Housewares companies debut new packaging to reflect an updated look.
By Andrea Lillo
New products were not the only things unveiled at March’s International Home + Housewares Show. Vendors also showed off redesigned packaging, perhaps a sign that business is getting stronger.
Manufacturers cited the need to update how their products looked at retail to appeal to younger consumers, remain updated and fresh and better convey product information to shoppers. The result is packaging with bigger images, cleaner layouts and more romancing of the product and its features.
“We are not in the aisle [at the store] telling people the [product’s] story so our packaging has to,” said Sanjay Choudhuri, the president of Mastrad’s U.S. division, which has been working on its packaging for the past two years. In Chicago attendees saw the new packaging for the full line for the first time. “Our old packaging was not telling our story properly,” he said. “We needed a coherent message.”
While the new packaging is noticeable throughout the line, “it’s more impactful with the bigger, higher price-point items,” Choudhuri added, such as its macaron and cupcake kits or the purefizz soda maker. Some of those items have packaging that opens like a book, he said, so inside “you see the story and the product.” It’s expensive, but it was meant to connect with consumers “on an emotional level … It’s all about getting the story if you want to get people excited about food” and inspire them in the kitchen, he said. Imagery takes up the majority of the space—“we hope it makes you salivate”—and Mastrad’s signature purple color runs throughout. The company is now working on the same look for its point-of-purchase displays.
After almost 15 years with its old packaging—with a few tweaks along the way—Starfrit decided to make a “revolutionary change after some serious research and brand analysis,” said Juanita Coumbias, international sales and marketing director, Starfrit USA. “We needed a new direction to transform the packaging so as to be more current and relevant to the X and Y generations, without losing our existing customer base.”
Starfrit’s new packaging includes the entire brand, including boxed and carded gadgets, tools, food prep, food storage, cutlery, scales and some of its cookware brands. The packaging focuses on predominant photography, coupled with a “clean, fresh and upscale” layout, Coumbias said. One of the innovations for the boxed packaging was that on every face of the packaging is a different view of the product; on the top of the box, for example, is an image of the top of the product. In addition, the branding is strengthened by a new logo, she added, with new styling and a new “star” logo icon on the “i.”
Having had its original packaging since 2001, when the company started, cookware company Swiss Diamond began rolling out new packaging this year, along with a new logo. The new packaging comes with two different colored backgrounds: a red one to indicate the cookware is from its classic line, while a blue background means that the cookware is induction cooktop friendly.
“We decided to redesign based on the need to differentiate between our classic and induction cookware lines,” said Joachim Stein, chief operating officer. “Until this year, we were using a small sticker to mark the boxes, which was easy to miss. This made it difficult for our retailers.” And since it was redesigning the packaging, “we decided to embrace the opportunity to upgrade to a look that was more suitable for a luxury brand,” he added. “We wanted to clearly convey that Swiss Diamond’s nonstick coating contains diamond crystals, since some people were unaware of it.” Currently, its U.S. distribution is shipping about six to eight products in the new packaging.
Now celebrating seven years in business, Fusionbrands has also updated its packaging, which is now all white with two lifestyle images on the front, along with the product name and the logo, said Debra Matt, brand manager. Features and benefits in four languages are listed on the back, with more images. It also “minimized some of the packaging where we could and added clear shells to see the product easier,” she said. All hand-held tools are also now available in a countertop display unit, and are peggable.
“With the continued growth of our product line we are now introducing a fresh new look that shows a consistent graphic theme on all packaging to really tell the story at retail while making a bigger brand presence,” Matt said. Products with the new packaging are expected to roll out to retail stores in June/July.