New packages can enliven mature products
Revitalizing the health of your brand or product may be only a package change away — just ask StarKist, Pringles, Corbett Canyon and Birds Eye.
By Kate Bertrand | 06/28/2005
|Birds Eye's new package was developed for optimal flavor delivery, explains Dave Hogberg. “Our strategy is to make it easier and more enjoyable for consumers to eat more vegetables... That’s what our steam-and-serve package does.”
For merchandising purposes, the tray is wrapped in a paperboard sleeve made of 18-point, solid bleached sulfate paperboard. The sleeves, supplied by Smurfit-Stone Container Corp., Chicago, are printed in six colors plus an acrylic coating for sheen in the freezer case.
“The introduction of Birds Eye Steam & Serve is part of an overall strategy to re-engage the consumer in the frozen vegetable category and Birds Eye brand. It does so by delivering tangible benefits of exceptional taste and convenience in a very innovative package,” says Dave Hogberg, executive vice president-sales, marketing and business development at Birds Eye Foods.
The company began limited distribution of the product in New York and Pennsylvania last fall and plans to expand distribution in September 2005. Birds Eye Steam & Serve comes in six varieties: Beans with a Twist, Asian Vegetables with Roasted Cashews, Spring Vegetables in Citrus Sauce, Italian Herb Harvest Vegetables, Thanksgiving Carrots & Cranberries, and Lemon Pepper Vegetables.
Instead of developing the product and packaging the conventional way -- by having its food technologists develop a new product and later creating an appropriate package for the product -- Birds Eye took a different tack with the Steam & Serve line. The company developed the steamer-package concept first, then gave the package to its executive chef with the assignment of developing recipes that would work well with the package.
The goal was “optimal flavor delivery,” says Hogberg. “All elements of the food, packaging and presentation were unified behind the simple concept of delivering chef-inspired, sauced vegetables in a unique steam-and-serve package.”
He adds, “Our strategy is to make it easier and more enjoyable for consumers to eat more vegetables, and the way to do that is by providing something that delivers a much better eating experience. That’s what our steam-and-serve package does.”
Clarence Birdseye, who pioneered quick freezing for food in the 1920s, would be gratified both by the new technology and by how it puts a new spin on his namesake brand.
|NOTE TO PLANT OPS
For Procter & Gamble, designing a thermoformed cup that would protect Pringles Snack Stacks crisps was essential. Unbroken potato crisps represent an important part of Pringles’ brand equity. Breakage is not acceptable.
Thus, the company designed a saddle-shaped cup that cradles the nested crisps and prevents them from breaking. The next step was creating a mold for its suppliers’ thermoforming equipment.
For this phase of package development, Procter & Gamble developed a cup delivery team that included its own product development managers as well as representatives from its two cup vendors and from the mold makers that supply those vendors.
The cup vendors are Winpak Ltd., Winnipeg, Manitoba, which thermoforms the cups at its South Chicago Heights, Ill., plant. Winpak also is the lidding converter for the cups. The other Snack Stacks cup supplier is Printpack Inc., Atlanta. All members of the cup delivery team worked collaboratively, sharing non-competitive and non-proprietary information to create the mold Winpak and Printpack use today.