Nature’s Dynamics announces Non-GMO Project Verification for their Organic Vegan Garden Gummy

March 3rd, 2017 ORLANDO, FL – Nature’s Dynamics™, makers of whole food organic gummy supplements and Probiotics, Is proud to announce the Non-GMO project verification for their USDA certified organic, vegan multivitamin gummy. Organic Vegan Garden Gummy carries the USDA seal, European Union organic seal and is certified organic through USDA and QAI. Organic Vegan Garden Gummy is now the ONLY gummy supplement verified by the Non-GMO Project and certified organic.
Organic Vegan Garden Gummy contains certified organic, plant based vitamins and minerals, and is available now for distribution in fine health food stores, retailers, and exporting. Innovators in the gummy supplement industry since 2006, Nature’s Dynamics™ created their flagship product, Berry Garden Gummies for kids, Made by a Dad™, using certified organic, plant based vitamins and minerals in a gummy that kids (and parents) love.
With soul to soul marketing, one consumer at a time, Nature’s Dynamics™ has grown their gummy supplement line to include adult multi’s and wellness gummies, and now reach tens of thousands of consumers who rave over the high quality, organic ingredients in their supplements. Nature’s Dynamics™ is proud to have CEO, Founder and Dad, Richard McPeak leading the charge in the non-gmo verified, certified organic
gummy market.
“Creating Berry Garden Gummies for my own son set the bar for the rest of our gummy line,” says McPeak. “We are excited to be launching the next generation of organic, vegan gummy supplements.”

Do Millennials Have Different Expectations for Packaging?

Do Millennials Have Different Expectations for Packaging?

Young man looking at bottles of oil in marketYes! It’s true. Millennials are set to make up 50% of the workforce this year. As their buying power increases, the way they experience your product will influence their purchasing decisions. As packaging providers, we have to understand what they are looking for when they are faced with the option of choosing between your products and your competitors’.

Minimalism

Millennials are continuously, exhaustively connected. Bombarded with messaging and marketing at every turn, they are seeking clarity to cut through the clutter. They don’t want flashy colors, crazy fonts, or gimmicks. They want simple packaging with easy-to-read fonts that convey a simple message. In short, they want to cut to the chase and find out exactly what this product will do for them and why it’s a better choice than the competition.

Convenience

Urban and on the go, millennials are looking for that product that can be easily picked up on their walk home from work or on the way to an event. Millennials tend to live in smaller spaces, in one- to three-person households, and shop in frequent buying spurts, rather than weekly stock-up shopping. Packaging needs to respond to these smaller and more individual packaging requirements. Because millennials prefer shopping in small convenience stores, rather large outlets, manufacturers need to consider the decreased shelf space available when designing their packages. Today’s consumers also enjoy the convenience of packaging that offers on-the-go eating and in-the-container preparation.

Cause

Millennials care where their money goes. While frugal, they want to use their buying power to invest their money in companies and products that are deemed environmentally and socially conscious. This extends from the product itself to the package it comes in. This market segment is concerned with how much energy, water, and effort is involved with not only producing and transporting their food, but in how it is packaged. They want packaging to uphold their mantra of reduce, reuse, and recycle and will choose products that make that obvious through packaging.

If millennials are a major part of your target market, work with a designer that does the necessary homework to ensure a good fit with their perceptions and expectations.

Crystal Clear

This Product Packaging Is Crystal Clear

Eggs containerYou’ve got a great product. You know it. It’s time to let your consumers know it as well. Clear packaging allows consumers to see what they’re buying and therefore makes them more likely to buy. In fact, it can influence a buying decision even more than your brand label. But clear packaging does pose a number of challenges.

What you see is what you get

The biggest trend in packaging is transparency. Shoppers want to see what they’re buying. According to a report by market intelligence agency Mintel, more than 50% of shoppers agree that seeing a product through the packaging is important. They want information about the ingredients, where they come from, and the manufacturing processes.

Transparent packaging allows consumers to see the quality of a product, which further influences their buying decisions. It also lets the contents serve as the package design, especially if the product is pretty or appetizing. Clear packaging builds trust in the brand and even reduces production costs because it uses fewer colors and materials.

Many options

There a lot of options that allow you to take advantage of transparent packaging, and deciding on which one is right for your product depends on the message you want to send and the nature of your product. Plastic pouches for convenient cheese products, plastic trays that show off leafy greens, clear films that package energy bars, glass salt grinders that have a function beyond their packaging, and clear containers for dairy desserts that show off chunks of chocolate or fruity swirls are themselves marketing messages. Glass bottles might convey quality and freshness over plastic, but they are heavier and costlier to ship. Plastic can corrode or be damaged during shipping. A packaging world with so many options makes it easier to present your product in the best light — or not.

It’s not ALL good

Although you may want to take advantage of the transparency trend, it might not be a good fit for your product. Clear packaging isn’t always the best solution. For example, a potato chip producer likely won’t want shoppers to see the broken chips at the bottom of the bag, and a food manufacturer may not want its contents visible after having been damaged during shipping. Transparent packages also let in light, which can degrade food products and cause them to lose their freshness. It’s important to weigh the pros and cons of transparency.

Is your product right for transparent packaging? We’ll help you decide. Contact the CTI experts to help you sort through your options.

It’s All in the Label

It’s All in the Label: Counterfeit Wine and Its Telltale Signs

Friends Having Dinner PartyIs that high-dollar 1922 bottle of chardonnay on your table really the wine you paid for? The wine counterfeiting business is ubiquitous; it’s thriving and making it difficult to determine the authenticity of your purchase. Wine collectors in the U.S., China, and other foreign markets are falling victim to counterfeiting, boosting the profits of this illicit business. Rudy Kurniawan, convicted counterfeit wine distributor, sold at least $50 million in counterfeit wine during his years of fakery. So how do you determine whether the bottle you’re buying is the real deal?

It’s what’s on the outside that counts

By the time you open and taste the wine, it’s too late. Wine can change over time, for better or worse. The only thing you can do is enjoy the contents, whether or not they’re what you thought. However, there are ways to determine the authenticity of your bottle before popping the cork.

Maureen Downey, wine consultant and founder of WineFraud.com, says labels are the best aid to sniffing out the fakes. Telltale signs include:

  • A 1945 bottle with a clearly pixelated label, despite the scarcity of laser printers in 1945
  • Splotchy patches of fake oxidation — forgers often use tea or tobacco to mimic label oxidation, while true oxidation affects all exposed paper
  • Wear marks that appear to be printed in ink

Downey also says to do the research to see if the wines were actually produced in the year on the label. It’s harder to fake the newer fine wines because many are outfitted with anti-counterfeit technology in the labels and bottles.

Keep it real

Maintaining authenticity can be as simple as applying good practices to your labeling. That is made easier by techniques such as optical variable coatings with changing colors, thermochromic inks, and watermarks. Bar codes and holograms are also useful tools to ensure the genuineness of your product.

One of the most effective tools for maintaining authenticity in labeling is radio-frequency identification (RFID). These tags store electronic information that allows the recognition of objects through wireless communications in a set frequency band. Unlike bar codes, RFID devices include batch information that can be interrogated at a distance without requiring the line of sight.

RFID is expensive, so, naturally, you’ll need to consider the cost of your product before implementing it. Sometimes a bar code or a simple, truthful label will suffice.

RFID Is the Next-Generation Bar Code

RFID Is the Next-Generation Bar Code and More

RFID implantation syringe and RFID tagsCounterfeiting products has become an increasingly prevalent problem. It infringes on your intellectual property, erodes your brand, and reduces market share. Classic solutions have included bar codes and tamper-evident packaging. But with profit margins high, counterfeiters are motivated to overcome these packaging and labeling barriers, and manufacturers need to come up with more advanced solutions. Once such method is radio-frequency identification (RFID) labeling.

RFID and anti-counterfeiting packaging

RFID uses radio waves to store information on tags or devices. The system consists of two parts — a tag or transponder and a reader — that pass signals to one another. With this two-part system, some information is held back and the manufacturer must supply the additional information, through what’s called an interrogatory device, which validates the product’s authenticity.

You’re probably familiar with RFID tags used by retailers to prevent theft. A cashier must deactivate or remove the tags, or you’ll set off an alarm when you attempt to leave the store. But they are being used in other industries as well, including mobile payment, healthcare, retail, amusement parks, casinos, Redbox, and car rental. One of thier biggest uses is in drug packing. The pharmaceutical industry is rife with fake drugs, and companies are spending tens of billions of dollars each year trying to come up with packaging solutions to prevent their proliferation.

Other uses for RFID

RFID technology is being used for more than just thwarting counterfeiting. It’s being used in:

  • Smart appliances — A smart washing machine can read the tags on your clothes and wash them with the correct settings.
  • Product recalls — A manufacturer can track who bought the products and personally notify them of the recall.
  • Product inventory — RFID helps ensure that retailers always have enough of your product in stock.

Types of RFID protection

There are several categories of security that RFID offers. Knowing which one is best for your product is important for maintaining its authenticity. Here are four common options.

  • Password protection — It’s widely used but also the weakest security option. A rolling password scheme heightens the security, but the password is still vulnerable to compromise.
  • Encrypted labels — Taking the time and effort to encrypt a label does little to ensure authenticity. Counterfeiters simply make a copy of it — with no need to decrypt it first.
  • Challenge-response protection — Tags must authenticate with interrogators before giving any information. By managing interrogator-side secrets, manufactures can prevent counterfeiters from reading their product information.
  • Double challenge-response protection — This offers the highest degree of protection. It is similar to the challenge-response method, but it adds another level of security. Both the tag and the interrogator store information to authenticate each other.

Packaging is key in trying to prevent product counterfeiting. Finding a packaging and labeling technology that offers the protection you need and that is cost-effective can be challenging. CTI can help you analyze your security needs and help you implement the best solution.

Should You Invest In a Seasonal Package Design?

Should You Invest In a Seasonal Package Design?

Accumulation, New Belgium Brewery

Photo credit: New Belgium Brewing Company

As more people do their shopping on big marketplace sites like Amazon or through Facebook, brands are finding it more difficult to stand out and be memorable. One method companies are turning to is branded seasonal packaging. It can create a memorable experience for consumers and persuade them to identify with your brand.

However, seasonal packaging can be expensive and have unexpected consequences. Take, for example, the Starbucks #cupgate2015 affair. The company introduced a plain red cup for its seasonal design and was criticized for being anti-Christmas. Remember when Coke introduced a white and silver holiday design but people confused it with Diet Coke?

Holiday packaging can also be extremely effective. Consider seasonal designs from brands such as New Belgium Brewing Company and Spoetzl Brewery’s seasonal Shiner Beer packages. Seasonal brews account for 20% of all craft beer sales. The trick with seasonal package designs is to do them right. Here are a few suggestions to make your seasonal packaging more effective.

  • Make your brand memorable by adding a gift such as a coaster or postcard. It can be ideal to use this technique to allow customers to see and try another product you offer.
  • Align with a cause to appeal to socially conscious buyers. Consider Procter & Gamble’s promotion of its Dawn dishwashing liquid as rescuing wildlife from oil spills.
  • Because this is a temporary edition of your design, you can be more creative and allow for a small-scale refresh of your look.

Other things to consider:

  • The time span of your design’s relevance. Does it have an expiration date? A holiday design has a very limited time span, whereas a seasonal one has better longevity. Hershey discovered this with its short-lived Halloween packaging; its autumn leaves theme has a much longer shelf life.
  • Know your market. Sixty-five percent of consumers think candy should reflect the holiday.
  • Premium packaging is most important for lifestyle brands, such as those that sell luxury goods and consumer electronics.

Is premium packaging worth the expense for your brand? Do the research and take the above tips to heart. If you need help with your seasonal packaging design, contact the experts at CTI for advice.

It’s All in the Label

It’s All in the Label: Counterfeit Wine and Its Telltale Signs

Friends Having Dinner PartyIs that high-dollar 1922 bottle of chardonnay on your table really the wine you paid for? The wine counterfeiting business is ubiquitous; it’s thriving and making it difficult to determine the authenticity of your purchase. Wine collectors in the U.S., China, and other foreign markets are falling victim to counterfeiting, boosting the profits of this illicit business. Rudy Kurniawan, convicted counterfeit wine distributor, sold at least $50 million in counterfeit wine during his years of fakery. So how do you determine whether the bottle you’re buying is the real deal?

It’s what’s on the outside that counts

By the time you open and taste the wine, it’s too late. Wine can change over time, for better or worse. The only thing you can do is enjoy the contents, whether or not they’re what you thought. However, there are ways to determine the authenticity of your bottle before popping the cork.

Maureen Downey, wine consultant and founder of WineFraud.com, says labels are the best aid to sniffing out the fakes. Telltale signs include:

  • A 1945 bottle with a clearly pixelated label, despite the scarcity of laser printers in 1945
  • Splotchy patches of fake oxidation — forgers often use tea or tobacco to mimic label oxidation, while true oxidation affects all exposed paper
  • Wear marks that appear to be printed in ink

Downey also says to do the research to see if the wines were actually produced in the year on the label. It’s harder to fake the newer fine wines because many are outfitted with anti-counterfeit technology in the labels and bottles.

Keep it real

Maintaining authenticity can be as simple as applying good practices to your labeling. That is made easier by techniques such as optical variable coatings with changing colors, thermochromic inks, and watermarks. Bar codes and holograms are also useful tools to ensure the genuineness of your product.

One of the most effective tools for maintaining authenticity in labeling is radio-frequency identification (RFID). These tags store electronic information that allows the recognition of objects through wireless communications in a set frequency band. Unlike bar codes, RFID devices include batch information that can be interrogated at a distance without requiring the line of sight.

RFID is expensive, so, naturally, you’ll need to consider the cost of your product before implementing it. Sometimes a bar code or a simple, truthful label will suffice.

What’s the State of Packaging for 2015?

The packaging industry is always changing, and it can be hard to understand and keep up with this rapidly changing industry. So what is the state of packaging for 2015?

Anton Steeman, writer of the blog “Best in Packaging” has the answer. In an interview on CTI’s “Package Talk” blog, he shares his thoughts on the good, the bad, and the future of package technology. Here are some highlights from that interview.

Packaging has changed little during the past 3 years — except for labeling.

The trend toward labels touting claims of natural and eco-friendly in an effort to appeal to an increasingly green customer base has created a backlash. Consumers are becoming more discerning and, instead, are looking more at ethical behavior and honest company values.

Flexible packaging likely won’t entirely replace folding cartons.

Steeman believes the flexible, standup pouch has been overhyped and often used for products not suitable for a pouch. Contemporary consumers want sustainability and less waste and see fiber-based packaging as the best choice. “Both formats have their typical characteristics,” he said, “and although, in my opinion, flexible packaging has been sometimes implemented in wrong applications, new developments show a worthy and more mature competitor to several other packaging formats.”

Packaging is becoming more simple and minimalistic.

Packaging still plays a key role in attracting consumers, but that doesn’t mean it has to be big and flashy. A recent survey conducted by Tetra Pak and IPSOS found that consumers of all ages crave a simpler life, and that includes packaging. “For the next years, simplicity is reigning packaging designs, said Steeman. “In the eyes of the 2015 consumer, simplicity means that packaging has to be green, flawlessly functional, light and more compact, able to communicate its benefits clearly, and not just highly visible, but fashionable as well.”

Reusable items in the food industry are unlikely to get a lot of traction.

Beverage vendors like Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts may experiment with more permanent containers, but Steeman doesn’t believe they will do away with disposable cups. “Every study commissioned by the Foodservice Packaging Institute in the last 10 years has shown that reusable cups, plates, cutlery, trays, etc. had higher than acceptable bacterial counts than their single-use counterparts. With food safety high on the agenda, it’s unlikely that reusable items in the food service industry will be implemented widely.”

Paperboard is the rising star of the packaging industry.

Sustainability is the word of the day. In fact, a report from Stora Enso found that 44% of Millennials are willing to pay a premium for products with sustainable packaging. And as Steeman states, fiber-based packaging materials (aka paperboard in all its facets and variations) is by far the most sustainable packaging material choice.

The State of Packaging – 2015 (Interview 4)

antonInterview 4 on the subject of The State of Packaging in 2015 comes from Anton Steeman who writes the blog, “Best in Packaging”. Anton is a packaging engineer with some 40 years experience in the field and he writes for several professional American and European printed media regarding food conservation and packaging technology.

1. If one significant factor in packaging has changed in the last 3 years, what would it be?

There are a few developments going on at this moment, which are very promising for the future. But over the last 3 years packaging as such, didn’t change significantly. You could see it at Interpack last year. Many an exhibitor had polished (by the way, no problem with that) one or more of his “novelties”, developed and launched during the recession, but at that moment not catching the attention as expected. A relaunch at Interpack was an action worth trying. And so we saw various “old” designs and technologies, sometimes evolved into new application fields, and often with a new coating.

One of the side-lines did change fundamentally however and that’s labelling. As the contemporary consumer is increasingly discriminating between brands by looking for ethical behaviour and clear values, the lying, cheating end green-washing have been curtailed. By explicitly exposing and publishing about it, the consumer paid more attention and required open and honest product information. This discriminating between brands, with or without ethical behaviour, led to several downfalls. Think of the “pomegranate affaire” of Coca-Cola, the downfall of soft drinks and breakfast cereals in general and the unstoppable downfall of McDonalds.

 

2. Do you see pouch packaging (flexible packaging) as a viable replacement for folding cartons?

No. Both packaging formats have their own specific characteristics. In my opinion the introduction of flexible packaging, particularly stand-up pouches, by a whole range of companies, is far over the top. Flexible is a hype and used as a means of cost cutting, fake sustainability and convenience claims, whether the product is suitable to be packaged in stand-up or not. I’m not against flexible packaging, but, in my opinion, flexibles are sometimes used in the wrong way for products not suitable, or better not to be, packaged in a pouch.

Time will tell and I think a lot of brands will return to more suitable packaging formats. Don’t forget that Millennials and Gen-Z are becoming the key target group for retailers. The contemporary consumer wants to consume smart, with less waste and more recycling, and are even willing to pay a premium for it. They look beyond the immediate product scope and are interested in the environmental impact a brand has across its supply chain. Packaging plays a crucial part in how the brand experience can be conveyed.

Furthermore a new Viewpoint report from Stora Enso concludes that 44% of Millennials consider fibre-based packaging materials to be by far the most sustainable packaging material choice.

At the other hand we see with the recent Flexible Packaging Awards a rich choice of new applications and designs. As said both formats have their typical characteristics and although, in my opinion, the flexible packaging has been sometimes implemented in wrong applications, new developments show a worthy and more mature competitor to several other packaging formats.

 

3. Among the various forms of laundry detergent packaging there are plastic containers with small colorful pods containing detergent. Recently these have been ingested by children and pose a serious health risk. Should the package be redesigned with stronger security measures in place?

The Child-Resistant packaging is intended to be a last line of defence with safe and appropriate storage of medicines and hazardous products being the primary preventative measure in harm reduction.

Even with the CR-packaging much more common and implemented in the USA, in comparison to the European countries, the number of accidents with children is significantly higher in the USA. Apparently the American consumer is more nonchalant with safely storing hazardous products and taking the proper measurements for safeguarding his children (loaded weaponry nonchalantly and unguardedly lying around in the house, come to mind). Or American children are more adventurous and willing to explore. I don’t know.

The answer of Procter&Gamble to the Tide pods problem is, in my opinion, the only correct one and I refer to the recently aired television ad emphasizing child safety.

So, in short the answer is no, I don’t think that we have to implement all type of CR-packaging solutions. It’s much better and effective to educate people.

 

4. We see chewing gum go from simple wrappers to bigger packaging with more stylish graphics. With the product basically still the same, how does simple and basic packaging compete?

I have no idea. This is a marketing matter. I’m not a marketing specialist, just a packaging technologist. For me it doesn’t matter whether the gum is packaged in bigger packaging or just simple and basic. I have no interest in graphics. Ask some marketing guru why the chewing gum market is changing.

 

5. I see a number of juice boxes and pouches competing in the children’s category. Do you see winner in this market?

Again this is basically a marketing question. In terms of technology I should say that flexible stand-up pouches with a proper fitment for drinking by toddlers and children will be the preferred choice of the parents. But technologically there really is no preference in choice. Both have their own characteristics, advantages and short-comings.

 

6. Now that vapor, or non-smoke tobacco products are taking off, what role do you see packaging playing?

I have no idea what you want with this question. With every product, packaging plays its role in preserving/conserving and marketing. Nothing new here, the product will be packaged according to market requirements.

7. Today’s electronic market is flooded with smartphones and some of the packaging has gotten fairly complex. Why is it then that Apple’s iPhone packaging has become simpler and more minimal? Does their packaging not play a key role anymore?

Of course the packaging plays a key role for Apple, like for anybody else. That’s exactly why Apple (always controversial and exclusive) correctly chose for a different design. Look at the recent consumer surveys. They conclude that in the whole mix of quiet Gen-X consumers, tech-savvy Millennials and 24/7 connected Gen-Z consumers, the 2015 consumer graves for simplicity. The prove: A 20-country consumer survey, conducted by Tetra Pak and IPSOS in 2014, found that 60% (covering all ages) crave a simpler life, beginning with packaging.

Apple’s choice therefore is logical, as is the design of its competitor Lenovo (Beijing) Ltd with a simple, beautifully designed moulded-fibre packaging for its new Lenovo VIBE X2 smartphone.

For the next years, simplicity is reigning packaging designs. In the eyes of the 2015 consumer simplicity means that packaging has to be green, flawlessly functional, light and more compact, able to communicate its benefits clearly, and not just highly visible, but fashionable as well. All fancy and complicated designs lost its favour with the consumer.

8. With all the coffee we consume through venues like Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts, should we expect these companies to look into more permanent drinking cups and lead the way in doing away with disposable cups? Or charge more for such?

I don’t think more permanent cups will take off. Every study commissioned by the FPI (Foodservice Packaging Institute) in the last 10 years has shown that reusable cups, plates, cutlery, trays, etc. had higher than acceptable bacterial counts, than their single-use counterparts.

A 2012 study in Sacramento County, Calif. found that nearly 30% of reusable items tested had higher than acceptable bacterial counts. A 2007 study in Wisconsin found that unprotected tables and trays had seven to 23 times higher bacterial counts than those with single-use place-mats and tray covers.

With food safety high on the agenda it’s unlikely that reusable items in the foodservice industry will be implemented widely.

9. What material do you see that is on the forefront in the packaging industry?

Paperboard in all its facets and variations.

A new Viewpoint report from Stora Enso shows that Millennials are more prone to purchase eco-friendly products than older generations. Four out of five Millennials consider packaging as important when making purchasing decisions and 85% of Millennials consider packaging material part of the brand experience. More importantly, however, the report concludes that 44% of Millennials are willing to pay a premium for products with sustainable packaging and they consider fibre-based packaging materials (in other words paperboard based packaging material) to be by far the most sustainable packaging material choice.

10. What is the least desirable package you have seen or experienced?

That’s a difficult one. I’m a packaging technologist and I love technology in all its facets. That said I hate packaging designs being over the top. A packaging has to be multi-functional, but simple and sustainable. Although basically I have no problem with packaging designs incorporating high-tech and electronic elements, it has to be functional and effective. Consequently I think that the tendency by many a market survey to glorify and predict a brilliant future for the interactive and electronic packaging should be taken with a large pinch of salt. After all it’s well documented that the contemporary consumer doesn’t have the intention to waste time with connecting to companies through packaging when shopping.

The QR (Quick Response) hype is a perfect example of a failing high-tech approach to the consumer. It never was and never will be popular with the consumer. Too many steps and various apps in an unfulfilling process have the potential to lose customers, and convolute a brand’s promise. And as the contemporary consumer of all ages is overly busy, he has to be selective and isn’t interested in useless and time-wasting connections with websites, which he just sees as a covert way to try to sell him crap.

I agree with Robert Brunner of design studio Ammunition, who stated at Gigaom Roadmap that the consumer feels himself living in an era of “confusion and ill-conceived stuff”. Brunner denounced the ill-conceived hype for interactive packaging, saying: “Adding connectivity and some high-tech “fun” to everything, isn’t necessarily doing the consumer any favours. For him (the consumer) many “things” are just fine in their unconnected state”.

So, conclusion, for me undesirable packaging is the one incorporating over-the-top technology.