Interact Category Specialists: Shelf Stable Beverages

Interact Category Specialists: Shelf Stable Beverages

Standing out among the competition in a category such as shelf-stable beverages is daunting to say the least. However, there are certain brands who are paying attention to the mass movement of consumers away from sugary and artificial beverages and toward shorter ingredient lists, healthier choices, and options that have functional and added dietary benefits. Three emerging trends from the past couple of years are ready-to-drink teas, carbonated juices and waters as well as taking the cold-pressed phenomenon out of the refrigerated section and into the middle of the store. (Image Source) RTD TEA With ready-to-drink tea sales projected to be $9 billion by 2020, up from $7 billion just five years prior, its needless to say that the tea category is booming. Major players like Starbucks, Steaz and Nestea have all taken notice and are anteing up with new packaging, new products and reformulation. Starbucks recently rolled out a RTD version of Tevana to select retailers in hopes to capitalize on this trend. Nestea, always a major player in this category, has paid particular attention to market demand when they recently reformulated their tea to have a mix of sugar and stevia as well as removing any artificial flavors. With the majority of consumers actively searching for “no sugar added”, “organic” or any type of added health/functional benefit all companies, big and small are taking notice.   (Image Source) CARBONATION With the trend moving more toward organic and natural beverages, brands are constantly trying to find ways to set themselves apart – what better way to do this than to add a little sparkle. Cawston Press and Spindrift...
Branding in the Fresh Produce Space

Branding in the Fresh Produce Space

The produce section draws the eye with vibrant colors and the promise of fresh offerings, but it’s remained one of the least branded grocery categories. Fruits and vegetables are typically sold unpackaged, labeled with only a sticker featuring a PLU code and a small brand mark to identify them. With the “clean eating” movement at its peak, we’re seeing a lot more well branded fresh produce items. By moving into a space that has virtually no branding, companies are able to establish a sort of monopoly on generic produce items, similar to the way Kleenex and Band-aid have. In a category with such minimal branding, what marketing strategies are companies using to positioning themselves?   (Image Source) For the Kids Many initiatives have cropped up that are taking a stand against childhood obesity, by encouraging children to be more active and eat healthier. One easy way to appeal to an adolescent audience is to assign characters to products. Cuties (easy peel mandarin oranges) and Mighties (kiwi fruits that come packaged with a knife-spoon combination) both come packaged in multi-packs, and stand out in the category with lively characters and fun names. The friendliness and ease of consuming have made them an ideal go-to lunchbox addition. (Image Source) Snackability There’s been a constantly rising demand for healthy snacking alternatives. The preparation of fruits and veggies is a drawback that might lead a consumer to reach for a bag of chips to satiate appetite instead. But convenient, options help to eliminate that issue. A few years ago, Pom Wonderful stormed into the produce category with a unique structure for a unique product – pomegranate...
Getting to Know the Team 04: Emily

Getting to Know the Team 04: Emily

Emily Wolf, our Senior Designer at Interact, is one crazy talented lady. With a warm heart and great sense of humor to boot, we’re lucky to have her on board helping to guide our design team in making truly great work. We were recently able to take some time out of her busy day to ask her a few questions, so enjoy a little insight into what makes Emily special.   Tell us a bit about yourself. I’m originally from the middle-of-nowhere Ohio. My parents were both East Coasters and that inspired me to move around a lot before settling in Colorado what will be five years ago this year! I have a diverse agency and design background that has brought me to lead the design team as Senior Designer at Interact.   Why did you want to work in advertising/packaging design? When did you know it was what you wanted to do? Within design there are so many facets and ways your career can take you. My first immersion into major CPG was through LPK in Cincinnati, Ohio. Working on household, wellness, technology, pharmacy, food + beverage and beauty brands I realized the wonderful intersection between creating beautiful provocative work and needing to create something that clearly communicated what a brand was trying to sell. I really enjoy the fusion of the left and right brain’s way of thinking through problems and packaging is a perfect way to engage both sides. To watch over the past 10+ years the power of design gain momentum and importance across the entire retail channel has been inspiring.   What was your first...
Alcohol Shifts to the Single Serve Category

Alcohol Shifts to the Single Serve Category

There’s a surge in alcoholic beverages packaged in single serving portions right now, and brands both large and small are bringing some unexpected approaches to this sub-category. While imbibing in public spaces is often not condoned, sometimes the occasion calls for a cocktail, or a glass of wine – hold the glass. Picnic enthusiasts and tailgaters everywhere can now enjoy an adult beverage without the burden of lugging around and disposing of bottles and cans. While at first glance this movement seems to revolve around having convenient drinks on the go, there are a few interesting factors driving this category.   To differentiate from traditional alcohol packaging, the product formula needn’t change a bit – it all comes back to the structure. Some truly innovative shapes are emerging in these single serving alcohol options. Stack Wines offer function and portability that you can’t get from a traditional bottle or even box of wine. Separated into four single servings, this product makes it easy to moderate alcohol consumption. The containers are shatterproof and meant to drink directly out of, relieving the consumer of the need to supply their own wine glass or drink from a plastic party cup. The wines are sold stacked atop one another in a four pack, with each serving snapping apart for easy sharing.   We’ve seen the pouch pop up as a structure in the beverage and snack categories in recent years, and it’s adapted well to single serving alcohol as well. Triple Crown Whiskey is forgoing the traditional liquor structure with their newest offering of single and double shots. The Vice President of Marketing at McCormick Distilling said, “Bulky bottles and broken glass are a thing of the past with...
Interact Category Specialists: Yogurt

Interact Category Specialists: Yogurt

Whether you find yogurt to be a delightful breakfast, beautiful afternoon snack or culinary ingredient, the truth is the past five years yogurt has grown as a category within the US from 1.1 Billion in 2010 to 7.7 billion in 2015. With the market experiencing such a lift, it’s easy to understand why there has been such interest and product development in such a basic category. We’ve watched a few major trends rise to the top at shelf:   ORIGIN Fage and Chobani lead the charge in the US market in introducing consumers to different yogurt types from across the world. With “plain” and “greek” being the first two true yogurt options consumers at shelf are now met with a bevy of options: Greek, Icelandic Skyr, Australian, Bulgarian and Indian to name a few. We’ve watched categories like wine and coffee profit from celebrating the exclusivity of the origin of coffee beans and grapes. Yogurt seems to lean into origin as a product point of difference as a way to explain a different texture, process or inclusions. The shelf seems saturated in product differentiation in this way but it will be interesting to watch what part of the world will make a splash in the dairy section in 2017.   FORM FACTOR With our eye constantly on emerging markets we’ve watched wellness shots make a huge splash in the past year. In a world full of yogurt squeeze pouches, drinkable kifirs, and individual servings, the shot trend has even extended into the dairy category. Quick on-the-go servings of yogurt allow all the convenience of juice and wellness shots with...