The Foodpreneur #003
Brands need to find creative ways to cut through the clutter and keep customers engaged—and eating. But before focusing on outbound marketing and promotions, it’s important to consider another integral piece of your go-to-market strategy: the power of packaging. Outstanding packaging gives you the opportunity to promote your brand’s uniqueness, strengthen customer loyalty, and keep your food in your customers’ minds. Here are some of the things we recommend you consider while you plan your packaging approach:
#1. Promote quality and freshness first.
The quality and freshness of the food you deliver should be your top priority—and your packaging is a crucial part of this promise. Using high-quality, secure, and insulated packaging not only helps preserve the integrity and freshness of meals but also shows customers you’re committed to their meal-time experience. Also important: incorporating packaging technology such as vacuum sealing or modified atmosphere packaging can extend the shelf life of your meals, improving the taste and safety of every delivery.
#2. Make sure it’s functional.
Nobody—and we mean nobody—wants to eat food that’s sloppily delivered. Most people have experienced a bad delivery—pizza with the cheese sliding off, squashed burgers or crushed sandwiches, or broken fragile items, like eggs. Your packaging’s primary job isn’t just to sell your food, it’s to make sure it reaches its destination safely, securely, and looking like it came from a professional. Whatever materials or concessions you need to consider, it’s absolutely critical that your packaging actually does the job it’s intended for. Consider using different types of packaging for different menu items, adding things like dividers to keep various portions neat and tidy during transit.
#3. Call out your sustainable best practices.
Nearly four in five U.S. consumers say a sustainable lifestyle is important to them—and that includes their meals and meal packaging. Consider using recyclable, biodegradable, or compostable packaging materials.
Sustainability also extends to reducing food waste, so consider portion-controlled packaging. These eco-friendly practices not only demonstrate your commitment to the planet, but can also help you tap into the growing market of environmentally-conscious consumers.
#4. Consider brand perception.
While what’s on the inside of your packaging—amazing food, fresh ingredients, and sustainable practices—is key, external packaging is the first thing subscribers see. And that makes it critical to have bold, eye-catching, on-brand packaging that gets people excited to dig in. Make sure you keep in mind who your customers are, and design your packaging accordingly.
#5. Make sure instructions are clear.
Convenience is one of the main reasons people opt for heat-and-eat meal subscriptions. Make the experience more challenging or time-consuming than it needs to be, and customers will likely abandon your service for a simpler, more straightforward option.
As you’re finalizing packaging, be sure to include everything subscribers need to be successful—think cook time, temperatures, and any key steps to ensure the best possible meal. The easier it is for customers to get a delicious breakfast, lunch, or dinner on the table, the more likely they are to continue with your service.
#6. Think innovation.
You know you always have to be a step ahead of the competition—and that includes your packaging. Consider ways to set your packaging apart, layering in some of the new technologies constantly emerging—think self-heating packaging or optional add-ons, for starters.
The key? Don’t treat meal packaging as a need-to-have—done right, it’s so much more than that; it’s a value-add instead of merely another expense. Impactful, interactive, high-value meal packaging is an ideal way to excite, engage, and upsell existing customers—and to draw new subscribers into your brand experience. Consider these and other strategies for making your meal packaging stand out, and don’t be afraid to test new approaches. These memorable, high-value packaging touchpoints can be your critical competitive advantage.
Earlier Editions of The Foodpreneur