News & Updates

Horse Food Packaging Redesigns to Corral Consumers

Standlee’s updated horse food packaging design conveys a premium experience and optimized nutritional wellness with bold new graphics and a clean, timeless look.

Standlee, an Idaho-based animal wellness company, debuted bold new packaging for its premium forage horse food. The graphics redesign that better communicates its products’ nutritional wellness in bright, vivid color. Since 1981, the company has grown and manufactured premium, sun-cured, forage pellets, cubes, chopped and baled foods formulated to help keep animals at peak health and performance. In addition to helping consumers better connect with their pet food needs, the new packaging also serves to modernize the company’s visual identity.

Company president Scott Plew reports that the new packaging is a commitment to visually sharing its company mission to enrich the relationship between its consumers, the animals they care for, and the life they love through education, wellness, and premium forage.

The new packaging hinges on colorful visual elements situated on a backdrop of the company’s signature shade of green. Large, striking graphics on each of the back and front of the brand’s 26 current and six new product packages help consumers zero in on the right product for their animal. Helpful logos distinguish each product line and product category, spanning forage-based products grown in the western US, non-forage-based products, animal wellness products, and more.StandleeStandlee-Horse-Packaging-Field_FullArray-770x330px.png

Standlee horse food packaging now helps consumers to quickly zero in on the right product for their animal across 26 items. 

Nutritional information, formula benefits and a feeding chart can be found on the front and side panels of the packaging. Standlee also printed a quick-response (QR) code on the back of each package that leads consumers to the Standlee website for additional product information.

“As a family-owned company, we believe in cultivating a relationship with our consumers through our high-quality forage, convenient product packaging, and the education we provide to support those who live this lifestyle,” Plew says. “Our team designed the new packaging with as much detail as our farmers harvest each field. We will continue to provide a premium experience for all, as we share this mission that is, grown for the life we love.”

Jessica Wright, Standlee’s director of marketing, adds that the consumer experience impacted every aspect of the new packaging, and the company paid careful attention to details that helped communicate the premium aspect of the products. “We designed our packaging to reflect our premium products while wanting the shopping experience for our consumers to be just that–a premium experience. Each element on every product has been thoughtfully considered; we are proud and thrilled to see it in stores and in our consumer’s barns, homes, and trailers.”StandleeStandlee-Horse-food-Packaging-Front-Back-1540x800.png

Standlee’s redesigned horse food packaging offers plenty of helpful icons and useful information…and a QR code for those wanting more.

Consumers are embracing the redesign, according to the brand, which shared several examples with us from social media:

  • Fancy, much more sophisticated!
  • Absolutely love it! And all the new information right there on the front! Felt like I was buying premium.
  • Love the new packaging! It looks so good and it’s nice to be able to tell which product it is from a glance.

Standlee’s newly packaged pet food products are rolling out to retailers and consumers starting this month and continuing throughout the year.


News & Updates

Growing Thirst for Bottled Water in the US

Bottled water reaches new peaks in revenue and volume: 15.9 billion total gallons sold in 2022 was the highest ever as sales approached $46 billion.

Americans are drinking more than ever, at least for the most basic of packaged liquids, bottled water. In fact, when it comes to hydration, US consumers would rather reach for bottled water than for a faucet.

According to new data from the Beverage Marketing Corp. (BMC), bottled water reached new peaks in both volume consumed and sales in 2022 in the US.

Bottled water’s total volume sold in 2022 was 15.9 billion gallons, its highest volume ever, surpassing carbonated soft drinks for the seventh year in a row. In terms of retail dollars, 2022 sales approached $46 billion, up from $40.8 billion in 2021.

“Numerous qualities account for bottled water’s unceasing resonance with US consumers, including its associations with healthfulness, convenience, safety, and value,” says John G. Rodwan, Jr., BMC’s editorial director. “Consumers’ thirst for beverages that offer benefits beyond refreshment alone also contributed to the fundamental hydrating beverage’s rise in the beverage standings. Bottled water’s zero-calorie status and its lack of artificial ingredients appeal to many consumers. Even where tap water may be safe and readily available, people may prefer bottled water, which they often believe tastes better.”

For more than a decade, consumers have been increasingly choosing bottled water instead of less-healthy packaged drinks. Bottled water’s volume surpassed soft drinks for the first time in 2016 and has done so every year since.

Americans consumed, on average, 46.5 gallons of bottled water in 2022, compared to 36 gallons of soda. Consumer demand for bottled water has significantly contributed to the industry’s growth (30% since 2012), as people continue to switch from other less-healthy packaged drinks to bottled water. So much so, that nine out of 10 Americans (91%) want bottled water to be available wherever other drinks are sold, according to a survey conducted on behalf of the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) by The Harris Poll.

Why do Americans prefer bottled water versus readily available tap water?

We posed that question to ChatGPT and this is what the artificial intelligence app reported:

People may have various reasons for preferring bottled water over tap water. Some common reasons include:

Perceived purity: Bottled water is often marketed as pure and clean, which can lead people to believe it is safer and healthier than tap water. They may perceive bottled water as being free from contaminants, chemicals, or additives that they believe could be present in tap water.

Taste and odor: Some individuals find that bottled water has a more appealing taste and lacks any unpleasant odors that they might associate with tap water. Bottled water companies often use filtration methods or source water from specific locations, which can result in a different taste profile.

Convenience and portability: Bottled water provides convenience and portability, allowing people to have access to water on the go. It is readily available in various sizes and can be easily carried in bags or taken to places where tap water might not be easily accessible or trusted, such as during travel or outdoor activities.

Safety concerns: In certain regions or situations where the quality of tap water is a concern, people may choose bottled water as a perceived safer alternative. This can be due to issues such as water contamination, infrastructure concerns, or inadequate water treatment systems in some areas.

Marketing and branding: Effective marketing campaigns by bottled water companies have created a perception that bottled water is a premium product associated with quality and purity. The branding, packaging, and labeling of bottled water can influence consumer preferences and choices.

As an aside, three takeaway reminders for me as a B2B packaging editor per ChatGPT’s marketing and branding comment:

  • Never underestimate the power of packaging, especially for a commodity as common as water;
  • Don’t overlook the influence of marketing; and 
  • Perception is everything.

Image courtesy of Antonio Sáez Caro/Alamy Photo StockAlamy-Clear-bottles-Recycling-Antonio-Sáez-Caro-2C6NFJ2-1540x800.png

IBWA says added benefit is that bottled water packaging is 100% recyclable.

“People are choosing to drink bottled water because it is a healthy beverage choice, having zero calories and no caffeine or additives, and it has the added benefit of packaging that is 100% recyclable,” says Jill Culora, IBWA’s vice president of communications. “Not only are bottled water containers 100% recyclable — including the cap — but they also use much less plastic than soda and other packaged beverages.”

Soda containers, on average, use 252% more PET plastic than bottled water containers (22.2 grams vs. 8.8 grams for 16.9-ounce containers). Soft drinks and other sugary beverages need thicker plastic containers due to their carbonation and/or bottling processes.

Even with continuing growth and increased consumption, bottled water still has the smallest impact on the environment—thanks to the fact that it has the smallest water and energy use footprint of any packaged beverage. On average, only 1.39 Liters of water (including the 1 Liter of water consumed) and 0.21 mega joules of energy are used to produce 1 Liter of finished bottled water. 

Most bottled water is packaged in 100% recyclable PET #1 plastic and HDPE #2 plastic, which are the plastics most recognized by consumers as being recyclable and the most recycled plastics in the world. Consumers can be confident about recycling bottled water containers because they are among the few consumer packaging types that are universally recyclable across the US. Not all cities and towns recycle glass bottles and laminated paper cartons, which are usually comprised of multiple layers of paper, plastic, and aluminum or wax.

Culora tells us that there were no surprises from the latest study. “BMC keeps predicting continued growth and that is what we are seeing each year.”

PET bottles’ clear benefits vs. other plastic products and packaging.

The report summarizes the packaging benefits of PET bottles…

  • Bottled water’s recyclability distinguishes it from other common plastic products that are truly “single-use,” such as non-recyclable plastic items such as straws, cutlery, and plates; certain food and goods packaging, for example, films and heat-sealed and multilayer laminate bags, and non-PET packaging.
  • In addition, PET plastic bottled water containers are the most recognized by consumers as being recyclable, which is likely the reason why they are a valuable resource as the most recycled containers in US curbside recycling programs.
  • Recycling facilities know that there is a huge industry demand for post-consumer PET and HDPE plastics. Many bottled water companies use recycled PET and HDPE plastic to create new bottles, which helps to reduce their environmental impact further because they aren’t using virgin plastic.
  • Bottled water drinkers recycle more often than drinkers of other beverages. Of all the PET containers recycled through curbside collections systems, bottled water containers make up approximately 49%. Empty bottled water containers should always be returned or placed in a recycling bin, but when they are not, they make up 3.3% of all drink packaging that ends up in landfills, and only 0.02% of all landfill waste.
  • Studies have shown that bottled water containers are also not a major source of ocean pollution and microplastics. A vast majority of ocean plastic comes from sources other than the US. In fact, if the US were to completely eliminate all plastic use, the effort would only result in a 0.25% reduction of ocean plastics, data from Oxford University’s Our World In Data website shows. A striking statistic is that bottled water accounts for less than 1.58% of all plastics used in the US, which means we are talking about 1.58% of 0.25%.

There’s also this NAPCOR study, PET Bottles Have Smaller Environmental Impact than Glass and Aluminum Containers, published in March.

“Consumer preference for healthy hydration and bottled water is really good news for public health,” says Culora. “This is particularly important as the nation continues to experience high rates of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Helping people make healthier choices is at the core of the bottled water business. Consumers have made it clear that there’s a demand for safe, healthy, and convenient bottled water, as they are responsible for propelling bottled water to the title of America’s most popular packaged beverage, by volume.”

IBWA encourages all consumers to make healthy hydration a part of their lifestyle and select bottled water as their beverage of choice and always recycle their empty containers—with the caps on.


News & Updates

Holz-Bauer and Mondi introduce PelletBag

replacing plastic with paper

Mondi, a global leader in sustainable packaging and paper, has created new paper bags for Holz-Bauer’s wooden pellets replacing unnecessary plastic.

Mondi’s PelletBags are created from 2-ply Mondi kraft paper which is produced, printed and converted in-house before being sent to Holz-Bauer for filling and closing, using its secure sewing method with a static binder machine. With PelletBag, Holz-Bauer will replace their existent plastic bag solution; currently an industry standard for wooden pellets. Holz-Bauer’s move to paper packaging is indicative of the trend towards using more sustainable packaging solutions.

Mondi and Holz-Bauer have complementary sustainability goals, that aim to contribute to a circular economy. Holz-Bauer’s wooden pellets are created from sawmill residue sourced from local businesses. Using sawmill residue in this way is in adherence to the principle of the cascading use of wood, which Mondi supports, and leverages the full value of fibre. This means that wood is used first for high performance products with hygiene or strengths requirements, such as kraft paper, and successively recycled until the residues are burned for green energy at the end of live.

Mondi’s kraft paper is created from renewable, responsibly sourced fibres and the final paper bag can be disposed of in existing European recycling streams. The bags have high tear resistance and can be stored and transported easily. Holz-Bauer’s 15kg PelletBags have an artisan design to reflect their own product and business identity.

Martin Bauer, Owner Holz Bauer, says: “Our whole company ethos is about providing natural products and keeping all materials that we use in the system as long as we can. By partnering with Mondi, we are working with a company that has the same goals – the team helped us create packaging that will be right for our products and our eco-conscious consumers.”

Fabio Barbieri, Sales Director Paper Bags, Mondi says: “We work along the approach of using paper where possible, plastic when useful – PelletBags provide the required strength and protection to pack wooden pellets. Using packaging from the same renewable resource as the contents themselves increases the brand value of the product, providing a sustainable and convenient solution for the end user.”

Mondi’s PelletBag is available in white and brown, and in a range of sizes up to 25kg, which were recently showcased at Expo Biomasa in Valladolid, Spain, from 09 to 11 May.


News & Updates

Plant Based Coffee Capsules Certified Compostable

Solinatra has been leading the way with truly sustainable materials, and we are pleased to announce our compostability certification from TÜV Austria.  

Coffee capsules made of Solinatra have been awarded “OK compost Industrial” by TÜV Austria CERT GmbH, confirming that the 100% natural, plant-based capsules are the eco-friendlier choice.  

Solinatra CEO, Robert de Jong: “We’ve developed our natural and plant-based materials to be the solution to fossil based, polluting plastics. The certification is confirmation that Solinatra is the truly sustainable choice.”  

Coffee capsules made of Solinatra are 100% natural, plant-based, biodegradable, compostable and contain zero fossil-derived ingredients nor leave behind any microplastics. The innovative capsules have high oxygen barrier and water vapour barrier properties, meaning the coffee stays fresh for a perfect brewing experience every time.  

More than 70 billion single serve coffee capsules were sold worldwide in 2022 – enough to circle the planet 51 times. Plastic and aluminium capsules need to have their lid and the coffee grounds removed before they can be washed and recycled.  Coffee capsules made of Solinatra can simply be included with food waste collections making it easy for consumers to properly dispose of their capsules. Composting of coffee capsules results in high quality fertiliser, enabling a more circular economy and reducing the environmental impact compared to plastic or aluminium.  

Solinatra has been leading the way with truly sustainable materials, developing innovative grades of material to replace fossil-based plastics. Patented processes transform plant waste from harvested crops and agricultural by-products into a biopolymer that runs in standard injection moulding machinery, enabling a smooth transition for manufacturers to switch from polluting, fossil-based plastics to compostable, circular solutions.  

The innovative bioplastic materials developed by Solinatra are 100% natural, fully biodegradable and compostable leaving no microplastics. Solinatra is the truly sustainable alternative to individual use plastic, suitable to produce packaging and products without the use of fossil-based plastics. 


News & Updates

Beatson Clark provides bottles for Halewood Artisanal Spirits

Halewood Artisanal Spirits has teamed up with glass manufacturer Beatson Clark to create new bottles for the JJ Whitley range of flavoured vodkas and gins. 

The range will be bottled in Beatson Clark’s 70cl white flint glass bottles. Halewood has just launched the latest new variant in its JJ Whitley range – a Lemon Citron Spirit drink.

Scott Kilshaw, supply chain director at Halewood Artisanal Spirits, said: “Beatson Clark’s closed loop recycling system ensures that large volumes of post-consumer glass are processed on site and used in the production of its new bottles, significantly reducing the environmental impact of the manufacturing process.”

Halewood Artisanal Spirits is a craft distiller with headquarters in London. It boasts a range of premium spirits brands including Whitley Neill Gin, Dead Man’s Fingers, JJ Whitley, Aber Falls Whisky and Crabbie Whisky.


News & Updates

Minute Maid revamps global brand identity with JKR

Premium juice brand Minute Maid has launched new branding in collaboration with global branding agency Jones Knowles Ritchie (JKR), Grey, VMLY&R and Landor&Fitch.

Owned by The Coca-Cola Company, the brand goes by different names across more than 100 global markets, such as Minute Maid in the U.S., Cappy in Europe and Africa and del Valle in Latin America.

It will now harmonise its global juice portfolio under one consistent look with the new campaign “Filled with Life”.

Rapha Abreu, Global Vice President of Design, The Coca-Cola Company, said the Minute Maid range was due for an ‘elevation’: “With this move, we are thinking about our brand holistically — developing a flexible global design system centered on what makes Minute Maid unique — and defining and evolving our distinctive assets so that they can be adopted locally to connect with consumers around the world.”

The new branding features a selection of warm, lively colours inspired by nature and energizing photography to capture attention instantly and evoke the feeling of enjoyment.

It aims to take an elegant approach to fulfill the consumer’s need with ingredient depiction, colour, illustration and product characteristics.

Katalin Czigler, global brand strategy director, Minute Maid. “Minute Maid wanted to bring that to life visually and in our communications worldwide. This perfectly reflects our brand mission to help anyone, anywhere and at any time, feel alive, which is needed now more than ever.”


News & Updates

Croxsons produces limited-edition Silent Pool Coronation Gin bottle

Croxsons has produced The Silent Pool Coronation Gin, a limited-edition commemorative release celebrating the upcoming coronation of King Charles III.

The iconic bottle, which features the distiller’s signature patterning set in a regal purple tint, and features the Silent Pool  Expression Gin design, together with a neck and bottle label on the lower portion in a regal purple colour.

Sophie Best, operations director, Silent Pool Distillers, said: “The coronation of the new Sovereign is an occasion for celebration and we are all part of this exciting time in history. We believe that our limited Coronation Gin release perfectly reflects this landmark moment. The bottle, which features our signature botanical design transformed into royal purple with purple and gold foiled labels, is simply stunning. Our thanks as ever to Croxsons for helping to make it happen.”

Tim Croxson, chief executive of Croxsons, added: “We are delighted to be part of Silent Pool Gin’s journey, particularly with this latest limited edition. With the coronation being rooted in longstanding traditions and pageantry, this release will undoubtedly help commemorate this very special occasion.”


News & Updates

Mirinda unveils new visual identity targeting Gen Z consumers

Global soft drinks brand Mirinda has revamped its branding, targeting Gen Z consumers in particular.

The ‘There’s no flavour like your flavour’ theme places ‘boldness at the forefront of Mirinda’s ‘M’pactful new look’, said the brand.

The new visual identity was developed by PepsiCo Design and Innovation, and the Mirinda logo has been refreshed with a brighter green, along with sharper corners and cleaner lines.

The iconic Mirinda ‘M’ serves as a canvas of creativity from which the brand is brought to life.

The new visual identity features playful colour palettes which provide a burst of refreshment, while twirling spheres, fizzing bubbles and zesty fruit illustrations convey a sense of playfulness and energy throughout.

Mauro Porcini, SVP & chief design officer of PepsiCo, said: “PepsiCo Design and Innovation brought Mirinda to life with vibrant, contrasting colours and bespoke illustrations that create a sense of dynamic energy and playfulness. We know Mirinda fans engage with the brand digitally as much as they do physically, so we created a visual identity that retains its excitement and distinction across all platforms.”


News & Updates

Volvic launches new Kiwi & Lime flavoured still water

Volvic has refreshed its ‘Sugar Free’ range with the launch of a new flavoured still water – Kiwi & Lime. 

The packs follow the design of the other flavours in the range.

The kiwi and lime are heroed in across the sleeve with attractive lush greenery from the countryside, and there is a focus on the sugar-free ingredients on the sleeve too.

News & Updates

Smurfit Kappa behind gift box for Horseshoe Gin

Smurfit Kappa has created gift box for Horseshoe Distillery’s Irish dry gin.

The new box incorporates the brand’s diamond-shaped label through a cut-out at the front of the box. An inner lid with eye-catching cut-outs to hold the fragile bottle firmly was also part of the design for the Northern Ireland-based distillery.

Sam Dorman from Horseshoe Gin said, “We’re really pleased with the striking colours, and the print quality is more than we could have asked for. Smurfit Kappa have managed to capture everything we were looking for from our new packaging, and we think it really reflects who we are as a brand. The real test is always in how customers and retailers receive a product, and we’ve had really positive feedback from both.”

In a statement, Smurfit Kappa added: “Consumers increasingly demand more sustainable packaging solutions from the brands they buy from. With 75% recycled fibre in our packaging products, we helped this brand appeal to the growing numbers of eco-conscious consumers whilst maintaining the quality and aesthetic appeal of the packaging.

“The new gin gift packaging stopped twisting bottles during transit, ensuring the product is received exactly as intended, resulting in delighted customers. With endless options for consumers to choose from, an alluring and arresting shelf presence is vital to capturing a consumer’s eye in supermarkets and other retail environments. The vivid new packaging for Horseshoe Gin helps the product stand out on shelves in a crowded category.”