Eckrich Deli Meats get a Research-Driven Pack Redesign

After asking consumers what they wanted and needed from the deli category, this Smithfield brand learned that packaging needed to better demonstrate consumer benefits, like ideas for home-cooked meals.

Eckrich, the premium meat brand from protein-specializing brand owner Smithfield Foods, has long been known for its quality products and great taste. Last month, it introduced bold new packaging for its deli collection, which includes poultry, ham, bologna, and hard salami. With market research as its guide, Eckrich created a design that it says breathes new energy into the heritage brand with a modern, approachable look, all with its key consumer top of mind.

“In 2017, Eckrich, participated in a consumer attitudes and usage study which explored target audience expectations and requirements for both Eckrich and the category,” says Laura Koenes, Brand Manager for Eckrich at Smithfield Foods. “Qualitative research was done through focus groups, and quantitative research was done through consumer surveys. Through this research, we learned that there was an opportunity to better convey consumer benefits on packaging to break through the visual clutter at the deli counter.”


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The new designs feature a white background and crisp imagery, displaying the product and information in an organized, eye-catching way. The imagery also showcases the product in a prepared fashion, allowing consumers to see easy ways to create an Eckrich meal at home.

Legacy packaging looked quite premium, but didn't inspire any home-cooking ideas.Legacy packaging looked quite premium, but didn't inspire any home-cooking ideas.

“We hope to inspire consumers with new and different ways to use deli meat in their everyday lives, while also better communicating the product benefits and the quality that they have come to know and trust from Eckrich,” Koenes says. “We wanted to create an approachable, differentiated, and simplified design aesthetic prioritizing what matters most to the consumer. This includes important product health claims, as well as product photography and flavor queues to inspire the consumer. The designs feature a white background and crisp imagery, displaying the product and information in an organized, eye-catching way.

“One of our key objectives was to ensure that we establish a bold, consistent packaging communication hierarchy to provide the consumer with the information and inspiration they need most. This includes branding, product name, health claims, as well as serving suggestion,” she adds.


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The end-sealed bags are printed flexographically on clear films using a double hit of white ink and a mix of spot and process colors. The bags are made up of a multi-layer polyolefin structure with PVdC or EVOH. This film material provides the following advantages:

Multi-layer polyolefin structure with PVdC:

    ·    Superior shrink to provide a skin tight appearance

    ·    Optimized barrier for extended shelf life

    ·    Full-color printing on both sides for differentiation 

    ·    Superior abuse resistance

    ·    Grip & Tear for knifeless opening

    ·    Proven performance throughout distribution

Multi-layer polyolefin structure with EVOH

    ·    Post pasteurization material that combines the heat tolerance of a cook-in bag with the merchandising attributes of a barrier bag

    ·    Excellent shrink, gloss and barrier properties

    ·    Grip & Tear capable for knifeless opening

Multi-layer polyolefin and polyamide structure with EVOH

    ·    All-in-one, cook-and-ship material, eliminating the need for secondary packaging or repackaging

    ·    Excellent barrier protection and film-to product adhesion

    ·    Grip & Tear capable for knifeless opening

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