By  on December 9, 2005

MONTE CARLO, Monaco — Upping packaging's creativity quotient is key to success these days as market pressures mount.

At least that was the view of executives attending the Luxe Pack trade show, held here Nov. 2-5.

"We come with innovation to avoid being a commodity," said Jean-Paul Imbert, president of BU Make-Up Americas at Alcan Packaging, based in New York. He added that strategy is tantamount today, particularly given increasing competition from Asia.

"It is important for us to bring everything — a competitive solution, not only speed to market and design," said Eric Vaxelaire, director of commercial and marketing at Valois, of Marly-le-Roi, France.

Armed with new application concepts, Alcan — a division of Techpack — showed a variety of novelties, including cosmetics cases designed specifically for on-the-go use.

Created with makeup artist Michel Limongi following in-depth consumer research, the highly compact compacts were devised with applicators that click snugly into place.

For its part, Cosfibel Polysensoriel, of Brussels, presented a wide range of standard boxes meant to fill different marketing needs. Its collapsible packaging comes in materials such as plastic and wood, with foldable frames and see-through windows that can be molded into various shapes. Some variations on the boxes included magnetic closures and transparent sleeves glued to the insides.

The beauty of these, said Nicolas Parrington, director of creation at Cosfibel, is that they are easy to ship, since they flatten. They are also reasonably priced and multipurpose.

"Now, some products have to be packaging, display and promotional as a gift," he explained. "The same product is different depending on the positioning."

Since time is increasingly of the essence, Cosfibel — like many other firms — has created various ways to service its customers. The company can develop individual orders or customize standard packaging.

"Often, we have a specific promotion for Mother's Day and only four weeks to bring a company something. That's just the time needed to customize a product," said Parrington. "This is an increasing activity for us."

On the upswing, as well, is sampling.

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