Tate & Lyle
Carst and Walker
Quick Cook Maize

On-trend cereal packaging

ORIGINATING in Europe, the global trend is towards simple, clean and clear FMCG packaging, with colour, design and material structure playing a huge role in ensuring on-shelf appeal.

Acquiring the services of a specialist packaging company to interpret exciting ideas and turn them into practical containers is imperative, so when two leading brand owners were looking for up-to-the-minute packaging for their respective cereal brands they turned to Blackie and Associates to deliver the goods.

Scoring an ace for Tiger Brands

Over the years, Tiger Brands has developed a family of products under the Ace brand name, including Samp, Maize Rice, Cream of Maize and, most recently, Ace Instant Porridge. Joining this growing brood is Ace Quick Cook Maize.

The product is aimed at the modern urban generation of maize meal lovers. ‘Without losing that well-loved Ace Taste, consumers can now enjoy their favourite maize meal in a matter of minutes. Ace Quick Cook Super Maize meal is a smooth white maize meal, combining the great taste and nutrition of regular Ace Super Maize meal,’ says brand owner Tiger Brands.

‘With the pressures of a modern urban lifestyle and an ever increasing cost of electricity consumers told us that they would really love it if they could enjoy the Ace taste in a matter of minutes.’

remarks Dave Cousins, marketing executive at Tiger Brands: ‘To introduce our latest addition, we were looking for packaging that would stand out on-shelf and differentiate it from competitors.

‘As Blackie and Associates currently supplies Ace Instant Porridge bags, it was the logical choice for the project,’ adds Sunil Beni, packaging development manager for Tiger Brands.

Hugo Oosthuizen, technical manager at Blackie and Associates, picks up the story: ‘Tiger Brands briefed us to develop a high-gloss paper bag that exceeds the glossy look currently enjoyed on Ace Instant Porridge bags,’ he explains.

‘Finding a solution for the appearance was not difficult but the bigger challenge was to improve aesthetics while maintaining efficiency on all Tiger Brands’ packaging lines at Randfontein Mill. These lines have a variety of tolerances for bag folding before sealing, with different dwell times for each pack size. The material also needed to withstand handling and transportation and be easy for the consumer to open,’ he continues.

‘We collaborated with our factory in Italy, Cartotecnica Postumia, and Henkel SA to present possible solutions and then ran trials on a few substrates. We’re delighted with the final outcome and being able to assist Tiger with this development. The patience showed by all players in developing the new 1kg, 2,5kg and 5kg packaging formats was essential,’ Hugo adds, ‘and we’d like to thank Tiger Brands, Cartotecnica Postumia and Henkel SA for their essential contribution to this project.’

First Foods MuesliFirst Choice goes minimalistic

For the launch of First Choice Foods’ new high-protein low-GI muesli, Fine Form Fit, the design brief was to find the best packaging to preserve delicate fruit flavours, while offering shoppers maximum convenience and appeal.

Noel Barry, CEO of Smart Choice Foods, comments: ‘In line with latest trends, we already had our elements for the composition and layout of the packaging design to convey a simple image that clearly communicates the health benefits of our muesli.

‘This incorporated minimal text, areas of blank space, bright appealing colours and a large clear food icon denoting what’s inside the pack. However, we needed the right material and structure and we tasked Blackie and Associates with developing it.’

To meet Smart Choice Foods’ requirements for optimum fruit content preservation, Hugo and his team developed a stand-up pouch constructed of a matt PET/LDPE lamination. ‘The PET provides the primary oxygen and moisture barrier needed to preserve freeze-dried fruit and the LDPE ensures the necessary structural and sealing strength, to maintain integrity during transport and handling,’ Hugo adds. ‘These materials are FDA approved and produced in a BRC-certified manufacturing facility.’

For consumer convenience, the pouch is fitted with a resealable zip to maintain produce freshness after opening.

‘We’re particularly pleased with the finished product,’ adds Noel Barry. ‘From the inspiring design created by Banie Stafford of Design by Brothers, to the gravure print on the matt film that highlights the pack’s contemporary design and premium image, we’re delivering a most impressive premium quality pack that has great appetite appeal for health-conscious consumers.’

First published in PACKAGiNG & Print Media magazine, Festive Issue 2013

Blackie and Associates; www.blackieandassoc.com

Blackie and Associates is a small, bespoke importer of flexible packaging materials and ingredients for the FMCG industry. It has a partnership with two factories, one in the Middle East and the other one in Italy, to offer clients innovation, design and realisation.

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