Monthly Archives: November 2012

Packaging can redefine food products, invent new categories.

Innovations in packaging materials and configurations, along with creative graphics and messaging, have opened opportunities for food marketers to redefine products and actually invent new product categories. An early example of this trend was the redefinition of baby carrots as a snack food by carrot farmers who began offering them in convenient grab-and-go single serve packaging. Since then, there has been a proliferation of product redefinition through creative packaging and marketing.

Paying attention to consumer behavior and interaction with a product can also lead to product redefinition and expanded sales opportunities. Recently, in response to the younger generation that grew up putting ranch dressing on everything from veggies to fries and pizza, Hidden Valley Ranch created Hidden Valley for Everything. The classic ranch dressing was renamed and re-packaged to fit the category definition of condiment. The upside for Hidden Valley Ranch is that their product is now available in an additional in-store category, condiments, where millennials would expect to find it.

Rethinking and redesigning packaging can infuse new life into an entire category, influence brand choices, and shape purchasing decisions.  Phil Lempert, supermarketguru.com, recently noted that ” 71% of consumers avoid purchase of certain products because of packaging”. He further stated, “69% (of consumers) report a change in shopping habits from a year earlier to favor packaging they believe to be safer”.

With a growing array of new packaging materials and technology, many food and beverage marketers are taking advantage of the opportunity to grow sales through packaging redesign. From a marketing perspective, packaging is the one media that brands completely own and control.

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