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Kids’ beverages are changing. Functional drinks are hot and getting hotter. As manufacturers of children’s beverages innovate, package designers should likewise innovate. They are.

Bottom line: parents are searching for healthier beverages for their kids, but kids don’t buy into “healthier” unless “healthier” looks like fun.

Moms and other gatekeepers are more interested than ever in health benefits and battling obesity; low sugar, low salt, organic, immune-boosting and nutrient rich beverages get their vote. Expect this to be a strong trend in 2010 and going forward.

Cool packaging can deliver fun for kids, with health benefits parents are looking for. New marketplace packaging includes colorful aseptics, “crayons," soda-like cans and bottles and totally ingenious structural designs.

For inspired packaging, check out Y Water. Y Water is an organic functional drink filled with vitamins and minerals that comes in four choices. It’s packaged in brightly colored 100% recyclable bottles. Better yet: they’re 100% reusable.

These “Y knots” can be interconnected to create forms. Kids can build cool forms as they would with building blocks or bricks, and then send digital pictures of their creations to the company to be posted on its Y Knots Gallery. How cool is that? Is more of this the future of kids’ packaging?

Froose is another interesting beverage: an organic combination of whole grains and fruit deliver nutrition parents like in aseptic packaging children love. The cartoonish fruit moose delivers fiber and fun. No empty calories here.

All-natural Crayons fruit juice drinks are packaged as giant coloring crayons. Concept: refreshing snacks or sport drinks in cans to go. The “all natural” and “no high fructose corn syrup” package communications ensure parents’ approval. The message again: few empty calories.

For the kids who are into carbonation, The Switch is a great choice. The 100% juice mixed with sparkling water for fizz, packaged in “old time” glass soda bottles as well as pop top cans make a modern statement. These beverages are into NO. No added sugar, no corn syrup, no preservatives, no artificial color. Colorful graphics and fun combinations of fruit juices make these a hit with kids.

Questions:

Do you think these trendy children’s beverages and kid-friendly package solutions are true innovations with staying power? Or do you think they’re a fad?

Marketing genius or not: making healthier beverage choices parents want, simultaneously attracting kids with unusual, colorful packaging? What do you think?

Do you think some of these structural packaging designs might get pushback from retailers because they’re harder to merchandise; that is, harder to cut into conventional shelf sets easily?

Would you like to share your observations about kids’ foods/beverages and packaging in general? Go for it!

I’d love to hear from you.

Continue reading "Is it a Drink or a Toy?" ... Read the full article

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ted Mininni is president of Design Force, Inc. (www.designforceinc.com), a leading brand-design consultancy to consumer product companies (phone: 856-810-2277). Ted is also a regular contributor to the MarketingProfs blog, the Daily Fix.