Against the wind (of cans)

You can say that the beverage can defines the Energy Drink category and it did from the start. Red Bull and the other early concepts all came in a 25 cl slim can and stayed true to the pack format and size. Cheaper versions surfaced in 1.5 litre PET bottles and soon in the 50cl can. Pricier versions have come and gone but this is the first time I have seen a truly premium product in the Energy Drink category. It is, in my meaning, truly premium because they are using the packaging in a creative way to clearly position their product.

OSO comes in the 25cl slim can, they are making no mistakes here. But it also comes in a premium designed glass bottle aimed for the HORECA segment. I think they have spotted a gap and they are able to fill it with this with a table-worthy bottle.

And the future holds…….opportunities

Looking at the lists presented by numerous future packaging gazers I can summarise it all in one word, sustainable. That’s it.

Sustainable covers a wide range of initiatives, from reducing footprints by using less to a shift to alternative raw materials. The discussion is also about the need for reusable packaging to meet consumer demands and expectations. Purposeful is another trend together with packaging features adding real values that are making up the packaging wish list for 2011.

On the product side the talk is about functional foods and beverages, again. That is products that bring real benefits to our physiology. It can be about many thing but gut health, providing energy or weight control are the mainstream.

These are all opportunities for the packaging industry to support and underline all the above products features with fitting packaging solutions. This is not new but the actual products develop and consumer preferences change over time. New fibre rich products for gut health keep coming, the energy drink market is turning into shots and new weight management products are continuously invented.

Just to mention a few examples.