FD Buyer: What You Need to Know About Packaging and Brands
By Mona Doyle,
founder and chairwoman, The Consumer Network
a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is a summary of
a current article from Frozen & Dairy Buyer magazine.
has more influence on consumer buying decisions than ever. Packaging
adds value, keeps products fresh longer or makes them easier or harder
to use, open, reclose, carry, store, pour, understand, and throw away.
Here are three
key points to keep in mind:
- Reduced advertising and
broadcast media power mean that the package is the only way the brand
communicates with many consumers.
- Shoppers see many packaging
attributes as consumer-responsive. Deciding to buy a brand that is
consumer-responsive, even if it costs a little more, is rewarding to
consumers and fits their perception of how things ought to be, e.g.,
that companies should give them what they want and make money by making
- The three eco-R’s, Reusable,
Refillable, and Recyclable are joined by Less Packaging in making shoppers
feel good about buying.
look at some important packaging attributes.
sell well in the dairy case because many shoppers, especially parents
of younger children, see them as a way to control portions, reduce product
waste, and give little kids packages that are just right for them. Busy
parents of young children also want packages that fit on the refrigerator
doors that they "open and close 100 times a day," often while carrying
shoppers just can’t get enough reusable packages, whether wide-mouth
jars, Chinese food containers, or empty packages of cottage cheese or
whatever. The appeal comes from a combination of thrift, storing and
gifting leftovers, and eco-friendliness. (Consider how popular reusable
bags have become in supermarkets.) The dairy case used to be a major
source of free reusable packages. Now most yogurt cups come with non-resealable
foil lids which use less plastic (which consumers like) but are less
resealable or reusable (which they don’t). If one of your vendors decides
to reintroduce snap-on yogurt tops, stock them and see if they fly –
even at a slightly higher price.
gallons and even quart containers of milk and other beverages increasingly
come with handles, making them easier to pour, carry and balance. Whether
the user is weak, shaky, small, or uncertain, having a handle makes them
feel better about themselves – always a powerful selling tool.
Discussion Question: To what degree do you see eco-consciousness driving packaging changes versus functional considerations, such as handling and storing?