What You See Is What You Get

Peek-a-boo packaging lets your product tell the story.

By Kate Bertrand Connolly, Packaging Editor

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Kraft FreshTake  Kraft 2
A dual-compartment pouch separates the cheese from the seasonings (right) in Kraft's new Fresh Takes, but the paperboard sleeve aptly displays both.

Package designers are thinking outside the box, so to speak, as they create packaging for new food products. In the latest crop of package designs, from processors ranging from multinationals to start-ups, providing a view of the product — without sacrificing freshness, flavor or texture — is a recurring motif.

Kraft Fresh Take, a new meal kit from Kraft Foods Inc. (www.kraftcheese.com), Northfield, Ill., leverages the transparency of a dual-compartment pouch to show off the product's two ingredients. One compartment holds shredded or crumbed cheese, and the other holds seasoned bread crumbs. The pouch is folded in half and tucked into a paperboard sleeve that displays the cheese and crumbs.

"That inner bag is the first 'aha' of this project. In one bag we're able to create two different compartments that hold the moisture and the freshness of the cheese on one side of the bag while maintaining the crispiness of the spices and the breadcrumbs in the other" compartment, says Arthur Sevilla, brand manager for Kraft Natural Cheese.

The seal between the two compartments remains intact until the consumer opens the pouch to use the product. After the inner seal is broken, the consumer mixes the cheese and crumbs together and drops pieces of chicken, pork or fish into the pouch for coating prior to baking.

Because the product is merchandised in the shredded cheese section of the dairy case, Kraft also needed a package that would be compatible with space limitations and would position the product as a meal kit in a sea of cheese. The paperboard sleeve plays a central role in accomplishing those objectives.

"The sleeve was designed to have cutouts along the side, essentially asking consumers to take a peek beyond the sleeve," Sevilla continues. He adds that the sleeve cues customers that the product is a "meal kit or meal solution" rather than simply an ingredient, like cheese. "Most kits are in a box. A 'box' was required to differentiate ourselves in the [product] set where we would live," he says.

The sleeve also makes it possible to fold the large pouch in half, "minimizing the space we need within our dairy set," Sevilla explains. The sleeve has a peg hole, so the package can hang in the dairy case and occupy the same amount of space as an 8-oz. bag of shredded cheese. Or the package can be displayed upright; the bottom of the sleeve is flat.

For the Fresh Take product launch, which began in December 2011, Kraft created a pusher tray system that keeps the product vertical and reinforces its positioning as a meal kit. The display sits on a shelf adjacent to shredded cheese and has a transparent glass front, so the sleeves are completely visible to consumers.

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