Selling a product is helped by a number of factors - the quality of the product itself, the way in which it is marketed to the end consumer, and, increasingly, the packaging in which the product is sold.
Products which stand out from the crowd have a far greater chance of being added to consumers' shopping trolleys than those which blend in with all the others, and food producers are increasingly opting for new packaging shapes and media in a bid to raise awareness of their products.
The latest highlights from Mintel's Global New Products Database (GNPD) focus on just a handful of these new designs - many of which, it seems, originate in Asia.
So-called 'bottle cans' are well established in Japan for beers and soft drinks, and are now set to appear in North America. The Capri Sun soft drinks line from Kraft has been extended with Island Refreshers, packed in aluminium two-piece 'bottle cans' holding 487ml. The body is impact extruded and the base crimped on, while the container top is shaped to provide a screw thread and a metal cap in aluminium, finished with embossing to mimic a crown seal.
In the Philippines, meanwhile, GNPD spotted a fascinating use of a dispensing spray device, originally aimed at the pharmaceutical market. Tiwi Magic Spray, from NCM Marketing is, however, a melon flavoured confectionery spray. A polyethylene extrusion blown bottle holds 20ml of the liquid, capped with an elongated spray dispenser and decorated with a gravure printed tamper-evident shrink-sleeve.
China has provided an unusual package for an unusual product - Just Me chocolates made with black rice and almonds. The 100g pack is injection moulded to an ovoid shape in polypropylene, with a clear clip-on lid. The top label is printed flexo on self-adhesive paper while the wraparound body label is printed gravure on white pearlescent polypropylene. The product is marketed by Le Conté.
Moving to Europe, Austrian company Kelly's has adopted a novel approach for its Star Lights potato snacks. To match the star shape of the snack itself, the product is packaged in a multi-laminate star-shaped pouch containing 60g. The assembly is metallised polypropylene with an LLDPE inner sealing layer. The design is printed gravure.
German company Hochwald Nahrungsmittelwerke is using a sophisticated new package for its May iced coffee drink. The polypropylene container is injection moulded, as is the dispenser cap, which is ultrasonically welded to the body. Decoration is by offset letterpress. The dispenser cap is cleverly designed to break at a nip when pressed, opened and clicked back while drinking. It can then be re-closed. The pack holds 225ml of iced coffee and has a wide base for stability.
Unilever Bestfoods has introduced Calvé brand mayonnaise and sauces in injection blown plastic bottles featuring built-in, thumb-shaped indentations, as 'squeeze aiming points'. The bottle for the mayonnaise product picked up by the GNPD in Spain is unmarked, but is probably polypropylene, as is the flip top cap. As with many bottles in this category, these stand on the cap. The self-adhesive paper labels are oriented in this way and have a punched out hole to marry up with the squeeze areas.
In a similar vein, Heinz has launched Eazy Squirt tomato ketchup. It is aimed at children and is packaged in an squeeze bottle so it can be applied more easily to food. It contains no gluten or additives.
For more information about the Global New Products Database, contact Anne Bourgeois at Mintel International, 18-19 Long Lane, London, EC1A 9PL, United Kingdom. Telephone: +44 20 76064533; fax: +44 20 76003327; e-mail: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mintel has more than 25 years' experience in providing global product intelligence to the world's leading packaged goods companies. In addition to Mintel publications, the company's product consultants are able to advise on the most appropriate markets for customised global product research. Its network of field researchers, who conduct both product monitoring and product retrieval, extends to more than 130 countries.