On past experience, addressing a letter to S. Claus Esq and shoving it up the chimney has turned out to be no more reliable than using the service formerly known as the Royal Mail. Given the nature of his business, however, it’s a fair assumption that at least someone employed in the Grotto will be flicking through the pages of Packaging News while taking a mulled wine break.
So if you are that elf, then setting aside the impossible, (developing the formula for world peace) the implausible (finding the lost chord) or the impracticable (being able to shimmy like my sister Kate), all I want for Christmas is:
●Packaging to be valued for what it does, rather than rubbished once it has. And to be given the chance to repeat the process;
●The multiples to abandon the BOGOF as a sales strategy. What chance is there ever likely to be of getting consumers to take a more responsible attitude towards valuing resource if it’s so readily on offer;
●Brand owners and own-label retailers to restrict the proliferation of choice for its own sake. It confuses, commoditises and ultimately cheapens;
●An informed debate about the plastic bag rather than it being the messenger most likely to be shot on sight by the greenwash brigade;
●Innovation to be the real thing, rather than a tweak here or a format switch there;
●Easy opening packaging to deliver the goods, consistently and intact;
●My wife to stop handing me anything that does fail to open easily with the challenge: “Go on then – you’re the packaging expert”;
●The retail marketing profession to wake up to the on-shelf possibilities afforded by digital print. Short run is already the order of the day. Reflecting topicality is the next obvious extension. What Jessica, Mo and Greg achieved within the space of an hour on that glorious Saturday evening in August should have been a golden opportunity on Monday morning;
●The packaging industry to recognise what a treasure-trove it has in the Museum of Brands, Packaging & Advertising – and to show its support and appreciation in the appropriate manner by stumping up the necessary sponsorship to get the museum’s ‘Throwaway History’ film made and broadcast in the New Year;
●Some enterprising entrepreneur to bottle this summer’s Olympic spirit; a true pick-me-up in the event of sliding down a fiscal cliff.
Any of the above will do me nicely, Santa, with a mince pie and a glass of Bristol Cream waiting for you on the 25th, plus a carrot for the reindeer. And a very Merry Christmas to you too. See you after the break.
l Des King is a freelance journalist specialising in packaging. Send your comments for Des to firstname.lastname@example.org