Hummus is more popular than ever. In fact, most grocery stores now have a section dedicated to hummus, and for a long time that section was full of brands packaged in round shrink sleeve containers. Ithaca Cold-Crafted hummus was one of those brands until the desire to stand out from the competition led to the decision to switch to square packaging. “Even though we compete in a fairly crowded category, most grocery store hummus kind of tastes the same and looks the same, with all of the different round tubs and colored lids out there. We needed packaging that looked as unique and fresh as our hummus tastes,” says Christopher Kirby, founder and president of Ithaca Cold-Crafted.
To get that fresh taste, the hummus is made with cold-pressed, raw ingredients that are not preserved by being frozen, pasteurized or treated with chemical preservatives. Foregoing the industry standard of heat pasteurization, the cold-pressing process keeps the flavors and nutrients of the ingredients unchanged. The process requires using high pressure processing (HPP) which eliminates listeria, yeast and mold while ensuring a 100-day shelf life.
Ithaca Cold-Crafted partnered with Ohio-based packaging manufacturer Tech II, Inc. to spearhead the brand’s packaging transformation. Tech II, Inc. opted for thermoformed IML (T-IML) stackable square cups that won’t turn on the store shelf and offer five sides of marketing space. That was appealing to Kirby because it provided more room for branding and better print quality than the shrink sleeve or pressure sensitive options the company considered, “This IML innovation was really exciting for us because it wasn’t an option with the shrink sleeve label on our previous packaging. We have a lot to say about who we are and what makes us different, and DoubleSided IML gave us the opportunity to make another impression on our consumer without cluttering the external packaging.”
Because the IML packaging is dishwasher safe, Ithaca Cold-Crafted was also able to use the inside label to remind consumers that they can reuse the packaging once they’ve finished the hummus.
Ithaca Cold-Crafted purchases all of its packaging prelabeled, which saves cost and time during the production process. Kirby confirms the new packaging has proven to be a smart decision, “The square shape of the packaging not only gives us a better brand block on the shelf—it’s a more sustainable option. Compared to our previous packaging, the square uses 40 percent less plastic and considerably less space throughout the entire supply chain.”