An influx of shoplifters has forced Goodbye OUCH Manuka Balm to change the packaging of its product to make it harder to steal, as retailers express their reluctance to sell an easily concealable item.
The balm originally sat sans-packaged in a 12gm tin, but an influx of sticky fingered shoppers meant to company had to distribute its tin in a bigger cardboard hangsell. The box, according to the company, although it great for a shoplifting deterrent, is a great way to include more information on the balms 80 uses.
The Kerikeri natural products company founder, Becky Cashman said retailers’ previous experience with theft of small items had led them to voice concerns about putting the small, high quality product on their shelves.
“Goodbye OUCH Manuka Balm has more uses than a Swiss Army knife so we needed to make a tiny tin that could be tucked anywhere but in doing that we inadvertently put temptation in the way of loose fingered shoppers.”
According to Cashman, it took the company a year to acknowledge that buyer objections were firm and consistent.
“Reports in our smaller grocery stores were that OUCH 12g sold well and had no stock loss issues, the objection was preventing good distribution in the larger stores. It took another year of working on a solution to come up with something that still met our ethos of the minimal and most natural packaging possible. Another criteria was that it had to add value to the customer, not just be packaging for packaging sake. That’s why it took so long to work through a solution that we could celebrate.”
Cashman says shoplifting didn’t lead to any loss of cost, as it was retailers who were mainly hesitant to stock the small items. She says that the added production costs were slightly offset by no longer using an inner carton. “The balance of the costs are being offset by the fact that we are now able to be on shelf.”
According to Cashman, the whole process to redesign and redistribute the new and improved all natural product took about four months.
“We had to really clarify how to tell the story of the quality and usefulness of the product, and exactly its position to our consumer. It really stretched us to break free from our safe, block branding space. It took many iterations, and ended up being more expensive in design time than the original product.”
“Now that we’ve completed the process, the new OUCH 12g has been ranged and included in Foodstuffs South Island and has picked up a whole lot of new stores in the North Island. The feedback from buyers is really positive and our rep manager says we’re “onto a winner.”
“While the process is essentially a re-launch it was every bit as big as a new product launch, and the reception to it has been just as exciting. I’m proud of what we achieved and love the new look. It was worth it.”