In grocery retailing, the competition for customers, margins and price premiums between manufacturer and private labels is fierce. Supermarket shelves are jam packed with differing brands all screaming for consumers’ attention. Sustainable packaging is moving up the priority list.

Traditionally, competition has focused on brand identity, quality and pricing as the main tools for creating distance between competitors. This playing field is now changing, with sustainable packaging being added to the mix. Only when we gain harmony between these 4 factors, are we then on the road to gaining consumer loyalty for driving repeat purchase.


A strong brand identity is crucial, giving your company and products personality, energy and visual impact. As a species, humans are very loyal and this also rings true with our purchasing decisions. Strong brands hold centre stage in our minds, especially when faced with multiple products on shelf. So instead of designing packaging purely for the product, we should use the packaging to highlight and enforce the brand. Whether a product is the new kid on the block or has held pride of place on shelf for many years, brand building here must create trial and reinforce existing consumer relationships by advancing a product’s positioning. A good brand is like a strong hand shake – a sign of strength and assuredness. Prime example of strong branding is the iconic Marmite.

Marmite – Iconic Branding


The impact of packaging can make the difference between success or failure of a product. Not only the look and feel of the package, but also the information on the label itself is essential for great shelf appeal. Food labels are the driving force for educating, entertaining and engaging your audience. Something should happen between the consumer and the packaging because a visual cue is the first point of contact with the consumer. It affords the opportunity to evaluate product quality – an essential qualifier for choosing one brand over another. Why pay, even at a cheap price point for a product that does not look and sound appealing?

Packaging that conveys a sense of humor helps to ‘speak’ to the consumer in a friendly and persuasive manner. By tapping into the psyche of a potential customer means that emotional connections are made and break through the clutter that surrounds. The ‘Big Knit’ campaign launched by Innocent did wonders for the brand.

Innocent – The ‘Big Knit’


Reflecting back to the good old days of yesteryear conjures up ‘feel good’ memories and nostalgia. And the same holds true for brands and their packaging. We’ve seen a number of cereal and snack companies bring back classic designs and flavors, which ultimately remind consumers of why they first fell in love with a brand or product. It’s about recreating an emotional connection and building a bridge to the evolution of the brand. Bisto also pulled this one off nicely with their 2015 annual collectors tin by putting a contemporary spin on a retro offering.

Ahh Bisto! – 2015 Celebration Tin


Pricing also strongly influences our decision making. The consensus where pricing is concerned is that we sell products to make money. The more products we sell, the more money we make. Sell them at a higher price and fewer people will buy them but we make more profit per unit. Sell them for too little and we will probably sell more but people will assume that they are poor quality. It’s swings and roundabouts but you need to get the balance right to avoid the squabbles. Post Brexit and as of last month, competition between supermarkets means that it’s now cheaper to do your food shopping than it was a year ago – and the price war hasn’t finished yet.

Supermarket Price Wars – Are prices set to come down further?


The human mind is attracted to anything perceived as a good deal. ‘Buy one get one free’ (BOGOF) is the most popular marketing strategy to persuade people to buy things. People love a bargain and an element of surprise. Limited edition packaging is the another way to build on that affinity, without messing with the brand or the product’s core attributes. Special purchases provide a license to put aside typical behavior constraints so disrupting the norm and encouraging impulsive buying. It’s also an incredible opportunity to drive sales forward and offers a great shortcut to jump into the premium category, encouraging consumers to choose your brand over their preferred choice or the competition.

Labels that feature specific promotional mechanisms are a powerful driver in terms of consumer engagement for encouraging repeat purchase. Linerless labels produced by Ravenwood Packaging provide brand owners with more space to speak to their customers – double the space in fact. Due to the peelable adhesive quality of the glue lines allows for the back of the label to feature additional information such as tips on health, recipes, promotions, information on food safety and much more. Why not read our blog> 10 Reasons to Choose Linerless Labels

Ravenwoods’ Slideable Linerless Ready Meal Sleeve


Sustainable food packaging is a craze that is set to gain momentum in the years ahead as more and more companies are going all out to be ‘seen as green’. And with consumers adopting greener and more ethical lifestyles, food packaging is therefore becoming just as important as the product itself.

PANTONE colour of the Year selection for 2017– is non other than ‘Greenery’. Green is a colour of balance and harmony of the mind, the body and the emotions. In colour psychology, it relates to security, wealth and growth. And it’s no wonder, in packaging, the colour green has historically proved popular for organic and environmentally friendly products including wholefoods and plant based. Read our full article here> Food & Packaging Trends – Prepare to See Green in 2017

Mushroom packaging by Evocative Design – safe, healthy and certified sustainable


Time. Our lives are defined by the ability to make decisions which are divided into a series of moments. Time is something that we seem to have increasingly less of – as time goes by. Our lives are getting busier and our decision making faster. So the trick is to entice your customer into a moment of engagement – setting the scene for their undivided attention. Your product is counting on it. Is your packaging and labelling selling your products?  If sales are down and products aren’t flying off the shelf then something isn’t working. Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn and sometimes we have to look to our more successful competitors. What are they doing that you should be doing better?

Ravenwood linerless label samples and brochures available upon request. Contact us here or call us on +44(0)1284 749144 to find out more.

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