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(Bild: Kaufland)

“With our private brands, we ensure the basic supply of our customers and that at a price that is affordable”, said Nicole Fesenbeck, Senior Brand Manager/Marketing International, Kaufland, at the Packaging Summit. "For every individual lifestyle, the customer can find the right product under the private label, whether inexpensive, organic, vegan, vegetarian, lactose-free, gluten-free, with a special origin or individual taste."

The following figures show how successful private labels have become: according to Ipsos Handelsmarkenmonitor 2019, 96 % of German consumers say they buy private labels at least occasionally. When it comes to packaging design, private label and brand are very close to each other, with 65 % of respondents saying that private labels can compete with branded products in terms of appearance. One in five consumers falls back on private labels in the event of brand discontinuations, and among younger consumers it is as high as one in four.

The quality of private labels has continued to improve because not only the producer but also the retailer inspects the product. "Own brands are increasingly becoming a real alternative to branded products thanks to their appealing packaging design, very good price-performance ratio and high quality," Nicole Fesenbeck is convinced.

How does the customer find his way around the large selection that can be found in a Kaufland store? This is where packaging design comes into play. "We use the packaging design to clearly position the product in the defined quality and price segment," explains Fesenbeck. Recognition on the shelves, orientation and simplicity help customers find their products. "By putting our red K on our private labels, we create a clear link to us as a company," says Fesenbeck. This is not just about clearly differentiating themselves from the competition, but also from the brand. "We don't want a Close to Brand." In the entry-level price segment, Kaufland is focusing on simplicity in design with its "K Classic" brand featuring the white corner. This runs through the entire segment, so that the customer knows immediately where to find the lowest-priced item.

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For the exclusive skin care series Nivea Professional, Studio Oeding conceived and realized a design that conveys competence and high quality and is based on the periodic table of the elements. (Bild: Oeding)

Quality private label with value-added packaging design

But: the sales volume of value-added brands in the FMCG sector is rising steadily. This is because many customers want to treat themselves to something special in their everyday lives. They buy plain sugar, for example, but want to treat themselves to a special confectionery. "This is a profiling opportunity for us as a retailer. In addition to the own brands that we have had in our range for some time, such as K-bio, veggie or free, we have decided to establish yet another added-value brand: Namely, K-Favourites for those special moments in everyday life," says Fesenbeck. The quality-private-label clearly names the added value. "On the front of the packaging, we provide information about the value-added ingredient, the origin, the production’s location, the ripening time or sustainability aspects." Kaufland relies on a valuable packaging design for its "Favourites" that clearly stands out from the entry-level price brand and is consistent across the entire category: "Clear picture style, clear type specification, clear design."

No concept, no design

Katrin Oeding, Managing Director, Studio Oeding, is a multiple honored designer and jury member of the largest international creative festivals. Since 2011, she and her international design agency have been conceiving strategies and designs for brands, products and companies as well as innovative solutions for clients such as Nivea, Base, Edited, Closed, Blume 2000 and Daimler/Mercedes.

"I like the fact that Kaufland has a clear orientation and sends a clear message," says Katrin Oeding. "After all, hardly anyone dares to confidently present their own brand. Yet we have such great brands that have already developed their personality over decades or even over a century," Katrin Oeding states, and at the same time comes to her guideline "No concept, no design" at the Packaging Summit. It is intended to provide answers to questions like: "How do I actually find the concept? How do I make it differentiating and help the product or service to succeed?" "Many private labels like to create copies of the A-brands. In the meantime, they are a strong brand themselves, as we have seen with Kaufland," Oeding points out.

"You have to know the customer and the codes and serve them correctly," says Oeding. For the exclusive skin care line Nivea Professional, for example, the studio conceived and realized a design that conveys competence and high quality and is based on the periodic system of the elements. The snowy white typical of the Nivea brand symbolizes purity and the reflective silver competence of 100 years of skin care research. The exclusivity is reflected by the packaging concept with its sophisticated finishing and its own closing mechanism. Oeding advocates boldness in design and responsibility. This means that not everything has to be "green," but that a company acts with conviction. As Head of Design, the trained poster artist conceived new brands, products and packaging designs, such as the agency's own internationally awarded product line "The Deli Garage" or the much-awarded cosmetics line "Stop the Water while using me". These works exemplify Oeding's approach that design must always follow a holistic concept. This is consistent throughout the entire development process, right up to the market launch.

The successful Packaging Summit went into the third round

At the beginning of July 2020, the Packaging Summit, a joint event organized by Verlag Werben & Verkaufen and neue verpackung, entered its third round. Due to the Corona crisis, this year's event could not take place in the high-rise building of Süddeutscher Verlag as before, but was moved to the digital space. At the same time, the concept of our virtual Packaging Summit, moderated by Belinda Duvinage, Werben & Verkaufen, and Philip Bittermann, neue verpackung, continued to ensure interactivity and exchange. Live broadcasts, video sessions, blind-date options and a virtual exhibition allowed plenty of room for exchange.

With the mix of topics from sustainability, marketing, design and digitalization, the speakers once again comprehensively reported on all important developments around packaging. The perspectives of all stakeholders were represented: Whether solution providers, brand manufacturers or retailers - the packaging industry came together at the Packaging Summit.

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