“But with that said, the glass is also half empty. That 50-percent figure suggests is there's an awful lot of time where you are doing a lot of work. Design agencies are doing a lot of work. Marketers are doing a lot of work. And at the end of the day what's coming to us and what's coming to the consumer is not significantly stronger,” Young said.
His goal, and his job, is to help fill the glass.
And migrating to stand-up pouches, Young said, can be an effective way boost sales.
“I think the most notable thing that we see with pouches is their incredibly positive impact on shelf visibility. You get situations where you've got these horrendous lie down bags, you replace them with stand-up pouches, it creates greater real estate so to speak, a greater opportunity for a product to break through clutter,” he said. “To be seen, to get the branding, product, etc., across.”
“Certainly that starts to decline when the entire category goes in that direction vs. you being the leader or the first,” he said.
“But even then, pouches, when used properly, can just make a huge difference in visibility. And we know from our experience that there's a proven linkage between visibility and purchase,” Young said. “The more people see you, the greater the likelihood that some of those people will pick you up and try you.”
Making smart packaging decisions is critical to the success of a brand, but that does not always happen, he said.
“This is your biggest marketing vehicle. You can't approach it purely as a cost center. You need to think about its value in help you drive sales,” he said.
“I don't think we as an industry do a good enough job in consistently and clearly conveying our message and making sure the people making these huge decisions are aware of the power of packaging in driving sales and thinking about it ... as a marketing vehicle and area of investment,” he said.
New product innovations, Young also said, need to paired with new packaging innovations,
“Another big thing that we see and really an area of greater and greater emphasis is how absolutely critical packaging is to the success of innovations, whether that be new brands or sub brands and so forth,” he said. “One of the messages that we send to our clients is when you are dealing in this area, this is when you really need to be breakthrough in your packaging. You need to what we call ‘create new visual equities' in people's minds.
“And this is the place where you can and should be telling your packaging engineers and your designers to go for it, to break the rules and to find new territories. Because the greatest danger with innovations is that they fade right into the clutter of the shelf and never get seen or considered,” Young said.
“[When] we see those high failure rates on new products, often it's because the packaging is too close to the norms of the category and isn't creating the opportunity of conveying the point of difference,” he said.