Canadian Packaging

Standout packaging for all in the family

By Shannon kaup   

General Club House Recipe Inspirations Redmond Trading Company Sun-Maid Raisins Tropicanna Products Inc Voga Italia

As most mothers everywhere will attest, grocery shopping with kids is almost always a study in contrasts, when rarely do the items that catch the parents’ eyes on the shelf match what their kids are looking at with eager hope and anticipation.

Keeping the family’s food budget in line in these days of rising food prices naturally requires budget-conscious households like ours to devote more time looking at bulk-sized packages of our favorite brands and products as a cost-effective alternative to buying multiple bags and boxes of the same stuff, which also seems to be a less eco-friendly purchasing option in terms of packaging disposal.

I know I am not the only busy, multitasking parent out there, so there must be a vast demand for these types of larger product packages, to which many prominent  CPG (consumer packaged goods) manufacturers have responded with a growing selection of easy-to-use, time-saving and efficient packaging solutions.

With growing demand for healthier options of common household staples like salt, the Redmond Trading Company has come up with a wonderful new large-sized stand-up pouch to package its RealSalt Gourmet All Natural Sea Salt brand.

Holding a hefty 737-gram load of the product, the sturdy stand-up pouch is outfitted with a consumer-friendly pouring spout topped off with a tight-fitting, screw-on plastic cap to prevent any accidental spills of salt in case it accidentally topples over when stored in the cupboard—inviting bad luck for the superstitious among us—while filling my tabletop shaker has never been more of a breeze than when using this attractive, space-saving, easy-to-use flexible package.

My kids absolutely adore raisins, and I could not be happier about allowing them to indulge with what I hold to be “Mother Nature’s candy”­—an infinitely healthier snack alternative to a multitude of processed-sugar options out there.

So I was naturally delighted, and very pleasantly surprised, to come across a two-kilogram (!) box of Sun-Maid Raisins on one of my recent forays to a nearby Costco outlet.

This single-wall, fully-recyclable paperboard box boasts two perforated handles to make the sweet cargo easy to carry, with a clearly-stated “open here” instruction on the package’s back panel offering relief from the prospect of having to fight with the box to tear it apart, or resorting to boxcutters or scissors to get at the product.

Opening the box springs up another nice packaging surprise in the form of two resealable “stay fresh” bags splitting the loot in two more manageable one-kilo loads: one for storage and one ready-to-go.

Unlike with the more commonplace zipper-slider closures, these bags tear open along a dotted line and reclose with the use of a strip of reclosable tape attached to the bag, enabling consumers to roll or fold the open bag and secure it with tape as tight or loose as they see fit until the next snack time rolls around.

With orange juice being another much-loved kid favorite at our household, it is nice to see Tropicana Products Inc. continue to make notable improvements in the way it packages its freshly-squeezed, Florida-grown “liquid sunshine” to make my life run just a little smoother in the mornings.

Distributed here by PepsiCo Beverages Canada, the new family-size, 2.63-liter recyclable plastic jug holds 50 per cent more Tropicana brand juice than the gabletop cartons it has replaced, while its cleverly-designed pour spot and flip-top lid enable me to snap it back to reclose after pouring with just one finger, while leaving my other hand free to multitask around the busy kitchen table to get other important stuff out of the way.

Having never harbored any pretensions of being a great home gourmet chef, anything that makes my life easier in the kitchen gets full two thumbs up in this corner—especially when it comes to spices and seasonings.

Few things are as exasperating as making an honest attempt to succeed with a new recipe just pulled out of a cookbook and finding yourself missing one or two offbeat spices that the recipe requires to ensure the desired finished flavor.

So off to the store, then, to purchase these essential ingredients—usually in quantities far above and beyond what the dish requires, meaning more cupboard space being eaten up at best, and ultimate product waste at worst.

Having had this happen to me far more than once, I am very encouraged to see McCormick Canada address this peculiar dilemma with the recent launch of the Club House Recipe Inspirations Pre-measured Spices & Recipe Card blisterpacks.

Holding together six little square-shaped, clear-plastic clamshells containing preciely pre-measured doses of six different ingredients to match the recipe, these handy blisterpacks have already  enabled me to add some real culinary flair to family dinners with a couple of mouthwatering entrées that were almost too easy to make, thanks to the easy-to-follow instructions on the back of the packages’ perforated recipe cards, with complete recipe details printed on the opposite sides of each card for back-up.

Offered in six highly appetizing recipes and six different spice combinations—Rosemary Roasted Chicken and Potatoes, Mexican Lasagna, Garlic Lime Chicken Fajitas, Pasta Primavera, Cran-Apple and Sage Pork Chop and Asian Sesame Salmon—there is something for everyone with these superbly convenient and time-saving Club House packages.

After a long day at work and back at home with the kids, sitting down with a glass of wine to unwind is a highly rewarding and gratifying form of little ‘me time’ relaxation—recently enhanced with a chance discovery of VOGA Italia wines on a visit to the neighborhood LCBO (Liquour Control Board of Ontario) outlet.

While the wine’s reasonable price was undeniably one of the attractions, it was undoubtedly the highly distinctive and uniquely upscale packaging—an elongated, clear-glass cylinder with its cork hidden underneath an oversized plastic twist-off cap that nicely maintains the bottle’s sleek, elegant  shape—which originally inspired me to give it a try.

In the finest tradition of Italian design aesthetics, the company’s name is spelled out vertically on the side of the bottle in a fairly prominent, yet understated way that allows the bottle’s clear sightlines to project a pristine image of Old World purity and craftsmanship. Salute!

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

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