THIS WEEK IN SUPERMARKET HISTORY

Innovations Package Productivitya productivity standpoint, the food industry faces numerous issues today. Technology has taken the stage as the future of the logistical world. In previous decades, however, much more basic innovations had the ability to change the face of the industry.An April 14, 1975, SN front-page story -- "Productivity tied to gains in packaging" -- details a Packaging Institute

Innovations Package Productivity

a productivity standpoint, the food industry faces numerous issues today. Technology has taken the stage as the future of the logistical world. In previous decades, however, much more basic innovations had the ability to change the face of the industry.

An April 14, 1975, SN front-page story -- "Productivity tied to gains in packaging" -- details a Packaging Institute seminar in which a Jewel Food Stores official called for greater focus on packaging to boost retailer productivity. The executive and other seminar speakers called for manufacturers to improve both the shipping and the consumer packaging of products as a necessary step in increasing productivity.

Among the innovations suggested were stronger, more stackable shipping containers and standardized shipping containers. The executive also called for consumer packages to be more stackable and forecast a trend to more vertical shelf displays. A Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor pointed to packaging innovation as one way to address labor costs and future automation. The size variations of packages had, he asserted, hindered automation and he called for packaging to be viewed from a distribution standpoint instead of a marketing one, a balance that is still important.