Despite a surge in sales during lockdown, elevating the perception of frozen remains a challenge with some consumers. How can brands harness the power of packaging to further raise the profile of the sector and attract more consumers to the frozen aisle?
When thinking about packaging design, all brands must consider shelf impact because people can’t help making snap judgements. A frozen product could be restaurant quality, but if the packaging is unappealing, people might never know.
But frozen brands face additional challenges. Firstly, people don’t tend to linger in the frozen aisle and freezer doors tend to obscure packaging. Secondly, convincing consumers of the quality of frozen remains something of an uphill battle.
As previously discussed, black plastic trays are often used to make products look more premium, but these cause problems at recycling facilities. What other approaches can brands use to reach the consumer through the frosted glass?
In the US, Callie’s Biscuits is widely recognised as an iconic Southern brand with national retail exposure. Its biscuits and cookies are fully baked before being frozen and packaged in colourful boxes with windows showcasing the distinctive handmade texture. The goal was for the vibrant packaging to evoke the feeling of a home-baked product.
Callies Biscuits founder, Carrie Morey, said: “You have to find a way to be innovative and stand out from behind the frosted glass of the freezer section and it’s incredibly important to see what your competition is doing. For years we had craft packaging, which was different in the frozen space, but it didn’t pop in the freezer section.
“This year, we changed to an assortment of vibrant coloured boxes. The box (unlike bags of frozen biscuits) stands on its own in the biscuit section because of its bright colour and shape. It is so important to put just as much time and care into your packaging as you do in your product. If one is underwhelming, the other will suffer.”
Brands competing in the frozen sector should follow the example of Callie’s Biscuits and focus on how their packaging design can convey a products unique properties, as well as the ‘fresher than fresh’ message, from the freezer.
Ultimately, raising the profile of frozen has bigger implications than increased sales figures. It is vital in the fight against food waste.
WRAP research shows that in 2018 the UK threw away 6.6 million tonnes of household food waste. Of that, almost three quarters is food we could have eaten. But simply by switching to frozen, families can almost halve levels of food waste, as well as save up to £1,500 per year.
In the last of out series on packaging we’ll look ahead to the trends you can expect to see in 2021 and beyond.