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Dispatches from Pack Expo

Clear clamshell wins consumer packaging vote

By Rod Addy , 31-Oct-2012

Clear plastic clamshell packaging won the consumer vote in a recent eye tracking survey conducted for materials manufacturer Klockner Pentaplast, results of which  it revealed at Pack Expo 2012 in Chicago.

The research, which was conducted through Clemson University's CUShop, was designed to identify how different styles of packaging influence shoppers' point of sale behaviour.

Consumer preference for certain packaging types above others influences purchasing decisions and so directly affects manufacturers' profits, said Klockner Pentaplast.

Sales for products in clear plastic clamshell packaging, or packaging formed of two halves joined by a hinged area, attracted four times as many sales than packaging made from printed paperboard boxes. The clamshell style drew customers' eyes more quickly, more often and for longer periods of time than other options.

Longer, more often, more quickly

According to the figures, the clamshell packaging attracted people's eyes for 343% longer than paperboard packaging, 675% more often and 40% more quickly.

The study was conducted in a re-creation of a shopping environment. It consisted of 68 participants, aged 18 to more than 65, with diverse income distribution. More than three quarters were the primary shopper for their household.

Participants wore special eye-tracking glasses and their eye movements were tracked at a rate of 30 times per second. They were given one of five random shopping lists and were told to go into a shop and select a product for each item on that list.

100% post-consumer recycled content

In addition to the survey results, Klockner Pentaplast launched Pentaform SmartCycle polyethylene terephthalate (PET) films, consisting of 100% post consumer-recycled (PCR) content at the Pack Expo packaging and packaging equipment trade show.

Standard PCR films consist of PCR content and virgin resin, but Pentaform SmartCycle TH-ES100 films are made from 100% PCR from beverage bottles, the company, which is based in Montabaur, Germany, said.

"Through its own bottle recycling facility, Klockner Pentaplast has recovered more than 11.6bn plastic bottles to transform potential waste into a valuable new use with its SmartCycle packaging films," the firm stated.

Sustainable packaging goals

"SmartCycle films provide a plastic packaging option to consumer product companies and retailers, while building long term value by helping them move toward their sustainable packaging goals."

SmartCycle packaging can carry the SmartCycle logo, flagging up its green credentials to consumers, and is designed for thermoform, food and box packaging applications as well as heat-seal and radio-frequency sealing formulations.

Food-grade SmartCycle films comply with US Food & Drug Administration regulations for direct food contact, as well as all applicable EU regulations and directives for food contact.

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