The Packaging Conundrum

 
 
 

In the whole process of marketing organic foods, the biggest ideological stumbling block we have faced so far is in the packaging. In an era where branding and packaging is the most obvious detail setting apart almost identical products, we wanted our product to take precedence. In our larger endeavor to reduce waste, the first impulse was to reduce on unnecessary packaging.

The product is qualitatively superior.

The prices are competitive.

And it is certified organic.

Score!

And then we walked into a supermarket, and all this well-founded righteous confidence started vanishing at an alarming rate.

How on earth were we to stand up to huge brands on a playing field as competitive as a supermarket? We may have well intention-ed information on our website , but how do we get across to that consumer who walks into the market to pick up daal and will not bother googling  “organic food” in her regular scheme of things? How could our products call all its above mentioned virtues to attention, while its placed against all its prettily made up lookalikes?

And of course we were back where we started. Packaging.

The Design Concept

We wanted a pack that could convey Mana’s basic principles of inclusive growth and reinstating the identity of farmers who grow indigenous products. Instead of obliterating the local under the central Mana umbrella, we wanted to bring in the local flavor. We wanted to publish the names of the villages to tell the consumer the story of where their food comes from.

At every stage Mana remains the facilitator in connecting the producers and consumers of organic food.

Materials

Having decided on the concept now came the tricky question of what materials to use. After much research and weighing options for natural materials, food grade plastic seemed to be the most feasible solution. It was air tight and waterproof, it could withstand the hurly burly of transportation, it kept the produce fresh the longest and it met “all industry standards”.

But in our heads plastic remains a dirty word. Hopefully in the future we will figure out a way of eliminating it in our packaging process.  But until then, our first batch of products are on their way to get sealed and dispatched. To know more about what the real process entailed, await our next post!

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Getting ready for retail.

Once we decided we had to temporarily work with the industrial requirements for packaging our organic products, we started looking at printers and packing material to get our produ[...]