NO-frills Containers Mature Into Marketing Powerhouses
Mass merchandisers and supermarkets generally display multipacks holding fewer product units than club stores. While club stores may carry multipacks with as much as 24 units, grocers and discount stores often opt for sizes of four to six units. Examples lie in the canned fruit aisle and in yogurt in the dairy case.
Marketers and vendors that make multipacks cite three ways these packages are heightening impact on the store shelf.
Estimates of paperboard’s future growth in multipacks run as high as 7 percent per year. One trend pushing the growth is single-serve products such as yogurt, baby food and canned fruits and vegetables emerging in multipacks of four to eight units. These modest-size multipacks provide consumers with a perception of enhanced value over a single unit of the product on the shelf. They also help marketers meet cost pressures.
A well-planned strategy using smaller multipacks can gain a brand exclusivity with a retailer. Del Monte has been BJ’s Wholesale Club’s exclusive brand of canned fruits and vegetables with eight-pack, paperboard containers featuring four-color graphics.
Marketers should be aware of several developments that could make paperboard the right choice for their multipacks.
New film and board laminates are more tear-resistant. They also provide richer graphics and emit a gloss.
Extra gloss and bolder graphics are also possible through new printing technologies, inks and aqueous coatings.
Water-based coatings that offer moisture and grease resistance on paperboard are about to come on the market. These coatings, applied during the printing process, will eliminate the need for additives in the paper stock.
One film gaining favor with marketers is clear, tough, co-extruded low-density polyethylene (LDPE). It accepts up to eight-color printing and reverse printing.
LDPE films are replacing hazy polyethylene shrink overwraps in covering corrugated trays.
Welch’s signals the cornucopia of flavors in its variety pack of fruit juices across the entire “real estate” of shrink film enveloping 24 cans nestled in a paperboard tray.
The bright, colorful package is particularly effective in club stores, where it contrasts the sterile visual environment.