Product packaging: Ten ways to boost sales and retail success
By Peter ChapmanGeneral
To be successful, food and beverage products must deliver many attributes to generate the sales they need to stay on the shelf – and packaging is one that can differentiate your product. Finding that great package can be a game changer, but it requires work and resources to develop and implement.
One thing a processor needs to be aware of is the changing regulations around plastic and packaging. Consumers are driving this change, and regulators are mandating it. Single-use plastic is an example. The industry is looking to reduce or eliminate these types of packages. If you’re using any single-use plastic, explore other options and monitor communication from the regulators.
What else makes a great package? Consider these ten attributes when developing and implementing packaging for your food and beverage products:
- Production and processing functionality – Your package choice will impact your ability to produce products quickly and efficiently. Find the right solution for your volume that keeps your cost of goods competitive and is realistic for your employees and equipment.
- Packaging costs – Consider the cost of the actual package and putting your product in it. The capital cost of equipment to package your products will directly impact your cost of goods. Some new sustainable packaging is more expensive, so factor this in.
- Food safety – Food safety is non-negotiable, so find solutions that deliver safe food that meets or exceeds customer’s expectations. Procuring, storing and providing food-safe packaging is required in the marketplace.
- Product shelf life – Customers and consumers are looking for products to perform for a definite period. Depending on your product, there could be many packaging options that can extend or control shelf life. Find the best solution between cost, efficiencies and the impact on customers and consumers.
- Package design – Check regulations, as package sizes will be dictated by net quantity/net weight requirements that are product-dependent. Be creative within the regulations. There are many examples where superior packaging design differentiates, communicates the brand story and improves functionality.Take spice grinders. When introduced, the design introduced a new level to the spice category. Positioned as a premium, consumers perceived them superior to the same spice in a bottle.
Jones Soda is another example of packaging design differentiating in a competitive category. Printing a label using consumer-submitted photos makes the bottles unique and interesting in a category dominated by large multi-national companies.
- Sustainability – Consumers, some retailers and regulators are forcing change to more sustainable options, including recycling, re-useable and compostable solutions.
- Communicates your story – Consumers make most buying decisions at the point of purchase. Great packaging that communicates the brand story and supports your message in other advertising is very effective.
- Supply-chain performance – Food and beverage products usually travel quite a distance, on several trucks and perhaps through a warehouse before they get to the store shelf. Packaging must protect the product to ensure it arrives at the store in the right shape with the proper shelf life.
- Works in the store – Consider how and where your product will be merchandised at retail. Standing in a basket or flat on a table can impact your choices. Communicate with your customers as merchandising can change, and they need to know what is coming next.
- Meets consumer expectations – When people decide to buy a product, functionality is considered, including ease of use, re-sealable options and size. These can influence the buying decision, so think about your target market and what they’ll find attractive.
The ultimate package can impact your product’s success. During the development of any food and beverage, product packaging must be considered. Every category is unique, so look at your options and prioritize them to deliver where it’s important.
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