Pretium Packaging, Chesterfield, Mo., is pioneering a new innovation approach for private label and independent brand companies at its new Pretium Innovation Center in Aurora, Ill.

The center, which is housed in an existing Pretium manufacturing facility, was designed with separate rooms, each dedicated to a different part of the package selection process, including market insights, design and selection, market validation and sample room. 

“There are many decisions that have to be considered when a brand owner starts the packaging selection process. For many small-to-medium companies, the process can seem overwhelming at first. The Pretium Innovation Center has been designed to take what may feel daunting and break it down into more manageable segments to help focus on one key aspect at a time,” says Paul Kayser, president and CEO. 

The Pretium Innovation Center features a “spoke and hub” design, anchored by a large open conference room area in the center, or hub. The process begins with a brand owner entering the Market Insights room, which promotes a discussion of specific market goals and features a display of the many packages Pretium has helped commercialize. The objective is to identify market drivers and learn from the approaches others in similar or adjacent product categories have taken.

Next is the Design & Selection room, which begins with a conversation about “bottle anatomy,” and continues on with resin options, color options, neck finish, closures, decoration and tooling. 

The Market Validation room features retail store shelving, which can be turned into a planogram of the specific product category for which the bottle is being designed. Pretium also partnered with Package InSight, Greenville, S.C., to provide optional product and market study services. The company uses non-conscious consumer research (including eye tracking) specific to retail packaging and point-of-purchase marketing to help brand owners develop market differentiating packages.

For additional idea generation, the innovation center features a large sample room with blow molded bottles and injection molded jars and closures. A 3D printer is also housed there.