Your product’s packaging is both its dress and nametag. Make sure you make a great impression to your customers by checking out if your product get-up is at par with these ten outstanding ones.
The Fruit Garden by Le Potager Inc.
An upmarket product, not just any bottle would do for The Fruit Garden jams—they sourced the bottles from Europe after searching in vain for what they wanted locally. “We are very particular on material quality, color, perfect execution,” says founder Pierre Marmonier. One of their finds: the wave jar, which has the clever little feature of being stackable, each top part fitting neatly into the hollow bottom of another jar.
Unseen in this unprepossessing kraft recycled paper packaging is an inner aluminum lining, with one-way degassing valve and sealable zip, which keeps the coffee fresh. The thick material is also less prone to looking crushed after handling. Keeping it friendly, the profile of a young Maria Clara was prominently situated and is meant to convey local pride. “We’re a new brand and so logo placement and size is important,” explains Maria Julia Sevilla, founder of Kape Maria.
Manille Liqueur De Calamansi by Destileria Limtuaco
A happy discovery of antique stock allowed 162-year-old Destileria Limtuaco & Co. Inc. to create waves with Manille Liqueur de Calamansi. The transparent bottle showcases the warm, natural citrus color of the calamansi-infused vodka-based liqueur, while the bottle itself is very distinct. The styling is vintage, and uses details evocative of genteel Old Manila, including French country script on the cap and labels, callado embroidery details borrowed from the Filipino barong, and tasteful illustrations. Gift editions are sold with a matching cheesecloth bag or a tin canister.
Not surprisingly, the pretty packaging was well-received and orders exceeded expectations. The distillery has already recast the mold—increasing the size from the current 480 milliliters to the standard 700 milliliters—with a plan of exporting Manille Liqueur de Calamansi to the US, where demand for calamansi products is high.
But even if you’re a small manufacturer, that shouldn’t stop you from making memorable packaging. “If the only bottles available are standard bottles, let it not be a deterrent for you,” says Destileria Limtuaco President Olivia Limpe-Aw. “You can make up for it [with] nicer labels and nicer outer packaging, because you will still achieve a different look. It’s like a woman: you can dress up and accessorize—how you put it together will give you the style.”
Tanduay Rhum “lapad” bottle
The slender lapad bottle, here used for Tanduay Rhum, is also the same bottle used for small variants of Gran Matador brandy and White Castle whiskey, among others.
“Glass bottles are the most stable containers for spirits. We would pack them in cartons—it’s very easily transportable,” says Olivia Limpe-Aw, president of Destileria Limtuaco, which produces White Castle.
“It’s very distinct in terms of form,” notes graphic designer Dan Matutina of Plus 63 Design Studio, adding that the greatest advantage of the flask shape is being easy to handle and to recycle, with sari-sari stores using the bottle to sell anything from cooking oil to gas.
Chez Karine Bakery
Window boxes showcase the product—colorful macarons—and whet the appetite. Each box also serves as a walking advertisement while being carried around. Chef Karen Yang-Chiang uses wax liners to avoid butter residue, and blister packaging to keep the macarons in place.
Happy Skin Cosmetics
Happy Skin Cosmetics prides in being “user-friendly.” The squeezable bottles and tubes have a pointed tip to better control the amount dispensed and keep it hygienic. Meanwhile, the Don’t Get Mad, Get Even hydrating powder foundation, with its packaging made in Korea, has a built-in acrylic cover flap to protect the powder from oil, dirt and grime, while keeping the mirror clean.
Ease of application is a must, as in the case of the double-ended “eyebrow duo” which has an eyebrow pencil at one tip and a liquid liner on the other. “We wanted our products to make makeup newbies feel like a pro,” says co-founder Rissa Mananquil-Trillo.
Their newest product, the Feeling Sculptacular Face Contour Kit, has “a cheat sheet… to aid them in using the product,” adds co-founder Jacqe Yuengtian-Gutierrez, noting, “At the end of the day, a good packaging design shouldn’t just be all fluff and bright colors—it should genuinely be able to aid your consumers in getting more out of your product.”
Theo & Philo Artisan Chocolates
“We package the chocolates almost like they’re gift-wrapped,” says owner Philo Chua, who designed the graphics himself. “The natural matte look offers a more refined finish and feel. We also made use of special metallic inks so that the colors will be more saturated and, if you look close enough, there’s a subtle ‘sparkle’ with the way the ink reflects the light.”
“Packaging gives products not only character but also credibility,” says Messy Bessy Cleaners Inc. founder Kristina “Krie” Reyes-Lopez. Given that its brand values are “earth-friendly, non-toxic, and biodegradable,” Messy Bessy encourages consumers to recycle. “Although plastic is not the most eco-friendly material, we still opted for this (for now) since it is the most affordable, and reusable as well. We’ve offset this choice with refills and a returned bottle policy,” notes Lopez. Even the logo is recycled— an old portrait Lopez painted years before the business materialized, deeming it a perfect fit for the brand’s mid-20th century design leanings in “reference to the pre-chemical era.” “There’s so much more room for improvement in terms of sustainable packaging—hopefully, as both our business and the industry grow, we’ll be able to have more access to better packaging.”
Delimondo by the JAKA Group offers a stark contrast to flashy attention-seekers on the grocery shelf. Rather than following the expected route—with photos of either cows or the product—Delimondo has names and descriptions in plain black or red text, on a stark-white background. The throwback style is reminiscent of army rations during WWII—which is appropriate, given that most Filipinos blame their corned beef fixation on the American GIs.
Don Papa Rum by Bleeding Heart Rum Co.
Don Papa Rum has won gold prizes at packaging competitions, including the International Spirits Challenge (UK), the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, and the Los Angeles International Spirits Competition in 2013. The rum is made in small batches in Negros, but uses bottles imported from France, sealed by a cork from Portugal, and flourished with a label printed in Italy.
What catches the eye is the stunning illustration on the label. Portraying Negrense revolutionary Dionisio Magbuelas, better known as “Papa Isio,” the design is wrought by packaging and branding firm Stranger & Stranger, which has offices in New York and London. “It had to be stunning enough for one to reach out and grab the bottle for a better look,” says Monica Llamas, head of brand at Bleeding Heart Rum Co.
This article originally appeared in the April 2014 issue of Entrepreneur Philippines magazine. Minor edits have been done by Entrepreneur.com.ph.