Market Driven

May 1, 2006
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A Spritz of Vodka
Tall and thin may be “in” when it comes to vodka bottles, but Hood River Distillers’ new Yazi vodka, a ginger-flavored creation, is housed in a blocky glass bottle that looks more at home on the fragrance shelf. The likeness is no accident—it is a tactic to communicate the premium brand’s positioning as a vodka for women. Rich red sidewalls, a shiny neck wrap and an exotic dragon etched on the imported French glass bottle are additional design elements to entice women. Beyond that, the premium packaging, designed by Andrew Reed of Leopold Ketel & Partners (www.leoketel.com), is a smart strategy by this Oregon liquor company to facilitate national distribution. A 750 ml bottle of Yazi retails for about $30.
Round of bullets, anyone?
First it was the bottle to go. Now it’s the glass. In an ongoing effort to make wine less intimidating and more accessible, The Three Thieves has introduced Bandit varietal wines in 250ml Tetra Prisma (www.tetrapak.com) four-packs. Dubbed the “bullet,” the mini box format is more like a juice box than a wine bottle, with an easy-to-open pull tab that seals the container. “We’ve done away with corks, wine openers and bottles,” explained Charles Bieler of The Three Thieves. “We’re going one step further and liberating wine lovers from the glass.” Each 250 ml “bullet” contains one-third more than the wine industry standard for single-serve portions. The four-packs are priced at $8.99 and are available nationally in Pinot Grigio and Cabernet Sauvignon varietals.
Gum packaging: it’s Big
Less than a year after it established a dedicated Innovation Center in Chicago, the Wrigley Company has introduced a slew of new gum and candy products and packaging—among them the Eclipse Big-E-Pak. Sixty pellets of gum (about five single-serve packages worth) sit in a flip-top-lidded bottle that, the company says, is designed to sit perfectly on a desk, countertop or in a car cupholder. “Our new product lineup continues the company’s rich tradition of bringing our consumers attractive products and unique packaging that become part of their everyday lives,” said Martin Schlatter, the company’s vice president and chief marketing officer. Consumers can load up on spearmint and winterfrost flavors when the Big-E-Pak hits shelves in July.
In the bag—steamed vegetables
A sign that consumers are growing more comfortable with microwave-in-bag packaging, Ready Pac has launched Fast ‘N Fresh, a line of fresh microwaveable vegetables in bags that steam veggies in their natural state. The packaging offers added convenience for consumers, with specially designed vents that replace the need to cut or pierce the bag prior to cooking. Three 12-ounce vegetable varieties—green beans, green beans & carrots, and Harvest Blend, a mix of carrots, broccoli, and snow peas (or snap peas, depending on the season)—are offered as convenient options for family-sized side servings. According to the California-based produce processor, consumer feedback was important in developing the new offering. “These concepts were winners in consumer testing and are designed to drive added sales and profits in the produce aisle,” said Steve Dickstein, the company’s vice president of marketing. Fast ‘N Fresh, which retails for $2.66, has launched regionally at Wal-Mart and is expected to roll out nationally at other retailers by August.

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