Not Pure Premium Packaging

Not many products have memorable packaging. Sunny delight does. Philadelphia cream cheese does. Bombay sapphire does. Now, imagine Philly cream cheese in a red tub instead of it's classic silver rectangle. Imagine Sunny D looking like a gallon of milk. And Bombay sapphire, imagine that as a behind-the-counter fifth of a liter instead of it's gorgeous blue glass. This entire departure from recognizable packaging is what Tropicana did. Old packaging on the left, new on the right. When I first saw the new carton at a meeting last month, I thought it was a generic brand. On it, 100% orange is more prominent than Tropicana. I likened it to a bland, white label black print store brand of canned beans. The only intriguing part of the new package was that the orange pour cap now looked like the outside of an orange. "Interesting, I wonder how much that adds to the price?" I thought.

I know, too much obsessing over a carton. Same juice and that's all that matters, right? Not to consumers. Tropicana is ditching the new packaging and returning to the familiar. Smart. Click my witty title for full, journalistic write-up.


The Curious Cheese Plate

I am not one to chat with people on the checkout line. While I am interested in what people are buying, I am not interested in talking to them. I had the most intriguing interaction last week at Whole Foods. A woman on line in front of me was buying bulk Spanish Cocktail Mix and it wasn't ringing up in the register. She looked at me and apologized for the delay. I told her it happened simply because I was in line behind her and chuckled. I told her the mix she was buying was tasty so it was OK. She looked at my items (3 gallons of milk and a few quarts of half & half) and said she should drink more milk like me. I told her that my purchase was for a coffee bar and that I am actually lactose intolerant. We giggled at the image of my buying so much dairy. On a side note, despite being expensive for many things, Whole Foods is cheaper for dairy than restaurant supply houses. They are conscience of their price of items that people know and remember the cost of.

I notice the rest of her groceries, and she had at least 4 cheeses, all with 'stuff' in them. Gouda with cumin, Gouda with mustard seed, Cahill's cheddar with Guinness and with sage. At the time I assumed she was serving them all together but as I write this I realize there may have been other plans for them. Served together they break a guideline for a cheese plate to not include more than one cheese with 'stuff' 'in it other than blue cheese. What was she doing with them? Blogging about them? Testing them as burger toppings? Giving them separately as gifts? I can't get my mind around it and should have asked her. Trivial I know, but as I don't socialize with other shoppers, this encounter sticks in my mind.