In Philip Pullman’s fantasy novel “The Amber Spyglass,” the third book in the “His Dark Materials” trilogy, physicist Mary Malone famously said, “People are too complicated to have simple labels.” In the consumer packaged goods (CPG) market, the same can be said as established and emerging brands look to stand out on crowded store shelves.
Forty years ago, Kenner Products released Stretch Armstrong, an action figure that could stretch from its original 15-inch frame to four or five feet. Although not in the toy-making business, packaging materials manufacturers have had to literally stretch their capabilities to keep pace with beverage-makers seeking clean, sustainable labels that feature vivid colors, images, specialty inks and soft-touch finishes to connect with consumers.
Beverage marketers know that packaging plays an important role in sales. Just as important as the bottle or can that a beverage is packaged in, is how that package is labeled. Without it, consumers couldn’t tell which brand is which.
In packaging, conformity is not necessarily a negative value. Unlike individuals who dare to be different, when it comes to labels, conformity is an advantage for the shrink and stretch materials that can contour to the innovative sizes and shapes of beverage packaging. And the results are the same as a person with pink hair or a trend-setting style: the ability to stand out from their peers.