“Use of premium packaging has been trending upward in the apple industry as well as the produce industry overall,” says Steve Lutz, vice president of marketing. “We’ve found high graphic packages like pouch bags create a store level billboard for products but also can entice consumers to connect with us via social media and web pages. We’re using this test to document what catches shopper attention and identify the methods used to connect to digital offers.”
To implement the test, the company created brand new packaging for imported Ambrosia apples, says Katharine Grove, marketing specialist; CMI wants to determine if consumers interested in additional product information are more likely to scan a QR code with a smart phone or simply use a web-based search engine. CMI developed a contest, displayed on the new packaging, giving consumers the opportunity to win premium kitchen gadgets. Consumers were given the option of entering the contest by either scanning the QR code or visiting the website.
Web analytics are already providing feedback on the effectiveness of both types of implementation. Grove says that conventional thinking is QR codes have fallen out of favor with consumers and most shoppers respond to web-based addresses.
“We’re about 75 days into the Ambrosia test and we’re quite surprised with the findings,” says Grove. “To date, approximately 46% of all consumer responses have come by QR code with 54% from the web address. “QR codes may have lost some momentum with consumers, but our packaging data is showing that this remains a powerful vehicle for connecting with shoppers.
CMI will use the findings from this packaging test to determine future messaging to include on packages. The test will conclude at the end of the import Ambrosia season in August.