Package lets the bacon do the talking

by Lawrence Aylward
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The bacon is the first thing that grabs a person’s attention in a stack pack.

There are bacon lovers, and there are BACON LOVERS. For the latter, processors created stacked pack bacon, says Mike Merritt, senior director of retail brand marketing for Smithfield.

“Stack pack is typically for the real heavy bacon users,” he adds.

While the bacon craze has boomed the last several years, more companies have introduced stacked pack bacon to retail, including Smithfield, which offers four versions, including Hometown Original, Cherrywood Smoked, Applewood Smoked and Peppered in 24- and 40-oz. packages. Stacked packed bacon is growing because more even bacon lovers are turning into BACON LOVERS, Merritt says.

Stack packed bacon eaters know the product includes thicker slices and is smoked longer, says Merritt, noting that Smithfield’s version is smoked almost twice as long, which gives it a deep, richer color.

As the package goes, the bacon is the first thing that grabs a person’s attention when he sees it, which was Smithfield’s goal, Merritt says.

“It is piled high. Because the slices are thicker, [a package of] stack packed bacon is 50 percent larger than a typical package of bacon,” he adds. In the case of Smithfield’s 40-oz. package, it’s more than 100 percent bigger.

“The size and sheer mass of it certainly catches people’s eyes and gives them a bit of a feeling of being at a deli or the butcher,” Merritt says. “It feels more authentic because of the way its cut and displayed…When you see stack packed bacon from the side, it has more of a meat lover’s form to it.”

While the raw product is the star of the package, another important attribute is a photograph of the bacon in its cooked state to achieve appetite appeal, Merritt stresses.

“But we want to show different usages; that it’s for more than just breakfast,” he says. “For instance, on our Hometown Original package we show stack packed bacon on a burger.”

Color and verbiage are purposely kept to a minimum on the packaging, Merritt says. A burst tells consumers that the stack packed bacon is enhanced with sea salt, which gives the product a more premium feel, he notes.

But overall, the goal is to let the product do the promotion.

“We want to keep it pretty simple,” Merritt says of the packaging.

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