Introduction: That saying from the ‘90s is back: “It’s the economy, stupid!” Everyone — particularly everyone selling in the consumer channels — understands the challenges of today’s economy: severely constricted household budgets, tightly stretched corporate budgets and high price volatility for the production of food and household items. Gallup reported that nearly 50 percent of America is reacting to the effects of higher food prices alone. “Fear motivates…new shopping practices,” said a new Unilever Trip Management Report. “An overwhelming 93 percent worry about rising food prices, and 79 percent about rising personal-care product prices. Of great importance to retailers, more than seven households in 10 are ready to reduce spending on household necessities (food and beverage, personal and home care items) if economic conditions worsen.” All this anxiety among consumers has translated into unprecedented marketing and production challenges. At the same time, these challenges have elevated packaging strategies to the forefront and have introduced a new saying into the production-marketing dialog — “Good things come in good packages.”
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