Tag Archives: product packaging

The Brand Chefs’ Product Packaging

tbc_showcase_home2When small businesses want to compete with the “big boys” in their industries, being equipped with the right tools, knowledge, and skills is vital. The makeup of this arsenal has changed over the last few decades, however, and brands must be agile and future focused to remain competitive in such a crowded marketplace. Product packaging plays an integral role in raising brand awareness and boosting smaller companies to the forefront of their industry. Still, many entrepreneurs still view their product’s package as an afterthought, and it’s this mindset that can stifle or kill a brand before it even gets on its feet.

Patrick Mallek, creative veteran of the advertising industry and award-winning animator, knows a thing or two about boosting a brand’s reputation and credibility through the outlet of awe-inspiring design.

Patrick MallekMallek began his career at the cusp of the digital revolution, quickly becoming an eager user of computer animation tools back in the ‘90s. After studying fine arts, he realized that the digital landscape could drastically expand his creative vision and take his entrepreneurial spirit to new heights. A huge expansion of animation styles not only revolutionized children’s cartoons, it also brought a tremendous about of opportunity to American illustrators and graphic designers like Mallek. He realized he had a knack for working in time rather than space, and with the ability to have a variety of animation tools and equipment right on his desktop, he made the foray into helping leading brands revamp their products and get creative with inspiring product packaging designs.

Mallek is part of the Brand Chefs team at Mighty Fudge Studios, which he co-founded, and creates animated shorts and imaginative designs that represent a wide range of companies and industries.

He has worked with Harmons Grocery to develop a premium private-label program for its fresh products. Product packaging design was a key component in helping Harmons build its brand and communicate its “Secret Ingredient” to customers. “Advertising we turn on and off,” Mallek explains. “Packaging is always in front of you. It lives in your home, in your car, it’s that logo staring back at you every day.” This is what builds brand recognition and loyalty, which – when executed creatively – can give a major boost to both large corporations and mom-and-pop shops.

The Brand Chefs have also provided creative solutions for Walmart’s Marketside line, allowing the company to manage many suppliers and package formats and launch hundreds of SKUs across a wide number of stores in less than a year. Mallek says even small players like his creative business can serve large, established brands by giving them a price, sticking to it, and delivering on promises — then there won’t be any issues. With the adoption of augmented reality, mobile apps, animation, and interactive packaging, Mallek and his team have helped launch brands into the future and give them a truly innovative competitive edge that sends them leaps and bounds ahead of old-school businesses still relying on traditional advertising techniques and ways of thinking.

Contract Packaging: 411

With an entrepreneurial spirit alive and thriving across the globe, it seems as though everyone has developed the “next big product” that will make them millions. Left and right, entrepreneurs and inventors are pumping out goods and requesting large runs from their packaging suppliers to get the items out and in the hands of customers fast. However, a good co-packer will tell you that it’s often the smaller projects that are nurtured and fine-tined that turn into large successes, and it all begins with trusting packaging experts to help determine the best fit for your product and solution that will make your brand stand out from the competition.

On the most recent episode of Ditch The Box, host David Marinac discusses the contract packaging business with Jim Dekosta, sales manager at Assemblies Unlimited.


Dekosta’s background in hotel restaurant management, as well as the paper and packaging business, has given him expert insight to working with clients from a wide range of industries and helping them complete their projects efficiently from start to finish. His company operates as a national network of contact suppliers who are able to help clients package and assemble their unique items. Assemblies Unlimited is a full turnkey provider for both large major retailers and mom-and-pop shops, working with companies to package both food and non-food items.

From both Marinac’s and Dekosta’s extensive experience in the packaging world, they offer key advice to listeners interested in producing and selling the next big product. Doing your homework before reaching out to a supplier, for example, will lead to a better chance of a co-packer working with you to make your brand a priority and ensuring the process runs as smoothly as possible. Another important takeaway from this episode is that today’s brands – both emerging and established – need to be open minded about the way they are protecting and presenting their goods. Avoid being a “me too” company by relying on your packaging partner to help guide you toward new solutions and gain market share.

Big companies, Dekosta says, should also take a look around specialty shops to see what smaller brands and entrepreneurs are doing. These are the people and companies that have a marketing mindset to be different and creative, and they succeed by standing out from traditional products with flexible and inventive new forms of packaging. Contract packaging evolves with the customer, Dekosta explains, and today’s brands are producing some of the most revolutionary items sure to change their industries in profound ways. To effectively deliver a standout, cohesive product, embracing the “next generation” of packaging is vital.

He says everything will eventually be delivered in lightweight packaging, like stand up pouches, because it’s less expensive, it meets customer demand, and it offers significantly more convenience than rigid packaging like glass jars or cans.

From trendy consumer goods like probiotic gummies, to protein powders and energy drinks, traditional ways of marketing and packaging new types of goods are falling by the wayside. Companies should be willing to entertain fresh, forward-thinking ways of selling their products, and they just may find new opportunities for success by making simple adjustments to their packaging and partnering with a supplier that can meet their needs from concept to finished product.

“Sweet” Success & New Product Packaging

Ditch The Box | Episode 8.12 |

For 95 years, Fannie May has been one of the most prolific producers of confections, using chocolate candies as an integral part of celebrations around the United States. The company, owned by 1-800 Flowers, is made up of three distinct brands that create a trifecta of sweet treats, putting a modern spin on classic candies that have been purchased across the country for gifts, party favors, and personal snacks. Fannie May is no longer making its mark just with brick-and-mortar stores throughout the U.S. – the brand is experiencing its largest growth through ecommerce, and with this comes a whole new set of challenges, demands, and opportunities for exciting new product launches and marketing strategies.

Joining us on this week’s episode of “Ditch The Box” is Kevin Coen, President of Fannie May Fine Chocolates and Harry London, who gives us the inside scoop on the company’s 95th anniversary celebrations and how it is making customers part of the experience.

Kevin has been highly successful in the retail, wholesale, ecommerce and distribution business with companies such as Lindt Chocolate, Swarovski, and Filene’s. He also collaborates on some projects with sister brands Lindt & Sprungli and Crabtree & Evelyn. This has put Kevin in the perfect position to refresh Fannie May’s offerings by keenly observing competitors, trends, and consumer behavior and introducing innovative new products and practices that make Fannie May one of the most exciting modern candy manufacturers.

Kevin says the company is always testing new flavor combinations and looks for opportunities to offset its branded business with private-label products. In addition to introducing unique treats, the company also focuses on retooling its packaging to become part of the overall customer experience. Kevin explains there are four key behaviors surrounding consumer need: self-consumption, sharing, everyday gift, and seasonal. Each of these intentions helps drive new products and new product packaging by taking into consideration where these behaviors drive customers to go. This determines the distribution point for certain products, which also influences the product packaging.

The company’s special new 95th anniversary new product packaging was built around the sharing and self-consumption consumer behaviors.

The packages put a modern twist on the company’s classic branded tins, offering bold new colors and structural designs that stand up on shelves and show off realistic photos and graphics that appear on the outside of the new lightweight containers. Kevin explains the company conducts a lot of research on consumer purchasing decisions and where the brand needs to position itself in the marketplace before they put the candy packaging out on shelves or online.


The brand wants to set a market instead of following what the market is doing, but they are highly selective about the times in which they do conduct a design overhaul or rebranding. Kevin says it’s all about noticing when and where you can move the brand forward and not pushing the envelope too much because loyal customers will begin questioning your values and identity. People get familiar with the look and feel of a company’s product packaging, and brands only have one shot to make a good impression. New product packaging should be able to attract younger customers with different values and purchasing behaviors while still maintaining the integrity of the brand and the product inside.

Kevin explains retailers like Fannie May must be sensitive to what makes their products compelling, whether it’s the taste, ingredients, freshness, or a combination of all of the above. They must then make sure the right candy packaging protects it. Consumers should feel like the product came right of the production line, and packaging is a key component in maintaining the stability of any perishable goods. Packaging delicate candies offers a more limited set of options because the product must be highly protected from damage or outside contaminants. If the product doesn’t look or taste like the brand promises it does, you’ll lose consumers’ trust.

A product’s quality is sacred to a brand – it’s their equity, and they should never compromise on ingredients or presentation.

So many companies today try to make up stories to make noise in the marketplace, Kevin explains, but Fannie May doesn’t have to. The brand has a legacy of understanding whom they are talking to, selling to, and what channels consumers are making decisions from. Not losing the essence of what the classic brand is all about is important. Fannie May is embarking upon exciting social media and in-store marketing experiences to include customers in its 95th-anniversary celebration, and there’s no doubt its new product packaging has aided in the festivities and is drawing in customers to the company’s delicious confections.

Flexible Packaging & Marketing

Ditch The Box Radio Show – 6/17/15

The Power of Flexible Packaging


When it comes to building a brand and marketing a product, the days of the “Mad Men” style ad agency are long gone. Getting your goods noticed requires dedication from the entire team — not from an outside source or single position in the organization. Marketing is how we communicate the value promise of our offerings. Whoever communicates best, wins, and effectively relaying your message is crucial for earning customers’ loyalty and trust.

Flexible packaging is an important way to visually communicate the quality of the goods it stores and protects. A well-structured marketing strategy is essential for informing companies and customers about the materials used in flexible packaging that protect the contents inside.

On this week’s episode of Ditch The Box, we talk to two prominent marketing experts who shed light on the key roles online presence and global relationships play in selling products today. Dr. Yong Wang, associate professor of marketing at Ohio University, has a wealth of experience in the research field, focusing on frameworks in buyer behavior. He explains buyers’ decisions are shaped by social and cultural contexts, which is why it is vital for companies today to understand the norms and ways of life of different citizens around the globe.Flexible Packaging

When dealing with overseas suppliers, organizations in the U.S. must drop their arrogance and take time to learn how the rest of the globe does business. Companies will work harder to ensure you are successful if you show respect. It’s near impossible to have a good long-term outcome with international businesses without good relationships, and companies really will serve as representatives for you if you clearly communicate your needs in the language and style they understand best. Your business will get precisely what it desires as long as this simple piece of advice is implemented throughout the organization.

Our final segments introduce Owen Blevins, a partner at Focus Inbound. Owen specializes in blended inbound marketing strategies that raise visibility and position companies as thought leaders in their industries. The marketing field has evolved over the last five or 10 years, and it all started with a boom in blogging. Companies succeed when they put their best foot forward in their web presence and understand the key reason to be online is to be found by prospects and customers who are looking for you.

Learning not only what clients do online, but also what competitors are trying, can help brands understand where they can position themselves and how they can get ahead. Strategy should always come before tactics, and it is crucial that everyone in the organization buys into the marketing plan — especially those in a leadership position. Marketing simply won’t work unless all hands are on deck and companies are successfully communicating their value to customers both online with great content and in stores with quality flexible packaging.

Flexible Retail Packaging In North America

Ditch The Box Radio Show – 6/10/15

Flexible Retail Packaging

Smart companies know marketing is truly at the center of everything they do. Food marketing, especially, requires all participants throughout the organization to get on board and focus on delivering not only a quality product, but also a full experience to customers. On this episode of Ditch the Box, we dive into key points on protecting your brand, why flexible retail packaging can help convey the message of quality to consumers, and why brand managers, sales teams, and graphic designers should tune in and play close attention to the packaging of their company’s products.

Your product’s package is the voice of your brand, but do you know what it’s saying? When branding food, for example, packaging should tell a story. We all know the expression “don’t judge a book by its cover,” but what’s the first thing customers see when they find your product on the shelves? Customers buy with their eyes, and your packaging should draw them in while sending a clear message about your product, your company and why people should spend their hard-earned money on that particular good. Flexible retail packaging is a solution businesses across the globe are recognizing as a valuable, visually appealing way to share their brand’s story.

In this program, host David Marinac discusses the six main points to successfully purchase flexible retail packaging. These include quality, factories, printing capability, virtual design offerings, shipping and supply chain. Your packaging supplier should prove the quality of their product with properly documented certification, and they should have domestic and overseas factories, trucks and shipping options. The company you choose should work well with a graphic designer to ensure the very best communication of your brand’s message, and the supplier should offer prototypes, 3D models and samples of the packaging you order.

David discusses how flexible retail packaging is not only a key tool for branding food, but it also plays a key part in protecting your product and providing a barrier that keeps products fresh and free from damage. A key takeaway from this episode is that companies must be innovative, quality focused and customer focused. They must embrace the 3 P’s: people, products and planet — and then worry about profit. Packaging cannot be overlooked any longer — it is an integral part in the marketing and branding of your company and product. Tune in to hear the latest industry news, food marketing trends, and surprising ways companies across the globe are communicating the message of their brand with packaging.