Black Forest Unveils Brand Redesign and New Products

Chocolate may be King, but Gummy Candy is the reigning Queen of the confectionary world. No one knows this better than Ferrara Candy Company, the leading non-chocolate confectionary company in the U.S. and owner of Black Forest.

Black Forest, an industry leader in Gummy Bears and Gummy Worms, were facing flat sales and a packaging design dilemma. The brand was becoming dated and though the products featured the brand promise moms love—Made with Real Fruit Juice—the message was lost on package.

In an on-going partnership between Hughes Design Group and Ferrara Candy Company, Hughes was tasked with elevating and modernizing the brand to communicate the healthier brand positioning.

To take Black Forest from its unmemorable dark nighttime identity, brand equity was boosted with eye-catching colors. “We wanted to reinforce the goodness of these newly reformulated gummies and reflect the colorful nature of the gummies themselves. The new colors help draw impact at shelf and build brand awareness,” says Daniella Kohler, account director and brand strategist at Hughes Design Group. The bold color palette extended from the new, spirited brand mark to the architecture, emoting a warm and inviting feel to the brand. 

To increase sales, it was critical that the packaging engage consumers at point of purchase. Replacing the dated gummy bear and worm mascots with contemporary, playful new illustrations gave the designs life and energy. The new mascots also generated opportunities for animation on special seasonal packages such as Halloween.

In addition to their core SKUs in the gummy snack category, Black Forest has expanded its portfolio with the release of an innovative line of better-for-you fruit snacks. From juicy burst centers to triple layer collisions and vitamin fortified snacks, the Black Forest fruit snacks offer reassurance to parents wanting healthier options for their children’s endless snacking habits.

“To differentiate in the competitive fruit snacks marketplace, the unique selling proposition of healthier ingredients had to be translated into the design and highlighted in the communication hierarchy,” says Kohler. With a wholesome blue sky, fresh fruit photography, and flavor color arcs, Hughes Design Group created a brand architecture for the fruit snacks that could work independently, but still maintain the spirit of the refreshed Black Forest brand. The “Real Juice, Real Goodness” tagline reads across the top of each package with “Made with Real Fruit Juice and Vegetable Juice” boosted in the center for optimal consumer visibility and mom appeal. A checklist of the better-for-you ingredients can be found on the face of each single serve pouch and carton.

Since the release of its new brand identity, packaging, and innovative products, Black Forest has made and continues to make exciting growth in the gummy and fruit snacks categories. With more varieties and releases in the pipeline for next year, the reinvigorated brand is sure to have a long and continued success into the future. 

 

 

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Bold, bright new way to brush

Hello Products debuts improved, bold packaging and new flavors to its toothpaste line, including a brand new line of mint-free pastes for kids. Peach Mango Mint is the newest addition to hello’s adult line, which is formulated to be effective and delicious, and the company’s brand new kids’ line is designed to compel kids to “rush to brush.”

The new colorful tubes of the original flavors—Supermint, Pink Grapefruit Mint, and Mojito Mint—will be available at retailers nationwide, including Target, Walgreens, Duane Reade, Wakefern and Ahold grocers. These tubes represent a big departure from the company’s previous package design, which were bright white tottles complemented by the bright colors versus flooded with color. The white matte, plastic squeeze bottles also were a nontraditional shape, which drew attention at retail, but also had a matte finish that easily picked up grime from shoppers’ hands when evaluating the product at retail.

In addition to launching its new look, Hello is debuting new Target exclusive products. Peach Mango Mint, was developed to be a juicy, delicious, burst of fruity flavor with a cool, refreshing mint finish, and is exclusively available at Target.com and Target stores.   Also exclusively at Target is hello’s new kids’ line, which has the same cavity-fighting formula as the company’s adult line, but in mint-free flavors developed to appeal to a child’s palette.

“We are super excited to bring brushers of all ages friendly new toothpastes that continue to make oral care way more awesome,” Craig Dubitsky, founder and CEO of hello, says. “We hope folks develop a crush on their brush, and love our new toothpastes as much as we’ve enjoyed bringing them to life.  We’re excited by the opportunity of turning a ‘have to’ ritual into a ‘want to’ experience.”
 

Equality for the sexes

Pantone introduces its Fashion Color Report for fall 2015. The comprehensive overview of designers’ use of color in their upcoming fashion collections has long served as inspiration for designers in all industries and indicators of color cues that are expected to resonate with today’s consumers.

The report features the top 10 colors for women’s and men’s fashion for fall 2015, along with designer sketches and inspiration and shows that fashion designers are taking a more unisex approach to developing the season’s color palettes.

Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, explains, “The Fall 2015 palette is rooted in multi-faceted, androgynous colors that can be worn to portray effortless sophistication across men’s and women’s fashion; it is the first time we are seeing a truly unisex color palette.”

The importance of neutrals continues to evolve with Desert Sage, a cool and soothing greenish-gray, a neutral seen across the Fall 2015 palette. Pantone says the color is timeless and unobtrusive yet powerful enough to make a statement on its own.

It describes Stormy Weather, another color seen in several designers’ collections, as dependable, cool and, above all, constant. Implying quality and luxury, it is a powerful blue-gray that is strong, protective and enduring. Just as the sun comes out after stormy weather to bring cheer and a glimmer of hope, Oak Buff is a mellow, comforting and warming shade that brings good feelings. One of nature’s many illustrious shades, this golden-yellow acts to nurture and comfort. Combine Desert Sage, Stormy Weather and Oak Buff for a look inspired by the flora and fauna of fall.

An olive green once thought of as strictly safari or military, Dried Herb is elevated this season to be sophisticated and chic. Closely related to nature, Dried Herb is an organic shade redolent of nature’s earthy fragrances. Interesting on its own and a wonderful contrast to other hues, Marsala is a winey red-brown that adds finesse and savoir faire to the palette. Rich and robust, Marsala incorporates the warmth and richness of a tastefully fulfilling meal, while its grounding red-brown roots point to a sophisticated, natural earthiness. A lush and elegant teal, Biscay Bay splashes up against more heated tones with its cool touch, combining the serene qualities of blue with the invigorating aspects of green. This cool and confident tone inspires thoughts of soothing tropical waters, transporting us to a place that is pleasant and inviting.

A nod to the ’60s and ’70s, Cadmium Orange evokes a sentiment of optimism, fun and fantasy. Both playful and sophisticated in its appeal, Cadmium Orange is a warm, welcoming and subtly dramatic hue that is striking enough to stand on its own or act as a bold contrast. A play on the ’60s with a twist of today, luxurious Cashmere Rose is a tactile and soft pink hue that renders exactly what it promises. Cultivated in its richness, Cashmere Rose displays a gently persuasive and composed pink that is more upscale than downtown. Both men and women can weave Cadmium Orange and Cashmere Rose with Desert Sage for a bold mix of bright, earthy inspiration.

Thoughtful, contemplative and composed, Reflecting Pond is a cooling blue that adds dimension and intrigue to the Top 10. Conveying a message of credibility, Reflecting Pond is a serious shade that speaks to the need for stability and security. Indicative of our affection for color, Amethyst Orchid, Pantone says, is the jewel in the crown of the fall 2015 palette. Intriguing, vibrant and somewhat sensual, this enigmatic shade is an extraordinary hue that is unique, bold, creative and exciting.

Again, Pantone’s top colors for men’s and women’s fashion for fall 2015 are:
PANTONE 16-0110 Desert Sage
PANTONE 18-4214 Stormy Weather
PANTONE 16-1144 Oak Buff
PANTONE 17-0627 Dried Herb
PANTONE 18-1438 Marsala
PANTONE 18-4726 Biscay Bay
PANTONE 15-1340 Cadmium Orange
PANTONE 16-2215 Cashmere Rose
PANTONE 19-4326 Reflecting Pond
PANTONE 17-3628 Amethyst Orchid

To learn more about these colors and how the messages they convey, visit www.pantone.com/fall2015.
 

Sappi North America Launches New CPG Packaging Product

Sappi North America, a leading producer and supplier of a diversified range of paper and packaging products, today expanded its leadership offerings in the packaging market with the launch of LusterCote, a superior C1S paper for labels and other related end use applications. Sappi is introducing the product to respond to a global customer need in consumer packaged goods, setting the stage for the future with packaging as one of its core business segments.

Sappi’s 60 years of experience in the packaging industry began with selling paper to multi-wall bag manufacturers in the 1950s. In 1993, it introduced LusterPrint, a grease-resistant paper used primarily in pet food packaging. LusterPrint is compliant with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations for paper and paperboard packaging in contact with dry, aqueous and fatty foods. It also can be used in the production of popcorn bags and a variety of other flexible packaging applications.

“Our long-standing experience in packaging gives us confidence that we can meet the growing need for superior labeling papers,” says Jennifer Miller, executive vice-president of the coated business and chief sustainability officer, Sappi North America. “The introduction of LusterCote is a natural extension of Sappi’s packaging line and proof of our commitment to product innovation in response to growing customer demand. In addition to our North American grades, the wide-range of specialty packaging grades now available from our Alfeld mill in Germany, such as Algro Finess, Parade Prima and Fusion, position Sappi to meet the evolving expectations of the North American packaging market.” 

LusterCote has been fully qualified by leading label converters in the U.S. and Canada and is produced at Sappi’s Somerset Mill in Skowhegan, Maine. It will be sold directly to label printers and converters. LusterCote is initially available in both 55-lb and 60-lb basis weights.

“We are excited about bringing product advantages to the labeling industry that have long been associated with Sappi’s Somerset mill,” says Mark Odgers, commercial director of Sappi’s Import and Packaging Business. “The excellence of our printing surface and superior bulk and stiffness will translate into yield and converting efficiencies and bring real value to the label market.”

Made with nearly 80 percent renewable energy and available with SFI, FSC or PEFC chain of custody certification, LusterCote offers key features that include excellent runnability and stiffness, as well as superior print performance.

“Hammer Packaging is always searching for innovative suppliers who can bring value, consistent performance, and technical expertise to the market,” says Lou Iovoli, Vice President of Strategic Partnerships, Hammer Packaging. “Our relationship with Sappi consistently delivers performance-driven packaging solutions, enabling us to advance the goals of our clients.”

The launch of LusterCote is a key facet of Sappi’s decision to permanently expand its packaging business at a time when converters are searching for reliable and stable providers amid a market disrupted from recent closures, sales and mega-mergers. Sappi’s newly formed Packaging Group will be led by Odgers, a 30-year industry veteran who recently managed M-real’s North American business.

Assisting Odgers will be Laura Thompson, PhD, Sappi’s director of Technical Marketing and Sustainable Development, who led the development of LusterCote. Thompson has been heavily involved in past product development for Sappi and, previously, for MeadWestvaco. She will continue to explore new packaging and technical specialty product opportunities.

Sappi’s new Packaging Group will be supported by a dedicated sales team: Wayne Nablo, Sales Manager, Sappi Europe Specialty Products; Scott Marquis, Sales Manager, LusterPrint; and, Tom Glas, Sales Manager, LusterCote.

About Sappi North America

Sappi North America, headquartered in Boston and a subsidiary of global pulp and paper group Sappi Limited, is the market leader in converting wood fiber into superior products that customers demand worldwide. The success of our four diversified businesses – high quality Coated Printing Papers, Specialised Cellulose, Release Papers and Specialty Packaging – is driven by strong customer relationships, best-in-class people and advantaged assets, products and services. Our high quality Coated Printing Papers, including McCoy, Opus, Somerset and Flo, are the key platform for premium magazines, catalogs, books and high-end print advertising. We are the world’s largest manufacturer of Specialised Cellulose used in a wide range of products, including textile fibers and household goods, and the world’s leading supplier of Release Papers for the automotive, fashion and engineered films industries. Our Specialty Packaging products, such as LusterPrint and LusterCote, represent an important asset in the food packaging and labeling industries. Customers rely on Sappi for high technical, operational and market expertise; products and services delivered with consistently high quality and reliability; and, state-of-the-art and cost-competitive assets and innovative spirit.

Sappi North America is a subsidiary of Sappi Limited (JSE), a global company headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa, with over 14,000 employees and manufacturing operations on three continents in seven countries and customers in over 100 countries around the world. Learn more about Sappi at: www.sappi.com/na.

Editor’s Note: This post was shared by a member of the Package Design community. Do you have news to share with our readers or a package design project that you are especially proud of? Click here to learn how you can become a contributing member of the Package Design online community.

 

R&D/Leverage Injection Mold Making Services Selected by the Innovators at Replenish Bottling

R&D/Leverage® Injection Mold Making Services Selected by the Innovators at Replenish Bottling

Creators of breakthrough, reusable bottle system sought a “true partner” to create an integrated,

multi-part, leak-proof bottle destined to “streamline the refill experience”…

LEE’S SUMMIT Missouri, February 10th, 2015 – Innovation-driven Replenish Bottling, creators of a bold new format for plastic spray bottles and containers – truly reusable bottles designed for consumer mixing – turned to R&D/Leverage for its injection mold building expertise when it was time to scale up from initial pilot molds.

According to California-based Jason Foster, Founder and “Chief Reuser” of Replenish, his team met the R&D/Leverage team at a trade show in Florida, and the rest, as they say, is history. “At that point, we had made some tools, but nothing had been scaled up,” Foster said. “From the inception of our partnership with R&D/Leverage, it was clear that they recognized and were excited about the potential of our new category, and that their expertise is second-to-none. Together, we are changing what a bottle can be.”

The challenge to the R&D team, however, was formidable. The Replenish team required injection molds designed for high-speed automation to produce six different parts used in an integrated, leak-proof bottle-interior reservoir design that would appeal to makers of a wide range of packaged goods.

THE REPLENISH SYSTEM: DISPOSABLE  BOTTLES  AS “TOOLS FOR GOOD”

The patented Replenish design relegates the prosaic disposable bottle-refill paradigm to the dustbins of history. But it is one that requires cutting edge molds / molding. It features an internal mixing cup that easily allows consumers to add the right amount of concentrate into the bottle, which is then quickly mixed with household tap water. “Just turn the bottle upside-down, squeeze concentrate from the refill pod into the built-in measuring cup, and add water,” Foster explained. “The cost of creating and shipping water-based formulations is thus reduced. Plus, the Replenish System is hassle-free and fun to use.”

R&D/Leverage’s Project Manager Dave Taylor noted the immediate chemistry between the two teams. “We can handle everything from unit tools to 144-cavity production molds” he said, “and, in this case, we wanted to pioneer a new packaging category with Replenish. We were totally up for the challenge and were ready to partner with them to help commercialize their breakthrough vision.”

Added Account Manager Larry Schumacher, “we are a privately-owned company and have been since 1976. R&D/Leverage is here for the long-haul, which in this day and age (here today and gone tomorrow) means a lot to companies like Replenish. Further, our reputation for handling the toughest assignments, on-time and on-budget, is without peer in the industry,” he said. “Our tool design group has more than three decades of experience. We know how to build and refurbish molds. Our engineering and processing capabilities are first rate.”

Concluded Larry, “We have the in-house capability to deliver the best part possible, fast, and at the best value, with the added benefit that everything is made here in the United States. We have nine presses in our mold qualification lab with dedicated QA capabilities. We can assure our customer receives a quality product.”

THE REPLENISH MISSION TODAY

Replenish, through its partnership with R&D/Leverage USA, today continues its mission to eliminate waste and save money. The company’s goals, which include the marketing of its efficient, affordable and scalable refill system across brands and product categories, are being reached. “Most products we buy are 90 percent water [95-99% actually, but that’s neither here nor there], with only a small amount of active ingredients,” said Replenish’s Foster. “Our reusable bottling platform, created thanks to our true partnership with R&D/Leverage, helps us reach brand owners from household products to consumer beverages. It is a win for us, brand owners, retailers and consumers – and the planet.”

ABOUT R&D/LEVERAGE USA

R&D/Leverage USA, headquartered in Missouri, services the home and personal care, healthcare, and food and beverage industries. It is the only company to offer both structural brand development and mold manufacturing capabilities, all under one roof. Structural brand development capabilities are offered, as well as upfront research such as retail audits that include trend and color study, ethnographic research, consumer focus groups, concept development, validation, and implementation. Mold manufacturing capabilities include full mold manufacturing for PET tooling, IBM tooling, injection molds, as well as unit tool development, testing, validation, and training.

Further, the company offers a two-tiered Mold Maintenance Program that offers in-house, 24/7, cost-efficient service that ranges from quick emergency repairs to extensive overhauls of mold families, no matter if the mold was made by the company or not.

For more information, visit www.rdleverage.com

 

Editor’s Note: This post was shared by a member of the Package Design community. Do you have news to share with our readers or a package design project that you are especially proud of? Click here to learn how you can become a contributing member of the Package Design online community.

 

 

R&D/Leverage Injection Mold Making Services Selected by the Innovators at Replenish Bottling

R&D/Leverage® Injection Mold Making Services Selected by the Innovators at Replenish Bottling

Creators of breakthrough, reusable bottle system sought a “true partner” to create an integrated,

multi-part, leak-proof bottle destined to “streamline the refill experience”…

LEE’S SUMMIT Missouri, February 10th, 2015 – Innovation-driven Replenish Bottling, creators of a bold new format for plastic spray bottles and containers – truly reusable bottles designed for consumer mixing – turned to R&D/Leverage for its injection mold building expertise when it was time to scale up from initial pilot molds.

According to California-based Jason Foster, Founder and “Chief Reuser” of Replenish, his team met the R&D/Leverage team at a trade show in Florida, and the rest, as they say, is history. “At that point, we had made some tools, but nothing had been scaled up,” Foster said. “From the inception of our partnership with R&D/Leverage, it was clear that they recognized and were excited about the potential of our new category, and that their expertise is second-to-none. Together, we are changing what a bottle can be.”

The challenge to the R&D team, however, was formidable. The Replenish team required injection molds designed for high-speed automation to produce six different parts used in an integrated, leak-proof bottle-interior reservoir design that would appeal to makers of a wide range of packaged goods.

THE REPLENISH SYSTEM: DISPOSABLE  BOTTLES  AS “TOOLS FOR GOOD”

The patented Replenish design relegates the prosaic disposable bottle-refill paradigm to the dustbins of history. But it is one that requires cutting edge molds / molding. It features an internal mixing cup that easily allows consumers to add the right amount of concentrate into the bottle, which is then quickly mixed with household tap water. “Just turn the bottle upside-down, squeeze concentrate from the refill pod into the built-in measuring cup, and add water,” Foster explained. “The cost of creating and shipping water-based formulations is thus reduced. Plus, the Replenish System is hassle-free and fun to use.”

R&D/Leverage’s Project Manager Dave Taylor noted the immediate chemistry between the two teams. “We can handle everything from unit tools to 144-cavity production molds” he said, “and, in this case, we wanted to pioneer a new packaging category with Replenish. We were totally up for the challenge and were ready to partner with them to help commercialize their breakthrough vision.”

Added Account Manager Larry Schumacher, “we are a privately-owned company and have been since 1976. R&D/Leverage is here for the long-haul, which in this day and age (here today and gone tomorrow) means a lot to companies like Replenish. Further, our reputation for handling the toughest assignments, on-time and on-budget, is without peer in the industry,” he said. “Our tool design group has more than three decades of experience. We know how to build and refurbish molds. Our engineering and processing capabilities are first rate.”

Concluded Larry, “We have the in-house capability to deliver the best part possible, fast, and at the best value, with the added benefit that everything is made here in the United States. We have nine presses in our mold qualification lab with dedicated QA capabilities. We can assure our customer receives a quality product.”

THE REPLENISH MISSION TODAY

Replenish, through its partnership with R&D/Leverage USA, today continues its mission to eliminate waste and save money. The company’s goals, which include the marketing of its efficient, affordable and scalable refill system across brands and product categories, are being reached. “Most products we buy are 90 percent water [95-99% actually, but that’s neither here nor there], with only a small amount of active ingredients,” said Replenish’s Foster. “Our reusable bottling platform, created thanks to our true partnership with R&D/Leverage, helps us reach brand owners from household products to consumer beverages. It is a win for us, brand owners, retailers and consumers – and the planet.”

ABOUT R&D/LEVERAGE USA

R&D/Leverage USA, headquartered in Missouri, services the home and personal care, healthcare, and food and beverage industries. It is the only company to offer both structural brand development and mold manufacturing capabilities, all under one roof. Structural brand development capabilities are offered, as well as upfront research such as retail audits that include trend and color study, ethnographic research, consumer focus groups, concept development, validation, and implementation. Mold manufacturing capabilities include full mold manufacturing for PET tooling, IBM tooling, injection molds, as well as unit tool development, testing, validation, and training.

Further, the company offers a two-tiered Mold Maintenance Program that offers in-house, 24/7, cost-efficient service that ranges from quick emergency repairs to extensive overhauls of mold families, no matter if the mold was made by the company or not.

For more information, visit www.rdleverage.com

 

Editor’s Note: This post was shared by a member of the Package Design community. Do you have news to share with our readers or a package design project that you are especially proud of? Click here to learn how you can become a contributing member of the Package Design online community.

 

 

R&D/Leverage Injection Mold Making Services Selected by the Innovators at Replenish Bottling

R&D/Leverage® Injection Mold Making Services Selected by the Innovators at Replenish Bottling

Creators of breakthrough, reusable bottle system sought a “true partner” to create an integrated,

multi-part, leak-proof bottle destined to “streamline the refill experience”…

LEE’S SUMMIT Missouri, February 10th, 2015 – Innovation-driven Replenish Bottling, creators of a bold new format for plastic spray bottles and containers – truly reusable bottles designed for consumer mixing – turned to R&D/Leverage for its injection mold building expertise when it was time to scale up from initial pilot molds.

According to California-based Jason Foster, Founder and “Chief Reuser” of Replenish, his team met the R&D/Leverage team at a trade show in Florida, and the rest, as they say, is history. “At that point, we had made some tools, but nothing had been scaled up,” Foster said. “From the inception of our partnership with R&D/Leverage, it was clear that they recognized and were excited about the potential of our new category, and that their expertise is second-to-none. Together, we are changing what a bottle can be.”

The challenge to the R&D team, however, was formidable. The Replenish team required injection molds designed for high-speed automation to produce six different parts used in an integrated, leak-proof bottle-interior reservoir design that would appeal to makers of a wide range of packaged goods.

THE REPLENISH SYSTEM: DISPOSABLE  BOTTLES  AS “TOOLS FOR GOOD”

The patented Replenish design relegates the prosaic disposable bottle-refill paradigm to the dustbins of history. But it is one that requires cutting edge molds / molding. It features an internal mixing cup that easily allows consumers to add the right amount of concentrate into the bottle, which is then quickly mixed with household tap water. “Just turn the bottle upside-down, squeeze concentrate from the refill pod into the built-in measuring cup, and add water,” Foster explained. “The cost of creating and shipping water-based formulations is thus reduced. Plus, the Replenish System is hassle-free and fun to use.”

R&D/Leverage’s Project Manager Dave Taylor noted the immediate chemistry between the two teams. “We can handle everything from unit tools to 144-cavity production molds” he said, “and, in this case, we wanted to pioneer a new packaging category with Replenish. We were totally up for the challenge and were ready to partner with them to help commercialize their breakthrough vision.”

Added Account Manager Larry Schumacher, “we are a privately-owned company and have been since 1976. R&D/Leverage is here for the long-haul, which in this day and age (here today and gone tomorrow) means a lot to companies like Replenish. Further, our reputation for handling the toughest assignments, on-time and on-budget, is without peer in the industry,” he said. “Our tool design group has more than three decades of experience. We know how to build and refurbish molds. Our engineering and processing capabilities are first rate.”

Concluded Larry, “We have the in-house capability to deliver the best part possible, fast, and at the best value, with the added benefit that everything is made here in the United States. We have nine presses in our mold qualification lab with dedicated QA capabilities. We can assure our customer receives a quality product.”

THE REPLENISH MISSION TODAY

Replenish, through its partnership with R&D/Leverage USA, today continues its mission to eliminate waste and save money. The company’s goals, which include the marketing of its efficient, affordable and scalable refill system across brands and product categories, are being reached. “Most products we buy are 90 percent water [95-99% actually, but that’s neither here nor there], with only a small amount of active ingredients,” said Replenish’s Foster. “Our reusable bottling platform, created thanks to our true partnership with R&D/Leverage, helps us reach brand owners from household products to consumer beverages. It is a win for us, brand owners, retailers and consumers – and the planet.”

ABOUT R&D/LEVERAGE USA

R&D/Leverage USA, headquartered in Missouri, services the home and personal care, healthcare, and food and beverage industries. It is the only company to offer both structural brand development and mold manufacturing capabilities, all under one roof. Structural brand development capabilities are offered, as well as upfront research such as retail audits that include trend and color study, ethnographic research, consumer focus groups, concept development, validation, and implementation. Mold manufacturing capabilities include full mold manufacturing for PET tooling, IBM tooling, injection molds, as well as unit tool development, testing, validation, and training.

Further, the company offers a two-tiered Mold Maintenance Program that offers in-house, 24/7, cost-efficient service that ranges from quick emergency repairs to extensive overhauls of mold families, no matter if the mold was made by the company or not.

For more information, visit www.rdleverage.com

 

Editor’s Note: This post was shared by a member of the Package Design community. Do you have news to share with our readers or a package design project that you are especially proud of? Click here to learn how you can become a contributing member of the Package Design online community.

 

 

Three Steps for Creating What Consumers Want

Co-authors:  David MeerEdward C. Landry, and Samrat Sharma

Consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies have a big problem: They have almost no idea which of their new products will end up being popular with consumers. Despite big data, despite a decade of heavy investment in innovation, despite chief innovation officers and efficient R&D, failure rates for new products have hovered at 60 percent for years. Two-thirds of new product concepts don’t even launch.

One reason is that the retail environment has become far more complex. E-commerce continues to upend long-established business models, and consumers are shopping less at supermarkets and hypermarkets and more in convenience stores, at discounters, and online.

What’s more, although CPG companies are extremely good at the early stages of innovation—identifying promising areas of growth and creating new product ideas in those areas—and at the later stages of testing concepts and commercializing them, there’s a conspicuous hole in the middle of the process. They don’t have a clear grasp of which combinations of features, packaging, price, and even labeling will persuade consumers to make a purchase. They’re like triathletes who are world-class at swimming and running, but terrible at cycling.

There’s a way to fill that hole, but it won’t be easy. Based on our experience, we think it will require progress in three key (and intertwined) areas. None of the three will work without the other two, and all will compel CPG executives to rethink aspects of their traditional business model.

Adopt dynamic modeling

First, companies need to adopt dynamic modeling to gauge various combinations of features. When companies test a product concept today, they’re limited by the relative primitiveness of the tools available to them, such as consumer concept testing and market structure analysis. Testing a preset combination of options (for example, the cinnamon-flavored cookies, in six-ounce individual packages, at 79 cents per pack) produces a basic thumbs-up or thumbs-down assessment as to whether the product will be financially viable. However, the results apply only to that combination. If you change one element, the test results become much less useful. Worse, the testing is expensive and time-consuming, with turnaround times that are measured in months, which makes testing every single combination impossible.

Ideally, companies should be able to test various combinations more dynamically, adjusting the flavor profile, pack size, price, labeling, distribution channel, and any other aspect of the value proposition—even the brand name. Developing a simulation model that can evaluate a wide range of scenarios by altering the various elements and seeing how each factor affects the outcome while the product is still in the development stage is an effective way of doing so.

How much more would consumers pay for low-calorie cinnamon cookies? Would they prefer eight-ounce packs? And should the cookies be sold at a convenience store, a big-box retailer, a warehouse store, or online (or all of the above)? The right model would break such product propositions into their component parts, reassemble them in novel ways, and estimate demand for the new combinations. This in turn would require detailed data on which features consumers value, how much they’re willing to pay for those features, and where they’re willing to make trade-offs.

In addition, simulation models need to deliver more actionable results. Rather than providing just a basic yes or no, the results must break down revenue, volume, and margin contribution. If a new product is going to take market share from another player, the model should let the company know where that share will be coming from, at what price, and through which channels. Importantly, the model should also indicate how much volume is incremental and how much is simply cannibalizing the company’s other offerings in the same category.

Although similar models are already being used in industries such as financial services and technology, CPG companies have been slow to embrace the new analytics. In fact, the reverse has happened: In response to cost pressures, CPG companies have systematically disinvested in analytics and insights teams. The limited resources CPG companies seem to have are being spent in areas such as social media and mobile marketing. But firms that are serious about innovation have to start the process by investing in foundational tools. And they will likely find that these investments pay for themselves over time.

Develop priorities based on capabilities

Second, companies have to develop priorities based on their capabilities. Companies don’t start product development with a blank sheet of paper. They have critical advantages in areas where they focus their investments and attention; other areas can be either outsourced or set aside. Once a company has clear insights about which features consumers value, and how much they value those features, the next step is to figure out which of those insights it can actually implement, based on its capabilities and resources.

For example, some companies are good at developing new flavor profiles, and can easily launch spin-off products (adding toffee to the cinnamon cookies, for instance). Others are good at packaging innovations or cost reductions that lower prices. Still others have strong distribution capabilities, and can get products into new store formats quickly. Whatever its strengths, a company should prioritize its innovation ideas accordingly.

Concurrently, this step provides companies with valuable insight into which areas they should concentrate on developing next. Coming up with ideas that are hard to implement because of a lack of relevant capabilities should influence a firm’s future investment priorities, enabling it to build new capabilities that would ensure competitive advantage in the future.

Turn insights into action

Finally, companies need to make organizational shifts to put these insights into action. CPG companies need to reorient their org charts so that the innovation function collaborates more directly with marketing, sales, and the supply chain during product development. Many companies think that these four functions collaborate already. But the truth is that they work from different perspectives, with varying definitions of success and incentives, and at different stages in a product’s development. Innovation wants to get new products from the drawing board to market, while marketing is busy trying to get consumers to open their wallets. Sales focuses on persuading retailers to give new products shelf space, which in turn can help stimulate consumer demand. And the goal of the supply chain is to maximize efficiency and minimize process proliferation. The objectives overlap, but they’re not identical. As a result, products in development can travel far down the tracks before problems surface.

CPG companies would do better to use the insights they generate in the first step (through dynamic modeling) and the priorities they establish in the second (understanding their capabilities) to create a common set of facts and objectives that all four functions can agree on. In some cases, this will mean restructuring lines of authority, incentives, and other aspects of the organization. A dramatic step? Yes. But it is necessary if companies are to make sure that these critical functions are working together.

Some leading CPG companies have started to implement this new approach to innovation. For example, one packaged-food company had spent 18 months working on a preservative-free version of a product. One of its competitors had already introduced a similar product, and the company feared market share losses. But with the official launch date only months away, the company learned that two major grocery chains had decided they would not carry its new product, in part because the competitor’s preservative-free version didn’t appeal to their customers. Firm leaders scrapped the product, treating their investments as a sunk cost.

To avoid repeating that mistake, the company shifted away from trying to innovate by following the competition, and toward an approach based on a richer understanding of consumers’ desires.

It started by running a dynamic analysis of several product options. It found that although “preservative-free” wasn’t a sufficiently attractive incentive for consumers to open their wallets, “natural” (meaning no artificial ingredients) would be. R&D had originally said the natural product would take two years to develop, but a deeper look at the company’s capabilities and priorities revealed that the team could actually complete the product’s development in just six months.

In fact, a discussion between the R&D team members and their counterparts in sales and marketing revealed that R&D had been receiving so many new product ideas that it used “two years” as the default timing for all of them. The company was able to identify other innovations with clear potential—including a superpremium line and new packaging—that could be brought to market quickly. In the aggregate, these innovations enabled the company to grow sales at a faster rate than the competition and to improve profitability in the category for the first time in three years.

If this example shows anything, it’s that CPG companies can’t afford to throw ideas at the wall and hope one of them will stick, even if they are trying to imitate a competitor. Chances are, your rivals don’t have any more insight into what consumers want than you do. This new approach should go a long way toward fixing that

 

 

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