May 06, 2017

World’s largest annual food event

Making a great first impression at Gulfood

New FMCG brands rely heavily on packaging design to win consumers through education and persuasion in a crowded market. Gulfood, the world’s largest annual food event held in Dubai, features interesting packaged food and beverage products ready for market entry in the Middle East as well as global expansion. At the show, we discovered some of these FMCG brands, which are crossing borders and communicating strong messages through their packaging design.

Making a great first impression at Gulfood

The packaging of Camelicious products consistently feature the camel along with colors and motifs that invoke tradition and royalty, and represent Dubai and the Arab culture

Goodness of camel milk  
Produced by Emirates Industry for Camel Milk & Products (EICMP), the world’s first sophisticated camel milking plant housed within a camel farm, the Camelicious brand of camel milk products are currently sold in UAE and exported to Kuwait, Jordan, United Kingdom, Austria and Malaysia.

With a growing customer base in the UAE and Middle East region, the challenge ahead is to market the brand and goodness of camel milk to global consumers who are not only unaware about its tradition and health benefits, but also depend heavily on cow and goat milk for their dairy products.
The packaging of Camelicious products consistently feature the camel along with colors and motifs that invoke tradition and royalty, and represent Dubai and the Arab culture.

Neha Majithia, brand manager, Camelicious, explained the company’s aim for the packaging design of Camelicous products. “The packaging should represent camel milk, along with its origin in Dubai and its tradition in the Arab world. Firstly, the visual impact of the products is achieved by using the image of a camel, which consumers see first on a shelf before they read the words ‘camel milk’. Secondly, because of its origin in Dubai, the motifs on the packaging represent the city and its culture. Finally, the ingredients and benefits of camel milk is the USP of the products, and so their nutritional information is communicated clearly to the consumer,” said Majithia.    

Packaging formats also play a crucial role, according to her. The eco-friendly cartocan was chosen for the Camelicious long life and whole milk as well as its ginger-flavored endurance drink, a healthier alternative to energy drinks in the market. The cartocan format has labelling in multiple languages for export markets.

The Fregento ice cream brand from Saudi Arabia is positioned as a luxury ice cream inspired by Italian culture

“The first impression of the consumer about a product is its packaging. All the other aspects of the product are recognized and appreciated later. The window of opportunity to communicate the USP of a product to consumers walking past a shelf is so small that only the best packaging can attract their interest in the product. I’d say 80% of the consumer’s buying decision can be influenced by packaging alone,” said Majithia.

‘Luxury’ ice cream from Saudi Arabia
The Fregento ice cream brand from Saudi Arabia is positioned as a luxury ice cream inspired by Italian culture. Having established itself in the Saudi market since its launch two years ago, Fregento is looking at making its market entry in the UAE this year.

Abeer Almahmady, marketing representative, Fregento said, “The packaging design, colors and fonts on Fregento packaging convey an experience of indulgence, luxury, and an escape to Italy. Fregento is a word for luxury in taste, a blend between gold and silver, a pursuit for perfection to produce the finest ice cream which is rich and strong in flavor yet silky and gentle to indulge.”

Making snacking convenient and cool
Bayara, a packaged food brand known in the Middle East for nuts and seeds, dry fruits, dates, spices and herbs, pulses and grains, and beverages, has introduced a new packaging for its range of snack foods aimed at young customers. The company is also looking at practical packaging formats to cater to different consumption patterns.

Mohamed Sadlah, category marketing manager, Bayara said, “Bayara is established in the market and customers identify the brand easily through its red and green colors. For the Bayara snacks range, we’ve selected colors that resonate with young customers and bigger images to make it easy for them to recognize the brand on shelves. For the packaging of dates, we have included the camel, mountain, and desert, along with colors such as black and gold, and other elements that reflect this region’s rich culture and tradition. We’ve selected the zip pouch format for dates because people consume them in small quantities, seal the package, and store them for use later.”

Reinforcing the ‘healthy’ message through multichannel engagement
Laperva, the private label brand of Dr. Nutrition Pharmaceuticals (DNP), is positioning itself as an important player within the global weight loss market offering a portfolio of diet foods, slimming devices and garments, natural hair care and sports nutrition.

Dr. Mahmoud Alras, business development executive, DNP said, “We pay a lot of attention to the packaging design of our products and approve them in-house before sending them to our manufacturers around the world.  We believe such control of packaging is critical for our brand because it allows us to deliver our message effectively and communicate the value of our products to customers, particularly because we sell health products.” 

Laperva, the private label brand of Dr. Nutrition Pharmaceuticals (DNP), is positioning itself as an important player within the global weight loss market offering a portfolio of diet foods, slimming devices and garments, natural hair care and sports nutrition.

On Laperva’s chips brand, the most noticeable messages are that it is ‘light’ and has ‘60% less fat’. Each flavor is represented with an image. In addition to the usual ingredients and nutritional information, Laperva chips’ packaging also highlights the company’s social media channels to drive customer engagement.
“Our business depends heavily on digital marketing and social media. So we need to connect with customers on social media channels and inform them how to reach and interact with us. That’s why we include social media information and QR codes prominently on all our product packaging,” said Mahmoud.

Waking up a superhero
Innovative packaging design need not be a complex process of creating everything from scratch. Out-of-the-box thinking can come in the form of licensing a powerful brand or icon and using it to attract the consumer’s eye.

An energy drink featuring the iconic Superman ‘S’ Shield will catch anybody’s curiosity upon first glance. So powerful is the symbol that the word ‘Superman’ is unnecessary on the packaging. It just says ‘Energy Drink’ below the ‘S’ symbol, deliberately not highlighting its Apple flavor, which is included on the backside of the can.   

Dominik Bleich, Curly & Smooth Licencing & Trading, said, “When we decided to enter the energy drinks market, we were looking for a logo or symbol that anybody could identify easily. This led to a discussion with Warner Brothers to license the Superman brand. We follow their style guide and specifications for packaging. In a highly competitive market, we decided that our strategy would be to not sell an energy drink, but the Superman symbol, which is the first point of contact with our customers on the drink can. They discover the Apple flavor later.” z

This article was first published in the March 2017 issue of  ME Printer

Related articles