Smaller, lighter packaging generally raises red flags with consumers. It usually signals they're getting less product for their money... instead of the steady, insidious price hikes which also cause consternation in a down economy. But I'm here to tell you that this isn't necessarily so.

Some manufacturers have steadily worked to cut down on extraneous packaging materials for some very good reasons: real savings in raw materials, energy--and the amount of trash that ends up in landfills. All good reasons to cut back, right?
In a recent AdvertisingAge article dubbed: "Kellogg Tests Shorter, Fatter Cereal Boxes," signals the move by a major food manufacturer that has ramifications throughout the entire spectrum of the consumer product industry; and that includes non-food companies, as well.
According to the article: "Kellogg Co. is testing a 'space-saving' cereal-box design that it predicts will redefine the cereal aisle. The new box, which is being tested in Detroit, represents the package-food company's biggest box tweak since the 1950's."
This is big news. While Kellogg's is touting the company's commitment to innovative thinking, and responsiveness to its retail partners and consumers, there can be little doubt that an 8% decrease in packaging materials has its own advantages. Cost savings that go right to the bottom line. The perception of a greener footprint. Taking a lead marketing position in a highly competitive category. All good–if it works according to plan.
This test phase will be an interesting one for Kellogg's. For one thing: after decades of consumers being educated that smaller packaging equates to less product for the same dollars, it's going to take time to reeducate consumers that in some cases, like this one, it isn't so. This test phase is expected to last for six months to allow for adequate retailer and consumer feedback time. . .
Retailers ought to love the shorter packaging because they can move shelves closer together and offer more product in the same footage. . .consumers ought to love the new packaging since it will fit far better on their cupboard or pantry shelves. Or will they?
Do you as a consumer actively purchase products from manufacturers that are more eco-conscious in the materials they use or ones that offer smaller, lighter packaging?
Do you think consumers will "get this" or do you think they will assume smaller cereal packages connote less product for the same dollar spend?
How do you think Kellogg's needs to market and communicate its new packaging if the company decides to go forward with it after the test phase?
I'd love to hear from you.

Enter your email address to continue reading

Space-Saving Box or Less Product?

Don't's free!

Already a member? Sign in now.

Sign in with your preferred account, below.

Did you like this article?
Know someone who would enjoy it too? Share with your friends, free of charge, no sign up required! Simply share this link, and they will get instant access…
  • Copy Link

  • Email

  • Twitter

  • Facebook

  • Pinterest

  • Linkedin


image of Ted Mininni

Ted Mininni is president and creative director of Design Force, a leading brand-design consultancy.

LinkedIn: Ted Mininni