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  • Date Submitted: 03/18/2014 10:58 AM
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Packaging: A Key Element in Added Value

by Susan B. Bassin Principal, King-Casey, Inc. New Canaan, CT

It certainly is a pleasure to be with you today here in historic Williamsburg, Virginia, and an honor to participate in this year’s conference on People Adding Value to Food Distribution. I’ll be talking about “Packaging A Key Element in Added Value.” All of us here are concerned with packaging in some way--my firm as designer, some of you as manufacturers, others of you in wholesale and retail establishments who stock and sell these packages, and those of you from universities who help us all understand the trends better. But while we study, observe, and determine changes in packaging, the consumer is sometimes totally mystified by what we do. Here, two consumers, Frank and Ernest, learned about DPP in their recent trip to the grocery store. As the checkout clerk explains, “The manufacturer had to raise the price on that item to pay for the cost of switching to a smaller package.” So today I want to take the consumer’s part- -helping us to understand his or her problems and how we can make packaging solve them. Historically, packaging’s main function, or added-value, was to contain the food. Maybe it’s our trip here to historic Williamsburg that reminds me that it wasn’t so long ago that primary food packages were burlap bags, barrels, and, if you were lucky, glass apothecary jars for peppermint sticks. These early packages served primarily to contain the food. The consumer was served the amount he wanted into a secondary package, often a sack or paper bag, Then this food was carried

home and put into another container--like flour canister or flour bin.


It wasn’t long after that that preservation became another value added by packaging. In 1795, Nicholas Appert, French chef, won the French government’s prize for developing a simple way to preserve food for the French army- -boiling water and glass bottles- -a process still with us today. Here, we have the...


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