Baking & Snack - June 2018 - 112
particular attention to the unboxing experience that
goes along with it," Mr. Tamborello observed, noting
that packaging for premium food products can conjure up similar excitement. "Opening a sealed package
at a specific tear notch and sliding out a tray with individual compartments that hold each tasty morsel is
part of what sets premium products apart."
Packaging technology also ensures that the product
inside delivers on the buildup that comes with opening the bag, box, pack or tray. "A lot of our customers have different methods of delivering products to
the end user," Mr. Almond said. "Some go through
distribution centers, and it may sit for a time before
arriving at a retailer. Some customers use direct-store
delivery and get it there pretty quickly. Regardless, it's
a balancing act between the distribution model and
the type of packaging material they need to get the
required shelf life."
To deliver on that eating experience, bakers often
choose a packaging method that will maintain the
product's integrity the way it was originally intended.
Take Emeryville, CA-based Clif Bar & Company.
These bars were developed out of founder Gary
Erickson's desire for better-tasting sustenance during
high-intensity activities such as long-distance biking
and mountain climbing. Today, even scuba divers are
known to pack CLIF Bars in their dive bags to refuel
when they resurface.
A loyal consumer base understands - and appreciates - this intention, and it's a driving force in
their relationship with the foods they choose. "When
people pay extra for a premium product, they expect
to experience it in exactly the way the manufacturer intended it to look and taste when it was made,"
Mr. Tamborello said.
People often associate an upscale or indulgent food
with certain events and make them the center of (or
perhaps the reason for) the moment. "Premium products are often purchased as a treat," Mr. Tamborello said.
"They can be a brief escape from a busy day, and how
they are packaged can add to the perception. They have a
higher expectation that the product shouldn't be broken
or, if there's icing or chocolate, it shouldn't be smeared."
While the right kind of packaging can show a consumer that the company went the extra mile to handle
its products with care, it must also be easy to use, or
the experience is blown before the user even gets to
enjoy the food. To convey added value, a premium
package should come with an element of education,
according to Mr. Gunnell. "People want to be told a
product is premium and educated on the health benefits, and they want to be reminded why it was a good
idea to pay 15¢ more for it," he said. "But people also
112 Baking & Snack June 2018 / www.bakingandsnack.com
Closing the deal on a
For many baked foods and snacks,
quality is all relative. But when consumers are willing to spend more
money for a premium product, they
want an upscale experience from the
time they open the bag. While the
closure might signify the end of the
process for the producer, it's a first
step in the user experience.
Little touches like a heavier-gauge
twist-tie can help communicate that
a product has something more than
the next one on the shelf, according to
Mitch Lindsey, technical sales, Burford
Corp. "We can run a variety of colors
and patterns on a heavier gauge wire
or even wireless material," he said of
Burford's twist tyer systems.
Closures can also provide additional marketing and branding opportunities. For example, Kwik Lok
can add custom branding to its plastic
closures. "What we have found is
that when people add labels to their
closures, they can cross-market and
cross-promote to create brand affinity
that's integrated into the packaging,"
said Karen Reed, director of marketing
and communications, Kwik Lok. "It's
something extra that creates more
Extras on the closures not only create brand awareness, but they also
can nudge a shopper to purchase by
creating instant value. "We have a
machine that will put a tag under the
twist tie for tear-off recipes, cross-promotion or point-of-sale coupons," Mr.
Lindsey said. "It allows our customers to uniquely identify their products
while giving consumers the additional
incentives to buy."
With these kinds of opportunities,
the closure shouldn't be seen as an
afterthought on the line but one of the
first thoughts on the shelf. "You put a
lot of money and effort into your packaging, and adding that extra touch of
branding with your closure can really
complete the package," Ms. Reed said.