Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery recently got to chat with Dustin Finkel, founder and CEO, Ka-Pop! Snacks, about its new packaging design and some snacking trends he's seen during the pandemic so far.
Liz Parker: Why did Ka-Pop! Snacks decide to change its packaging?
Dustin Finkel: A confluence of events happened in Q1 of this year, which put the brand on an incredible new trajectory: Airing on Shark Tank, launching our puffs platform, commitments for 2nd Half expansion with national accounts (Kroger, Sprouts, Wegman’s), and COVID-19. With this level of change, we committed to reevaluating every aspect of our business, including our branding. Our growth outside of e-commerce & the natural channel, combined with new COVID-influenced shopping behaviors, required a different communication strategy.
The initial Ka-Pop! design focused on creating a unique combination of natural aesthetics (the craft background) with our fun and joyous superhero branding. However, we discovered that while this design broke through online, it did not have the "popability" we were hoping for on the shelf. This insight, combined with the thought leadership from our partner, Stone Strategy & Design, reinforced that Ka-Pop! had the opportunity to really breakthrough on the shelf with our story through new packaging design.
Our strategy for the new design was to ensure that we immediately communicated the Ka-Pop! Promise: bringing taste, authenticity, and joy back to healthy snacking. We are thrilled with the results! The new look invites consumers to Indulge Fearlessly through bright colors, explosive flavor, and well-defined health credentials.
LP: Have you noticed any changes in better-for-you snacking during COVID?
DF: It's been widely reported how consumers shifted to more conventional (i.e., ‘junk food’) during the pandemic, especially during its first few months. At the core of this trend is the reality that food is not just about nourishment; it is also about craveable taste, comfort, and emotion. I think better for you snack brands who had businesses firmly grounded in diet culture with no flavor or pleasure are at significant risk. We are growing +300 percent because Ka-Pop! is challenging the convention that junk food exclusively owns taste & joy. Our Dairy Free Cheddar Puffs, for example, use a simple seasoning blend that took us two years to develop—and it tastes better than the leading junk-food puff. So, you get the taste, texture, and finger-licking-delicious eating experience of that snack you knew as a kid…. but you get to enjoy it without anything artificial, fried fats, or gluten. The days of compromising taste & joy are over, and we think we can lead the way in better-for-you snacking from here on out!
LP: Any new changes on the horizon for 2021 or beyond?
DF: We have so many new products and ideas coming your way in Q1 of 2021—so make sure you are following us via our email or on social to get in on the exciting innovation. We have big plans in 2021 to accelerate an already incredible growth trajectory for the business!
Related: Ka-Pop! Snacks offers ancient grain snacking alternatives