As craft brewers, you know the importance of putting your best seasonal beer on the shelf as soon as the market is ready (Pumpkin ales before Labor Day?), and regular readers of Craft Brewing Business would know the importance of proper packaging as you take your beer to market. While the craft industry is booming, remember that it’s still relatively new when you consider iconic brand giants — names like Hershey’s, Coca Cola and Kleenex — that have been capitalizing on seasonal buys for decades. Grimes Packaging Services recently released an infographic with some fun packaging facts that span across a diverse product offering. Let’s take a look at some of the highlights and then view the full infographic below.
- Holiday packaging doesn’t work, but seasonal packaging does. In 2011, Hershey’s learned the hard way that Halloween holiday packaging is not always cost effective. Hershey’s has since corrected the mistake by replacing most Halloween imagery on their packaging with seasonal leaves and colors that will help them avoid discounting after Halloween and extend the shelf life of their seasonal candy into November.
- Don’t confuse your customers. Seasonal packaging is a great way for companies to have a little fun and mix up their traditional brand identities, but don’t go too far. Coke tried introducing a snow white can for their holiday “Arctic Home” campaign in 2011, but the white and silver can confused their fans because it looked (and some said even tasted) too much like Diet Coke. Coke ended up pulling the special white cans two months early and replacing them with their tried-and-true red cans. Sometimes you just have to stick with what works.
- Seasonal customers: Not just for cold weather. If done right, seasonal packaging can bring in new customers that choose your product primarily because they prefer your packaging design. Kleenex sales typically go up 60 percent during cold and flu season, but Kleenex saw “close to 100 percent incrementality” with their summer seasonal packaging design. Their warm weather watermelon box brought in a whole new summer customer base.
- 2015 trends: Interactive & personalized seasonal packaging. Alcohol distributors like Johnnie Walker and Shiner Beer invest in creative seasonal packaging design to make their higher priced products stand out against their lower priced, big brand competitors. Johnnie Walker added personalized holiday greetings on their high end bottled liquor. Since seasonal beers account for around 20 percent of craft beer sales, Shiner makes its seasonal Cheer Beer stand out against the big beer brands with special packaging that includes pop-out coasters, proving that even smaller businesses can use seasonal packaging to increase sales.