The marketplace for consumer goods has been stagnant for some fifty odd years— Food Navigator USA reports that per capita spending has been flat for nearly half a century when prices are adjusted for inflation. Food and beverage companies that are searching for a way to increase market share need to think creatively. And, increasingly, food packaging design is one way for companies to differentiate their products and capitalize on growth trends that favor smaller or more nimble brands.
Whether your brand is struggling to gain a foothold in the marketplace or increase sales, an outstanding label design may be just the boost that your brand needs.
Pasta Sauce with Pizazz: How Product Labels and Unique Packaging Sizes Helped a New Sauce Brand Stand Out
Consider the case of Nello’s Sauce, a southern-crafted, premium marinara sauce that’s succeeded at carving a niche in the mature pasta sauce market— thanks, in no small part, to the brand’s creative labels and unique packaging size.
“The look has basically remained the same (certainly the logo has), but the labels always improve,” Nello’s Sauce founder Neal McTighe told Food Navigator USA. “One must have a beautiful label or else it’s like going to the ball wearing burlap.”
McTighe’s approach to creative labeling is reflected in how he runs his business. He also produces a smaller, 14oz jar as an alternative to the standard 25oz jar that he says helps keep the sauce affordable and accessible for people living in smaller households that don’t need a giant tomato sauce jar. The smaller pack size stands out on the shelf and enables the brand to meet a competitive price point.
Adapting Design to Meet Marketplace Demand: How One Beverage Company Found Its Niche
Companies need to be willing to adjust their food packaging design to meet marketplace expectations. Canada Enterprises LLC, which sells the popular non-carbonated beverage company Jin+Ja, has seen sales explode since the company overhauled their label design in 2013.
Jin+Ja is a blend of fresh ginger, cayenne pepper, lemon, mint, green tea and cane sugar. With US consumers increasingly demanding sophisticated beverages like kombucha and craft beer, Jin+Ja fits a natural marketplace niche, but it took several years for the product to finally take off. Changing the drink’s packaging may have been the boost it needed.
Initially, Jin+Ja was sold in small glass “potion bottles”. Next, the drink was sold in larger green glass that resembled wine bottles– and had a price tag to match. In 2013, partially on the advice of Whole Foods, Canada ditched the larger bottles, overhauled the design, and started offering the drink in a smaller, 187ml single-serving size. The single-serving size took off and also attracted attention from bars and restaurants, says Reuben Canada, the brainchild behind the Jin+Ja drink.
Canada developed the drink in his kitchen in 2009, introduced the drink to local retailers in 2011, and inked his first deal with Whole Foods in 2012. However, it wasn’t until he introduced the new packaging design and smaller serving size in 2013 that sales really took off.
In October, Canada told Food Navigator USA that the company is on track to quadruple their revenue in 2014.
Food Packaging Design Lessons: What Your Brand Needs to Know
Whether it’s making a product size adjustment or thinking creatively about product labels, being open to experimenting with food packaging design can make a big difference for a business’s bottom line. This is especially true for newer brands or product lines that are struggling to compete in the mature consumer products marketplace where brand loyalty starts early.
Brands should consider using packaging design to take advantage of consumers’ increased demand for organic, premium and compact products. As both Nello’s Sauce and Jin+Ja demonstrate, continued product design refinement can truly make a difference for your brand’s bottom line.