PD_Packaging Digest

Packaging Digest, Winter 2015

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34 34 Beech-Nut transforms baby food, packaging and itself Rick Lingle, Technical Editor When Beech-Nut decided to remake its baby food, it went all in, breaking out of the mold by introducing a disruptive line of "real food for babies"—the product's tagline—that redef nes what baby food is all about. T e products launched spring 2014 are not your mom's baby foods, and are as much "real food for moms" because that's who helped drive the product and packaging development. What those Millennial parents helped guide into fruition was a new, 40-product—and growing—line of reformulated-from-scratch, 100% natural foods for babies. Products are f lled, sealed, labeled and multi-packed in distinctive packaging that is itself designed-from-scratch, also with consumer input. T at's all done on a new production line inside a plant that, at only four years of age, is a mere toddler itself, albeit it a sprawling one. T ings were set in motion with 2,000-plus moms in qualitative and quantitative consumer studies conducted over the course of more than a year, which included market-store tests and aisle intercepts. T e data revealed a concerning fact: babies weren't eating as much baby food anymore. To be more accurate, babies weren't eating as much prepackaged baby food as in years past. One reason: many moms were making baby food themselves. What's going on here? Who could be more time- strapped then moms with infants and toddlers? "Our research uncovered the fact that the reason why they were making it homemade is because they desired something else from their baby food that wasn't being met within the category," explains Jodi Breuer, marketing director. Beech-Nut had to drill down to uncover that nugget because it was obscured by the fact that, due to the rise of value-added formats like pouches, price per ounce of baby food had risen to of set that decline. T e new products' f agship positioning at Beech-Nut redef nes what the brand owner is all about with a newfound relevancy that positions the 123-year-old company for growth. It's no wonder the 14-month from-scratch ef ort was referred to internally as the "Transformation Project." "T e products are aimed at the four million infants born yearly in the U.S.," says Andy Dahlen, vp of marketing and sales. "T eir moms seek 'real food' with 'clean' ingredient labels. T ey want to know what's in the jar and where it comes from." About one-third of the volume had abandoned the category entirely, Beech-Nut reports. "T is new f agship for the brand is unlike anything we had previously," says Dahlen. T at included the packaging. "From a packaging standpoint, we knew that we needed to be disruptive and bring something dif erent than what's been there in the past." A honey of a jar At the center of the new packaging is the jar, a design the company calls a "honeypot," which is a dramatic departure from what has been used both Continued on page 36 Minimal ingredients and processing in making "real food for babies" combine with CONSUMER-DRIVEN PACKAGING that hits on all brand points naturally. A jar that stacks, reduces food waste and feels good in moms' hands features no-label-look transparency. Rebuilding a brand: Beech-Nut's facility is home to a new line, new products and a new consumer-centered attitude. BEST PRACTICES // WINTER 2015 www.PackagingDigest.com

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