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A Brief Look at Glass Packaging

Bernd Stauch

The viability of glass packaging, notably as consumers increase their scrutiny of the environmental impact of what they purchase, continues to be affirmed. And the inherent ability to translate a luxury position with glass—particularly in the fine fragrance segment—is undeniable.

A glass flacon has a far more prestigious look and feel and it communicates luxury and infinitely versatile.

Even as global economic realities have reshaped the way consumers think about and spend on luxury, in fragrance old paradigms of luxury hold true—and are reflected in the sales performances. According to the Euromonitor International report New Strategic Challenges for Fragrance in the November 2011 issue of GCI, the premium women’s fragrance segment was worth $891 million in 2010, compared to $170 for mass women’s fragrances.

Euromonitor found that the key challenge for fragrance brands remains the ability to stand out in an increasingly crowded marketplace—and this has meant, in part, more distinctive packaging that emphasizes positioning.

Examples include Gerresheimer’s oval-shaped, transparent glass bottle for pop singer Shakira’s new fragrance, S by Shakira. A silky, luminous gold surface is designed to emphasize the fragrance’s oriental essence. Also, the new flacon for the Mistral brand by Mäurer & Wirtz is distinguished by its reduced design. It features unusual, organic lines that give it a dynamic, sporty and, at the same time, exclusive appearance. The brand colors are incorporated in contrasting matte and shiny elements to further add to the visual appeal as well as put a strong focus on branding.

In fact, it’s no longer good enough to deliver branding that reinforces the status quo on shelf, wrote Kevin Marshall in Resonating in a New Reality (GCI September 2011), brand owners must create packaging that far exceeds consumers’ expectations – something extraordinary, intuitive, memorable and, most importantly, meaningful. More than ever, packaging needs to resonate with consumers for products to compete on shelf.

In flacon production, the important aspects include  shape, the brilliance of the glass color, the even distribution of the glass and a perfect surface finish. These are what give the flacon its unique expression.

Bernd Stauch, sales director moulded glass, Gerresheimer AG.

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