Crowd Funding Success Story Ruby Rockets Reveals the Science Behind Catering to your Target Through Packaging

We’ve said it once, and we’ll say it again – food and beverage consumers shop with their eyes, not with their stomachs. Exceptional packaging is of utmost importance when it comes to standing out on a retailer’s shelves, communicating your brand message and targeting the appropriate consumer for your product. We caught up with Marcia and Nicole of Ruby Rockets to discuss just what makes their packaging so great, how they leverage it into a conversation with their target consumer and what advice they have for brands wanting to follow in their footsteps.

“Consumers are tired of being mislead […] Beauty may be appealing, but the facts supporting the beauty are essential.”

Keeping in mind that shopping can be more of a visual exercise does not negate the need for clear cut communication. Consumers are looking for products with both brains and beauty (on top of being healthy, affordable, valuable, and the list goes on). As Nicole states, “The #1 [importance of great packaging] is being completely transparent with the consumer because, as you can imagine, the grocery store aisles are full of various options.” Marcia further explains how their packaging and ingredients go hand-in-hand, “We have a rule at Ruby Rockets that all the ingredients on the ingredient panel have to be words that a 6-year-old can read and visualize. So in our product design, we lean heavily towards things like strawberry purée, sweet potato purée, beets, coconut cream, açaí, chia flour, etc. All words that someone who can read can probably visualize.

“In addition to being visually appealing, we are committed to our packaging being what we like to call ‘Radically Transparent’. When you look at our packaging and you see strawberries and coconut cream and sweet potatoes and a little pile of chia flour – that’s visually appealing and beautiful […] but it’s important that what’s in the fine print is consistent and supports the superficial image on the packaging. Beauty may be appealing, but the facts supporting the beauty are essential.”

“We solve for the bottom line of trying to be a company that is good for our shareholders, good for employees and most importantly, good for our community.”

What makes Ruby Rockets’ target market – millennial mothers and their growing children – so obvious for consumers and retailers alike? It’s all in the details. As per Marcia, “In terms of how we appeal to our consumers with our packaging, I would say, [the first thing is] a sense of fun – the graphics all have a fun aspect. Secondly, is the visuals of the [ingredients] being in there. Thirdly, all of our packaging is recyclable, we are certified B Corp. We solve for the bottom line of trying to be a company that is good for our shareholders, good for employees and most importantly, good for our community, giving clean, good food as well as being good for our planet. And those are values of the company which I believe are also values of our particular millennial consumers.”

Nicole also jumps in with some genius ways Ruby Rockets ensures they catch their target’s eye in the aisle, “Like Marcia said, one of the ‘always’ for us is the idea of being able to appeal to the on-the-go shoppers. [Our consumers] are moms that have active lifestyles, are always on the go with their kids and they want a healthy alternative for their children. Our logo is very family-oriented – you’ve got the flavour name, which is kid-centric (Rock-It Red, Stellar Strawberry) – these are all really interesting and engaging names for the end consumer in mind (the kids).

“If you look at our packaging, non-dairy is repeated on the front of our packaging twice. We have ‘non-dairy fruit and veggie blend’ which is a description of the product itself and we also have the dairy-free claim at the bottom of the packaging. We focus on highlighting non-dairy because it offers a healthy alternative to dairy products or animal-based products. Our consumers can choose to not eat dairy even though they may not necessarily have dairy or other allergies.

“I also think the arrows pointing to the different ingredients are good visual cues, like Marcia was saying. You’ll notice that the colour you see on the front panel [of our packaging] is completely drawn by the ingredients in the product itself, the side panels are the only panels that actually have colour on them. That was done on purpose; we want the product to be the hero, we want the product to speak to the consumer itself, and the colouring is really there on the side panels to add to the visual and give flavour cues.”

“Engage in a series of activities that enable an ongoing conversation about the journey that the brand is taking.”

So what’s the takeaway for a brand who wants to stand out in a crowd? First thing’s first, according to Nicole, “Think about who your target consumer is […] It’s really important to be able to win over the consumers that are skeptical and packaging goes a long way – it’s an additional point of engagement or interaction with your target consumer so any way you can, use your packaging to convey that you’re transparent and authentic. Secondly, keep it simple; there’s so much we want say. We love our brand so much and we want to brag about all the great things that are in it […] but knowing who your consumer is will help you prioritize what claims mean the most to them and what is going to make them want to buy your product. Lastly, get a little bit innovative with the packaging itself – if there’s a way to think of packaging that’ll differentiate yourself across the shelf, it’s even better.”

Marcia ends on a touching note, “If I were to put everything in a vessel, in terms of advice, to a young brand, I would encourage them to engage in a series of activities that enable an ongoing conversation about the journey that the brand is taking. I prefer to call our consumers my ‘friends’ because the conversation that I want to have with our consumers is just like a conversation that I have with my friends. It’s so much harder to have the kind of conversation with millions of people that you could easily have with your best friend or my mother had over the fence with her neighbour but that’s the advice I would give.”