Canadian Packaging

Packaging keeps party spirit alive

By Elena Langlois   

Design & Innovation Ariana Cuvin Canada 150 Federal Secretariat program Checkout Cheerios Maple Naturally Flavoured cereal David Robert Food Corporation Department of Canadian Heritage Ferrero Canada Ltd. General Mills Maple Peanuts Patriotic Canada packaging Que Pasa Mexican Foods Que Pasa Organic Tortilla Chips Sandbanks Estate Winery Shoreline 150 2016 Tic Tac University of Waterloo

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 July/August 2017 issue.

To commemorate Canada’s epic 150th birthday bash, the federal government held a logo design contest targeting graphic design students, specifically excluding professional graphic designers, which drew over 300 entries. Ultimately, an inspired and colorful entry submitted by the 19-year-old Ariana Cuvin, a second-year business and digital arts student at the University of Waterloo and a proud and happy recipient of the $5,000 cash prize, won the contest.

As part of the contest, any Canadian company was entitled and encouraged to use the brandmark or accompanying typeface for free with a simple online application to the Canada 150 Federal Secretariat program, coordinated by the federal Department of Canadian Heritage. While I saw this logo on a myriad of items this year—from T-shirts to coolers and paper plates—it was surprisingly hard to find on everyday consumer packaging, as leading brands seemed to have their own ideas on how to mark the big occasion. That said, the Wellington, Ont.-based based Sandbanks Estate Winery did a stellar job with on the label of its Shoreline 150 2016 vintage Chardonnay-Pine Gigi blend white wine. The diamondesque maple leaf atop a parchment style label dramatically enlivens an otherwise ordinary 750-ml clear glass wine bottle, with its elongated neck collar and metal screw-cap smartly picking up the orange cue from the logo design—resulting in an eye-pleasing color scheme to provide a lovely inspiration for my summer sangria.

Oozing with patriotic red-and-white pride, the 300-gram bags of the O’ Canada flavor of the Que Pasa Organic Tortilla Chips—produced by the Richmond, B.C.-based Que Pasa Mexican Foods—are a treat for the senses on every level, with the clear see-though window in the middle of the pillow bags letting consumers awe at the thoughtful arrangement of red and white corn chips inside. The colorful flourish of floating red maple leafs on the upper side of the bag contrast perfectly with the red bottom half enlivened with thick white typefaces bringing out the best of the f lashes of green and appearing  on the Certified Organic, Gluten-free and Non-GMO certifications near to bottom. As the featured quote from Steve Miller on the back of the bag proclaims, “Canadian pride may not rest on our sleeves, but it resides deeply in our hearts.” And sometimes, it resides deeply in our bellies to boot.

For its part, Ferrero Canada Ltd. joined the party in real festive spirit with the eye-catching red-and-white Canada 150 Years shrinksleeve wrapped around the 98-gram rigid-plastic, rounded-bodied container filled with 200 white Tic Tac brand fresh mints, each emblazoned with a tiny, but cheery, red maple leafs. Incorporating a consumer-friendly flip-top opening to dispense the tangy breath fresheners and snap it shut with minimal effort, the container is a real eye-candy, deftly combining the limited-time celebratory messaging with the product’s traditional green logo in a jovial harmony of colors, leaving plenty of see-through cutout window space to admire the tightly-packed mints inside. Curiously though, the perforation of the tamper-evident shrinksleeve label runs just below the lid’s opening, meaning that the celebratory Canada 150 Years branding line gets thrown away after the first use. On the other hand, if that’s what prompted you to buy the product in the first place, it’s mission accomplished and, furthermore, no birthday lasts forever, eh?

Few food products are more genuinely Canadian-rooted than maple syrup, and General Mills of Mississauga, Ont., certainly had its heart in the right place this year by starting off our mornings with a rather dazzling 340-gram Special Edition box of Cheerios Maple Naturally Flavoured cereal. Although  the ring-shaped whole-grain oats are actually made in the U.S., there is no shortage of Canadiana on the carton’s front panel, decked out in red-and-white, and of course, in sweet deep amber colors reminiscent of sweet maple syrup. An enormous image of a spoonful of glazed cereal sitting pristine atop a pool of milk—just above a shapely swirl of maple syrup strewn above a white-bleached woodgrain tabletop—cheerfully completes the scene.

With candied nuts being an enduring enjoyable Canadian treat, David Robert Food Corporation of Oakville, Ont., seems to have all the patriotic angles well-covered with the 454-gram round tin of Maple Peanuts. Gloriously crowned with a white removable lid decorated with 22 geometrically-positioned red maple leafs circling around the clear plastic see-through window—with a large-diameter Canada 150th maple-leaf sticker right in the middle—the seasoned peanuts inside look as tantalizing as they taste, and the eminently reusable metal tin looks like it’s durable, rigid and practical enough to last right up to Canada’s 200th birthday celebrations.

Elena Langlois is a proud Canadian advertising sales professional living in Toronto.

Image at top of article purchased via


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