Friday, September 20, 2019

Dairy Foods Innovation: The Power of the Package

We shop with our eyes.

You might have the most amazing dairy food innovation, but if the package does not attract, it likely will not be purchased. Looks matter.

It’s surprising how so many innovators think so little of the package. Today’s innovators have these great new product concepts. These are products they are passionate about and consume their life. (Think Shark Tank.) Then they package it in a low-quality, generic container with non-descript graphics.   

You must make package selection and brand design a priority. And when possible, make the package work for the product. Make package development part of your first day of innovation and revisit the package often.

Don’t forget, the Nutrition Facts label needs to be updated. For manufacturers with $10 million or more in annual food sales, the compliance date is Jan. 1, 2020. Smaller manufacturers have until Jan. 1, 2021.
Attending Pack Expo? Visit Double H at Booth LS-6631.

Graeter’s Ice Cream, a family-owned craft ice cream maker since 1870, understands the power of the package. The company is very good about keeping its appearance fresh and relevant to shoppers. So to commemorate its upcoming 150th year milestone celebration in 2020, the company is unveiling a new pint design that reflects the decadent indulgence of the brand. (The last package makeover was about six years ago.) The company knows its product is great and there’s no need to change its small batch, artisanal French Pot production method or flavor combinations. But the package, yes. A new look almost always turns heads.

“Our new packaging reflects how we’ve grown as a brand over the last 150 years,” explains Richard Graeter, 4th generation owner and president and CEO. “We’ve enlarged ingredient images, showcasing the flavor profile and indulgence without being busy or overly designed. We’re proud of where we landed on the new pint design, and we hope ice cream lovers everywhere will continue to find our truly handcrafted flavors in stores across the country.”

The new Graeter’s pints feature a darker color palate, straying away from the traditional white packaging that frequents ice cream freezer doors. The darker color scheme conveys the indulgence of the Graeter’s flavor profiles, especially the brand’s famous dark chocolate chips, intentionally maximizing space usage and composition. The simple, clean and traditional look reflects its lavish flavors.

Straus Family Creamery has an anniversary, too. To celebrate, the company also gave its packaging a makeover. A pioneer in sustainable organic dairy farming practices, this 25-year-old family-owned company has redesigned its packaging with updated messaging to more clearly communicate its mission, brand benefits and offer greater consistency across categories.

Gelato Fiasco also has a new look. The company is transitioning from plastic to paper pint containers with an all-new brand design. This is the first major branding change for Gelato Fiasco since 2013.

“I had been trying to reduce plastic usage in my own life,” says Joshua Davis, co-founder and CEO. “While personal practice is a great start, it became increasingly uncomfortable and untenable to ignore an obvious contradiction: If I am trying to reduce my plastic consumption as a single consumer, why not get real and cut out literally millions of plastic pint containers that I have some control over?”

With the material change, the company decided it was time for a totally new look. The mission: create imagery that is beautiful and sophisticated, but also modern and effervescent, with distinct rooting in Gelato Fiasco’s Maine heritage.

The rich and vibrant waves of color on each package are specific to each flavor. The back of the container shares a short quip about the flavor and highlights Gelato Fiasco’s scoop shop origin story, underscoring that the brand is still led by its founders. Social media call-outs vary for each flavor and invite fans to connect with the company.

“Our brand has a deep heritage. Bruno and I started Gelato Fiasco as a gelato shop in Brunswick, Maine, after we graduated from college, and today you can find Gelato Fiasco pints in more than 5,000 grocery freezers across the country, competing against massive brands from some of the world’s largest multinationals,” says Davis. “We remain founder-led, quality-focused, and really independent, and we’ve tried to convey that through every choice we made with our new brand design.”

Davis noted that the change is not without some risk to existing brand equity for consumers who are used to recognizing the old package.

“At the end of the day, we think that customers buy Gelato Fiasco for our interesting flavors, most of which contain loads of unique combinations of chunks and swirls and all of which are made with our high-quality bases,” says Davis. “Those flavor names are presented loud-and-clear on our beautiful new package, and we think fans will be able to easily spot and recognize them when they are scanning the freezer for Gelato Fiasco.”

Dairy-free flavors contain special plant-based indicators on all sides of the container. The new design also includes the new Nutrition Facts panel.

Pierre’s Ice Cream now offers snack cups with vibrant graphics to tempt the taste buds. The 5-ounce cups are sold individually so everyone in the family can pick out and enjoy his or her favorite flavor. The lineup includes five of the company’s top-selling flavors--Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup, Coconut Pineapple, Sea Salt Caramel, Toffee Crunch and Vanilla—as well as brand-new trending Green Tea.

I*SKREAM bars has undergone a brand reinvention. Low in calories and fat with no-added sugars, the new bright, colorful cartons reflect the desire by consumers to find a better-for-you ice cream, according to the company. The fresh look conveys the company’s goal that no one should take a bite of mediocre ice cream. With only 3 to 4 grams of natural sugar and a creamy chocolate coating nothing, each of the seven stevia-sweetened flavors has a unique “buddy” on the box to illustrate and connect with the diverse market for low-sugar treats, from Millennials to Baby Boomers.

If you are attending Pack Expo, which starts in a few days in Las Vegas, walk the show floor and get inspired. Maybe it’s time to give your brand a makeover.

Attending Pack Expo? Visit Double H at Booth LS-6631.

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