Time has come for packaging innovation
By Steven Hedlund, SeafoodSource editor
25 April, 2012
Whether you’re a 100-year-old brand in search of a fresh look, or you’re new on the scene and out to make a splash, it may be time for a packaging overhaul. But redesigning your packaging can take a lot of time, and a lot of research, and a lot of patience.
One of the major themes at this year’s European Seafood Exposition is the number of exhibitors that had new packaging on display. It seems the seafood trade, which lags behind competing proteins when it comes to packaging, is coming around to the importance of packaging innovation.
Launched just two years ago, The Saucy Fish Co. has racked up more than GBP 40 million in sales. The line is produced by Seachill, an Icelandic Group subsidiary.
What’s the key to the line’s success? “Find out what the consumer wants, and then go from there,” said Simon Smith, sales and marketing manager for Seachill. “It’s about understanding the consumer. The industry is so focused on trading. We did a huge amount of research and found out that the consumer is looking for more warmth and emotion [in packaging].” Smith added that seafood packaging is often “too clinical.”
He explained that the consumer goes into a supermarket with a sauce in mind, and the protein is often an afterthought. That’s why, on Saucy Fish Co. packaging, the type of sauce is listed above the species of fish.
“Think about the dish, not this fish,” said Smith. “People think of the sauce first.”
Seachill recently added three products to its Saucy Fish Co. line — seasoned tuna steaks with sweet soy sauce and chili, red pesto salmon in a foil bake bag and lime and jalapeno glazed salmon. Its best seller is the chili lime and ginger salmon.
A packaging redesign can be tricky for a well-established, 100-year-old brand with a loyal customer base like Norway’s King Oscar. There’s always a fear of alienating those loyal customers.
However, “It was time to refresh the image. We asked our customers what they wanted, and they said, ‘Do not change the packaging,’” said Bjørn Nordvik, international sales director for Norway’s King Oscar. So we did a ‘facelift.’”
By facelift, Nordvik means the face of the brand, King Ocsar II, who ruled Norway and Sweden when the brand was founded in 1902. His image on the packaging was updated, increased in size and given a cleaner, more modern look. The font used for the labeling was also increased in size and refreshed.
“Customers are saying that it really looks good on the shelf,” said Nordvik. Even better, sales of King Oscar sardines are up since the redesign.
Recycling can be tricky — what is and isn’t recyclable, what recyclables go in what bin and so on. With the consumer in mind, France’s Mer Alliance has developed packaging for its smoked salmon, the layers of which can be pealed away to so the cardboard can be recycled, explained Guy Muller, director of commercial development for Mer Alliance.
Also, water ink is used in the packaging, and it doesn’t leak. And no metal is used in the production of the packaging, so the fish can be run through a metal detector without the detector being set off by the packaging.
New to the scene, Kaviari’s en-K de caviar® won one of two grand prizes (best new retail product) at the Seafood Prix d’Elite new products competition on Tuesday. But its award for retail packaging was equally rewarding. It took two years of research to design the portable, sleek 15-gram tin of Osetra caviar. But perhaps it’s the packaging’s color scheme that wowed the judges. The tins come in six colors — black, gold, silver, indigo blue, apple green and fuchsia pink — each of which reflects a different mood. For example, indigo blue can be enjoyed on the yacht, while silver is ideal for a night out on the town. The trendy, hip packaging also appeals to younger generations who may not be as familiar with caviar.
The price point is different, but the same is true of DGM Shipping’s Spicy Sprat Fillet, also a Seafood Prix d’Elite finalist. Sprat is very popular with consumers in the Baltic region where DGM Shipping is based, but younger generations aren’t as apt to buy the product. So the product, which is marketed under the Briis brand, is packaged in clear plastic, so the fish is visible and younger consumers know what they’re buying.
25 April, 2012