An Austrian Treat Creates Allure with a Hand-Made Touch

Posted: September 6, 2008 by
Lynn Dornblaser

Sometimes, changing a package so that it isn't quite what we expect can mean a substantial change in how we view the product inside. The change can be dramatic or subtle, and we certainly have seen many examples of both approaches. Increasingly, companies are also borrowing look, feel, and occasionally, functionality from packaging in other categories.

That's definitely the case with SüBe G'schichten Moussini, a line of frozen chocolate mousse products sold in Austria by Göttinger, an upscale dessert company. The product is a frozen mousse that requires only thawing before serving. The small package contains two luscious portions.

The package stands out from both a functional and a visual standpoint. Functionally, the package is unusual compared to other types of packages of upscale frozen desserts. In the U.S. market, we likely would see the two servings individually wrapped, perhaps in plastic cups side-by-side in a paperboard box. This arrangement gives the package a greater shelf presence and creates ample space for graphics, logo, images, and other design features.

Against the grain

The Moussini pack, on the other hand, does not focus on taking up shelf "real estate." Just the opposite—the pack is a small paperboard canister with a plastic cap and lid. Stacked on top of one another, the two servings are quite small in size. The amount of space that the product occupies in the freezer is correspondingly small, and the space available for brand imagery and graphics also is quite limited.

The look of the package is different in the category as well. The outer package is encased in a corrugated sleeve—a structure that could, in some applications, look inexpensive, basic, or generic. Here, however, it make the product look exclusive, expensive, and hand-made, which is exactly what the manufacturer intends. (The two-pack of mousse sells for a hefty $10.)

Branding and graphics appear on a band around the sleeve, providing a nice, upscale contrast to the corrugated board. The names of the flavors reinforce the haute-cuisine image that the line wants to project: Poppyseed & Plum Chocolate Mousse; Coffee & Cream White Chocolate Mousse; Pineapple & Ginger Dark Chocolate Mousse; and Goat Cheese Mango Dark Chocolate Mousse.

What package concepts from categories other than your own can you apply to your products? The appeal of the Moussini line shows that presenting a product as if it were hand-made, produced in small batches, or exclusive in some other way can be a real winner and cause casual consumers to pause unexpectedly and think: "Wow! What a Package!"

Lynn Dornblaser is the director of the Custom Solutions Group at Mintel International. She can be reached at 312-932-0400 or