Private View: Two packaging technologists review five retail packs

Komal Dalvi of Mondelez India and Amit Saurkar of MTR Foods discuss the technical nitty-gritties, functional aspects and performance of packaging on the shelf.

30 Nov 2017 | By Rushikesh Aravkar

Komal Dalvi
R&D packaging manager, chocolate, AMEA productivity, Mondelez India Foods
Amit Saurkar
Head - packaging development, MTR Foods

A. Nescafe Latte
It's a good on-the-go pack format. The colour and finish of the packaging gels well with the coffee product inside. The shape of the cup offers better grip. The cup is provided with a stirrer and instructions on the cup add to consumer convenience. On the shelf, this pack earns more visibility and differentiation. Even though the pouch is not visible on the shelf, it is four-colour printed, which underlines the premium nature of the product. Less plastic and more paper benefits environment and avoids litter.
Scope for improvement: The lid has to be slightly tight as there are chances of spilling the hot coffee while closing. Tamper evident feature seems to be missing. 
This is one of the best examples of the on-the-go pack and it efficiently demonstrates consumer convenience. The shape of the cup is handy and light in weight. Plus it offers 360 degrees of branding space. With paper being used as a packaging material, this package adds to sustainability. 

Scope for improvement:
For higher productivity and volumes, online pouch and stirrer insertion equipment needs to be explored. The team should have thought of adding tamper evidence feature into the pack. A combination of matte and gloss effects would have further improved the overall aesthetics of the pack.
B. Kiwi Express Shine
Compact pack with good ergonomics for better application. The triangular pack shape aids better grip and also helps stand out when hung. Granular texture on the plastic adds to the aesthetics. The colour of the pack is in perfect sync with the product. Plus the  artwork and its placement merges with the oval protrusion in the centre , which is filled with the liquid product.
Scope for improvement:  The euro slot  at the  top centre could have been slightly longer so that it can go on any hook and not just on the rods. The top translucent cover should not open as it misguides the consumer.
It's an excellent example of the design ergonomics. The grip over the top part gives firmness to the user during usage. The locking mechanism is impressive. It makes a click sound that assures the consumer that the pack is locked. The overall pack appears like a shield and the product imparts shining to the shoes hence the package shape and product performance are complementing each other. The maximum usage of the label area and clutter-free graphics improve the overall aesthetics of the product. The embossed brand name talks about authenticity of product. The pack comes with an in-built hanging tab,  which adds to the consumer convenience. Overall matte finish of plastic component adds premium look to the product. The bottom half portion has tapered features which help the package to stand on the shelf and thus improving shelf appeal.
Scope for improvement: The team must work on adding tamper-evident locking mechanism. Usage of various lacquers, screen printing and hot or cold foiling is recommended for further improvement of package label.
C. Kosh Oats
The matte finish with unusual green background makes the pack stand out on shelf and also gives premium look. This pack reflects a good choice of colour combination. The green colour relates well with the lemon variant. The pink colour in the end seal has a good contrast with the green. The USP of the prdocut is prominently highlighted on the front panel.
Scope for improvement: White text is not getting highlighted enough. Brand name does not stand out.
The distinct branding of Kosh works well with brand architecture. The matte, paper soft feel adds premium look to the pack.  While the front-of-pack graphics are well positioned and will stand out on shelf, the back-of-pack graphics and text is cluttered and is reverse (colour is white).
Scope for improvement: The team needs to work on back-of-pack design and use solid colour in text. The product shot looks blurry. It can be clearer, perhaps using a higher resolution image would help.


D. Indulekha Bringha Oil
Clear  graphics. The pack makes smart use of both front and back panel. The in-built comb in the pack is an unique feature with higher degrees of consumer convenience. It's a well-differentiated pack against all the other hair oils on the market. The black and golden colour enhances visibility on shelf and attracts consumers. The textured carton with spot gloss and embossing  makes it attractive.
Scope for improvement: The product being ayurvedic is not highlighted enough. Plus the alignment of the label on the bottle with the comb can be better.
The metallised reverse tuck carton with a combination of UV drip-off effect, embossing and micro-embossing makes the package stand out on the shelf. Good work on white separation makes overall carton attractive. Graphics talk about the product inside and its intended usage. There's a sturdy blow moulded High-density polyethylene (HDPE) container with injection moulded Polypropylene (PP) cap, which plays a dual role of a closure and a dispensing comb. It adds functionality as well as consumer convenience to the pack. 

Scope for improvement: The team can experiment to add tamper evident feature on cap and various decoration techniques on the label.

E. On1y Pink Salt Grinder
This package represents the best way to use a metallised substrate with minimum number of colours. The metallised label with registered spot gloss on brand name and product image makes this pack look premium. The black background for the brand name attracts the eyeballs. Glass packaging is a good option  for moisture sensitive products like salt and offers see-thorough feature. The plastic lid on top grinder nozzle enables consumer convenience and helps in controlled dispensing.
Scope for improvement: The product is said to be "in the purest form Himalayas" but this product feature is not highlighted anywhere on the front panel. One would not know about it unless one reads the back panel.
This pack boasts of enhanced shelf appeal. Plus a good table top design and grinder incorporated within the pack takes consumer convenience to another level. The plastic cap locks perfectly on to the glass container. Glass being sturdy, gives firm grip while holding the container. 
Scope for improvement: Overall packaging graphics would have been better to add more premium appeal to the package.  Glass being fragile and heavy in weight, the team can explore equivalent transparent plastic grades.