Heinz Updates Ketchup Packets with New Dip & Squeeze
While to many this seems like a no-brainer, you have to remember that ketchup packets were made the way they were for a long time because they’re cost effective.
Think about it: you take two pieces of printed plastic, seal them together, squeeze ketchup in it, seal it up and perforate part of it so it can be torn.
The new package will combine a hard plastic that needs to be shaped with soft plastic that is an irregular shape. By adding an irregular shape you add more cost to the process because you have to cut more. Before you could just sheet cut the plastic, as it was a uniform 4-sided shape. In addition to that, you now add on more cost by having to shape it into a hard 3D container.
The new Dip & Squeeze packet may equal 3 old packets but the cost is most likely significantly higher. That’s the price you pay for a better branded user experience. Guaranteed that people will end up using it more in the long-run and Heinz’s brand affinity goes through the roof which results in sales lift across all Heinz products. Sometimes you have to lose your cents to make dollars.
Some interesting tidbits from the Wall Street Journal article:
- To develop the new packet, Heinz staffers sat behind one-way, mirrored glass, watching consumers in 20 fake minivan interiors putting ketchup on fries, burgers, and chicken nuggets.
- Heinz believes traditional ketchup packets are so annoying that they stop people from ordering fries at drive-thrus. “Fry inclusion orders” at drive-thrus “have been going down for years,” says John Bennett, VP of food-service ketchup, condiments and sauces for Heinz.
- Since a supply spat between Heinz and McDonald’s that arose during a 1973 tomato shortage, Heinz, the country’s largest ketchup producer, has been locked out of most McDonald’s U.S. locations.
- The new packets cost Heinz several times more to produce than the old rectangular pouches it has been selling for over 40 years. The new containers cost restaurants more than three times the old packets, as well, which could give pause to some chains. Heinz hopes customers learn not to grab more than one or two.
- President of a package-design firm that worked with Heinz, says the package subtly cues the consumer about the portion. Shaped like a bottle of Heinz ketchup and larger than the traditional packets, the “Dip and Squeeze” packs signal, “This is a serving, this is a bottle of ketchup. You actually don’t need 16 bags of ketchup.”