Perdue Farms overhauls chicken packaging to lure millennials
- Perdue Farms is introducing new packaging — which includes a blue cartoon chicken named Pearl, the company said in a statement. The new look features a white and blue barn, in large type proclaims that the chicken has no antibiotics, and claims the package is “freshness guaranteed.” The “Fresh From Family Farms Since 1920” tagline has been removed.
- Company officials say the bright, simple lines and colors of the new design are meant to appeal to millennial and loyal consumers in an attempt to bring in more sales. This re-brand marks the fourth major packaging update in the history of the brand, further highlighting key brand messages and attributes with shoppers.
- Perdue said the redesign has been popular with consumers. More than 65% of overall participants surveyed in a brand consumer test favored the new design. In addition, millennials preferred the updated look 200% more.
The company is clear about its hope to appeal to millennial buyers while retaining its core customers through a new, simpler design. The packaging depicts Pearl, who will not talk or be animated, near a barn, with a farm field and a fence in an attempt to move the idea of packaged chicken in a cage to happy chickens in a barnyard with room to roam.
The company also smartly shares the antibiotic-free and green message loud and clear, sure to appeal to millennials and other consumers who are looking for healthy, sustainable foods. That may be more important to future sales of Perdue Farm’s products than Pearl, who is a cute chicken but unlikely to make a huge impression unless she takes more of a leading role in terms of marketing or advertising.
According to USA Today, 27% of U.S. consumers say they are paying increased attention to nutritional information including on chicken packaging, and nearly 60% are concerned about the welfare of animals raised for food.
Perdue Farms noted this is the fourth re-brand and major packaging update in its history. The company said participants, both millennials and core customers, loved the concept in a brand consumer test. There is little doubt that company officials are hopeful that millennial enthusiasm for the new packaging will carry over to increased sales in the supermarket — after all, their purchasing power in the grocery space is increasing, and any brand loyalty could inevitably carry over to their children. While planning for the future is necessary, the company also needs to please its loyal fan base, so it can't implement changes that are too drastic.
Rebranding is always a tricky business, but it is important for companies to consider the move, especially as customer opinions change and what they look for in their food shifts. Plus, a refresh may draw consumer attention back to products they have long forgotten about or allow the product to suddenly stand out against their competitors.
Perdue would be smart to not only change its packaging to grab a bigger market share, but also highlight ways consumers can create fast, delicious and healthy meals with its packaged products. Poultry sales are expected to remain strong at roughly $26.2 billion annually.
Perdue Farms likely is looking to other companies that have turned their fortunes around through rebranding. Nestle’s Lean Cuisine Marketplace brand, for example, rebranded itself as a modern health and wellness product rather than as a “diet” brand; a move that helped drive a sales increase of $58 million the following year.
"The new design was the No.1 reason the Lean Cuisine brand was able to turn itself around — we went from declining sales to significant sales gains even before we turned on media support," Daniel Jhung, vice president of marketing at Nestlé USA, said in a statement. "This complete turnaround demonstrates the power of investing in effective package design and designing it with consumers in mind."
It's too early to tell whether Perdue will see similar success, but with bright colors, a hip chicken and highlights of its antibiotic-free status, the poultry company has reason to be hopeful.