Can Packaging Solve The Squeeze?



I was approached by a group of growers the other day about a branding project.

They were torn.

They had a product that was selling okay in a few stores and not so well in others. They wanted to explore a packaging solution, but at the same time, they weren’t convinced it would make a difference to their sales.

They were also considering using traditional media, radio advertising, but also felt uncertain it would make a difference to their sales.

Then they talked about ‘the squeeze.’

Feeling ‘The Squeeze’

On the production side, they were constantly faced with increased input and compliance costs. These costs were not avoidable – and often, they could not be passed on.

On the retail side, they struggled to find a way to increase their price and yet remain competitive. There was also the belief that retailers ‘wouldn’t wear a price increase.’

With pressure coming from increased production costs and stagnant retail pricing, they were squeezed in the middle – in no man’s land – where the short term outcome meant watching valuable dollars drop away from their bottom line.

Any of you feel like you are in ‘the squeeze’? Feel frustrated that everyone else in the channel can increase their prices except you?

Packaging Can Provide A Solution

One way to increase value is to add value to your product from a shopper’s point of view. This doesn’t always mean you have to set up a processing plant and start to wash, slice or dice your product.

It is more about adding value by either re-jigging your packaging or gaining a better understanding of shopper purchase motivations.

Understand ‘Shopper Perceived Value’ Is Key

With the award winning Love! Kumara project, the way I added value was by better understanding what the customer wanted to buy. Once research revealed she wanted to buy smaller, smoother, more medium sized kumara, then I worked with the growers to re-task the packhouse in order to add ‘consumer perceived value’ to the product.

Sure, it took new packaging and a small amount of education and promotion, but the result was worth the investment. Together, the growers and I were able to increase grower returns AND work with our retail partners on a category growth strategy all parties benefitted from.

In the case of kumara, the consumer knowledge, coupled with new packaging and a new category strategy drove value growth.

Longer term, I am confident it will also drive penetration (new shoppers) because we are selling a product that better meets shopper needs and that has the potential to attract and convert new shoppers.

In the last six months, I’ve been involved with a range of fresh produce products where there was no doubt a more shopper driven approach would have added value to the product…and to the category.

So let me revisit my opening story. Here is the advice I gave to the group.

5 Reasons Why Investing In Your Packaging Is Worthwhile

  1. Always invest in a Packaging Audit or reviewing your packaging before you spend money on marketing or advertising. There is no sense spending big dollars to advertise if your packaging turns them off.
  2. Your packaging is a powerful sales tool that can work for you 24/7, if you brand it, design it well and use key messages wisely.
  3. Your packaging is influential – it speaks to your shopper right at the point of decision. Remember, traditional media may not be remembered by the time they get to the store.
  4. Your packaging needs to do more than tell the shopper – it needs to sell the shopper. You sell a solution by better understanding your consumer’s needs.
  5. If you a just relying on a variety name as an on-pack sales strategy, you are missing opportunity. You must tell them more than just the variety – you must sell them on the benefits the variety provides.

Want to review your packaging? Consider my Packaging Audit. For US$995, it is some of the best money you can spend to ensure your packaging…and your marketing spend is working as hard as it can.