To win over grocery store shoppers, meal kit companies may need to rethink packaging & labels.
Before the 2020 pandemic, meal kits struggled, but after COVID-19 forced everyone indoors, meal kits experienced a renaissance. However, where there's success, competitors are sure to follow. Anyone in the meal kit business knows that competition is fierce, and retention is historically difficult.
Now that meal kits are expanding their offerings to traditional grocery stores, the appearance of the packaging is more important than ever. Meal kit companies that have battled through advertising campaigns, digital marketing, and social media now have to craft their image for store shelves.
Are your grocery store meal kits grabbing the attention of shoppers? Your labels may be the first piece of branding your potential customers will see. You will need attractive labels that are properly applied, yes, but there are other features you'll want, as well.
Let’s discuss label and labeler options to help you make the right decision when you’re ready to add new equipment to your food packaging line.
Foster Trust With Your Labels
People won’t buy food that has been opened or is potentially unsafe to consume. Using tamper-evident or destructible labels shows evidence that someone has tried to open a meal kit box. This allows shoppers to find properly sealed packages and avoid ones that have been compromised. Creating consumer trust in this way is crucial to earning brand loyalty which will lead to increased sales.
You can also use your labels to create trust through transparency. Pointing out features that resonate with certain customers, such as “certified organic” (if actually certified), “non-GMO,” or “made from 100% recycled and recyclable materials,” tap into the desires of consumers to purchase items that are better for themselves and better for the environment. Since meal kits have commonly faced criticism for being less than eco-friendly, demonstrating that your grocery store meal kits are a responsible choice can win over these consumers.
Just because you’re selling meal kits at grocery stores doesn’t mean you can’t personalize labels. Traditionally, personalized labels have been the domain of delivered meals and meal kit services. But if Coca-Cola’s “Share a Coke” campaign has taught anything, it’s that personalization sells. Putting names or messages on your labels using an in-line printer gives you extra flexibility and a way to stand out from the competition.
Think About Label Design
A third of product creation goes into the packaging. Why? Because packaging and labels communicate a lot to customers, including what your product is, what they can expect from it, and who you are as a company. From marketing efforts to packaging type to label design, one way to gain the edge over the competition is to have appealing, consistent, and helpful packaging.
Sometimes the real difficulty in making labels look great is the space required for regulatory compliance. The FDA has a long list of label requirements that need to be integrated into packaging, but that shouldn't keep you from standing out from other grocery store meal kits.
Choose Flexible Labeling
Expanding product lines is a natural course of business. Problems emerge, however, if your labeler isn't able to handle it, limiting your packaging line's performance. Upgrading your labeling machine can open up new possibilities, allowing you to label new container types with different label applications in your current packaging line.
For example, the Pack Leader USA PL-221D labeler can apply clamshell labels and top and bottom labels. If you're currently making boxed meal kits that require top and bottom labels and want to expand to include clear plastic clamshells, you could do that with the same piece of equipment. With the PL-221D, you can also store multiple product runs in its memory, so as you change containers or labels, the machine will be able to handle those transitions easily.
Because of the breakneck pace at which the market moves, you need to get your meal kits out the doors and into grocery stores as fast as possible. Hand labeling won’t cut it. Machines boost output speed by as much as 500% and do the job more accurately. While the initial cost of assigning employees to the job of labeling is lower than a labeling machine, over a year or two, it becomes far greater than if you set aside some of your budget for new equipment.
Decreasing downtime is another benefit of moving to a high-quality labeling machine. Employees may call out sick or get injured, but a labeling machine will do its job morning, noon, and night. Good labeling machine manufacturers sell essential parts kits and offer proper support for maximum uptime.
Pick a Good Labeling Equipment Partner
Pack Leader USA knows labeling equipment. When weighing considerations for a grocery store meal kit labeler, you can trust Pack Leader USA to steer you in the right direction. Our grocery store meal kit labelers are robust, reliable, and flexible. If you’re ready to place your meal kits in grocery stores, let us help you get a labeler that will fit your packaging line, output goals, and budget.