April 6, 1990 |
The compact disc is a small product in an oversized package, and that, according to environmentalists, is a big problem. With a 6-inch by 12-inch cardboard or plastic box a half-inch thick surrounding a disc that is only 4 3/4 inches in diameter and wafer thin, the CD "is a very clear example of an egregiously overpackaged product," said Allen Hershkowitz of the Natural Resources Defense Council.
March 2, 1987 |
From my mail, I find that I am not alone in my frustration with opening packages. Modern packaging zealots seem to be making them more nearly impregnable all the time, but the problem is not new. Dr. William Goldsmith notes that the subject was dealt with by Robert Benchley half a century ago. He writes: "James Thurber once wrote that a fear many humorists have is that a piece they have been working on for several days was done better and quicker by Benchley in 1925." I know the feeling.
March 18, 1986 |
Marfred Industries had humble beginnings. Originally a retail paper business, the Sun Valley-based box manufacturing and distribution company was started in 1963 by Rubin Fenster in the back room of his Glendale grocery. "Some people want to be doctors and others want to be lawyers," said Marvin Fenster, Rubin's son and Marfred's president since 1968. "My dad always wanted to be in the paper business."
January 23, 1986 |
The Food and Drug Administration has issued an unprecedented number of recalls in the past nine months for packaged foods that contain undeclared amounts of sulfites. Since June, 1985, the agency has ordered 15 different national or regional food items removed from store shelves for failing to list the presence of the potentially dangerous preservative on the label. An estimated 1 million Americans are allergic to sulfites, which are used to maintain a food's color and/or clarity.
June 8, 1994 |
McDonald's inadvertently offended thousands of Muslims by printing a Koran scripture on its hamburger bags, then staged a retreat Tuesday after Islamic leaders complained. The stir caused by the world's leading purveyor of fast food began with a World Cup promotion featuring the flags of the 24 nations competing in this summer's soccer championship. One of the flags was that of Saudi Arabia.
September 17, 1998 |
When Tri Valley Growers recently peered into its crystal ball, the San Ramon, Calif.-based farm cooperative saw a frustrating market picture. Canned fruit sales were stalled because many younger grocery shoppers favored fresh food and just weren't pushing their carts down the canned food aisle.
June 11, 1991 |
Imagine trying to stack a pile of 128 computer-processor chips so precisely that the thousands of tiny circuits on each of the chips match exactly. Then try to fit the package in a space the size of a sugar cube. That's what a small chip research firm called Irvine Sensors has tried to do for 10 years. It has been a lonely task--and an expensive one, swallowing more than $30 million in research funds at a company with minuscule sales of $3.5 million last year.
June 19, 2001 |
Gerber is changing the packaging of some of its baby food. Gone are the single-serving glass jars used since the 1940s to package applesauce, bananas and pears. Now those three products will come in cube-shaped plastic containers, Gerber Products Co. officials were to announce today. The new containers will come in four-packs and have plastic lids that snap on and off with a foil seal to prevent tampering.
April 21, 1995 |
The schlep to the supermarket is often considered just another ho-hum errand: 30 rushed minutes spent cruising the aisles, comparing costs and tossing the goods into the cart before finding the shortest checkout line. But some describe this trip another way, calling it a visually intense sojourn in which the average shopper sees more than 30,000 items and must decide, over and over: to buy or not to buy?
October 12, 1989 |
The 7,200 conventioneers who gathered in Anaheim on Wednesday for a packaging industry exposition didn't look like they were under attack. The demonstrations of wrapping, stuffing and labeling machines seemed to proceed unhindered, and the racks of plastic bottles, cardboard cartons and foam insulators stood undisturbed. But any doubts that the industry has an image problem were quickly put to rest by the cover story in the latest issue of Packaging magazine: "Packaging Under Attack."