packaging news

Fyrn is Changing Up The Furniture Game

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Fyrn, based in San Francisco, has launched its debut collection – a line of furniture called Stemn. Taking a page from Charles and Ray Eames, Fyrn took an unconventional approach to design and manufacturing to create a line of high-quality American-made furnishings. The line has already caught the eye of some of the country’s most notable architects and designers and in April 2017 garnered product design awards from the world’s largest online architecture platform, Architizer.

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The Stemn line’s debut offering is a range of six chairs and stools available in multiple finishes. In choosing to start the line with chairs – typically one of the toughest pieces of furniture to make – Fyrn quickly found a set of discerning customers to stress test pilot builds: restaurant owners, tech office spaces, designers and architects such as Sagan Piechotta and EDG Interior Architecture + Design. The line can be found in San Francisco’s highest-profile, design-forward restaurants, including Bellotta, The Morris, and Piccino. Tables, lounge chairs, and other products will follow in late 2017 and early 2018.

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The heart of the Stemn design is an exposed, patented bracket that serves as a durable joint and an elegant aesthetic element. It has the added benefit of making the furniture easily assembled, which allows it to be shipped inexpensively. It’s a modern, elevated version of flatpack that you’d actually be proud of, and want to keep.

In considering how to manufacture the line, Fyrn’s founder, Ros Broughton, quickly discovered that conventional manufacturing techniques and equipment were inadequate because they rely upon and incentivize the use of cheap labor while often falling short on quality. So Broughton relied on his unique heritage and 25+ years of furniture making expertise to design and make proprietary hardware and equipment that served his needs.

Ros said, “Instead of starting with the big vision, I started with the constraints. I tried to overcome them through a system of hardware, parts, and pieces that integrated the warmth of wood with the strength of metal. The design of Fyrn Stemn was inspired by thinking about how I could create a scalable manufacturing process in the Bay Area that would allow for high-end furniture to ship easily, making it more accessible to more people. The products had to be straight-forward, for example, a chair should look like a chair, be comfortable and it should last a long long time.

Dave Charne, Fyrn’s co-founder said, “I think of Fyrn as starting a new tradition of craftsmanship in the US, making it relevant and sustainable – in many ways – in today’s economy. And that’s ambitious. We are trying to do some very basic things that feel quite difficult, even extraordinary: we want to restore lasting value to products; we want to offer a good alternative to disposable culture; and we want to prove that manufacturing in the most expensive city in America is possible through innovation and creativity.”

Wulftec invests over $2M in its facility

Wulftec International, a company specialized in stretch wrapping equipment, announces investments of $2.2 million to expand and improve its Ayer’s Cliff, Quebec plant.

Guy Lopes, Operations director, explains that a building in need of attention will be demolished. “We’ll have a new two-story building. It will include a showroom and a laboratory as well as a classroom. We’ll also find administrative and commercial offices”, he said.

The actual administrative building will also be modified in order to create new office space in the front part of the second floor. The first floor cafeteria will be expanded by approximately 75%.

In 2014, the company made a 10,000 square foot expansion. That section has already been filled. A new 8,000 square foot expansion is needed once more. “The demands are constantly increasing so we’ll reconfigure the production line. It will allow us to have an increased production capacity and meet the demands,” mentioned Mr. Lopes.

Wulftec currently employs 210 employees in its Ayer’s Cliff facility. With no specific timeline, the engineer says new jobs will be created in coming months

PepsiCo betting on packaging to get an edge in the cola wars?

On a field visit to Navi Mumbai, PepsiCo's chief marketing officer Vipul Prakash gazes with satisfaction at his company's range of beverages, arranged at a vantage point above racks of traditional snacks and finger foods. "I can put up the best TV screen here and people won't see my ads as many times as they see this," he says.
By "this", Prakash is referring to packaging, a hitherto under-utilised weapon in Indian marketing. However, PepsiCo intends putting packaging front and centre. It's the big bet for 2016, which will hopefully trounce the competition in the annual cola wars that play out through gruelling summer months.

The rationale is quite simple. TV audiences are getting fragmented and ad avoidance is on the rise, even if it's not as much of a problem in India as it is elsewhere. Prakash says: "Even if a consumer watches our ad, it's for 30 seconds and a one way story." Bottles on the other hand are held for anywhere between 10 minutes and an hour.

And so PepsiCo is opting for an inversion of its strategy. Previously, packaging would change to reflect a large mass media campaign that broke on TV. "But if the consumer interacts with the pack so much, can we start the story there?" is what the cola giant is seeking an answer to.

While admitting that the full model is yet to be cracked, PepsiCo nevertheless claims to have notched some early successes. For instance 7Up Revive, a variant launched last year in Kerala and Tamil Nadu, set to go countrywide this year, hit the market in distinctive blue glass bottles with its PET variants featuring a full length wraparound plastic sleeve. The new pack helped highlight the features of Revive, going a long way to educating a sceptical consumer. Research later revealed that the No1 reason for trial was packaging.

For its flagship cola, PepsiCo is rolling out a desi variant of its global emoji campaign. A consumer can pick a bottle with an emoji that reflects his mood provided the range is between happy, party, naughty, etc. (Anger or existential despair are not included for obvious reasons.) An SMS code gives the consumer an opportunity for instant gratification with grand prizes like trips to Las Vegas and Ibiza, or net practice with Virat Kohli. There will be a TV commercial at some point, but Prakash believes with 38 emojis over 10 categories, the story is complete using just packaging. Even if the second stage of consumers sending in SMS does not take off to the extent Pepsi would like, he confesses to being very satisfied with stage one; "The visual appeal on shelves itself tells us the first part has worked."

Those expecting a My Can style TV blitz for Pepsi's 150 ml variant have a long wait ahead. As of now the mini can, priced at `15, is going to be pushed only by a series of web exclusive films, built around the theme 'never underestimate the little things in life'.

For Mountain Dew, the second leg of its real heroes campaign is embracing digital media in a big way. Instead of buying pre-rolls or banner ads, PepsiCo is relying on a combination of its bottles and Blippar, a service that links consumers to videos via codes on packaging. Part of the stories about the four real heroes begins on the label, provoking curiosity. A consumer wanting to know more can be taken to a branded video, to be watched when and where he chooses. While digital used to be considered an add on to TV in media dark areas, it's becoming the lead medium says Prakash; "TV reach is minimal but our bottles are everywhere." PepsiCo is working on weekly audio stories with content providers in Uttar Pradesh hoping to net potentially millions of otherwise hard to pin down consumers.

It's quite a shift at a time when most marketers still balk at riding on the consumer's precious bandwidth to deliver their messages. However Prakash believes "It's not about the brand but the story. If they've watched four minutes and enjoyed it, two seconds of branding will do more than 30 seconds of in your face messaging. I keep telling my teams, 'If a consumer has X amount of bandwidth, would he watch a song or your content?' Your content has to be interesting enough to be chosen." Even the Mountain Dew films deal more with the philosophy of risk than with traditional endorsement. "We don't show our real heroes drinking Mountain Dew" says Prakash.

Going for full length wraps on bottles is something PepsiCo has worked on in the past. It invariably got derailed because it was considered too expensive, with marketing and production bickering over who was to pay for it. But things are different now with even the CFO insisting Revive not be launched unless it has a full sleeve. The brand manager on 7Up Nimbooz Masala Soda agreed to pull back on television to accommodate full wraparounds. Says Prakash, "When you get the support from the top it's easier. I thought we'd not be able to do it for three years. But when there's a sales and consumer pull it comes together." The sales force in particular has been galvanised by the new packaging and are pushing for more in store real estate. Even the visicoolers have been revamped to display packs to best advantage.

According to Shripad Nadkarni, founder MarketGate, who has previous experience at Coca-Cola, "Using packaging to drive home the message is a well established practise especially for teen and lifestyle brands.

The use of emojis as a language that's current is a good strategy." However he cautions that, packaging and TV serve very different purposes and one should not be at the expense of the other. When it comes to wraprounds, he believes these are best tactically deployed else they run the risk of becoming first the new norm and then the new clutter. However the biggest challenge which has as yet been inadequately addressed by either player, according to Nadkarni, is finding out how they can play a more powerful role in the lives of teens.

As for whether it's all going to work, Prakash admits that's still something that remains to be seen. Whether packaging is in fact the answer will be revealed if the packs survive the transition from scorching summers to the squelchy humid monsoons.

Ikea plans eco-friendly boxes made from mushrooms

Ikea plans to replace its polystyrene packaging with eco-friendly boxes made from mushrooms, it has been reported.

Green-thinking bosses at the Swedish furniture giant are said to be looking into introducing the biodegradable alternative as part of a series of changes designed to improve sustainability.

The so-called 'fungi packaging' is made by US-based firm Ecovative using mycelium, the unseen part of a mushroom made up of millions of tiny fibres.

Pioneering: An example of the made-to-measure 'fungi packaging' created by US-based company Ecovative

Ecologically, mycelium’s function is to break down waste. The process causes it to secrete enzymes and proteins which can act as a glue to bond items together into a solid shape.

As it is 'growing' mycelium can be manipulated into a range of sizes and densities, much like plastic, making it ideal for containers and packaging.

Joanna Yarrow, head of sustainability for Ikea in the UK, told the Daily Telegraph the company was looking into the material because 'a lot of products come in polystyrene, traditionally, which can't be - or is very difficult to – recycle'.

In contrast mushroom packaging can naturally biodegrade in just a few weeks. 

An Ikea spokesman confirmed to the newspaper that mycelium is one of the materials it is looking into using but that it is not currently used in production. 

The Swedish firm has promised it will adopt a series of changes by 2020 that will boost communities and the environment.

 

Green-thinking: Ikea has promised it will adopt a series of changes by 2020 that will boost the environment

Two of which include plans to invest £755million into renewable energy for poor communities and also ensuring all of the energy used in its branches comes from clean sources.

This idea of living more sustainably and protecting the planet has even influenced the menu in its restaurants, particularly the much-loved meatballs.

The company is now offering a vegetarian alternative to meat, production of which is associated with greenhouse gases. 

Mycelium is already used by a number of companies around the world. Ecovative already supplies mushroom packaging to Dell computers called EcoCradle, which acts as a subsitute for polystyrene. 

Founders Gavin McIntyre and Eben Bayer have previously built a 'self-fixing' house using the material and have said cars could one day be built with mushroom parts. 

Granell Coffee

 

“Granell coffees are roasted next to the Mediterranean Sea, surrounded by the fine weather, sun and scents that shape the Spanish spirit: joy, warmth, passion and spontaneity. In order to take advantage of these values, specially relevant for the international market, we created a unique proposal for them under the claim “Roasted the Spanish way”. We conjointly built a strategy and speech that would leverage on the attractive of Spain and the Mediterranean, that would be then translated into the design of a new website, brochure and a new line of products called “Mediterranean blends”, which packagings were conjointly designed with illustrator Charlotte Molas.”

McDonald's Serves Up New 'Modern' Packaging

"New year, new me."

McDonald's appears to be adopting the adage and announced today that it has given its packaging a modern makeover -- forgoing the familiar red, white and gold motif and replacing it with bold colors.

This month, the biggest fast food chain in the world is rolling out new carry-out bags, fountain beverage cups and sandwich boxes at its restaurants in the U.S., McDonald's said in a news release today.

The latest look -- featuring colorful accents and bold typography -- will also expand to over 36,000 restaurants worldwide throughout the rest of 2016, the company said.

"McDonald’s is a fun and modern brand and this was a progressive way to turn our packaging into art and support a community where fashion is an expression," said Matt Biespiel, senior director of Global Marketing, according to the news release.

PHOTO: McDonalds global packaging is pictured through the Years 1955-2016.McDonalds
McDonald's global packaging is pictured through the Years 1955-2016.
"Every day 69 million customers visit McDonald’s around the world and this new packaging will be a noticeable change," Biespiel said. "It was fun to join these ideas together and create playful pieces that connect our customers to the Brand."

McDonald's added that the new look is not only stylish but sustainable.

To celebrate the unveiling of the new packaging, two students from Miami International University of Art and Design created an original "couture collection" of "one-of-a-king accessories" under 48 hours using 50 bags, 72 straws, 22 cups and eight sandwich boxes with the new packaging.

NATURALLY CLICQUOT

As if anyone ever needs a reason to pop open a bottle of bubbly! This new champagne from Veuve Clicquot, called Naturally Clicquot, comes in 100% recyclable packaging made from paper and the skins of grapes used the make the champagne itself. Being committed to using environmentally responsible innovations in packaging, we saw them use potato starch as a main ingredient in packaging back in 2013 and 2014.

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“A step further in the approach of eco-responsibility, from the house of Veuve Clicquot. With our wonderful grapes we create our unique champagne. Then, we transform the grape’s skin into a bio-based material in order to create our new innovative packaging.”

“Because the exceptional quality of our wines is largely due to the precious terroirs from which they are produced, environmental concerns have always played an integral part in our striving for innovation and excellence. Each step of the wine production process is meticulously conducted to ensure that the vines are treated with the utmost care and that the production processes have as little impact as possible in terms of consumption, emissions and waste. ”

As consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the waste they and the products they buy create, Veuve Clicquot is a standout. The trusted champagne will only face gaining more loyal customers with such an environmentally-friendly initiative. Naturally Clicquot communicates the change in packaging right on the box with a large graphic of hanging grapes on one side and an outline of the bottle on the other, all while keeping Veuve Clicquot’s elegant style.

Taylor Swift fragrance carton wins award for Diamond Packaging

Elizabeth Arden’s Taylor Swift Incredible Things carton uses a textured, felt paperboard and rich palette of watercolors that transform inspired graphics into a work of art that beautifully complements the primary container inside—an opaque white bottle, decorated with a watercolor print of Taylor Swift’s silhouette profile.

The colorful carton earned a Silver Award in the “Folding Cartons” category for Diamond Packaging at the 28th annual Gold Ink Awards competition, produced by Printing Impressions magazine.

Winners were chosen from more than 1,000 entries submitted in 50 different categories. Entries were judged on print quality, technical difficulty, and overall visual effect.

The carton was converted utilizing Neenah Paper Royal Sundance Brilliant White Felt paperboard. It is offset-printed with seven colors in-line with UV matte coating. The matte coating conveys the soft, natural aesthetic of the design.

A gold foil-stamped and multi-level embossed “13” medallion on the top panel reflects the significance of the lucky number to the music star and matches the fragrance bottle’s finely crafted gold cap, which is also embossed with her signature “13.”

The combination of colors and textures create an irresistible sensory presentation that stands out in the retail environment and captures the feminine, youthful vibe of Taylor Swift and her international fan base.

Naughty But Rice

Designed by Robot Food | Country: United Kingdom

“Rice pudding is rising in popularity, and to coincide with the trend, The Hain Daniels Group has launched Naughty But Rice, a vibrant new brand with a bit of a twist. The clue’s in the name. Naughty But Rice brings pud lovers all the heart and soul of traditional rice pudding with a deliciously contemporary edge.

Leeds-based brand and design agency, Robot Food, are well-known for their daring challenger approach, and were asked to help create the brand look, feel and packaging. Leaving behind the tired, whimsical category cues of old, the team came up with the strap-line, ‘Rice pudding. But not as you know it’, and got to work on a strikingly indulgent aesthetic that deliberately disregards the category’s moody, rather serious look and feel.”

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“At first glance, the pack design is fresh and clean with plenty of pure white space to suggest dairy cues. The other side of the card uses bold contrasting colours to reveal each variant’s ‘naughty’ side and encapsulate the brand’s personality – cerise for Coconut & Raspberry, orange for Salted Caramel, and rich brown for Chocolate Orange.”

The pots themselves are the piece de résistance, the goal to be impactful. True to the brand personality, the pot designs defy convention with vivd, brightly coloured illustrations (with no branding) to represent the dynamic flavours. 

Jeremy Hudson, CEO, The Hain Daniels Group said, “We are delighted with Robot Food’s contribution to the project, the packaging is very different to anything already on shelf. Naughty But Rice is now our most successful new brand launch to date with listings in Asda, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and Booths.”

Simon Forster, Creative Director at Robot Food, said, “We distilled the brief down to ‘rice pudding, reinvented’. With such indulgent flavours, we had to push the boat out to tickle contemporary taste buds but rein it in enough to attract the more old-school rice pudding fans too. We think the results strike a pretty tasty balance.”