Hey! Today’s post is going to be a hodgepodge of miscellaneous updates, enjoy!

As you may recall from previous posts, I have been in dialogue with Ryan Hunt, Direct of R&D at ALGIX, LLC, re: algae-plastics, since last year’s Pack Expo. As previously alluded to, I was interested in adding the firm’s “algae-plastic” to Dordan’s Bio Resin Show N Tell, first unveiled at Pack Expo 2010. To my delight, said intention was met with Dordan thermoforming the first-ever sample of ALGIX’s algae/PP blend, to be displayed at Pack Expo in Chicago, at McCormick Place, October 28th-31st. I strongly encourage you to visit this blog post, which describes the technology of synthesizing “algae plastics” from aquatic biomass, a waste product of many industries, like textiles and dairy.

Check out this PlasticsToday.com article, describing the collaboration between ALIGX and Dordan; it is also described in this Plastics Technology article and this GreenerPackage.com editorial. Love me my free press!

This year’s Bio Resin Show N Tell also features OCTAL’s DPET, which stands for “direct-PET” and intends to connote the energy-saving production process (when compared with standard APET). Lastly, Oshenite’s renewable calcium carbonate (oolitic aragonite), trademarked by U.S Aragonite Enterprises, will be joining the Bio Resin Show N Tell family; this material is a unique version of calcium carbonate in that its feedstock is annually renewable. Click here for more details.

At Pack Expo Dordan will also be performing COMPASS demonstrations (educating attendees about the software and its functionality for packaging designers and brand owners alike) and Walmart Scorecard Modeling consultation (describing the metrics of the Software and how one designs packages to get a better Score), explaining how these tools are utilized in Dordan’s 4-Step Design for Sustainability Process as per the Go Phone package reduction and Tom Tom package redesign case studies.

Last but not least, Dordan introduces a NEW exhibit for those interested in how package design, manufacturing, and shelf impact intersect in the packaging developmental process at Dordan. Streaming 3D Package Design Modeling Videos from YouTube, attendees will see how the thermoforming process is at the forefront—not an afterthought—of Dordan package design. By understanding the limitations and capabilities inherent in the art of thermoforming, Dordan designs packaging that optimizes the conversion and fulfillment process, facilitating smart packaging and smarter packaging systems.

This sounds more complicated than it really is; let me contextualize.

You may recall some time ago I published “Consumer Market Research Report: How Package Design Dictates Product Sales, ‘Seeing it Sells it!’” via Packaging World’s New Issue Alert E-blast sponsorship. This is available for download here. Anyway, this Report described contemporary consumer market research, insofar as how package design can either help or hinder product sales. For instance, a poorly designed package may convey sentiments of tackiness, which the consumer inadvertently ascribes to the brand; contrarily, a well-designed and attractive package can communicate quality product and enhance brand loyalty. Additionally, studies have found that transparent packaging, which allows the consumer to instantly identify their needs being met by the product, increases product sales by reducing the time spent considering the competition and facilitating increased impulse purchases. These insights were the motivation for our “Seeing it Sells it” campaign, which is used in Dordan print and web-based branding.

ANYWAY, the consumer preferences re: package design, outlined in our “Consumer Market Research Report,” coupled with our data based “Seeing it Sells it” insights, informed Dordan’s packaging development process for a potential client. This process is what we hope to convey with our new 3D Package Design & Manufacturing Synergy exhibit at Pack Expo. Consider the following scenario:

A manufacturer of high-end faucets approached Dordan with the interest of redesigning the packaging of its highest-selling faucet at retail. Design requirements cited included creating a unique shelf impact while keeping costs constant with current packaging (litho-laminated corrugate box with molded pulp insert tray). Dordan created 3 new packaging concepts, which were presented to the potential client via 3D Packaging Modeling renderings; these allowed our potential client to understand how the package was designed to optimize the capabilities of thermoforming, how it is manufactured, fulfilled, and appears at retail.

The first concept was the most consistent with current packaging; it simply replaced the molded pulp insert tray with a thermoformed version, reducing the selling unit weight and reducing transportation costs.

Click here to watch the package design movie.

The second incorporated the “Seeing it Sells it” mentality into the packaging redesign: It included a die-cut window in the litho-laminate box, which housed the faucet sandwiched between a thermoformed tray and transparent lid, allowing the customer to see the faucet model.

Click here to see the concept.

The last version, and my personal favorite, is the Thermobook, which is a packaging concept in which the product lay inside two thermoformed sleeves/cavities that fold together to protect the product while increasing cube utilization. When opened, this “Thermobook” allows the customer to see the product behind the thermoformed sleeve, thereby facilitating instant product recognition and consumer convenience.

Click here for the movie.

For each concept, the potential client was shown a total of three renderings: one of how the package is assembled i.e. packaging and product components, like the last example; one of how the package looks fulfilled, like the first and second example; and, one of how the product looks at retail, which is not conveyed in the examples above. Consequently, the client understands everything—from how the package is manufactured, how it is fulfilled, and how it appears at retail—prior to cutting any metal. Cool, huh?!? Does that make sense? Hopefully this process will be conveyed in our new exhibit at Pack Expo, which will have a ton of different 3D package design renderings streaming from YouTube, showing each phase of the informed and integrated packaging developmental process at Dordan.

To see all of Dordan’s new products and services at Pack Expo, check out our virtual booth here.

Tootles!