Packaging can seem very unimportant compared with what is inside, superior packaging can make or break a product. Visual design can make products stand out from the crowd, but functional design can also make products much more desirable.
Here are two examples from this week's news of new packaging.
Mitsukan, a major natto maker in Japan, introduced new packaging which allows for inclusion of the soy sauce in a same container and not in a separate plastic package. This saves time and helps avoid getting your hands or the table dirty (problems cited by customers).
Nescafe, is introducing new packaging for coffee refills which allow you to directly refill a jar of coffee without cutting open an aluminum refill bag (I didn't realize this was a problem). More interesting benefits include reduced loss of volatile aroma compounds during refilling (that sounds important as most of the flavor compounds are volatile) and this packaging reduces the amount of aluminum used by 30%, thus reducing the carbon footprint.