MIAMI — Iteration, and plenty of it, is crucially important to the success of a new packaging launch, according to the man who is responsible for all packaging formats for Campbell Co. of Canada.
Continually repeating the process, or steps, aimed at creating a new package creates new ideas and solves problems along the way, said Matt Dingee, senor packaging engineer for Campbell. His company might be best known for soups, and plenty of them, but Campbell has a whole stable of brands that includes Pepperidge Farms, V8, Pace and Prego.
“At times you can feel like you are just doing so many versions of something. But every version takes on a little bit of progress. And, in the end, the more you push to iterate and change your design and implement the feedback from consumers, and figure out something isn't working for your equipment, the better your end concept will be,” Dingee said.
“Iteration is key,” he said at the recent Global Pouch Forum in Miami.
When embarking on a new packaging project, Dingee believes there should be some courage as well as collaboration, but also a bit of caution and a realization of what constraints lie ahead.
“Identify the key constraints, but leave room for courage,” he said. “I think oftentimes we can go very blue sky and have no constraints. And then you realize a solution is impractical, and I think that's one extreme.
“The other extreme is you over constrain yourself and leave no room for courage. If you over constrain yourself, you are probably just going to have a very prescriptive solution that in all likelihood is exactly what you are doing today,” Dingee said.
“I think you have to identify the top one or two constraints and then you have to leave room for that courageous solution,” he said.
To prove his point about courage, collaboration and constraint, Dingee only had to point to Pepperidge Farm's Baked Naturals Cracker Chips flexible packaging that uses SealTab brand technology from Sonoco Products Co.
SealTab allows for separation of the laminated layers. A section of the outside layer on the front of the packaging, thanks to precision scoring and pattern-applied adhesive, can separate and seal the folded bag.
This approach took courage to think of a new way to close a chip bag, Dingee said. “Ditch the chip clip.”
But it also took collaboration with Sonoco as well as consumers who tested the idea. And it took and understanding of constraint, which for this project, included no new capital expenditures and no extra material source such as a recloseable label or strip.
The end result was a new package design that won a silver award at the DuPont Awards for Innovative Packaging in 2013.
In pushing for more collaboration, Dingee said he believes flexible packaging “is one of the most diverse industries in packaging.”
“So I think the more we come to Global Pouch Forum and we connect with each other, I think the more we're going to come up with new ideas and new connections that we never could have imagined. That will really help solve the next problems,” he said.
“I really don't think any other industry has such diversity of people and talent,” Dingee said. “I think that's something we learned through the course of this project.”