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Mona’s Granola: Big cereal brands have overlooked sensual packaging

By Kacey Culliney+

18-Mar-2014

Mona's Granola has unveiled a total product revamp that includes a thinner material with a matte-to-register finish for improved in-hand feel
Mona's Granola has unveiled a total product revamp that includes a thinner material with a matte-to-register finish for improved in-hand feel

Big cereal players haven’t worked out the concept of sensual packaging, sticking instead to rigid boxes and thick plastics but Mona’s Granola is one step ahead, says its founder.

The family-run granola brand has been on shelf for 33 years and the founder has just spent close to a year revamping the look of Mona’s Granola – changing the packaging material, design and replacing its soybean oil with safflower oil.

Mona Gale said that in the crowded cereal space, getting packaging right was paramount but it went far beyond the visual aspect.

“If you’re walking down the aisle and there are 20 granolas, you need something that’s going to stop and make consumers take a look. Once you catch their eye, they are going to stop and then of course they’re going to want to pick it up. Then you’ll get the sensual feel in your hand,” Gale told BakeryandSnacks.com.

It was this sensual aspect of the packaging that she said was an aspect other cereal manufacturers had overlooked.

“I’m always a step ahead of big companies. They haven’t even worked out this concept of the sensual feel of the packaging… If you look at the cereal packaging that’s out there, it’s kind of thick and heavy but our brand is now made with a thin, flexible material that just has a nice feel in your hand. When you’re selling a product, of course it’s about the visual aspect, but the sub-conscious level is how it feels in your hand. When you touch this new packaging, it is soft and has a sensual quality to it,” she said. 

'I’m always a step ahead of big companies. They haven’t even worked out this concept of the sensual feel of the packaging…' says Mona's Granola founder

Other cereal manufacturers have stuck to hard square box packaging or heavy plastic pouch bags, she said, which miss out on the sensual potential. “I just don’t think they’ve thought that far along. They get away with the standard packaging of bag-in-box.”

Size matters: We can be more creative

Gale said that the smaller size of her company enabled her to act and innovate faster. She said that big companies certainly had the money to put behind packaging and professional design teams, but the size often held them back.

“Because they are so big, they don’t want to step out of the line and do anything too creative - it has to be in a square box. Whereas I can go to an artist with ideas; we can do things that are more creative than a big company can,” she said.

Gale said that outsourcing the production of Mona’s Granola had enabled her more time to work on innovation and product development ideas.

Complete packaging revamp

The entire packaging of Mona’s Granola had been re-vamped, she said, and even the logo refreshed.

“Just like computers are always getting better, packaging material is getting better. The one we’ve used is thinner and it holds the graphics better – they are sharper and brighter. The material is also more environmentally friendly,” she said.

Mona’s Granola has sourced its packaging material from Dublin-based Wrap It Packaging. Paddy Burke, sales director at the firm said Mona’s Granola packaging used a PE/PET construction. The polyethelene (PE) layer was in contact with the granola and the PET (polyester) material formed the outer layer.

Burke told this site that it was the matte-to-register print finish that gave the granola packaging the sensual feel Gale had mentioned.

“On some parts, it’s a very flat finish and in other parts like where the picture of the granola is on the pack is glossy to make it stand out. It’s this finish that impacts the feel of the product in the hand,” he said.

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