Mapping the Food Packaging Journey to Cut Costs & Enrich UX
Whole new package design for Chick-Fil-A, to distinguish a brand, reduce SKUs and improve scalability required a closer look at the business-wide impact.
In the last decade, Chick-fil-A has caused the likes of KFC and McDonald’s to quake, taking a lead in fast-food’s chicken market share and encroaching on the burger giant’s profit growth. However, the brand’s package design was nowhere near the top of its game. THRIVE stepped in to transform its paper and plastic from a nuisance for customers into a more scalable relationship-builder.
Chick-fil-A has great food, 80% of which is made fresh daily on-site, but its packaging didn’t connote a premium experience. Digging deeper, we mapped the packaging journey to discover two more big issues. First, every item seemed to have its own box, bag or bowl taking up too much storage space. Second, customers were complaining that the fries got cold too quickly, the drink flavors were impossible to guess, salad containers hid freshness and paper wrappers made for poor plates. In short, food packaging was having a negative impact on everything from cost and storage to wait times and customer experience.
Between customer feedback and employee insights, we discovered that food packaging is one of the most complex pieces of restaurant infrastructure and has a big impact on brand impressions. However, manufacturers had typically driven the look, feel and function of fast-food packaging. We helped Chick-fil-A take control of the process to give them more intuitive, experience-minded designs that pushed their market presence and allowed them to steer their own growth.
To help customers better connect with the brand, we engineered intuitive, multi-function options in five refined brand schemes. One scheme—a deli theme with hand-folded details and sophisticated utensil sleeves—was chosen for full development. We then created a market toolkit to enable the brand to replicate the approach over and over as new food items were developed.
Today, Chick-fil-A’s packaging requires fewer distinct containers, allowing for reduced container SKUs, improved storage and faster meal prep. Even better, it’s helping to provide a fully integrated, premium dining experience that shows greater warmth, caring and southern hospitality, thereby encouraging a heightened emotional bond between Chick-fil-A and its new and ever-loyal diners around the country.
“The smile Chick-fil-A puts on my face...love is real.”@kenn_carr via Twitter