Walking through the supermarkets’ shelves, everyone can notice that the number and the variety of the packaged products keeps increasing, for a cumulative series of motivations: the tendency to request products that are more and more specific and unique (for intolerant people, vegetarians, vegans, biologic, etc.), and in different sizes (family size, normal, smaller size for single people…), as well as the increasing consumption of prepackaged or frozen products; the consumer then has to face a wide range of alternatives among which the companies, on the other side, have to try and stand out in order to “lead” the client’s attention towards their direction. And the packaging surely remains the most immediate and direct method.
To conquer the consumer, some famous confectionery firms decided to work on interaction: Nestlé’s approach, for example, combines tradition and new technologies. On the classic, red packaging of the KitKat food bars a QRC code has been added that, if scanned with the relative app, allows the user to connect to the “YouTube my Break” channel, obviously run by the company itself, where people can watch funny videos and easy content.
Next to Nestlé’s case, focused on multimedia, other examples can be found that exploit the packaging itself to stimulate purchase: one case is brought by Nutella and its jars, that have always distinguished for their uniqueness and a strong artistic characterization. The most recent series include the letters of the alphabet, one printed on each jar, that can be then purchased in groups to compose words and sentences, or simply collected. Other campaigns made by Ferrero include jars with Italian dialect phrases, or the 7 million unique jars that have been distributed, each one with a different pattern printed on it. Simple but engaging ideas, that focus on collecting and originality even without huge investments on technologies.
There are also brands that decided to exploit quotes pronounced by famous personalities to associate them with a product, just like Ladurée did: the blogger Chiara Ferragni said that she’s fond of macarons, and the company that produces this sweets has thought about producing some limited edition boxes dedicated to her, linking together fashion, social and pastry.
So, even if the main role of the packaging is to protect its content, which is nowadays more and more affordable thanks to the development of new conservation technologies that allow the use of reliable materials at moderate price, the actual challenge concerns the development of a package that attracts, engages and creates loyalty, combining innovation, creativity and a keen eye for the current trends.