Blow UP Selling Air in Retail

Hey Folks,

the biggest of the German tabloids ran a cover story today on the amount of air that is sold
to unsuspecting consumers by “clever” packaging.

They nicely show not only the packaging, but also an x-ray of the contents (or non contents).
Most of the packaging they show is blisters, but never the less makes for an entertaining
picture book, even if one doesn’t understand German:


I believe Dennis Miller used to call it the “Snackmosphere” when referring to bags of potato chips. In the US there’s always a disclaimer saying “product sold by weight, not volume” because they got enough complaints about it.

Surprised they haven’t started making heavier packaging then.

Much of that air in some of the products is for the purpose of protecting the product. Many CPG’s would love to maximize the pallet load of products being shipped. They would have huge savings in material, warehousing and transportation costs.

mo-i: That’s hilarious. It is just as interesting to a non-German speaker.

For me it was rather striking to see the use of X-Ray for the effect of “uncovering”.
The argument of protection by air might hold a minimal amount of
truth. But most of the products pictured have direct competition, that
is sold in other packaging, which holds less air. Think “pringles”
Their rolls of chips are optimized for shipping. A striking solution,
which gives the customer a “what you see is what you get” experience.

Isn’t that even more clever?


I remember Kleenex reduced their sheet size by .5" or so, but kept the same box size. That’s why they move back and forth so much when you shake the box.

The other packaging thing I hate is those bumps on the bottom of blow-molded packaging that have been growing.

I accept chip packaging, but the rest of this stuff is a combination of marketing (they want a canvas to paint their ad on) and faking the customer out.

Thos tubes are far from being optimized for shipping. They have to be shipped empty to the pringles plant before they even get filled with product. Whereas, you can simply ship a roll of film that will form thousands of bags. In terms of protection, I think it’s a little over bit of overkill considering you still get broken chips inside. I only see that tube being used as a point of differentiation @ retail.