A package considered advanced for its market when first introduced is being fine-tuned for greater growth. This trifold thermoform, adopted for premium eggs by Egg Innovations of Port Washington, WI, is now reaching East Coast consumers as distribution expands beyond 35 states.
Along with the original clear one-dozen carton (see PD, July, '98, p. 46), Egg Innovations is this year shipping a six-pack into some stores as part of what president John Brunnquell calls a refocusing of market direction to improve consumer perception of the eggs, partly with an improved package and also with clearer segmentation.
Both the 1- and 1/2-dozen cartons are produced by Interplast using recycled polyethylene terephthalate sheet (RPET) supplied by Kama Alcoa, Klöckner Pentaplast and others. Interplast president Yves St. Onge notes that his company is able to downgauge from the 14-mil sheet originally used, but declines to say by how much. "Suffice it to say," he tells PD, "we have made improvements that keep our customer a few steps ahead in this competitive market."
Interplast marketing/sales director Leyenda Lee notes, "The addition of the six-pack–really a perforated twelve-count package that is manually split–brings to three the sizes we supply to Egg Innovations to handle all of their stockkeeping units. With the six-count package, there are separate labels, of course."
For the fresh, Grade A brown eggs in large and jumbo sizes plus white, the thermoforms' individual cells are optimally designed for a snug fit that, with the trifold lid, continues to keep breakage at under 1 percent. The industry standard is said to be about 5 percent with pulp and 2 to 3 percent with polystyrene foam clamshells.
An important change is in the labeling that fits under the lid. Still printed by Imprimeries Quebecor in up to four colors via offset on a recycled 80# high-gloss paper, the labels for the six-pack now extend down the sides of the lids to carry the brand logotype and other distinctive features that can be easily read in store refrigerators, regardless of how the packages are stacked.
To make this possible, Lee comments, the scored-edge labels are spot-glued and automatically inserted into the lids on custom equipment developed and built by Interplast for insertion prior to shipping to Egg Innovations.
With this improved packaging, the newest lineup of products includes certified organic brown eggs in both the 1- and 1/2-dozen sizes; and 1-dozen cartons of 100-percent organic brown eggs, cage-free vegetarian brown eggs with Omega 3 fatty acids as well as cage-free brown eggs and cage-free Omega 3 white eggs.
"The six-pack is starting to look like a very good fit at the buyer level and gives us more space in the refrigerated case while introducing consumers to a very high-quality egg," Brunnquell comments. "With the new labels, we're giving consumers a clear choice that differentiates our eggs, not only from the commodity product, but also from other premium brands."
One line of copy on the new labels tells it all: "No drugs, antibiotics or animal byproducts. "It's something worth crowing over.
More information is available:
RPET cartons/labeling: Interplast, 888/925-0500. www.interplast.net.
Sheet: Kama Alcoa, 570/455-2022.www.alcoa.com .
Sheet: Klöckner Pentaplast of America, 540/832-3600. www.kpafilms.com.
Labels: Imprimeries Quebecor, 514/524-1400. www.quebecorworldinc.comm.