The Great Syrup Packaging Debacle of 2014
Have you heard of the Great Syrup Debacle of 2014?
Ok, we made that up. But something did happen to majorly shake up the syrup world in 2014. If you’re a Hungry Jack® fan, you know what we’re talking about…they changed their packaging.
A History of Satisfied Consumers
According to Packaging Digest, the iconic micrawavable Hungry Jack® bottle with its heat-sensing label that alerted you when your syrup was hot enough had been around for 20 years. Especially in the packaging industry, that’s a really long time to keep the same packaging. However, many consumers purchased Hungry Jack® for that very reason – they could heat up their syrup in its bottle.
Then came the fateful day in April they announced that their bottle would be changing. Their Facebook post reads:
“As some of our most loyal fans, we want you to know that later this month we are changing the look and size of our syrup bottle! Our new bottle will be taller and thinner and will hold 24 oz. instead of 27.6 oz. As a result, we have decreased the suggested retail price…”
The public demanded answers. Of the 52 comments on their post, almost all of them expressed their dissatisfaction with the new non-microwavable bottle. Even their most recent posts get comments about wanting the old bottle back, like this particularly dissatisfied customer’s comment on December 17th, 2014:
“I can’t even fit the new bottle in my cupboard. We’ve been buying other brands now, including Aldi, because all fake maple syrup tastes the same. We had been exclusive to Hungry Jack since the microwavable bottles hit the market back in the 90’s. Either we were all slowly poisoning ourselves or you really wanted to see a decrease in sales. I’d wish you good luck but I’m too peeved, hope your sales tank.”
The Moral of the Story
So, what can we learn from the Great Syrup Debacle of 2014? Although we can’t be sure why Hungry Jack® changed their bottle, they cited a “shift in consumer preference.” And, while we can’t know if Hungry Jack syrup sales have indeed declined, we can speculate that they lost many a satisfied consumer.
How does this relate to your own packaging practices and materials? Well, if your current packaging is working for you and delighting whoever is on the receiving end, it doesn’t always have to be dramatically changed, just because the times, they are a’changin’. However, with the amazing advances made in the packaging industry every day, it’s important to consider new materials, new machines, and new processes to make sure you have the most sustainable, cost-efficient, protective packaging possible that continues to delight those on the receiving end of your product.
We’ll probably never find out if Hungry Jack® could have just changed their label, changed the plastic they were using, or just changed the design to update it but keep it fitting in the microwave and delighting consumers, but we can apply what it taught us to our own packaging materials and processes.
Let us help you avoid something similar to the Great Syrup Debacle of 2014 by offering a free review of your current packaging materials, machines and processes, and offering ideas and products that can keep delighting, not disappointing.