Canadian Packaging

Packaging to Bridge Generation Gap

By Shannon Kaupp   

Design & Innovation Design Eucalyptus & Tea Tree Instant Miracle Mask Jost Vineyards Juliette et Chocolat Luxe Bath and Body Marc Anthony Millot Marechal Foch Rebels Refinery Inc. Seventh Generation Inc.

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 2019 issue.

With the climate crisis looming larger by the day, our household is making a team effort to reduce our reliance on plastic packaging in a major way. And thanks to the efforts of companies like Seventh Generation Inc. of Burlington, Vt., it is not a futile ‘all or nothing’ endeavour. This leading supplier of environmentally responsible cleaning products brilliantly projects its eco-friendly brand image to like-minded consumers with its 1.47-liter container of concentrated laundry detergent packaged in a compostable and/or recyclable outer shell made of repurposed fiber. Oufitted on the inside with with an inner plastic bag also claimed to be recyclable, this packaging uses 66 per cent less plastic than a typical 100-ounce laundry bottle would use, according to the company. On the practical side, the sturdy container—ergonomically shaped for easy handling—sports a convenient twist-off cap that also doubles as a measuring cup for the detergent.

Montreal-based confectionary chain Juliette et Chocolat is a wonderful and inspiring success story for all chocolate lovers out there. Having gone from baking 10 brownies a day 16 years ago to over 5,000 nowadays—consuming roughly 50 tonnes of chocolate per year—the company founder Juliette Brun also happens to have a very deft touch for packaging design. Similarly packaged in miniature metal tins intentionally replicating traditional metal paint cans, the flagship Juliette & Chocolat brand’s Fondue and Hot Chocolat mixes are a feast for the eyes as well as the mouth. The tins’ lids easily pry off to access the sweet treats inside, but are just as easily resealed if there is any product remaining to save for later, which is never a given. The clean paper product labels are fittingly decorated with simple but classy graphics of all things chocolate related, including the faux ‘paint spill’ leaking down the Fondue canister. Sealed across the tops with decorative product information ribbons and branded paper stickers, the little metal beauties are naturally 100-percent recyclable, which merits this package design a tonne of brownie points in this corner.


Toronto-based skincare upstart Rebels Refinery Inc. is clearly having a lot of fun with the packaging of its lip-care products. The company’s Pineapple Lip Balm is enclosed in a colorful silicone pineapple-shaped shell that will remind you of warm summer days ahead—albeit after enduring the cold Canadian dry-lip season out there right now. Strategically drawing attention to itself through a corner cutout of the upright, 100-percent recyclable paperbox cleverely decorated with more intense pineapple imagery, this little contraption is pure packaging joy. Over on the dark side, meanwhile, the Rebels Refinery Skull Lip Balm is all business with military-inspired packaging discipline embracing bold fonts and rugged, rustic aesthetics befitting the light-heartedly menacing, skull-shaped product container inside.

Wine in a bag may not be everyone’s idea of a good time, but it works wonders for Nova Scotia’s Jost Vineyards, whose three-liter bag of Millot Marechal Foch varietal replaces four standard glass 750-ml wine bottles—representing instant carbon-foootprint reduction on a massive scale. An eminently convenient carrying vessel for picnics and other outdoor gatherings, the sturdy stand-up bag—decorated with timeless imagery of young couples reveling in youthful bliss and joi de vivre—easily maintains its structural integrity and rigidity through the most punishing consumption ordeals. The built-in plastic dispensing spigot is a masterstroke of thoughtful functionality, and the integrated carrying handle is cleverly die-cut to accommodate the thumb and smaller fingers in separate comfort—making it an exceptionally accommodating traveling companion during the upcoming ‘Christmas in the country’ getaways and detours.

With spouted stand-up pouches becoming very commonplace in grocery stores, the bright and cheerful 200-ml pouch for Marc Anthony’s Instant Miracle Mask requires far less plastic to produce than the thick rigid plastic containers typically used for shampoo bottles and most other personal-care items, so my eco-conscience is fairly clear with this choice.

For its parts, Montreal-based Luxe Bath and Body makes an effective nostalgia pitch with the old-fashioned clear glass bottle used to package the company’s Eucalyptus & Tea Tree brand of bath salts. The simple elegant product label is a joyful throwback to the Happy Days of 1950s, when people genuinely seemed to appreciate the simpler things in life.

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


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