EntranceThe 2016 Summer Fancy Food Show took place at the end of June in NYC, so our team headed across town to scope out the latest in food trends and innovation. Over the course of two days, we sampled our way through the exhibition halls hosting over 2,550 companies from over 50 countries.

Here are a few brands that struck our fancy:

ShrubVinegar & Juice Infusions

American Roland Brands new line of fruit juices with vinegar can be used as a mixer that adds a tart and slightly sweet flavor to drinks and food. They are called SHRUB and come in Honey Ginger, Peach, Cranberry, and Fig flavors. Our team used the Fig SHRUB to make Figgy Old Fashions. They were perfect!

CentoItaly’s Past is Present

Every savvy chef uses Cento brands and products. From the fresh Anna pastas to the Cento San Marzano tomatoes, the full line of products transports you to the Italian countryside. These quality products are now available in an Organic line.

SivieroIce Cream Porn

The appetite appeal in the ice cream & gelato category was mind-blowing. Clear packaging that displays the frozen delicacy is currently on shelf but we were truly impressed by the sexiness of Siviero Maria ice cream. How could you resist? Peel pack the top, grab a spoon and dig in.

ArtisansTotally Cheesy

Cheese wheels, sliced cheese, cubed cheese, soft cheese and hard were on display from every country. We enjoyed cheese from France, Italy, & Spain, but our favorite was from the U.S.A. Simply Artisan knocked it out of the park by combining flavor and functionality. The feta on watermelon was sublime.

Lidia.jpgCelebrity Chefs

We were surprised to see so many chef branded products. From sauces and dips to frozen foods, many chefs are bringing their secret recipes to your home cooking. We were especially honored to have met Lydia Bastianich. Her show, restaurants, and products exude authenticity and taste. We’ve crowned her the Italian Julia Child.


For more information from the Summer Fancy Food Show, or to connect to hear our POV on how these insights could transform your brand, contact Wendy Church at




LuxePack arrived at Pier 92 in NYC this year and Wallace Church & Co. was there. Our observations
are below.

Sig9image by Signature9

Make The Usual Unusual
If you look in anybody’s bathroom drawers or cabinets you’ll probably find glass bottles, plastic bottles
and tubes of potions and lotions. They are hidden away for a reason. Most of them add clutter and are
not particularly pretty to look at; they are strictly functional. Many manufacturers are now looking to
turn these functional and common products into unusual aesthetics. Signature9 now offers nail polish
with a whopping eight-inch spike. It’s certainly worthy of its own shelf outside of the bathroom, perhaps
on the fireplace mantel?

Display Your Bottom
Bottle corks, stoppers, labels, and outer packaging are all used as a canvas for designers to bring a brand
to life. Just when you thought the area was maxed out, one manufacturer, Estal, has expanded the
canvas by making the bottle bottoms bigger. They’ve labeled this process DobleAlto. This creates a
pedestal that can be transformed by embossing or engraving. The product can now sit on visual base
like a throne. Speaking of thrones, did you see the latest (5/15/16) Game of Thrones episode? OMG!

Accessorize, Accessorize, Accessorize
Continuing with the Game of Thrones reference, it seems that all perfume and spirits bottles must be
dressed for the occasion. Ornate daggers, leather bodices, razor blades and the finest jewels can now
adorn any bottle according to Bernardo Manufacturing. We were slayed by these items above.

Sporting Wood
Beautifully handcrafted wood adds a level of earthy sophistication and a tactile experience to stoppers,
cosmetic trays and outer packaging. We especially admire the use of ash and oak. The artisan level of
detail adds to the warmth and welcoming usability.

Bring your own bag/box. Bags and boxes for outer packaging were everywhere at Luxe. Luckily, we
didn’t have to bring our own — Invercote! Bags were supplied to attendees by Iggesund.

What differentiated one manufacturer from another was either design, texture or both. Bold colors,
unusual structures, and leather paper caught our eye. The use of bags with flashing lights blurred the
line between what is Luxe and what is tacky. The jury is out. Thoughts?

Top Trends From Expo West 2016


We’re Back from Anaheim, CA, where we were part of the record-breaking 77,000 industry members that attended the 2016 Natural Products Expo West show. Inside the Anaheim Convention Center, the popularity of organic and “natural” foods came to life with more than 3,000 exhibitors. Our first stop was to hang out and visit our partners including Nature’s Path, Taste of Nature, Ciao Bella, Burt’s Bees, Nestlé, and Rishi Tea.

ClientsIII Continue reading

Artificial Intelligence – The Ultimate Design Partner?


Considering the Future with Stan Church-

With so much talk about the impact technology will have on…well, on everything, there are some who believe that designers’ jobs are in jeopardy. The popular thinking is that artificial intelligence (AI) will develop to a point in the near future which computers will be capable of designing, of being creative.

What exactly is creativity? Simply put, it is the ability to make new things or think of new ideas which involve the use of imagination. So the question is: can we really develop computers that have the ability to imagine…to form a picture that has not been seen or experienced?

There is no doubt that computers will be able to draw from unprecedented amounts of data and inputs, giving them the ability to solve problems and eliminate constraints that typically inhibit creativity, invention and innovation. But will they ultimately be able to internalize and interpret the nuances of language, non-verbal communication and emotional responses?

Let’s go back in history a bit. When desktop publishing emerged in the 1980’s it eliminated many jobs within the design world and provided tools that enabled one designer to do an entire design project from start to finish, at a significantly reduced cost. Design firms had to scramble to rethink their business models and designers had to reinvent themselves. But what it also did was eliminate all the non-creative parts of the design process, freeing up designers to spend more of their time being creative.

Fast forward to 2020 when artificial intelligence will be commonplace. Computers will have the ability to process almost endless amounts of information, search limitless databases of colors, typography, shapes, images, textures, etc., freeing up the designer to spend more time being creative. Wouldn’t that be the ultimate collaborative partner? Or Shani, CEO of Adgorithms, a leader in Digital Marketing Software Powered by Artificial Intelligence, wrote in Wired magazine that, “As easy as it is for machine-learning technology to self-improve, what it lacks is intuition. There’s a gut instinct that can’t be replicated via algorithms, making humans an important piece of the puzzle. The best way forward is for humans and machines to live harmoniously, leaning on one another’s strengths.”

Designers will always have value but in order to stay valuable to non-designers, they will constantly need to be on the leading edge of technology, using AI as the ultimate partner. The strength of human designers will be in their ability to interpret feedback from human clients, understanding the nuances and providing the finesse, while their AI partners data mine creative resources to make them both look like the creative stars they are or will be.

related articles:
Google’s AI vs Go board game grandmaster: Round 1 goes to the bot



Au Naturel…

Suitcase_yellowWe’re heading to Natural Products Expo West 2016, one of the world’s largest natural products expos. Wendy Church and I, (Lainie Zwecher) are excited to attend. It’s a great place to gain category insights, identify trends, and admire all types of branding and packaging design. The conference is in sunny Anaheim, CA, so hopefully, we will have time to absorb some Vitamin-D by the pool.

One area that we are eager to learn more about is that the FDA has recently started to solicit definitions for the claim “Natural.”
What is Natural????  There is NO official definition for the marketplace so any brand can essentially claim to be “Natural” or “All Natural.”
Now, the name of the conference has “Natural” in it!  Can they use that word once the FDA confirms a definition? The result will impact claims on packaging and affect brand design aesthetics. For starters, we wonder if there will be less front pack claims and more farm to table imagery?
We’ll see what develops in that arena but until then, we’re looking forward to what’s rolling out and who’s returning. We’ll visit the booths of our friends from Taste of Nature, Ciao Bella and Nature’s Path while developing new contacts.
We’ll follow up with a report from the field while we’re absorbing our Vitamin D and much earned pool time!
See you there?

Agency Of Record


image © ITT Bombay

One of the eternal questions for Marketers remains whether to have an Agency Of Record versus sending out an RFP for each project and having multiple agencies bid for the job. Unfortunately, at times, we see big companies ask for Spec work during this process, where they will only choose an agency after seeing the work done for free. That practice is something that most leading Design Agencies, together with the AIGA, refuse to be a part of in order to protect the integrity of our business. It’s like saying to a hotel owner, “Let me stay in one of your rooms for a night, before I decide if I will pay for it.” Rather than do spec work, we showcase our expertise and talent by sharing case studies and examples of past work. Continue reading


Amanda Bach of Nestlé, Stan Church of Wallace Church & Co., Mauro Porcini of PepsiCo, Wendy Church of Wallace Church & Co.

Wallace Church & Co. would like to congratulate Amanda Bach and Mauro Porcini, for winning the Brand Leaders and Rising Stars competition. Both were honored and recognized for Design during the annual Package Design Matters conference!

The conference took place in Bonita Springs, Florida this year. Stan Church and Wendy Church attended the conference and joined the “Celebration of Design” Dinner & Awards Gala.

Additionally PD’s Brand Leaders and Rising Stars will be featured in the Jan/Feb issue of the Packaging Design magazine and participate in a special webinar.

As usual, the conference attracted inspiring thought leaders and talent who are elevating design’s strategic role in the packaging design industry.

Stan and Wendy moderated a few round table sessions with the topic of Design Trends. Key discussion points included what the impact of artificial intelligence, localization (as a result of globalization) and intelligent packaging will be on design, which led to very interesting insights and debate.

“We will have to re-think the whole premise of design once robots, virtual reality and intelligent packaging will dominate the consumer landscape” says Stan when asked about his key take-away from the round table discussions.

One of the panel discussions was about how start-up boutique brands like ‘Hello products’( use design to accelerate growth.

Craig Dubitsky – Hello Products, Paula Grant of Flood Creative, Danielle Stangler -NeatCheeks, David Simnick from Soapbox discuss their personal experiences and daily challenges.

To learn more about the conference or packaging design in general, please email


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