As I mentioned recently, CPG manufacturers are looking for ways to combat the growth of private label offerings which are increasing in quality and appeal. The days of generic plain-wrap are gone. Two routes CPG manufacturers can take are 1. build consumer connections to brands through smart social media use and 2. Create packaging that has stronger shelf impact.
Route 1 is a conversation for another post. Route 2 is expensive, slow and it is difficult to gain approval for bold, challenging designs within a multi-layered, conservative bureaucracy which is true for many large CPG companies. Consumers almost always will go further than CPG companies are willing and then they wonder why watered down, safe choices in package design change don't move the needle as much as hoped.
Here is an example (H/T Live4Emma on FriendFeed):
From the blog, Lovely Package. Their comment? "If only all supermarket own-brands had packaging that looked this good…" I'd ammend that to say "if only all brands..."
UK design firm Pearlfisher has created numerous fantastic, arresting designs which serve their brands well. The product quality of the soup has to deliver, but if it does I would be willing to bet both that this brand would eat market share from established CPG players and that a bold design like this would never make it through to shelf at a big U.S. CPG company. Pity it seems to be a lesson that's unlearnable.