When Shelf Appeal Gets Real
Packaging that takes a bite out of its glossy competition
Shelf appeal is the Holy Grail in retail branding. Packaging must leap off shelves into consumer hands. Shelf appeal can be achieved through design, paper, and printing choices. In his article, Dressed to Extremes, for Communication Arts, author Sam McMillan writes on the power of hangtags and other point-of-sale tactics saying, “Marketers realize their one last best chance to sell a product is at the point-of-sale. That is when the mall-walking consumer crosses the line from browser to buyer.”
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Artisanal and specialty foods are a prime example of where the high-touch factor of uncoated papers is prevalent. Paper texture exudes a limited-edition, handmade feel. Its luxury is tangible. Marketers are not only appealing to consumer “taste,” but their appetites as well. Paper weight, texture, and color work with great design to grab attention and whet appetites.
Scharffen Berger has been producing gourmet chocolate bars for more than 35 years, and the uncoated packaging denotes the artisanship involved in their chocolate-making process, which includes some of the world’s best cacao. Sterling Brands designed the packaging which prominently features the Scharffen Berger logo and simple illustrations of the ingredients in the chocolate bars. For instance, the pistachio dark chocolate bars feature illustrations of pistachios against a light green background. “The uncoated stock gives this product a premium look that is uncommon in the chocolate bar space,” says Rietje Becker, associate creative director at Sterling. “Uncoated also helps in clarity of printing, given many of these products feature illustrations of the primary ingredients.”
Swans Island is a purveyor of the finest hand-dyed, natural fiber and needed packaging that built upon its legacy of fine yarns and woolens. Stanley Hainsworth of Tether, which designed the branding and packaging says, “For their yarn wraps, uncoated paper was a natural choice. The untreated surface allowed for the softness and subtlety we wanted for the monotone sheep and boat imagery, and allowed our rustic stamps to settle into the surface, rather than sitting atop the paper.” He notes that the tactile experience was also a consideration. “Swans Island woolen yarns are minimally processed, preserving the natural lanolin in the sheeps’ fleece, providing an unmatched softness. In turn, we wanted to use an uncoated paper to preserve the natural texture with a surface that felt great in the hand.”
Forget the glossy, coated paper next time you’re working on a packaging project and embrace the natural qualities of uncoated. Not only will it stand out on the shelf, it will lure consumers to reach out and touch it.