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Monday, November 8, 2010

Crystal Light Revamps Packaging

Brand reduces containers to be eco-friendly and meet women's needs

Northfield, Ill. -- Marketers for Crystal Light, the powdered drink mix from Kraft Foods, have revamped the product's packaging to make it more attractive, functional and environmentally friendly. The packaging is now rolling out to stores, with new packages replacing old as inventories are used up.

The product features a new logo and a can configuration with several improvements aimed at making the packaging more user friendly, according to Mary Garris, senior associate brand manager. The changes include easy-open packets (which replace a tub container); a new 1-quart packet size inside the 8-quart canister that facilitates making smaller batches; and a clear window on the front of the canister to indicate when packets are running low. The canister also has been redesigned into an oval shape to ensure it sits efficiently on the shelf.

"We saw this as an opportunity to redesign the brand and better meet our consumers' needs," says Garris. 

"Aesthetically, we wanted to create a more modern, fresh look that would be eye-catching on-shelf while also providing convenient new features. Additionally, we recognized the chance to make improvements to the brand's environmental footprint."

Three key elements helped reduce packaging and make it more efficient, adds Nicole Tom, senior engineer in Beverages R&D. The existing tubs and foil membranes were replaced with packets, which use less packaging material. The wraparound label and tamper-evident band were eliminated in favor of a full-body label with perforations integrated into the label. And the smaller footprint of the canister led to production of a smaller corrugated tray for shipping.

The product remains aimed at female consumers who want to drink more water, Garris says. The company reached out to women to better understand their needs during the conceptual stage. Research included both qualitative studies, such as focus groups and one-on-one conversations, and quantitative research, such as concept-testing studies.

"In parallel, we thought about our customers' requirements and how Crystal Light can be better for the environment," she adds. "When redesigning the package, we always kept the consumer in mind, either when she's at the store or when she's using the product in her home." The new packaging uses 250 less tons of material on a finished case-goods basis, says Tom. The canister's footprint also allows for a 33% more efficient pallet. "We expect that will result in greater outbound transportation efficiency."

The packaging introduction was supported through Feb. 22 with shelf banners highlighting the changes in the powdered-drink aisle of about 15,000 stores, Garris says. Shipper displays also feature the new packaging.
In conjunction with the packaging change, Kraft launched Crystal Light Pure Fitness in January in "On The Go" packets. The product is "the first naturally sweetened, low-calorie fitness drink mix," Garris says. Each serving has 15 calories and contains no artificial sweeteners, flavors or preservatives. It is sweetened with cane juice and Truvia, an all-natural sweetener derived from the stevia plant, and comes in three flavors (grape, strawberry kiwi and lemon lime). The company's "Water Your Body" campaign, launched in December, will continue to run throughout 2010 and features the entire Crystal Light line.

Marketers plan to monitor the effectiveness of the new packaging through sales and feedback from retailers and consumers. "Retailers are excited about the contemporary design of the new package," says Garris. No further research is planned for a formal evaluation, she notes, but says Kraft intends to stay abreast of consumer needs and "will initiate research as necessary."

Published: March 2010

Source: In-Store Marketing Institute/Shopper Marketing