Task 1: Observation and analysis of packaged products

Part A: Review the good, the bad and the ugly.

The Good: Prima Fruit Drink

Prima’s 200ml fruit drinks have been successfully designed and are packaged in an appropriate size for children to include in their lunch boxes for school. The packaging is sufficient enough to contain the product without spillage and at the same time not being over packaged, which also can be recycled, attracting a 10-cent refund in South Australia and the Northern Territory. The fruit drinks are sturdy which is essential for when they are handled roughly by children, or when they are required to be frozen. The product inside is easily accessible using the attached straw and pushing this into the access hole on top of the product, which also has been designed to prevent spillage.

The colours of Prima’s fruit drinks are bright and appealing, reflecting the type of fruit juice it contains. The front design of the product is funky, appealing to a younger audience featuring appropriate typography, and icons such as skateboards and iPods. The front of the fruit juices also feature fun copy such as ‘Orange mango mover’ as well as important information that parents are more interested in such as “25% Fruit juice” and “No preservatives, no added colours”. The back of the packaging features a fun game, and the smaller sides of the product’s packaging contain the technical details of the products such as the barcode and nutritional information.

Front view: Prima Fruit Drink

Front view: Prima Fruit Drink

Back view: Prima Fruit Drink

Back view: Prima Fruit Drink

Top view: Prima Fruit Drink

Top view: Prima Fruit Drink

The Bad: Aware Sensitive Washing Powder

Aware Sensitive Washing Powder is contained in an appropriate sized cardboard packaging, which is made of recycled material, however, due to the nature of the product, it has been under-packaged. The cardboard packaging is insufficient as the weight of the product causes the packaging to warp, becoming easier to knock the product over, increasing the risk of spillage. Small amounts of spillage also occurs through the bottom because of warping, and due to the small amount required of the product for each wash, the packaging needs to be sturdier to outlast the product’s use. The product also does not maintain its integrity with the introduction of moisture and due to the inefficient packaging of the product it is easily affected by moisture causing it to form a hard mass. The product also did not come with any means or instrument to measure out the required amount of powder needed for a load of washing.

The large earth graphic and the small picture of the baby featured on the front of the washing powder are quite basic and unappealing, and does not particularly reflect the product it contains. The name of the product is quite large but all other information, particularly the information about the environmental benefits of using this product are quite small in comparison. The other sides of the product contain a lot more detail about the product including its environmental and health benefits, directions of use, and barcode.

Front view: Aware Sensitive Washing Powder

Front view: Aware Sensitive Washing Powder

Side view: Aware Sensitive Washing Powder

Side view: Aware Sensitive Washing Powder

Top view: Aware Sensitive Washing Powder

Top view: Aware Sensitive Washing Powder

The Ugly: Crayola Twistable Coloured Pencils

These pencils by Crayola are a premium product but are packaged in an unappealing, insufficient plastic wallet that tends to cheapen the product. The pencils are only held in the wallet with a small plastic sticker, which after opening and closing it a few times the pencils start to fall out of the wallet. For the price of the pencils the product would be much more appealing if it came in packaging that was sturdier, more attractive, and built for re-use.

The packaging design on the front of the product is also unappealing with its bright yellow, forest green, and purple colouring. The front of the packaging, however, includes appropriate and concise information such as the uniqueness of the product (no sharpening), how many pencils it contains, and “non toxic”. The back of the packaging includes more information about the product and its barcode.

Front view: Crayola Twistable Coloured Pencils

Front view: Crayola Twistable Coloured Pencils

Side view: Crayola Twistable Coloured Pencils

Side view: Crayola Twistable Coloured Pencils

Opened view: Crayola Twistable Coloured Pencils

Opened view: Crayola Twistable Coloured Pencils

Part B: Observing packaging at point of sale

To investigate the retail environment of my “bad” product, Aware Sensitive Washing Powder, I visited three different retail environments. The first were the large chain supermarkets in which I visited both Coles and Woolworths in Kirwan, Queensland. Coles had Aware products located on the top shelf, above eye level, of the washing detergent section, sitting next to Earth choice, another environmentally friendly washing detergent. Aware was located near other powdered washing detergents, but was placed in closer proximity to the liquid detergents. At Woolworths the product was located on the second shelf from the bottom, below eye level, and other environmentally friendly detergents had been placed directly above the Aware products. Woolworths stocks a couple more environmentally friendly washing detergents than Coles, which include: Earth Choice, Earthwise, and Ecostore products. Woolworths has also placed this product on the very end of other laundry powders, and beside the liquid laundry detergent. Although this particular Woolworths was very low on products to stock their shelves, they do stock very simular brands to Coles. Some of these brands include: Omo, Radiant, Bio Attack, Duo, Coldpower, Surf, Fab, and the supermarkets own brands.

Large Chain Supermarket: Coles

Large Chain Supermarket: Coles

Large Chain Supermarket: Woolworths

Large Chain Supermarket: Woolworths

Aware Sensitive Washing Powder was also sold at an IGA in Kirwan, Queensland, which is an independently owned grocery store. The product was located on the second shelf from the top, which is at eye level, or slightly above eye level, but in contrast to the large supermarkets, IGA has placed Aware products in the middle of the powdered laundry detergents. Aware was the only environmentally friendly powdered laundry detergent that IGA stocked, however other laundry detergent products were similar to the large supermarkets, but just less variety.

Independent Supermarket: IGA

Independent Supermarket: IGA

The last retail environment I visited was at the Night Owl, which is a convenience store located in Kirwan, Queensland. The Night Owl did not stock Aware Sensitive Washing Powder or any other environmentally friendly products, and only had a small section for washing detergent consisting of four different brands of powdered detergent and two different brands of liquid detergent.

Convience store: Night Owl

Convenience store: Night Owl

Looking at the retail environments of Aware Sensitive Washing Powder, I found that generally the large supermarkets do not place environmentally friendly washing detergents on prime shelving space, the independent supermarket placed the product in a prime location, and the small retail environment did not support environmentally washing detergent at all.

Looking at the packaging across the various powdered laundry detergents products, and retail environments the majority of brand named products were packaged in a similar shaped boxes that opened in the same manner, however the brand products stood out more on the shelves due to their bright packaging and contrasting colours displaying the brand’s name. For example, a type of Fab detergent had bright red packaging with the brand in contrasting navy blue lettering. The environmentally friendly products, including Aware, were packaged in rather plain packaging that were mostly white or brown.

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