How would you describe your approach to packaging innovation?
We’re always trying to find packaging innovation that can add value not only for consumers but for our retail partners. We are a very consumer driven organization, and we like to put new packaging innovations in front of consumers to see their reactions. But it really does come back to value, and we’ve always found packaging is a good way to add value. Packaging has helped drive growth. We’ve seen how it can really move the needle for a brand. Which only makes sense if you think about it. What else touches the consumer the way packaging does?
Where have you shown yourselves to be developers of innovative packaging?
With our Fisher brand recipe nuts we led the way in our conversion from a lay-flat or pillow-pack format to a stand-up pouch that is recloseable. The lay-flat is hard to merchandise, hard to ship, so retailers aren’t crazy about it. And as for consumers, the stand-up pouch can be conveniently closed, which they really like.
And now I see you are one of the first to commercialize the very innovative PrimaPak.
We tested it on a very limited basis over the holidays with our 11-oz chocolate covered pretzels. It’s certainly something we’re interested in, and we continue to work with the concept’s developers to make it even better.
Do you ever find yourself having to make a choice between the desire of the retailer and that of the consumer?
No, not really. Both we and the retailer are ultimately trying please the same stakeholder, and that is the consumer. But that doesn’t mean consumers and retailers take the same view of things in every case. Sustainability is a good example. Consumers appreciate and value sustainable packaging. Of course they want to see packaging that is earth friendly. But retailers see the supply chain benefits that come from something like the PrimaPak, which brings a 70% reduction in packaging weight compared to rigid containers of PET, for example. Retailers can really wrap their arms around the financial benefits that are available, which carry all the way through the supply chain.