Best Packaging Design Ideas

- January 01, 2016 -

Packaging design ideas can help sell more products. They can also help reduce material usage and costs – from manufacturing to shipping to store shelf – and help increase recycling.

Dow collaborates with converters, manufacturers, and brand owners to create purpose-driven innovation. In package design, big differences depend on getting every detail right.

A History in Progress
Since the 1920s, when Dow invented the first cellophane packaging film, our materials and capabilities have continued to influence packaging design ideas that touch billions of people. Some Dow innovations that have improved and changed the course of packaging design include:

  • Surlyn® for preventing leaks in food packages
  • PET bottles for storing carbonated drinks
  • Fusabond® for bonding that enhances recyclability
  • Appeel® for convenient, easy-peeling lids

Six Game-Changing Innovations
A selection of recently commercialized packaging design ideas highlight how packaging materials are used to help design meet function.


Cereal Container
1. A Sleeker Cereal Box Redefined
Bulky, wasteful cereal boxes are a thing of the past for Target’s premium Archer Farms® brand. Packaging maker Sonoco created a strikingly simpler box integrating Surlyn® packaging sealant resins to create a poly-coated foil inner liner that eliminates the need for a separate bag inside the canister. It is abrasion-resistant and maintains a humidity barrier to preserve freshness.


More Cereal Packaging.


Produce Crate
2. More Sustainable Produce Crates
Grocers want fruit to stay fresh, undamaged, and ready to sell. Amcor’s lamination technology for its new crate uses Dow™ Bynel® and Nucrel® adhesive resins to help integrate carton layers. The result is a carton strong enough to be shipped and displayed, while keeping out moisture.


More Fruit Packaging.


Shelf Stable Packaging
3. Convenient Meals on the Go
Lowering food preparation time for ConAgra single-serve meals increases convenience. After quickly cooking in the microwave, freshly cooked pasta or rice can be drained using a tub cap that doubles as a strainer. Dow™ Appeel® lidding resins adhere a peelable, reverse-printed PET film label and dust cover on the tub cap, enhancing ease of use.


More Shelf StablePackaging.

4. A Paper-Based Alternative for Chips
The seal integrity made possible by Surlyn® sealant resins enabled Korean food company Orion to switch to a multi-layered paper-based “green package” for rice chips. It is a design that reduces plastic use and adds appeal for an increasingly material-conscious customer base.

5. A Lighter Approach to Keeping Perishables Cool
To better preserve shipped perishables, Coldpack came up with a new, lightweight, less bulky thermal packaging pouch that can be quickly inflated just prior to use. Dow helped Coldpack’s specialists create the pouch’s multi-layered structure with specialized packaging resins, including Dow™ Surlyn® sealants, Nucrel® foil adhesion resins, and Bynel® tie layers.

More Foam Packaging Alternative.

6. Preserving the True Taste of Wine
Alcoa Deutschland is making the traditional wine cork obsolete with resealable Vino-Lok glass stoppers that produce no aftertaste or odor. Its sealing rings are made of Dow™ Elvax® ethylene vinyl acetate, which tightly seals bottles to help keep sensitive wines true to the winemakers’ intentions. Learn more about this innovative wine seal.

The Packaging Innovation Awards

For over 25 years, the DowAwards for Packaging Innovation has honored packaging design ideas that demonstrate excellence in innovation, sustainability, and cost/waste reduction –whether or not Dow materials played a role.

2013 top winner: AidPod for ColaLife
The life-changing packaging lets a UK-based non-profit deliver anti-diarrheal kits in sub-Saharan Africa by taking advantage of empty spaces in Coca-Cola crates distributed throughout the region. The AidPods are sealed with a durable film and contain sanitary soap and single-dose sachets that can also be used as a drinking cup.

2013 Silver Dow Packaging Award: Heartlight® Medical Tray
This specialized package protects a fragile cardiac ablation system. Made with high-density polyethylene (HDPE), the tray keeps different parts of the device separate and can be more efficiently transported —forty trays can fit in the space of the original tray. It was a winner at the 2013 DowAwards for Packaging Innovation.

Heartlight® is a registered trademark of CardioFocus, Inc., USA