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FLEXO Magazine : January 2013
behavior. Making it easier for shoppers to find what they are looking for in health and wellness is the holy grail. SUSTAINABILITY, SKEPTICISM & SATISFACTION Increasingly, consumers are holding companies---manu- facturers and retailers alike---to a higher standard than themselves. While consumers have come to expect green characteristics as an important element of products, they are less willing to pay a premium for them. Additionally, while consumers/shoppers tend to purchase green products, enthusiasm has waned somewhat (Mintel, Attitudes Toward Corporate Social Responsibility-U.S., Sep- tember, 2012). Whether ingredients, packaging or process, "green" is not the stand-out differentiator it once was. It is important, but not as top-of-mind. It is becoming a greens fee in the marketplace. As transparency rises, the expectation is that companies will be green. Consumers have become more skeptical and need help determining whether a product delivers on its claims (proof). An example of this is Method's Ocean Plastic packaging (page 19). Method's Ocean Plastic has both a good back story (plastic harvested by Method employees from gyre) and provides proof (gray packaging results from use of recovered ocean plastic and post-consumer recycled plastic to create a uniquely gray resin). Sustainable packaging plays an important role in beauty and personal care (BPC) prod- ucts. While not a primary element of BPC products, half of shoppers (49 percent) feel it is important to have products made from recycled materials, and 43 per- cent think it is important to recycle BPC packaging. In sustainability's new look, consumers turn to companies to provide a platform that allows them to make a difference, to do something they might not be able to achieve on their own and feel good about their purchases. AUTHENTIC, CREDIBLE, TRACEABLE Packaging is an opportunity to provide information about locale and traceability, re-establish the connection between the consumer and food brand. Reassurance of authenticity/credibil- ity of products has become important in emerging markets. In China products like infant formula and milk powder come with verification (e.g., seals or certification, holograms, QR codes, etc.). Provenance can serve to communicate premium quality, authenticity and unique, distinctive taste. Companies like Japanese snack manufacturer Calbee who are present in numerous markets, often incorporate local ingredients into many of its snack products in other markets. Heinz's First Harvest Ketchup (France) represents a unique combination of provenance and season. BRANDING, VALUE, CHOICE Packaging is becoming an increasingly important part of branding. Packaging allows marketers and retailers to amplify a brand's essence, connect with a brand's heritage, pique interest in trial/purchase, demonstrate brand premium value, and allow consumers to express themselves through choice. Use of limited edition/exclusives has seen growth in 2012. Five markets (Japan, Germany, U.S., U.K. and France) ac- count for 68 percent of exclusive/limited edition launches. Beauty and personal care, food and beverage account for 95 percent of launches. Exclusives and limited editions represent a huge opportunity for packaging to drive branding. • Oreo's 100th Anniversary packaging demonstrates that heritage, via longevity, does not have to be stuck in the past, but may be reimagined, updated • Retro packaging (utilized by many brands in 2012---Fanta, Ruffles, Doritos, Pepsi and Coke) helps amplify heritage via nostalgia. In addition to evoking fond memories, it can create appeal among younger users • Limited edition packaging by well-known design- ers helps create quality/luxury associations Oria Kiely for Method, Emily Hogarth with Nivea, and of course, Andy Warhol's iconic re-imagina- tion of Campbell Soup cans • From predictability to possibility, new, limited edition flavors help expand a brand's equity, while tempting consumers to try/purchase. In essence, limited time/ exclusive flavors feeds consumers' desire for the new or novel, while maintaining the security of a known brand. Consumers are more likely to try new flavors from a brand they already know. Consumers welcome the novelty of limited time flavors, but also find it intriguing to think differently about a brand! • Seasonal/holiday and event-related packaging saw huge growth in 2012 (e.g., Olympics). The calendar is an opportu- nity for brands to create relevance with consumers. For example, snack maker Morinaga released a new package for Dars chocolate bar (intentionally printed backward), as part of a clever Valentine's Day promotional campaign. Valentine's Day is celebrated in Japan by the giving of chocolate, but the custom is for women to present small, inexpensive gifts of choco- late to male coworkers at the office (i.e., "giri choco" obligatory chocolate) Heinz - First Harvest Tomato Ketchup 300 ml -- France (Mintel: GNPD, December, 2012) www.flexography.org JANUARY 2013 FLEXO 17