Case Study

Keebler's Cinnamon Graham Snacks Hit Club Store Shelves in Canister

Keebler Co., Elmhurst, IL, has a recent history of converting several of its club store cookies, crackers and snacks into composite canisters from Sonoco. The snack giant has added to that trend by chalking up yet another successful club store product line extension launch in Sonoco canisters: Keebler Snackin' Grahams.

Since the product's introduction in November, the bite-sized, cinnamon-glazed crackers, which are contained in a 603 x 908 canister (29 oz./822 g) featuring a rotogravure-printed label, are being marketed by three major club store retailers — BJ's, Costco and Sam's Club. The crackers are being sold as either a permanent or rotating product. Keebler, one of the United States' largest bakers, also sells its Animal Crackers, Pecan Sandies, Nacho Cheez-its and Vanilla Wafers in Sonoco canisters, all of which were introduced over the past year.

Replaces Brick Pack
Keebler's Snackin' Grahams package replaces a low-fat, full-sized cinnamon graham product packed in a brick-pack paperboard folding carton. Sales were on a downward trend when Keebler determined it was time to rethink its cinnamon product and package.

Packed in a resealable 29-oz./822g canister from Sonoco, Keebler Snackin' Grahams is the snack company's fifth recent canister-packed club package launch.

"We knew we had a market for cinnamon grahams but realized we needed a new strategy," explains Bruce Flowers, Keebler business development manager. Flowers says the company's threefold plan included new packaging. "We decided to take the crackers to a snack size to capture people who like to snack, give it a full cinnamon graham flavor and reposition it in a package conducive to snacking — Sonoco's resealable canister. We have had an excellent response."

Cookie Jar Effect
In addition to the many benefits the round canister offers to club store merchandisers, such as durability, stackability and ease of transport and display, one advantage Keebler particularly enjoys is the package's "cookie jar effect." The SAFETOP peelable membrane opening system with resealable plastic overcap is ideal for allowing consumers to snack out of the canister without having to feel like they must consume the entire package at one sitting. The barrier qualities of the spiral-wound paperboard canister with its poly-foil inner liner combined with the overcap, preserve product freshness even long after the package is opened. This according to Keebler, enables consumers to be comfortable buying the club size, knowing the package will deliver extended pantry life.

"The Snackin' Grahams package offers better snackability, better flavor and the convenience of a resealable canister," says Flowers. "It is a tremendous vehicle for our club store line." Sonoco market manager Steve Gendreau concurs that the match between the product and the package is a perfect fit. "Keebler continues to flex its muscles in the club store arena, having found a great consumer preference for composite cans."

Club Store Hit
There was some concern at Keebler, however, that consumers would be reluctant to trade up from a low-fat graham cracker product to a traditional, full-flavor product. That fear has proved unfounded as consumers have taken a liking to the inch-square cinnamon treats making Snackin' Grahams Keebler's newest club store hit. "We couldn't be more pleased," raves Flowers.

The Snackin' Grahams introduction comes at the close of a very successful year for Keebler and Sonoco, during which time nine new market segment-specific packages were introduced, five for club stores and four for drug stores. Sonoco also captured an AmeriStar Award from the Institute of Packaging Professionals on behalf of Keebler for packaging innovation.

Headquartered in Hartsville, SC, Sonoco is a major international manufacturer of consumer and industrial packaging products, employing approximately 17,000 people at nearly 275 locations worldwide.

For more information: Sonoco, North Second St., Hartsville, SC 29550, Tel: 843-383-3333.