You will have no idea how much fun an empty cardboard box can be until you spend Christmas morning with a toddler. It’s an oft-heard parental complaint on Boxing Day “they had more fun playing with the box it came in” - pretty infuriating if you’ve spent wretched and nerve-jangling hours in a toy superstore, or trawling the web to track down this year’s must-have gifts.
But it seems it’s not just kids that are fascinated by and derive disproportionate pleasure from packaging. Personalisation has recently extended its reach to all types of labels, jars, bottles and cartons and it’s a trend that looks set to continue. Here are a couple of well-known examples plus others you may not yet have come across;
1. Chicken (or tomato) soup for the soul
Originally offered back in 2012 through the brand’s Facebook page, Heinz fans could order a can of soup and personalise it with their friend's name (or in some cases less than sympathetic nickname!) and have it delivered as a get-well gift. Brought back for a brief spell earlier this year cans retailed at £3.99 which, although this included a £1 charitable donation and P&P, is around four times the retail price of a standard can.
2. Personalisation spread thinly
Christmas 2014 was a special one for Nutella lovers as it was their first opportunity to find not just a jar of their beloved spread but one with their own name on it in their stocking! Selfridges shifted more than a quarter of a million units in November and December alone and so, not surprisingly, was keen to repeat that success and extended the service for Valentine’s Day.
Rolling it out this time to include along with the name, a romantic (or naughty!) message and a range of emojis, these 400g jars flew out the door at £3.99 each – a hike from the typical £2.50 price label.
3. A choc and orange combo got even better!
A staggering 2.9 million Jaffa Cakes are produced in the UK every day - apparently enough to stretch from London to Australia, and back again, if placed end to end! And now half a million names and pet names are available for devotees to emblazon on packs for themselves or as gifts.
Ordered online, £2.49 gets you a box (plus P&P) compared to half that for standard ones from the local supermarket.
4. The pièce de personalisation résistance
Sadly there’s no indication of it heading to our shores anytime soon but a pop-up studio recently appeared in a shopping centre in Sydney, Australia where shoppers could create their own customised (and very posh) Kit Kats. With toppings that included nuts, fruit, chili flakes, rose petals, caramel popcorn and salt flakes, a mere 45 minutes (and $9 later) lucky chocolate lovers could walk away with their own unique creation in a personalised wrapper.
Differing brands and foodstuffs but what these four all have in common is the perceived (and huge) added-value personalisation lends to the content. Physically and structurally packaged no different to standard versions in terms of quality, the simple addition of a name or message creates a uniqueness the buyer is more than happy to pay for. And to pay a premium for, at that.