Food Engineering

Improve your shelf appeal

April 3, 2006
Did you know that once a consumer picks up a product from a store shelf, there's an 87 percent chance that he or she will buy it? Packaging that is more appealing, functional and easier to stack on store shelves catches the consumer's eye, according to a report from IPL Packaging.

In today's competitive environment, food makers must become more creative with shelf appeal. Source: IPL Packaging.


Did you know that once a consumer picks up a product from a store shelf, there's an 87 percent chance that he or she will buy it?

Packaging that is more appealing, functional and easier to stack on store shelves catches the consumer's eye, according to a report from IPL Packaging.

But it's not just consumers driving packaging changes. More than ever, retailers and wholesalers are providing the catalyst for change.

Most processors know that with round containers, only 12-15 percent of the container is facing the shopper. With a square container, there is a far greater percentage of customer-facing product, creating a billboard effect that allows the shopper to view about 75 percent more of the package. In addition, the smaller the container, the more dramatic-and critical-the billboard effect becomes.

The growing number of wholesale clubs has had an interesting impact on the food industry. The oversized, large-quantity items that are the staples of these stores were once targeted almost exclusively to commercial establishments such as hotels and restaurants. However, with these items now available to the everyday shopper, the same issues that apply in a supermarket apply here as well. A customer buying a two-gallon container of mayonnaise still must be visually "courted" the same way as someone buying a 12-oz. container.

Food manufacturers are also concerned about branding. As a result, containers that are large enough-and functional enough-to be re-used are highly sought after. For example, a large cookie container can be used as a pail when washing a car. With this re-purposing, the product's label continues being displayed, and the cookie manufacturer gains increased advertising.