Designed, analyzed, and created a package for fresh semolina pasta to aid the owner of a start-up company called Rochester Pasta Shop located out of Rochester, Michigan.
Understanding the Client
In order to properly implement a packaging solution for Rochester Pasta Shop, it was important to know what was expected from the package. The need for a new packaging system arose out of a desire for increased marketability and lengthened shelf life. All package designs were evaluated to the criteria of its potential to: enhance freshness, extend shelf life, increase product visibility, lower cost, portray an artisan look and feel, lower environmental impact, emphasize space efficiency, increase local availability/sourcing usage, and deepen the overall level of ‘Inspiration’ the package portrayed. It was imperative that the package system not only delivered this highly perishable product but provoked emotion and the desire for the consumer to cook from home.
The package design started with handmade sketches. Typically this is where anything goes and all ideas are welcome. Here are the 10 potential packaging ideas that were proposed to the client. Each proposal had its drawbacks and limits due to performance, shelf-life feasibility and production capability.
The drawings were also analyzed in terms of practicality. A scale from 1-10 was used for each design in regards to specific criteria related to the product, the clients needs, and what was felt to be a determinant of a successful product launch.
After consulting with the client and analyzing the data, the winning design was the paperboard folding carton containing a sealed polypropylene tray.
- 16 point C1S (coated one side) kraft paper (350 g/m2)
- Low density polyethylene (LDPE) 2 mil film
- Ethylene vinyl alcohol (EVOH) 2 mil film
- Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) 2 mil film
- Polypropylene (PP) tray (1/32” thick)
The square shape of this design allowed for on-shelf stacking and also allowed carton blanks to ship/store knocked down utilizing space more efficiently. The PP tray allowed for heat sealing capabilities with a PET-EVOH-LDPE high barrier film. The tray sat inside the carton with the film side up allowing the consumer to view the product. A flap folded over obstructing around 40% of the product view, however, added extra space for graphics, marketing, or even recipes.
Film Barrier Calculations
The film that was selected for this package was specifically picked for its barrier properties to oxygen and carbon dioxide which are the main causes of spoilage for semolina based pasta. The primary package consisted of three layers, Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET), Ethylene Vinyl Alcohol 32% (EVOH), and Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE). Below are the O2 permeability, CO2 permeability, and water vapor transmission rate (WVTR) for the three designated plastics. It is important to note the superior O2 barrier properties of EVOH.
Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET)
- CO2 perm, 25°C 1,200-1,300 cm3 um/m2 24 h atm
- O2 perm, 25°C 5,900-9,800 cm3 um/m2 24 h atm
- WVTR 390-510g um/m2 day at 37.8°C, 90% RH
Ethylene Vinyl Alcohol 32% (EVOH)
- O2 perm, 0% RH 4 mil/100 cm3 um/m2 24 h atm
- O2 perm, 65% RH 13 mil/100 cm3 um/m2 24 h atm
- WVTR 2500 g um/m2 day at 38°C, 90% RH
Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE)
- CO2 perm, 25°C 750,000-1,060,000 cm3 um/m2 24 h atm
- O2 perm, 25°C 163,000-213,000 cm3 um/m2 24 h atm
- WVTR 375-500 g um/m2 day at 37.8°C, 90% RH
With this high barrier film the estimated shelf life was around 7-10 if an Active Modified Atmosphere (AMAP) was applied to the package during sealing.
Point of Purchase (POP) Display
With the package, it was decided that a point of purchase display would be utilized to help the clients’ product stand-out in stores.
Along with the isometric designs, the client was also issued a set of packaging specifications.
A final report was given to the client covering packaging, packaging materials, shelf life, barrier calculations, distribution dynamics, market size, package specifications, promotion and advertising, regulations, environmental impacts of packaging, suggested production line layout, quality control program, logistical considerations, net present value calculations, and final recommendations.