Grocery shoppers make an astonishingly large number of their purchase decisions in-store. In fact, only 24% of purchases are planned in advance, while 76% are made strolling through crowded store aisles. For this reason, it is critical for brand owners to have packaging that stands out on store shelves, so their product catches consumers’ eyes at the point of purchase.
In the heart of Alabama, one burgeoning business is making strides on retail shelves thanks to a Brand Ready Packaging makeover from Georgia-Pacific Corrugated that contributed to a 14% increase in sales.
Little Cookie, Big Taste, Bigger Challenge
Since baking its first batch of fresh cookies in 1991, Bud’s Best Cookies has grown to become known as “The Little Cookies with the Big Taste.” Consumers with a sweet tooth across the Southeast region of the United States have come to crave the brand’s 18 varieties of bite-sized cookies. However, challenges still exist. President and COO, Al Cason explained, “Standing out in today’s retail environment is no easy task. Retail shelves are more cluttered than ever before, competition is stiff and demand from retailers is high.”
“In our fledgling days, we sold product to a distributor who would then carefully place it on grocery store shelves, but that model has since evolved,” said Cason. “Today, retailers are seeking better margins and that means cutting out the middleman and going direct from the manufacturer to the retail outlet.”
This model requires both brand owners and retailers to think differently about point-of-purchase sales. “Part of the problem is actually merchandising the product in the store. Someone stocking the shelf may not know how to handle the product correctly and make it look the best on store shelves,” explains Cason.
The company needed a way to easily and effectively move product through the warehouse into retail stores. “Most importantly, it had to be done in a way that would represent the quality of our brand, while increasing sales for our retailers,” said Cason.
Retailers Look for Retail Ready Packaging
Retailers were pushing for the change too. “More and more of our retail customers were asking for a shipping container that was both easy to open and shelf ready,” said Cason. The former packaging was a simple brown box with modest one-color graphics. Improvements would not only have to be structural, but also cosmetic, and they would need to be done without added cost to the retailer.
“We decided early on that we didn’t just want this package to be shelf ready.”
Enter Georgia-Pacific Corrugated
Bud’s Best Cookies had already worked closely with Georgia-Pacific Corrugated for its brown box needs. As a result, the entrepreneurial cookie company reached out to its longtime packaging supplier to inquire about how it could gain market share through its corrugated packaging. The first step was a meeting at Georgia-Pacific Corrugated’s Innovation Institute in Norcross, Georgia. The Innovation Institute is filled with package testing capabilities. It is here that package designs are put to the test against real-world conditions, such as humidity, pressure and frigid cold temperatures, to ensure the package design is structurally sound. Full pallet testing makes sure that the package can withstand the trials of the distribution cycle and visual testing capabilities ensures that the package is appealing to consumers.
Georgia-Pacific determined a Brand Ready Packaging solution, would meet the needs of Bud’s Best and the retailer. Brand Ready Packaging is Georgia-Pacific’s innovative answer to retail ready packaging and is specifically designed to drive consumer purchase intent and enhance the shopper’s experience by using structural and graphic designs, exacting production techniques, and proprietary consumer insights. Aesthetic design and the impact of graphics and color were also tested as part of the creative process. In addition, consumer studies were conducted to evaluate the impact and appeal of each design prototype on retail shelves.
Brand Ready Packaging
The final design took the package from a simple shipping container to a Brand Ready Packaging display case with eye-catching graphics. By adding a white substrate to the outside of the box, the designers were able to achieve a two-color look, while sticking to one color. The design also leverages Georgia-Pacific Corrugated’s Clean and Easy-Perf, for an easy-to-open and consistently smooth perforated edge that conveyed the quality of the brand’s image.
“In the end, the physical changes we had to make were small, but the impact on our business was huge,” explained Cason. Since implementing the Brand Ready Packaging solution, sales have increased 14% for Bud’s Best Cookies. Retailers are happy too. The new design no longer requires box cutters and saves on time and labor. Taking the package out of the truck, opening it and stacking it neatly on the shelf is a snap with the new design.
“It’s simple. After implementing Georgia-Pacific’s Brand Ready Packaging solution, we sell more product. And it reduces labor costs for the retailer. It’s a win for everybody,” said Cason.
About Georgia-Pacific Corrugated
Georgia-Pacific is a recognized leader in innovative, customer-focused packaging solutions. The company maintains a commitment to safety, sustainability and consistent quality in its manufacture of high graphic and traditional corrugated packaging, with brands such as Greenshield, Color-Box and Brand Ready Packaging. The business’ Innovation Institute simulates retail and packaging environments, allowing customers to experience sustainable innovation and novel package design solutions in action. For more information visit www.brandreadypackaging.com
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