A few of my favourite packaging things no 3: Block bottom bags
You’ve seen the moment in countless movies. We’re in small town America, probably somewhere in the Midwest or the Deep South. A young housewife, bored and frustrated with her lot, is carrying out that most everyday of tasks – shopping. It represents everything she hates about her routine suburban existence.
As she waits for the checkout girl, a man packs her groceries for her in brown paper block bottom bags. He’s cool, attractive, possibly slightly dangerous. They chat, they flirt. He carries her shopping to her car and loads it in the boot – sorry, we’re in the US here, trunk. Just before she drives off, their eyes meet and hold for a second. Does he hold the promise of a way out and a more exciting life for her?
Best packaging product in a supporting role
The hero of that classic scene and the catalyst for everything that follows is neither the discontented lady nor the dangerous man. It’s not even the checkout girl, innocently witnessing the start of what turns out to be a chain of events that will change all their lives forever. It’s the brown paper bag.
If you don’t believe me, try transposing the same scene to the average British supermarket. It wouldn’t work. If you’ve ever tried to look cool, attractive and slightly dangerous while packing plastic carrier bags, you’ll know exactly what I mean.
It’s the ingenious design of these brown paper bags (which I have detailed elsewhere on this blog) that lets the scene unfold, unhindered by the kind of practical problems plastic bags would present. Because they’re large, strong and, most importantly of all, stand up on their own, the man can concentrate on flirting and being cool, rather than struggling vainly to keep the bags upright, then having to start on another one after just a loaf of bread and a few bananas.
Roll the credits
Of course, by the end of the film, the woman’s family has broken up, her husband driven to drink; the cool, attractive and slightly dangerous man has turned out to be a psychopath and the checkout girl has been killed in a failed hold-up committed by him and his former prison cellmate. This kind of movie never ends well, I’m afraid.
Naturally, you don’t have to be in a depressing American film to use block bottom bags, seeing as they’re strong, practical, environmentally friendly and have the kind of reliable quality that makes them ideal for all kinds of retailers. And because Davpack sells them cheaper than most, and because they’re available from stock so you can have them delivered next working day, unlike the movies, everyone lives happily ever after!
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