With natural and organic brands continuing to inundate the marketplace, processors are turning to market segmentation to claim their niches. Packaging is providing essential support, with designs that call out to targeted segments.
The trend is occurring in both North America and Europe, within natural and organic categories ranging from peanut butter to sparkling water. In some instances, segmentation hinges on consumer values — like a desire for on-the-go convenience or locally sourced food. In other cases, demographic segmentation is the preferred strategy.
In the U.S., Hain Celestial Group Inc., Lake Success, N.Y., recently redesigned the distinctive black packaging for its Terra brand chips to emphasize the root vegetables from which the product is made. The new package graphics, which feature elegant photography of the chips and a fresh visual architecture, also reinforce the brand’s positioning as a premium, gourmet-quality natural snack.
In the redesign, “there were three key elements that we wanted to focus on,” says Sam Garfinkel, senior brand manager for the Terra brand. “The biggest thing we wanted to communicate was … our real vegetables. That gets to the heart of what separates us from all the other players in the snack category.”
Second, he says, “we wanted to modernize the brand. We had a brand that was so premium, but wasn’t as modern as some of the other players in the category.”
Running “a close third” was improved "portfolio navigation." To help consumers navigate the Terra portfolio, which includes more than 20 varieties and some 50 stock-keeping units in various sizes, the package redesign changed how product varieties and seasonings are presented.
“I think the clearest example of how we standardized and improved navigation was with our flavor banner,” Garfinkel says. On the old package, the location and size of the flavor banner varied by flavor. On the new bag, the product variety appears immediately below the Terra logo, and the seasoning cue is right under the variety: “Terra,” “Exotic Potato” and “Sea Salt,” for example.
“We set up a clear architecture for communicating brand, flavor and seasoning, all in a very structured manner … across the brand, so that people would get to the shelf, quickly recognize it as Terra and then easily navigate to their flavor of choice,” Garfinkel explains.
The package’s glossy black surface and high-quality rotogravure printing position Terra as a premium brand, and artistic photography on the bags supports the modernization and real-vegetable communication.
“Stylistically, it’s a very modern angle and look, but [the photography] also helps us highlight all those diverse vegetables that you see in the blend,” Garfinkel says. “It really helps tell that full story in just one image.”
Augmenting the large product photo on the bag, a row of icons across the bottom of the package shows which vegetables are included in that particular flavor.
Brand agency CBX, New York, worked with the brand team on the strategy for the redesign and also created the new package design.
Meanwhile, on-the-go consumers are the target market for a different type of natural snack — peanut butter. In May 2014, Hormel Foods Corp., Austin, Minn., launched Skippy Natural Creamy Peanut Butter Spread and Skippy Creamy Peanut Butter in single-serving multipacks. The company calls the format Skippy Singles.
Each resealable canister of Skippy Singles holds six 1.5-oz. cups of peanut butter. The small, sealed, individual cups make it easy to transport the product for an away-from-home treat teamed with other foods, or as a snack unto itself.
The canister, with a transparent front panel that displays the cups, simplifies pantry storage and also provides a visual reminder to restock the product as the supply dwindles.
Happy European cows and bees
Rørosmeieriet, Røros, Norway, that country’s largest organic dairy, is redesigning all its packaging to attract consumers interested in locally produced organic products.
The first of the dairy’s redesigns, for its one-liter cartons of milk, launched this March throughout Norway. The company worked with Stockholm-based brand development agency Grow to execute the redesign.
All of Rørosmeieriet’s products “are organic and based on milk from farms in the Røros region and surrounding counties,” says Kjersti Svang Olsen, account director/director brand development at Grow.
The brand’s identity is wrapped up in the “culinary traditions and professional craftsmanship that the area is famous for,” she adds. These include dairy techniques that have been used for many generations in the region.
To communicate these local and traditional attributes to its target market, Rørosmeieriet’s new milk cartons are decorated with a full-size image of an old-fashioned glass milk bottle.
“Compared to the general packaging in the milk [section] in Norwegian grocery stores, it represents a distinctive expression through the use of different graphical means,” says Olsen.
A combination of photography and hand-painted watercolors communicates the milk’s provenance, with an emphasis on Røros, cows and traditional dairy equipment. Inspiration for the new logo came from dairy tools and milk-pail lids.
Going forward, Rørosmeieriet will work with Grow to redesign packaging for the dairy’s sour cream, cottage cheese, skjørost cheese, yogurt and butter.