination of product protection and transparency also is fundamental to the design of packaging for Tiesta Tea (www.tiestatea.com), a young company based in Chicago.
Because Tiesta's custom-blended, premium-priced teas incorporate delicate ingredients such as kiwi bits, eucalyptus leaves, tangerine pieces and rose petals, freshness was a concern as the company designed its packaging. But Tiesta also wanted consumers to see the tea inside the package.

The company's solution was an aluminum canister designed with a rigid plastic window and a gasket-and-clasp closure system. Planet Canit LLC (www.planetcanit.com), Highland Park, Ill., supplies the package.

"Being able to see what you're getting before purchasing was a big plus" with consumers, says Patrick Tannous, Tiesta's chief operating officer. As a secondary benefit, after buying the product consumers can use the window to see how much tea is left in the tin.

Tannous adds that the window engages consumers and quickly communicates the unique nature of Tiesta's products. When consumers "can see all the exotic pieces and all the different herbs and ingredients that are going on, that [creates] a more exotic and unique experience."

To ensure product freshness and protect the tea from light, Tiesta uses an ultraviolet (UV)-protective plastic for the canister's window. "Windows were a great feature, but we had to make sure [they weren't] going to interfere with the quality of the tea or the freshness," says Bobby Moynihan, Tiesta's creative director.

Tannous explains that all Tiesta blends are "comprised of three-plus ingredients, and they're all very fresh ingredients, so if we don't have the protection in the packaging [it's] damaging the product. Today when somebody picks up a can of Tiesta Tea, they open it and they take out a mango bit, that mango bit is still going to be a little moist and it's still going to have a lot of freshness to it. If we [didn't] have the UV protection on our windows, that wouldn't be the case."

Tiesta soon will be adding 2-oz. pouches to its product lineup. Like the canisters, each resealable stand-up pouch will feature a window on the side. The small pouches are designed to drive product trial, enabling consumers to try Tiesta's various teas — 10 flavors, spread across five brands — at a lower price point than the 4-oz. canisters.

Soup cup shows just enough
In the soup aisle, an innovative package design for Campbell's Slow Kettle Style soups features a translucent cup to display the product. The clarified-polyethylene cup is teamed with an opaque overcap made of linear low-density polyethylene. After removing the overcap, the consumer removes the metal top from the package using an integral ring-pull.

Campbell chose a translucent package for the new brand because "we wanted our consumers to get some sense of the product inside," says Chip Helm, global design manager at Campbell Soup Co. (www.campbellsoup.com), Camden, N.J.

Campbells Tomato and Basil
A translucent cup yields some sense of the interesting ingredients in Campbell's new soups while softening the appearance of not-so-attractive ingredients, such as oils.

"These soups are made up of interesting ingredient combinations, and seeing some of the dimension through the packaging was important," he adds. At the same time, the package's translucence softens the appearance of not-so-attractive ingredients, like oils.

The product line, positioned as premium-quality, includes five flavors. The unusual ingredients in Slow Kettle Style soups are apparent in the names of the varieties — Burgundy Beef Stew with Baby Bella Mushrooms, Roasted Garlic & Rosemary, for example.

Each package holds 15.5 oz. and is decorated with a label that communicates "a small-batch, artisanal feel. To achieve this, the kraft-paper background was 'imperfectly' printed with the Campbell's script, and the variety names were printed in a seemingly haphazard fashion to help get this point across," Helm says.

A photo of a bowl of soup also appears on the label. "Each bowl shot looks like a Polaroid — hinting to consumers that the snapshot was taken by the person who created the soup," Helm adds. "It's as if they placed the soup bowl on their table at home and proudly snapped a photo."

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