Because I’m a nerd, I love inventive marketing research even more than stellar ad creative. And the research that led Heinz to its new Dip & Squeeze ketchup package is some of the coolest I’ve read about in a long time.
A Wall Street Journal article described part of the R&D that led to the new package, reporting “To develop the new packet, Heinz staffers sat behind one-way mirrored glass, watching consumers in 20 fake minivan interiors putting ketchup on fries, burgers, and chicken nuggets.”
The article also describes someone on the Heinz team who bought a used minivan to test the packaging with his own family because he feared doing so in his regular car would have been too messy. I’m assuming he drives something that’s named with numbers and letters that’s at least a decade newer than what I drive, but that’s just a hunch.
Since the new package is more expensive than the old ones, some fast food franchisees will likely resist switching. However, the profit margin on fries is quite high, so I’m sure the marketing departments at McDonald’s, Wendy’s, and other QSRs are running the figures for how many incremental fry sales it will take to break even as well as the projections of how many fry sales will be added as a direct result of offering Dip & Squeeze. It also seems to me that putting some kind of “3x the amount of regular packs” POP in stores and at drive-throughs would mitigate people asking for more than one or two packages as customers begin learning how to use it.
I’m also sure that Heinz will be selling Dip & Squeeze multi-packs in supermarkets (if they haven’t already) which should further expand the stranglehold the company already has on the consumer ketchup market.
If you can’t wait to try the new package, it is being used at a national chain of chicken sandwich restaurants that will remain unnamed due to its continued anti-diversity stance. I refuse to go there or promote it in any positive context.