Louise Marsland (shelflife at’s weekly pick of recent product, packaging, design and food launches:

  • Panasonic reinvests in South Africa
  • Durex is sensitive to consumers’ needs, and
  • tartan continues its comeback

Panasonic stages a comeback

Beauty and household gadgets are among the range of items to be introduced to the South African market by PanasonicPanasonic launched major plans this past week to “retake” the South African electronics market by putting a Panasonic product in every home and again becoming a household name in SA.

The brand with the payoff line “A better life, a better world” flew in 10 Panasonic directors and media from all over the country to a press conference at Emperors Palace to outline its plans. The head honchos were also here to meet with key distributors and retailers.

While Panasonic has kept a low profile in recent years, it now has plans to introduce a wide range of high-quality products across several categories on the African continent, including TVs, home-theatre systems, home audio systems, portable audio systems, cameras, home appliances such as washing machines, fridges and beauty care products, and a full range of business-to-business equipment and air conditioners.

Business-to-business products on show at the Panasonic 2015 launchPanasonic’s reinvestment in SA at this time is also in line with growth in the African technology market and increased spend on technology, from mobile handsets and gadgets to refrigerators and washing machines.

One of Panasonic’s key driving pillars here is to deliver an exceptional service to its dealers and customers in line with its philosophy of “you deserve better”.

Daizo Ito, the regional head of Panasonic for India, South Asia, Middle East and Africa, stated that the corporation viewed quality as its measure of excellence: “Attention to detail and refined Japanese craftsmanship are inherent in all Panasonic products, from easy-to-use consumer products such as our range of audio-visual systems, cameras, home appliances, to reliable and precise business solutions including air-conditioning units.”

Durex gets even more touchy-feely

Durex RealFeel packshotDurex has unveiled the Durex RealFeel condom, which it bills as a “revolutionary product” that will increase sensitivity during sex.

Durex comes with 80 years’ experience in the prophylactic market and this product has been designed after research showed couples did not like to use condoms during sex, believing that they did not produce strong physical sensations.

According to Durex brand manager, Thisile Mtyeku, Durex is hard at work, focused upon innovation and augmenting its product offering. RealFeel is described as an innovative extension and new product line which more than meets consumers’ needs for increased sensitivity and maintained reliability.

Consumers can get their hands on Durex RealFeel at selected stores as rollout commences. It has a recommended retail price of R49.99 for the three-pack and R169.99 for the 12 pack.

Tartan trend

Woodbender Indaba Tub with tartan printFashion, design and furnishings are intricately linked when it comes to trends and, as prints gain in popularity on the fashion runways, so form follows function and trends such as tartan have started to make an appearance in interior design.

Woodbender, a SA specialist in bending and manufacturing chairs made to order and customised with regards to timber finish and fabric choice, pegs tartan as a favourite furnishing trend for this winter.

The traditional Scottish print already began to surface in wallpapers and upholstery fabrics in a variety of palettes last year.

Woodbender has paired its tartan print with a textured plain fabric on its Indaba Tub chairs with a warm walnut finish.

*This is my last Shelf Life column — thank you for reading me for the past two years! I’ll be leaving you in the capable ‘ink-stained’ hands of former Saturday Star Media & Marketing editor and journalist, Cheryl Hunter, to continue the column from 7 May 2015!


Shelf Life is’s weekly column covering new product, packaging, design and food launches. Notify us of yours at shelflife at marklives dot com. Want to sponsor Shelf Life? Contact us here.

Louise MarslandLouise has written about the FMCG, media, marketing and advertising industry for over 20 years as a former editor of magazines AdVantage, Marketing Mix and Progressive Retailing, as well as websites and FMCGFiles. She also edited the weekly Wednesday Media & Marketing Page for The New Age newspaper. She is currently the publishing editor of industry trendwatching portal, TRENDAFRiCA, for consumer insight, research and trends in Africa; a regular industry columnist and speaker; a consultant on content strategy; and contributing editor to Fast Company South Africa magazine, which has just launched in South Africa.

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