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EAS protein powder gives consumers a scoop on convenience

EAS protein powder gives consumers a scoop on convenience
Repackaging bulks up on convenience and on-shelf differentiation.

A scoop in lid for the new Building Block container of EAS Sports Nutrition protein powder supplements is reminiscent of Abbott Labs’ award-winning Similac baby formula packaging.

Mimicry is the sincerest form of flattery and within a company’s own packaging portfolio may be the most efficient, too. Such is the case for EAS Sports Nutrition’s 100% Whey Protein Powder supplement in large multiserve containers. The packaging switched from the standard round containers and lid with scoop buried inside the powder to a category-differentiating rectangular container with the scoop affixed neatly inside the lid.

The minute I saw the product’s packaging promoted recently in a newspaper’s free-standing-insert advertising section (shown below) it struck a familiar bell: It looked to be a near-perfect match for Abbott Nutrition’s Similac baby formula AmeriStar Best-of-Show packaging for 2009-2010. With a little research I discovered why: EAS Sports Nutrition is a division of Abbot Labs.

Armed with that information, I reached out to the company and was put in touch with Heather Fries, general manager of Abbott’s EAS Sports Nutrition, who responded to my questions about this notable repackaging effort.

When was the new packaging introduced and what is the current status?

Fries: The new Building Block packaging for EAS 100% Whey, EAS Lean 15 and EAS Complete began shipping in early April. It was distributed nationally beginning June 1.

What are the varieties and pricing?

Fries: EAS 100% Whey, EAS Lean 15 and EAS Complete 2-lb and 1.7-lb containers were transitioned to the new package, each in chocolate and vanilla, for a total of six new SKUs. Prices may vary, as retailers ultimately set the price for our products in their store.

What was the previous packaging and how is this better?

Fries: Based on feedback from consumers and retailers, we found an opportunity to provide innovation in our packaging, while making EAS products easier for consumers to find on the shelf. The new Building Block packaging has an easy peel foil [lidstock], and easy access to the scoop in the lid helps hands and fingers stay clean.

Can you relay any feedback?

Fries: While it’s too early to tell on a national level, retailer acceptance to the new packaging has been strong, and consumer response in social media has been positive. Following are some examples:

@parkercarole: Love the new package…kudos to the marketing team for the idea…Building Block..square container…brilliant.

@LisaSexton: I love the scoop in the lid! How handy! No more digging around the powder with a fork to keep it off my fingers!

@perla737: I can’t wait to try it, no more digging for the scoop! Love that purple!

@JacquelineAnne: This bad boy is going to be so much easier to store and use! And storing the scooper in the lid…awesome!

What can you tell us about the packaging?

Fries: The injection-molded base container and overcap use a polypropylene resin. The sealing membrane is a multilayer lamination with a metallized PET barrier layer.

What were the main design goals? 

Fries: The container shape was developed to hold the necessary powder quantity for each product. The rectangular shape allowed us to update the graphic design of the labels to show both short-side and long-side front label displays.

Do what degree does this borrow from the award-winning Similac packaging?

Fries: We incorporated a few of the best features of our award-winning Similac SimplePac packaging, including the scoop in the lid. Easy access to the scoop makes the product easier to use, keeping hands and fingers clean. 

The rectangular design, similar to Similac, also allows the primary display panel to face consumers on the shelf, giving it an advantage over round packages. Round jars have a tendency to rotate over time, positioning the main display panel to the side or back on the shelf. The rectangular design also allows for a larger hand to scoop the powder from the container.

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