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.
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.
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.
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."
November 25, 2000 |
A boxed set of CDs called "Brain in a Box" has been arriving at offices throughout the music industry like a whirling UFO in the night, quietly, mysteriously--well, no, actually, it just comes in the mail. But the ambitious, eye-popping packaging for the sci-fi music collection has people reacting like the townsfolk in a 1950s B-movie when the flying saucers show up. Some are mesmerized: "It's beautiful, gorgeous," says Pete Howard, editor of ICE, a CD collector magazine.
June 25, 1991 |
Come July, the "plastics police" could be out in force here, issuing fines to grocers and restaurants selling food and drink in the new contraband: plastic containers. A city ordinance to be enforced starting July 1 will impose some of the strictest packaging regulations in the nation. They will ban ubiquitous plastics such as sandwich "clamshells" and, eventually, plastic cups, deli containers and a whole host of throwaways.
November 11, 1990 |
Despite its setbacks with McDonald's switch to paper packaging, the polystyrene foam industry sees progress behind the scenes and promising technological help for efforts to change the product's public image. Industry officials hope to do this primarily by persuading the public that polystyrene foam, unlike waxed- or plastic-coated paper, already can be recycled. "Our industry has been behind in recycling, but we're catching up very quickly," says Larry E.
January 29, 1998 |
When Gus and Linda Doppes first started pushing their air fresheners packed in pop-top cans, the critics were brutal. "You meet with a buyer and he says, 'That's the ugliest product I've ever seen--it won't sell,' " Linda Doppes recalled. However, the couple stood by their can, ignoring cracks that it looked like cat food. And the gamble, it seems, has paid off.
August 3, 1992 |
Tom Santelli does terrible things to cardboard boxes. Equipped with machines that would look at home in a horror movie torture chamber, researchers led by Santelli squeeze boxes, shake them silly and subject them to wild temperature changes. All in search of the perfect package. "We believe we can take any package challenge from our customers and meet their need," said Santelli, director of Georgia-Pacific Corp.'s new package technology and development center.
May 1, 1991 |
Regina Medina is an informed consumer, a consummate label reader who shrinks from grocery shopping with anyone--even her husband--who dares speed up her meticulous process of comparison and contrast. But these days, she says, she's steamed. Citrus Hill calls its juice fresh when it drags its oranges all the way from Brazil? Please. Corn and vegetable oil companies boast that their products have no cholesterol? Well, when did they ever have cholesterol?