If you asked 100 shoppers in 2008 which aisle in the grocery store contained the most innovative products, I would predict exactly zero would have responded “baby food”. Baby food evokes images of a sea of glass jars as far as the eye can see. However, Plum Organics turned the category on its head after being acquired by the Nest Collective in 2009. Nest changed Plum’s packaging from thermoformed cups that required freezing to shelf-stable stand up pouches. On top of the shelf stability which makes the product more convenient to parents, the pouch provides other meaningful benefits—a secure spout with rounded edges so kids don’t cut their fingers and a cap that conforms to toy industry safety standards. Furthermore, when selling healthy baby food, the fun, bright colored pouch communicates health much better than the tired glass jar. While this innovation isn’t simple at its core, Plum used the same packaging that it already used for its Revolution Foods line. Why I love it: Plum didn’t really change what was in the package (healthy baby food)—it changed the package to solve pain points for both the customer (parents) and the consumer (babies/kids). Parents now had a no mess baby food option that was both convenient and “self-serve” for children, and kids had more control over their eating experience. These characteristics encourage both trial (standing out on the shelf) and repeat (better convenience/safety). And the numbers—Plum grew from less than $1 million in revenue in 2008 to $38 million in 2011 and over $80 million in 2012—show trial and repeat are happening in droves.
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