Packaging Solutions that Measure Up

Packaging that does the work for you. Sounds like a dream, doesn’t it?

While we might be a long way away from the packaging cleaning the kitchen floor for you, the packaging industry has certainly made strides in other ways.

New packaging solutions come with built-in measuring and dispensing technology so consumers no longer have to use a separate device to measure out the amount of needed product.

A new product, Mr. Clean Liquid Muscle, a multi-purpose cleaner launched this year on January 1, 2014 with a massive cleanup in New York City’s Times Square. According to P&G, “the unique auto-stop cap ensures that you get the right amount of product you need to clean.”

See the auto-stop cap in action:

Also found in the household cleaners aisle is the Libman Freedom hardwood floor cleaner.

Since the Libman concentrated cleaner is poured into a spray mop, exact measurements are needed. The squeeze-top bottle allows consumers to “just a quick squeeze for the perfect dose”, which can be poured from the measuring cap.

See the Libman squeeze-top in action:

We have our own solution called Freehand, a “measure as you pour” device. Freehand allows you to measure how much liquid is being poured out by the use of a clear indicator. The consumer can easily dispense the recommended quantity of product, or adjust to their personal preferences.

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See Freehand in action:

While they might not replace your chores, solutions that help consumers measure and dispense product are just one way that packaging can make life easier.

Do you know of other packaging solutions that have built-in measuring technology?

Food Packaging Aims to Make Less Mess

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The kitchen is one of the places in the home consumers interact with packaging most frequently. It also is a source of frustration for consumers because of packaging that spills, leaks, requires a spoon to access the product, or provides no way to close the package. Here’s a round-up of six products that provide a cleaner way to access food products with less mess.

1. One of the world’s favorite chocolate-y condiments, Nutella, is now available in a squeezable bottle. The only problem is that you no longer have an excuse to lick the spoon.

2. Breaking out of the can, Heinz tomato-based beans is available in a “fridge pack” with a lid that, unlike the tin can, allows you to reseal the product.

3. Campbell’s cream stock comes with a plastic closure that allows you to seal the product between uses.

4. The Flavor Infusers from French’s have a unique top to allows you to better inject the marinade into your meats without a messy baster.

5. No need to dig into the large tub of yogurt with a spoon. This carton from Activia provides an easier way to pour yogurt for all your cooking needs.

6. Pons extra virgin olive oil for kids comes with an easy dispensing spout to prevent the normal glugging (and spilling) of olive oil.

We’re always looking for packaging inspiration. See more of our favorite Less Mess packaging solutions on Pinterest.

Innovating to find the Sweet Spot in Sugar Packaging

Innovating to find the Sweet Spot in Sugar Packaging - Domino Pourable Sugar Bottle

The baking aisle, an area of the grocery store historically dominated by paper bags, continues to churn out unique and innovative packaging solutions.

This month Domino sugar, a leading U.S. brand in the sugar category, released a new table-friendly, flip-top-lid packaging solution earlier this month. The bottle is ergonomically shaped for easy gripping and aims to replace the sugar bowl. The new canister was also released in the C&H Sugar brand, which is  primarily sold in the western United States.

“As we continue to focus on the needs of our consumers, we are certain that these well-designed bottles are a convenient and attractive sweetener solution,” explains Domino Foods president and CEO Brian O’Malley.  “The tall and graceful shape fits securely in the hand, allowing the consumer to easily open and dispense the sugar directly onto their food or into drinks, without needing the help of an additional spoon. In addition, the patent-pending flip-top lid snaps shut, preserving the freshness of this trusted product.”

This unique bottle-shape joins the on-the-go sweeteners we wrote about as sugar packaging that stands out and provides brand differentiation on-shelf in the baking aisle.

Domino is  no stranger to innovating in the category. Just a few years ago the brand launched a re-fillable 4-lb. canister with a lid.

Innovating to find the Sweet Spot in Sugar Packaging - Domino Sugar Packaging

But Domino isn’t the first brand hoping to replace the sugar bowl. Truvia, a sweetener, debuted a sugar-bowl-like rigid packaging solution in 2010.

Innovating to find the Sweet Spot in Sugar Packaging - Truvia Packaging

Organic and specialty sugars tend to be provided in pouches with a re-sealable top. Truvia innovates again in this category, being one of the only brands who adds a spout for pouring.

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We can also look outside the U.S. sugar market to find innovation. Such as the easy dispensing “pour and store” jug from leading Australian sugar provider CSR, an easy-to-pour packaging similar to a milk carton from Swiss sugar brand Cukier Królewski, or the small rigid tabletop packaging from Thailand all shown below.

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Another unique option is the Redi-Measure pouches from Imperial Sugar, a U.S. sugar producer in the Southern states. One box comes with 12 pre-measured packets that each contain 1/4 cup of firmly packed brown sugar.

Interestingly enough, we’ve seen very little innovation cross-over to the other leader of the baking goods aisle – flour.

What packaging innovation do you think will come next for sugar and other baking ingredients?