‘Smart’ packaging opens digital opportunities for food brands

As noted in our recent trend report on food, packaging can be a gateway to more information and content via QR codes and similar technologies. The idea isn’t new (especially in some markets), but consumers are only gradually taking to it—5 percent of American adults with a mobile phone scan any kind of 2D barcode, up from 1 percent in 2010, according to a recent Forrester study—and brands are still testing ideas around it.

Games are one value offering. In the U.K., Cadbury uses Blippar technology to enable augmented reality-style games on chocolate bar packaging. Tic Tac recently launched an AR game in which the mint box serves as background as the player tosses mints into the mouth of a 3-D character. Codes can also lead consumers to more information, like recipes or sourcing. Kraft recently added QR codes to several cheese products, giving users ideas about how to use them. In Vancouver, Foodtree is teaming up with restaurants to offer QR codes on menus that tell diners about where ingredients come from.

Another idea: General Mills’ CMO suggested to USA Today that the traditional surprise inside a cereal box could become a phone-based “visual surprise.” The cereal box is an appealing platform, with plenty of real estate and a spot in front of people eating breakfast. Last year Kellogg’s saw a respectable response to QR codes on its newly launched Crunchy Nut cereal in the U.S.

Watch for a wave of experimentation from brands seeking to tap new opportunities to extend their message and create a new channel for everything from coupons and loyalty rewards to education and entertainment. See “What’s Cooking?” for additional examples.

Its Convenience, Not Price, which Limits Veggie Consumption

A research paper published in Public Health Nutrition posits that price is less of a factor in deciding to buy vegetables and fruits. Rather, it’s the convenient access to quality produce that increased purchases.

String Beans in bulk at a supermarket

The research was conducted in low income neighborhoods in Chicago, where you would expect every dollar to count.

Participants who agreed that they had “convenient access to quality” produce were more than twice as likely to eat the FDA-recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables, compared to those who said they did not have such access. read more from the Washington Post…

While this proves a correlation, it does not necessarily mean causation. The laws of economics have taught us that low prices are indeed a factor in food purchase decisions. Obviously not the only factor.

What we’ve heard and seen (qualitatively) is that many people don’t purchase vegetable because they don’t quite know what to do with them. Or can’t be bothered with the cleaning and trimming which takes time.

That’s why simple and quick recipes need to be made a part of kids’ curriculum in school and extra-curricular activities. If it’s too late for our generation, perhaps our kids can come from school one days and teach us how to prepare broccoli that doesn’t stink.

What’s holding you back from consuming more produce?

Procter & Gamble Deploys Analytics Software for Product and Branding Research

The Procter & Gamble Co. is leveraging predictive analytics in an effort to gain a complete view of customer attitudes and preferences about its products.

The Procter & Gamble Co. is using Chicago-based SPSS Inc.’s Predictive Analytics Software (PASW) to gather and analyze direct consumer feedback to improve its marketing research and brand evaluation.

“At P&G, we believe that high-quality, focused market research is an indispensable tool in the successful development and marketing of our consumer products,” said Patrick Hogan, consumer research solutions manager for global business services at Cincinnati-based P&G. “SPSS Predictive Analytics Software is instrumental in our understanding of how consumers think about and interact with our products, how they make purchase decisions, and how they respond to new ideas.”

P&G uses PASW Data Collection software to manage the entire research lifecycle by authoring and conducting surveys, and then sending feedback to analysts for improving process efficiencies. PASW Data Collection was designed to provide an open, scalable and customizable solution for multi-channel survey research and reporting needs.

“SPSS Predictive Analytics Software has enabled P&G to improve on and execute our research with consistent standards, quality and comparability across the globe,” said Hogan. “Using Predictive Analytics Software, our organization has made strides in effectively promoting brands, resulting in considerable savings to our organization and value to our consumer.”

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