From bath soap in an old-style glass milk bottle to snack bars that follow the “essentialist” design principle, Canada has seen a range of products with innovative packaging hit store shelves in recent months. Here, Global Packaging Director David Luttenberger shares some of his favorites and what makes them so interesting.

Caprina by Canus Original Formula Fresh Goat’s Milk Foaming Milk Bath

 Caprina by Canus Original Formula is shaking up the beauty and personal care category with packaging reminiscent of the dairy aisle. The goat’s milk skincare product emulates an old-style glass milk bottle for its nutrient-rich foaming bath product. The brand has taken care to decorate the HDPE bottle in such a way that the vignettes on the shrink sleeve label actually make the bottle appear to contain milk.

Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup Ice Cream & Dessert Topping

 Just as the US has been the last developed economy to embrace all types of pouches, Canadian consumers now have a venerable brand favorite—Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup—available in a spouted, 5ml stand-up pouch. The introduction of the spouted pouch speaks not only to convenience, but is one of an emerging genre of contemporary package formats brands are using to re-invigorate the center of the store—an area largely neglected by younger consumers seeking fresh and smaller portion sizes in package formats with which they are more familiar. This center-of-the-store challenge is highlighted in Mintel’s 2018 Global Packaging Trend ‘rEnavigate.’

NutraSea Tropical Mango Flavoured Omega-3 Supplement

 NutraSea’s health and wellness supplement has exploited a trend from the RTD beverage category, where cold brew coffees and teas are using artisan-inspired, soft-shoulder bottles to convey natural, better-for-you cues once synonymous with these old-style bottles. The clear label format and clean graphics reinforce the brand promise, while the oversized, ridged cap acts as an easy-open feature.

President’s Choice Sweet & Salty Peanut Bars

 Loblaw’s is setting the standard among premium private label offerings in terms of exploiting the emerging “essentialist” design principle, which sets between minimalism and clean label. Mintel’s global team of packaging analysts is seeing what we describe as “clean label creep,” where brands stray from a clean label design and instead add on-pack claims until the design becomes cluttered. Essentialism provides just enough on-pack messaging to enlighten and inform consumers’ purchasing decisions, and stops short of creating purchasing decision chaos. Loblaw’s President’s Choice provides “essential” purchasing decision elements: grams of protein, number of units in the master pack; and appealing visuals of the product.

Co-Op Gold Barbecue Flavoured Potato Chips

 Canada’s Federated Co-op has employed a mindful use of color that commands point of purchase appeal and differentiates its Gold d’Or line of potato chips. Where many brands use color to brand-block, consumers today seek visual breathing room. The pastels and muted pattern of this exquisitely decorated flexible package speak to Mintel’s 2018 Food and Drink Trend ‘Self Fulfilling Practices,’ which highlights how consumers seek simplicity and de-stressers across all aspects of their lives, including their shopping experiences.

President’s Choice Organics Fresh Partly Skimmed Milk

 Loblaw’s private label skimmed milk offering combines the value proposition of a large, 4 liter flexible bag with outstanding graphics treatment depicting turn-of-the-century milk cans within a mono-chromatic pastoral scene.