“Our L’eggs fit your legs.”

Few would have predicted that a plastic egg would revolutionize the women’s hosiery market. But that is precisely what happened in the 70s, when Hanes marketed an affordable line of women’s hosiery and made them available in uncustomary places such as grocery stores. Soon, supermarket aisles everywhere looked as if they were overrun by hives of giant Silly Putty.

In 1973, Hanes introduced their latest low-cost pantyhose called Sheer Energy. They might not be as well remembered today were it not for the unique packaging designed by Roger Ferriter, who came up with the idea of a simple plastic pull-apart egg. Sure, it was gimmicky, but it spread the L’eggs brand name like wildfire.

Not long after, every supermarket and drug store in the country had one of those racks that looked like a futuristic hatchery. In the years that followed, many other lines of L’eggs were added, including Day Sheer, Sheer Elegance and Active Support, all sold from the same plastic eggs.

Celebrities such as Linda Gray, Joyce Dewitt, Juliet Prowse and Barbara Eden have all appeared in television commercials showing off their great L’eggs over the years. These memorable ads helped to sell millions of pantyhose-filled plastic orbs back in the day. Unfortunately, the iconic eggs were destined for extinction.

In the more environmentally-conscious era that followed, the plastic was eventually deemed a bit superfluous. After consumer pressure, Hanes discarded their iconic packaging in favor of a more eco-friendly, biodegradable cardboard pouch. Sales haven’t suffered from the change any, and L’eggs remain a very popular product around the world.

Having said that, for anyone who wore pantyhose through the 70s and 80s, those plastic eggs will not soon be forgotten – a simple yet highly-effective marketing concept that may have resembled an enormous invasion of alien pods ready to hatch some evil galactic plot, but instead managed to change the way women would buy their hosiery forever.

And if there is one lesson to heed from all of this,  it is that – if you have a new product to promote, you might just try packaging it inside a plastic egg. In the case of the putty and the pantyhose, the results were nothing short of miraculous.

Do you remember the large racks of Leggs in the local supermarket aisle? Do you still have some of the discontinued plastic egg pods lying around? We’d love to hear all of your thoughts on this memorable hosiery in our comments section below.

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