Packaging is the 'catch' for gourmet catsup

Will a chunky, more flavorful catsup sell for three times the retail price of catsup sold by market leaders Heinz and Hunt's?

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An experienced food marketer is pulling out all the stops to find out. Steve Dyvig, president of the new Zona Foods, St. Louis, says the company is now shipping four varieties of its gourmet catsup in an upscale-looking package that's designed to share shelf space with the market leaders. The 14-oz bottles are stock glass containers from Ball (Muncie, IN) that haven't been used for catsup before. They have been used by contract manufacturer Richelieu Foods, Grundy Center, IA, for other products. So, says Dyvig, his product can use a readily-available package without having to buy change parts for Richelieu's packaging line. Unlike the bottle, the rest of the package is highly customized. The label design by JC Campbell & Associates (St. Louis, MO) was selected to create an immediate "gourmet impression, because it's priced that way," says Dyvig. "A quality image was important so we went with glass. The label's appearance had to convey the special ingredients of the four products. We wanted to be the Grey Poupon of the catsup category." With a CT cap and a gold-color TE neckband, the container appearance stands out from other catsups on the shelf. The products were introduced last fall, and shipments began earlier this year. At a suggested retail price of $2.99, Zona has been authorized for some 1군 supermarkets nationally, including Kroger and Publix Stores. In addition to the appeal of its primary package, another reason for its early success is that it's packed 6 bottles/case, instead of the usual 12. This permits the company to sell a wider variety, and it promotes case turnover. "With 6 bottles/case, we can move half as fast and look just as good," Dyvig says. But don't ask either Richelieu or Ball Glass how well they enjoy packing six bottles per case.

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