Package Deal

Jan 15 2013, 00:52 IST
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SummaryA new coffee table book traces the evolution of packaging since 3000 B.C., apart from picking up top 50 best packaged products.

A new coffee table book traces the evolution of packaging since 3000 B.C., apart from picking up top 50 best packaged products.

Packaging is an essential element of marketing. It is not merely a functional factor meant to keep a product unspoilt and to safeguard it against any kind of damage but also an extremely important tool to establish a brand’s identity. It is, indeed, an important factor in inspiring a consumer to pick one brand against the other.

Packaging plays an even more crucial role in the fast moving consumer goods segment because consumable products such as soaps, detergents, biscuits, soups, milk, tea, coffee, other beverages such as wine and beer not only need to be packaged well to ensure that the quality of contents inside don’t get spoiled because of the vagaries of weather or during their journey from factory to a consumer household. In today’s day and time when quality, technology and pricing have almost become neutral factors across brands, packaging has become a crucial differentiator between products. Companies are investing heavily into packaging, so much so that in some cases the cost of packaging is more than the product itself.

In an interesting book titled ‘Reflections: A collection of 50 best packaging designs’, Manjushree Technopack, an integrated packaging solutions provider, has traced the history of packaging since 3000 B.C. “The evolution of packaging can be traced back to the time when conservation of food became a necessity,” reflects the book. In ancient times, it were shells, gourds, animal hides and hollowed out dried skins of fruits and vegetables that were used by communities to store their food items. This soon gave way to baskets made of leaves and reeds. Then emerged earthenware pots, wooden boxes and ceramic containers, the book notes.

With industrial evolution, we saw the coming in of paper, glass, metal and plastic as materials used for packaging items. The contemporary world continues to use these materials in various forms and shapes with required modifications.

Interspersed with eye-catching pictures, the book lists the way the usage of glass, paper, metal and plastic has evolved since 1 B.C. In an effort to celebrate the evolution of the process and to shed light on the science and art of packaging in contemporary times, Manjushree Technopack roped in Michael Foley, managing director, Foley Designs; P Dasgupta, brand and packaging consultant and Devendra Shah, chairman and managing director, Parag Milk Foods who compiled

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