October 2009

SUCCESSFULLY BRANDING & PACKAGING Organic Products, for mainstream consumers

How do you maximise the growth potential in the slowly expanding market of mainstream consumers transitioning to organic products and how do you go about it?

You need to be offering potential organic consumers real tangible benefits over other organic competitors and over mainstream non-organic competitors, because we all make choices based on comparisons.


Can you make real claims about the health benefits of your product? What added value elements are you offering?

Do you have sufficient variety and choice in your product offering? Is it readily available in stores?

Are there discernable positive differences between your product and the competition? How does your product rate in a taste test?

Is there a cost saving?

How successfully are you communicating this via your marketing and packaging?


Some mainstream perceptions and misconceptions about organic products. General

  • too expensive
  • limited range and convenient accessibility of products
  • no evidence that organic is better for you than non-organic
  • not established like the big brands
  • not trusted like the big brands
  • it’s all too nuts and berries, alternative, hippy

Food & Beverage

  • means having to give up taste appeal in order to eat and drink healthily
  • means having to eat too much vegetables and fruit
  • means having to give up meat, sweet treats, ice cream, take out food, comfort food, alcohol, snack foods, soft drinks, and the list goes on
  • means becoming a vegetarian, etc. etc

In the minds of a large portion of mainstream consumers, there exist numerous hurdles to try and change, before even trying to sell them product, so consider this.


Remember that we humans do not like change. In order to get people to alter their perceptions even slightly, you need to do it in subtle stages.

People are not prepared to make a sudden ‘great leap forward’ to an organic lifestyle, but they are prepared to concede that some change in that direction, some re-balance of what they consume and use is probably beneficial to them and to their environment. However they are not prepared to give up their comfortable lifestyle and they are certainly not prepared to give up ‘taste appeal’ in what they consume.

“I’ll eat and drink some organic, but only if it tastes as good as the non organic I’m used to, is readily available and not going to cost me an arm and a leg.”

This probably sums up what most average consumers think about organics.



When it comes to consumable organic products, make sure they address these key senses, infact make sure it exceeds consumer expectations in all these areas:

  • needs to look like what consumers expect and are comfortable with
  • needs to taste like what consumers expect and will accept
  • needs to smell like what consumers expect and can relate to
  • needs to feel like what consumers expect and are used to

With other organic products such as body care, it’s also about communicating credibility, believability and efficacy with your packaging, in order to build long-term trust.

It’s no good labelling your product ‘organic beer’, or ‘organic wine’ when it tastes nothing like, or tastes worse than the beers and wines we’re used to.

Remember people can only take gradual change at best.


If you present your products as poorly thought out and executed, in terms of branding and packaging, that’s how the message will come across to consumers and out the window goes credibility and believability.

Worse still, this ‘outside’ message delivered by the packaging, on the supermarket shelf, or online becomes subconsciously transferred to the product inside.

Remember that consumers make purchasing decisions in part based on comparison, so the initial communication that is made online or on shelf with consumers may be the first of many, or the first and last and it all happens in less time than it’s taken to read this sentence.


An organic product does not mean that it has to appear in packaging that is austere, bland, unattractive, missing any sense of character, eye appeal and shelf impact and missing the all important taste appeal cues for food and beverage items-not if you want to be competitive.

Don’t make it harder for consumers by reinforcing these misconceptions;

  • yes our organic products look blander than the mainstream
  • yes our organic products taste blander than the mainstream
  • yes our packaging is cheap looking
  • yes our packaging is uninspired, lacking inviting, taste appealing, quality imagery
  • yes overall it looks like you’re getting less and by the way it’s going to cost you more but it’s better for you

This will not fly, guaranteed! You only have one shot.

The organic industry needs to change, adapt and fit into today and tomorrow’s consumers’ lifestyle.

If you’re interested in increasing sales, expanding markets and connecting with potential organics consumers, get in touch.

If not and you have sufficient sales and don’t need to expand your consumer, then all the best.

Visit us at; and take the first step to putting your brand back on top.