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Marketing Insights

Package Design Lessons From The Shelf

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How We Helped Brown's Spice Company Compete On the Shelf

Grocery store spice category is quite prolific. There is no denying that cooking has become extremely popular these last few years. Food Network has helped propel interest with a variety of cooking shows, competitions and restaurant makeovers. Simple, everyday people have a shot a celebrity status even if it is only for a show or a season.

All the interest in chefs has helped drive the specialty food product line. The chefs who gain popularity are writing cookbooks, creating foods and spices for sale in grocery stores, making their unique flavor available to everyone. Launching a food and seasoning line provides an opportunity to share their flavors with an audience far away from their restaurant. The shelves in the spice and baking aisle are filled with American flavors new to you and I. 

Introducing Brown's Backburner Chili Season Mix

Cooking shows have been around for years. Who can forget the unique voice and flare of Julia Child! Today, Julia Child would be recognized as a formidable brand though it was never her intention. But Julie provides us a lesson: build a unique brand. Having a personality, a unique selling proposition is part of the package you need to create. Brown's Backburner Chili came with a personality and story.

Charley Brown has personality and a talent for flavor. It was appropriate to make him the face of Brown's Spice Company.

The Brown's Spice Company was created to bring the flavors of a family restaurant that opened in 1946 to the masses. Multiple generations of Brown's created and evolved memorable, flavor-filled dinners that multiple generations of their restaurant customers returned to savor.

Have A Unique Presentation

Starting small you may think you can't afford to be different. That is not true. As with all the entrepreneurs who approach Catalpha for help packaging their product, Brown's Spice Company wanted to start with a small print quantity. Budget does limit your choices. You can't get 500 custom bottles or resealable pouches. Custom bottles and pouches have larger minimum quantities. But you can look like a big company with the right container, message and graphics.

Why follow the pack when you can showcase your product. Think outside the box.typical-chili-packages

Another unique aspect of Backburner Chili was the quantity of seasonings in the package. This had to be showcased! The color and texture had to be seen in an economical package that would stand out on the shelf. The seasonings were being produced and sealed in a clear bag so we needed something to hold the pouch and allow the seasonings to be visible.

You could assume that unless you sell the seasoning in a bottle, the customer won't see the seasonings. A bottle is an easy way to have a visible product. But that wasn't in the budget, nor what the client wanted. Bottles were too common. So was a standard box, but that's not what Catalpha proposed. We created a wedge shaped package with a cut out area on the front that met all the requirements and it was nothing like any other chili package you find in the store.

The structure was a big step in creating a unique package for Brown's Backburner Chili Seasonings Mix.

The graphics pulled the brand presentation all together. Soft buttery background color compliments the rich brown color of the logo, headline and the bowl of chili. Using Charley near a bowl of chili tied the creator to the finished gourmet meal anyone could make at home... only if you choose Brown's Seasoning. The hand style script used for Backburner illustrates the handcrafted style of the dry spice seasoning mix. Colors reflect the Midwest style seen in the Brown's Spice Co. logo.  The recipe to recreate Charley's famous Backburner Chili is included on the back along with a little history. A unique story and package for a unique gourmet dry seasoning mix.

The final step in brand development for this client was a website. Catalpha translated the brand into a ecommerce site that allows Brown's to develop a web presence and use that tool to reach beyond the local market.

Within a month of getting packaging in hand, Brown's Backburner Chili made it onto the shelves of a local grocery store. Shortly after that success they had their first contract with a Maryland restaurant to feature Brown's Backburner Chili on their menu using Charley's handcrafted seasonings.

Customers are proving Charleys' classic saying "You'll love it!"

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Topics: Branding, Packaging Design


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