Category Archives: Packaging

Hain Celestial Gives Rice Dream Easy-Open Top

Consumers of Rice Dream rice drink can now prepare their morning cereal faster thanks to a new packaging innovation.

Credit: The Hain Celestial Group, Inc.

Credit: The Hain Celestial Group, Inc.

The Hain Celestial marketing team is phasing-in a new, easy-to-open screw cap atop its familiar Tetra Pak carton.  Offering this consumer benefit continues a trend of  making the pour easier, although it’s been quite some time since the last update (pull-off foil strip) was incorporated.

Anyone who’s ever had a pull-strip malfunction, which then required puncturing the seal with sharp or blunt force, will appreciate the new closure.

More good news for shoppers:  the new convenience feature appears to have been incorporated within the brand’s existing price structure, as retail pricing is unchanged at present.   Continue reading

Coke Turns Used Soda Bottles into Fun Tools in Vietnam

What if you could turn a used soda bottle into a paint brush, pencil sharpener or water squirter?

You can.  In Vietnam.  Thanks to Coca-Cola.

The soda giant has launched a simple, yet brilliant marketing promotion that combines environmentalism with brand building.

Coca-Cola 2nd Lives marketing program in Vietnam. Photo: Ogilvy & Mather China.

Coca-Cola 2nd Lives marketing program in Vietnam. Photo: Ogilvy & Mather China.

Coke is giving away a series of 16 special caps that screw onto used soda bottles and transform them into fun and useful objects. Consumers get the caps for free upon product purchase.

The program is called 2nd Lives, and is part of Coke’s sustainability efforts. Continue reading

Swedish Flooring Company Gives Away Flip-flops To Sell New Product

iStockphoto.com

Photo: iStock.

A Swedish flooring company demonstrates you can breathe new life into an old marketing tactic: sampling.

No, I’m not talking about carpet squares mounted on a board or a child’s toy-sized piece of wood floor.

Forbo Flooring Systems, working with agency Valentin&Byhr, figured out how to break-through to the architects who spec their products.  They created flip-flops made from the floor material, and packed it up in a gift box: Continue reading

KFC Speeds On-the-Go Eating with Cup Holder Chicken

Packaging-driven innovation can boost sales, especially when it’s smartly connected to customer needs and opportunities.

KFC has just launched the KFC Go Cup, a hand-held serving of chicken and potato wedges in a cup that fits most automobile cup holders.  There are five different product configurations.

Photo: KFC website.

Photo: KFC website.

Before you dismiss the launch as mere gimmickry, consider this:

KFC’s CMO told The Wall Street Journal that about 50% of sales come through the drive-through.

The KFC team leveraged that point of data, understood the implications from the customer’s perspective, and created a new product format to make on-the-go usage easier and more convenient.  It took two years to get it right. Continue reading

Arrowhead Mills Gets it Right with Cereal Package Update

If you just read headlines, you’d think marketers flunk every time when it comes to package redesign.

Not true.

Logo from Arrowhead Mills.

Logo from Arrowhead Mills.

I’m happy to report that my favorite cereal brand, Arrowhead Mills, has done a nice job updating their healthy, grain-based line of cereals.

And by the way, not to get onto a related but different topic here, it’s not that hard to add healthy (fiber, whole grains, low added sugars) and good tasting cereals to your breakfast table.

There weren’t any grievous issues with the old cereal packaging, but the use of a white background provides a contemporary, fresh and up-to-date feel.

Arrowhead Mills has wisely continued with the prominent front-panel, content benefit statements (e.g., whole grain, fiber, low fat).  This is the right approach based on consumer learning from when I worked for global ingredient supplier Tate & Lyle. Continue reading

CA Winery Blends Packaging & Consumer Insights To Create New Products

Photo: Stranger & Stranger.

Packaging is often an under-appreciated and under-utilized marketing asset.

I’m not talking about the marketing joke with the basic theme that every new brand manager wants to change the label design.  Rather, let’s explore how packaging (both structure and design) can become part of the actual concept and go-to-market strategy.

A California winery has just launched a new range of wines, that in my view, addresses a fundamental issue with buying wine:  more often than not, consumers lack basic wine knowledge and are thus intimidated, confused and uncomfortable buying wine.  But it’s not their fault.  It’s the fault of the wine industry.  I speak as a former wine importer and distributor who used packaging to address this hurdle. Continue reading

Ask Your Customer

How do you know what your customer really thinks?

Customer understanding and market research should be key components of your strategic marketing planning.  This is often a significant expenditure, but you don’t always have to invest big bucks to understand your customer.  When possible, take advantage of low-cost, easy-to-implement options such as the following example from Amazon.  Continue reading