Canadian Packaging

Keep packaging excess off the bottle

By Jaan Koel   

General Sustainability Bottles AquaOmega DEFENSE Immune Support lifefactory Living Alchemy Paleoethics Thinkbaby Soft Spout Sippy Cup ThinkOperations

A monthly look at some of the hits and misses in the packaging world from the viewpoint of Joe Public, Canadian Packaging magazine’s revolving columnists. From the May 2019 issue.

Sometimes the simplest and most sustainable packaging solutions deliver the best protection and distribution solutions for our most sophisticated and sensitive products. Sometimes, complex and oversized packaging is chosen for products of much less value and sophistication. And sometimes still, minimal barely-there packaging does the job just right for products that do a good job of protecting themselves through the whole distribution and merchandising process. As a good example of the first scenario, the DEFENSE Immune Support capsules from Living Alchemy—formulated to promote general health by introducing certain fermented nutrients and flora into the intestines—project welcomes serenity and calm. Containing Kefir, Kombucha, and Shitake mushrooms, the product sensibly uses a tamperproof brown-tinted glass bottle to protect the capsules from light, like many other similar nutraceutical supplements, while the outer offset-printed folding carton uses simple graphics of key ingredients and muted orange-brown color bars with a white backdrop to reinforce the brand’s message of nutritional harmony and balance with understated professionalism in a safe, simple and fully-recyclable package.

In a similar vein, the AquaOmega’s line of flavored Omega-3 Fish Oils—manufactured by Cornwall, Ont.-based Paleoethics—comes in tinted glass bottles outfitted with tall, easy-to-open plastic screw-cap and
decorated with attractive blue-brown-white wraparound shrinksleeve labels presenting all the key nutritional information. Available in five different flavor varieties—including lemon-lime, orange, coconut-pineapple, coffee and plain—this fish oil is claimed to be unique by virtues of being the only fish oil made entirely from anchovies. Being one of the smallest fish species in the sea and having a very short life-span, anchovies simply do not have the time and the ability to absorb mercury, heavy metals or other sea-borne contaminants as the larger, longer-living fish species may.

The Thinkbaby Soft Spout Sippy Cup—manufactured by ThinkOperations of Austin, Tex.—lives up to the company’s aim of helping to transition toddlers to move on from bottles outfitted with rubber nipples to cups with minimal stress or drama. The body of the cup is made from ultra-polished 304 stainless steel, a common austenitic (nickel rich) alloy that makes it tough, nonmagnetic, pure and safe, with the rest of the bottle, including the removable handle, made from BPA (Bisphenol A)-free plastic. The whole eye-catching assembly is presented in a stunning paperboard display unit resembling a mini-stage, with its white, grey, and light blue color tones thoughtfully matching or enhancing the main components of the cup, which can either stand upright on a shelf or chill from a shelf-hanger display.

Speaking of bottles, the hydration bottle from Schaumburg, Ill.-based lifefactory is something of a global ensemble featuring an attractive, protective silicone sleeve that’s made in the U.S.; a sturdy plastic screw cap with built-in carrying handle that’s made in Poland; and a glass drinking bottle manufactured in France. As a product that is essentially a package in and of itself, this handy on-the-go container limits product branding to the embossed company and logo placed discretely on the bottom of the sleeve and across the cap, leaving it to the simple wraparound paper wrapper to do provide the requisite product information in fittingly minimalist fashion to let the product itself do all the heavy lifting insofar as drawing the consumer’s attention.


Jaan Koel is a freelance writer based in Toronto.



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