In the crowded cookie aisle, plastic tubs for Miss Meringue cookies were serviceable but lacked impact. Jacques Gourmet wanted a more distinctive package that would inspire impulse purchases.
Out of multiple designs and package testing, Miss Meringue, a San Marcos, CA-based division of Jacques Gourmet, is rolling out stand-up flexible pouches that just may hook the consumer’s sweet tooth for its entire Miss Meringue line. The new packages have caused the marketer to more than double sales projections for the line, which includes the French Vanilla, Chocolate Chip, Chocolate Delight, and Toasted Coconut varieties.
Some cookie brands have been migrating into flexible stand-up pouches over the past several years. The bags deliver shelf impact via rich colors and the gloss of flexible film on an upright “billboard.” Think*Plan*Deliver, a project management and packaging company, developed a pouch for Miss Meringue that incorporates these attributes but also adds an extra dimension. The pouch uses 48-gauge metallized polyester film to add striking highlights to the design; the barrier film also extends shelf life to one year.
A base of opaque white ink overlays much of the Miss Meringue pouch. But the metallized film shines through in selected areas to deliver the visual contrast that helps the pouch stand out on store shelves. The film’s natural silver base provides a frame on the left and right edges, and in the letters of the brand name in the middle of the front and back panels. A translucent yellow ink on top of the silver base adds a gold effect to several areas of the package, including a triangle in the upper right corner. The multilayer, adhesive-lamination pouch is gravure-printed in six colors.
Two additional film layers are a 200-ga LLDPE and a 60-ga extruded polyethylene.
Beyond shelf appeal, the new package faced operational challenges during development. Miss Meringue issued several specifications that made the new package design particularly complex.
• The bag needed to hold 3.5 oz of product. Gregg Stamm, president at Think*Plan*Deliver, explains that tests on three different packaging sizes holding 39 cookies each pointed to an optimal, resealable pouch size of 101¼4” x 61¼2”. A Fresh-Lock® Style 113 zipper, from Presto Products Co., is applied as the pouch is formed.
• The co-packer chosen for the project needed to operate in southern California and be Kosher Parv-certified. Miss Meringue selected California-Redi-Date.
• The co-packer needed to be able to pack the delicate cookies without damaging them. Think*Plan*
Deliver’s package testing confirmed this could be done. The packages are filled on two Laudenberg machines at a rate of about 50 bags/min, says Lisa Zeise, California Redi-Date technical director.
The switchover from tubs to flexible-film pouches also required the design of shippers. Think*Plan*
Deliver created four-shelf, bleached, corrugated displays that extend some of the key brand identifiers, including the bold lettering of the Meringue name, used so successfully on the pouches. The freestanding displays are prepacked to meet specifications of retailers such as Wal-Mart, which require displays that minimize the number of sales associate “touches” during shelf-stocking.