Tri-Tainer (Concept)

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Designed by Directions Marketing, United States.

An innovative concept for a re-imagined pet food container has been named this year’s Grand Prize Winner in Project 2020: The Consumer Experience. A prototype of the winning design, submitted by Directions Marketing (Neenah, WI), is currently on display in The Brand Zone, located in the Lower South Hall at PACK EXPO Las Vegas 2011 (September 26-28; Las Vegas Convention Center).

Now in its second year, Project 2020 challenges the design community to envision how packaging will drive consumer purchasing decisions a decade from now. Nine other creative concepts are included in the display, hosted by EskoArtwork, the software partner for Project 2020: The Consumer Experience, in Booth S-5449.

Designed to bring functionality and recyclability to bulk pet food packaging, the container’s interlocking triangular design and uniform size and shape make packing, shipping and warehouse storage more efficient. Accordion-type compression reduces container height as product is dispensed, and when empty, the container eventually folds flat for easy recyclability. Consumers gain additional convenience from the built-in, pop-up handles and simplified dispensing, as resealable lids and durable substrates protect product freshness and eliminate the need for consumers to transfer food to separate storage containers. Retailers and brand owners will appreciate the elimination of extraneous packaging, such as corrugated shipping containers, and the potential for a retail-ready display.

“The design concept is really about not accepting the status quo,” said Jeff Hillis, art director with Directions Marketing, who conceived the idea. “Just because something as ordinary as dog food packaging has seemingly always existed in one way, in a multi-layer bag, doesn’t mean that solution is the only one, or the most successful one.

“We named the concept Tri-tainer™, and it addresses two main challenges: portability and recyclability. Current dog food bag packaging is difficult to transport. And, once home, equally as difficult to manage. To make storage and dispensing easier, the food is often transferred from the bag to a separate container. The laminated bag is then thrown out, which causes recycling issues because of the multiple substrates used to make the bag. Tri-tainer solves these problems.”

As the Grand Prize Winner, Directions Marketing will receive the Complete Studio Bundle from software partner EskoArtwork. The other nine finalists will receive copies of Studio Designer, EskoArtwork’s 3D visualization plug-in for Adobe Illustrator. All 10 concept prototypes are on display in EskoArtwork’s booth.

Judges include representatives from PMMI; Julie Okon and John Lyons from media partner Package Design magazine; Andrew Dent, Vice President, Libraries and Materials Research, Material ConneXion and Maider Irastorza, Director of Consulting, Material ConneXion; and ABI, PMMI’s marketing public relations partner.

“Project 2020: The Consumer Experience provides a starting point for designers and brands considering the future of package design,” said Charles D. Yuska, president and CEO of PMMI, the sponsor and producer of PACK EXPO. “Our hope is that the concepts featured this year foster discussion throughout the PACK EXPO community and inspire future innovation.”