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Speakers give package design tips in private-label discussion at HBA Global Expo

Presentation discussions focused on what national brands need to do to survive the current economic climate.
FILED IN:  Package design  > Structural

National brands still account for 80% of grocery sales in the U.S., but private-label products ( are coming on strong. National brands that want to survive in this climate will need to innovate continually.

So said Jonathan Asher, vice president at Perception Research Services, ( in discussing the continued growth of private-label products in a presentation Sept. 15 at HBA Global Expo in New York City.

Asher cited industry figures that store-brand product sales rose 10% to $83 billion in 2008, compared with 3% growth for national brands. “What is surprising is that private label now appeals to a broader segment of consumers,” Asher said.

Adding to the private-label discussion, Dennis Furniss, a partner at design firm Kaleidoscope (, pointed to Target’s new Up & Up brand as a good example of a private-label offering that embodies the retailer’s pop art “design for the masses” approach to package design ( rather than settling for “me too” packaging that copies national brands.

Asher offered three steps to packaging that supports a brand, whether it is a national brand or a private-label product:

• Set a meaningful strategy. Define your brand’s essence and the target audience, and then create a plan to reach them.
• Be innovative. Find a way to make your shelf presence better, in a way that is unexpected.
• Optimize packaging. Think of what you spend on packaging innovation as an investment rather than a cost.

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