A Tale of Three Packages

Packaging. It’s what first draws the eye to a product, and I have to confess there are times when I’ve bought a product simply because the package was intriguing. This was true of the wine we recently ordered at a Vietnamese restaurant.

Let me say the wine was… well, it was wine. (Note to my friend Akbar: Don’t bother.) But the packaging was intriguing because this is the first time I’ve seen wine sold in a single-serve plastic “wine-glass” and sealed with a foil that you peel off.  They have a basic selection of the most popular wines: Merlot, cabernet, chardonnay, pinot grigio, riesling, and a white zinfandel (which is, of course, pink). It’s a clever idea. They’re trying for easy and hip. It’s positioned opposite beer-cans, perfect for a picnic where you don’t want to carry wine-glasses. Throw a few of these into the hamper, and you’re good to go. It’s not the cheapest wine going – for that, you’d probably want the Two-buck Chuck from Trader Joe’s (which is actually quite drinkable). But the packaging is unique. Thus far.

At an Indian grocery store, I picked up a completely different product: Godrej Shaving Round. It looked like the packaging hadn’t changed in 50 years. If that’s true, it makes a lot of sense; since it’s an extremely low-price product, some of the consumers in India would be older and illiterate. Having an easily recognized package would be an advantage. (It cost 99 cents in Sunnyvale; it’s a fraction of that in Mumbai.) Besides looking old-fashioned, it also looks cheap, advertising again that it’s not a fancy expensive shaving soap. And the packaging probably is cheap, so despite the small pack size, it doesn’t add much to the product cost.

Finally: the star of our New Year party was a package that managed to be extremely modern and yet hark back to its roots: Coca Cola. It’s the classic glass Coke bottle, re-imagined in aluminum.

This picture doesn’t do it justice. It just looked elegant, getting the full value of the material. It had a matt finish with a luster. (It actually looks much better with the cap on, but I didn’t get that picture.) It’s smaller than most pack sizes available for Coke, which enhanced the effect. Kudos for a great design, Coke!

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I'm an international Business Consultant; author of "India Business Checklists" published by John Wiley
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1 Response to A Tale of Three Packages

  1. A says:

    which indian grocery store was this in?

    [RB: Don’t recall now, I’m afraid. One of the several I visit occasionally.]

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