Canadian Packaging

Packaging hits all festive high notes

By Shannon Kaupp   

Design & Innovation General Glass Plastic Bone Rattler Hot Sauce Child Guard Zipper Cuddle Critters Fizzy Bath Bomb Gift Set Ginger Lilly Farms Modern Gourmet Foods Plant Life Natural Body Care TheraWell Tide Pods

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 December 2018 issue.

With the holiday season upon us it is the time for gift-giving for family, friends, teachers, coaches, co-workers and all those random gift exchanges where cute packaging is the order of the day.

What says holiday parties more the cookies in cookie tins? This gift may mimic the tradition of the Christmas cookie tin, but in this case of edible treats are replaced with fizzy bath bombs! This Fizzy Bath Bomb Gift Set from Ginger Lilly Farms contains six separate three-ounce bath bombs in different holiday “flavors” in a festive tin. The lid contains a plastic see-through window so you can see the colorful treats enclosed. Each bath bomb is individually wrapped with colorful paper and labeled. A cardboard divider holds each ball neatly nestled in a base of shredded paper to ensure that the recipient receives their gift whole. The underside of the tin clearly lists the ingredients for each flavor of bath bomb, so there are no unexpected surprises.


The Bone Rattler Hot Sauce by Modern Gourmet Foods of Irvine, Ca., may be better suited for Halloween, but I think it’s a perfect gift for the hot sauce lover in your life any time of the year! Packaged in a 450-ml glass skull, it immediately leapt off the shelf at me as I strolled by. Once the hot sauce is consumed, it well definitely make a great drinking vessel or decoration for next October’s Halloween festivities. The label tied to the lid is simple and eye-catching, with a recipe for a wicked Deadly Bloody Mary cocktail printed on the backside.

For the eco-friendly person on your list, Plant Life Natural Body Care has an aromatherapy soap & scrub combo comprising 12 ounces of bar soap and an exfoliating soap bag. The company’s packaging is faithfully true to its name: the soap is packaged in a small burlap bag, stamped with the company’s name and logo, and the attached soap bag is made of unbleached natural fibres. The red bow tying it all together is a nice subtle nod to the festive season. The attached cardstock label provides information on the all-natural ingredient list and directions for use. All in all, this is a perfect ‘zero waste’ gift for anyone on your list.

The Cuddle Critters collection of stuffed animals from the Mississauga, Ont.-based TheraWell certainly makes bedtime more fun for the little children, and the Aromatherapy Eye Mask—packaged in a cardboard box decorated with a theme that matches the critter mask inside—is a wonderful little contraption for getting kids to snoozeville in a hurry. For the Hugo the Shark set, the eye mask comes in a seashell-themed box with a colorful rope for better product placement in store— ensures the lightweight boxes aren’t falling all over store shelves. According to TheraWell, the enclosed eye mask is made with lavender, an herb well-known for relaxation and sleep—an added bonus for parents who just want their kids to go to sleep.

While Tide Pods may not be a holiday product per se, it can come in exceptionally handy during the holiday season, with all its little spills, drops and other accidental mishaps leaving stains all over one’s clothes, bedding, etc.. Now made safer than ever with the new Child Guard Zipper resealable closure running the full width of the stand-up pouch along the top, the one-kilogram pouch features clearly printed and illustrates instructions on how to activate the closure properly to obtain the contents—using a special red plastic pull tab on top—although it does take a little practice before getting full hang of it, which is precisely the point of this exceptionally thoughtful and well-designed safety feature.


Shannon Kaupp is a licensed doctor of naturopathic medicine living in Toronto.


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