It's 'Back to the Future' Day - A Look at Packaging from the 90s

October 20, 2015


What does October 21, 2015 mean to you? Is it the date of your kid’s next soccer match or when your next car payment is due? Before you answer, take a few seconds and watch this video.

That’s right! Tomorrow is the day we have been anticipating for 25 years when Emmett “Doc” Brown sends Marty McFly to the future in “Back to the Future II.” Much has been made over the last few years about what the 1989 movie release got right and wrong in future predictions. As usual, all of us here at Ernest Packaging Solutions are more focused on how far we’ve come from a packaging perspective and less from, say, the perspective of self-lacing shoes and flying cars.

That’s why we’re taking a trip down quarter-century memory lane to look at some of the different packaging of the 1990s vs today.

Beauty Products

Buzzfeed has created a wonderful interactive collection of beauty product packaging from the 90s vs. today. We highly recommend you go check it out, especially if you remember using Teen Spirit deodorant back in the day.

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Cool Ranch Doritos

They lost the window, but we’ll forever love the addictive crunch of these snacking perfections.

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Images via

The Longbox

Back in 1989, record stores sold CDs in oversized “longboxes” that served as larger display cases as well as deterred theft. They also deterred rationality as they were extremely wasteful. Artists like Phil Collins and Raffi refused to sell their albums in longboxes.

The longbox battles were actually very controversial as evidenced by this MTV report on the phasing out of longboxes from 1990: 

Today, CDs are sold in jewel cases alone—in case you forgot that you could download the whole album into your mobile phone.

Ernest Packaging Solutions has been around for nearly 70 years and we’ve seen a lot of changes…and we’re still going strong—91-year-old Mr. Wilson strong:

For generations, we’ve been moving packaging forward with innovative custom designs and taking on exciting challenges like creating a cardboard skateboard. Want to get your packaging solutions up-to-date? Contact us today to get started.