Innovative Package Design Helps Food and Beverage Processors Stand Out

Unique package structures plus stand-out graphics add up to design innovation at its best.

By Kate Bertrand Connolly, Packaging Editor

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The Flavor Tree package has a target fill weight of 11 oz., but the package format can be used to pack products weighing from 5 oz. to 3 lbs., according to Clear Lam.

Power to the purple

TriVita Inc., a Scottsdale, Ariz.-based nutraceutical company, went with a combination of bold structural design and intense graphics for its Adaptuit stress-relief drink, which launched in 2013.

AdaptuitThe Adaptuit package is a 32-oz., high-density polyethylene bottle with a sculptural geometric shape and monochromatic purple graphics. The easy-to-grip bottle features a rounded hexagonal shape.

TriVita worked with TricorBraun, St. Louis, to create the package structure. One of the design objectives was to differentiate the Adaptuit product from TriVita’s Nopalea supplement drink, which is packaged in a shapely pomegranate-pink bottle.

“While the Adaptuit bottle shape still retains the ergonomic factor of a pinched waist for grip-ability, it is a more angular shape, giving it a different energy and edginess from the Nopalea product,” explains Suzanne Fenton, director of marketing at TricorBraun.

Enhancing the distinction between the two products, the Adaptuit color scheme is shades of purple with the brand name printed in white. The bottle is decorated using lithographically printed full-body shrink sleeves, and a color-matched purple cap completes the visual effect.

Last year, the package design was among the winners of the annual American Graphic Design Awards contest sponsored by Graphic Design USA magazine.

Vibrant graphics

Vibrant VineAnother award-winning package comes from family-owned Okanagan Villa Estate Winery, Kelowna, B.C. The Canadian winery won packaging and tasting awards in the most recent World Beverage Competition, for Vibrant Vine wine. The Vibrant Vine labels are rendered in 3D.

Vibrant Vine products and packaging are truly a family project. Wyn and Marion Lewis own the winery; their son Anthony Lewis is the Vibrant Vine winemaker; and another son, artist Phil Lewis, Boulder, Colo., creates the label art and the 3D artwork hanging in the winery’s Vibrant Vine Tasting Room.

To appreciate the colorful, dreamlike, nature-based artwork on the Vibrant Vine labels and tasting room walls, each visitor “is greeted at the door and given a pair of 3D glasses,” says Wyn Lewis. After entering the tasting room, “everything you see from that moment on is in 3D.”

To provide a 3D experience for shoppers looking at Vibrant Vine bottles in stores, the winery provides retailers with 3D glasses that they can attach to the doors of their refrigerated display cases. The 3D effect has a noticeable effect on purchase decisions.

“It has an enormous impact on sales,” Wyn Lewis says. “We have another brand, which is the Okanagan Villa Estate Winery brand, and that does not have the 3D labels. We’ve done many, many tests in stores where we have the Okanagan Villa and Vibrant Vine [bottles] right next to each other. We watch customers come in, and the hand goes instinctively to the Vibrant Vine, not to the Okanagan Villa.”

The Vibrant Vine label’s appeal is also a tactile issue. “People are amazed that the shrink wrapping can produce such a smooth surface over the glass. It’s indistinguishable from the glass,” Wyn Lewis says. “It’s as if the glass has been printed.”

TricorBraun WinePak, Fairfield, Calif., supplies the Vibrant Vine bottles, which winery employees label by hand prior to filling. The label is a full-body shrink sleeve.

A happy labeling mistake led to the winery’s “Oops?” wine, when employees accidentally applied the label upside-down on a number of bottles of 2012 vintage Vibrant Vine white wine blend. The resulting bottle looked so interesting that the winery ultimately labeled 8,000 bottles that way and named the batch Oops?

What was inside the bottle was apparently quite interesting, too: Oops? won the Platinum/Best of Show award in the white wine tasting category of the 2013-2014 World Beverage Competition. Vibrant Vine 2012 Gewürztraminer took a bronze award for packaging and tasting in the same competition. The 2013 vintage of Oops? — to be called Woops? — was to launch on March 1.

Whether the Vibrant Vine labels are right-side-up or upside-down, they will continue to be printed in 3D, and the art will be the work of Phil Lewis. So far, five of his artworks have been used on Vibrant Vine labels. Referring to the many pieces of art Phil has created, Wyn Lewis says, “We’ll work our way through that over the next 10 years. That’s going to be our brand signature.”

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