The 'Refillution'

Eco Store have long been leading the way with their refill stations for some time and I love that such a iconic kiwi brand is helping to lead change in the way we purchase products with refill potential.

If you are a Kiwi or Aussie kid of the 90s, you’ll remember Mum and Dad packing your lunch with the tiny plastic foil covered pouches of crackers and “cheese” that came in a Le Snack. Or perhaps you recall being asked to bring a plate to a party and you know it’s an Ernest Adams pink slice your’e bringing. Well, it’s time to say goodbye to these brands, they’re disappearing from shelves as we speak! BUT WHY?!!

What's happening?

over the last dew days articles have surfaced in New  Zealand media of two iconic brands being discontinued. Le Snack – a very popular little lunch box packet of 4 stale crackers and cheese, or something like cheese at least. And Ernest Adams – old school slices and biscuits just like Nana used to make…. when she forgot to take her meds.

But why? our theory...

Both brands have similar targets on their heads. They not what we’d call healthy these days, they’re heavy plastic users and they’re both owned by corporate giants.
There’s an overwhelming trend for lunch box treats to be either home made, or at least resemble real food. if it doesn’t have vitamins, fruit, hidden veg, calcium or other great things we need then you can almost be sure parents wont be buying it. That’s not to say my parents didn’t care about my health when I was a kid by feeding me Le Snacks! but the information and choice is far greater now than it was in my schooling era and that means more competition and harsher consumer opinions.
Plastic, the devil of the day. something that I try very hard to not feature in my client’s products. A Le Snack and an Ernest Adams slice both come in a PET food grade tray, both come in a foil or plastic flow wrap pack and BOTH can’t be recycled. This puts them on the naughty list for consumers and i do suspect that even if both moved to a more environmentally friendly pack, they’d still be on the banned list for the other points I’ve made in this article.
Lastly. Ernest and Le Snacks are both owned by big corporate foodies. Le Snack – Bluebird (owned by pepsi Co) and Ernest Adams – Goodman Fielder. Both of whom didn’t want to comment on any media stories about their reasons to axe these brands. Are they embarrassed? Perhaps its all a numbers game for them, but if you read the articles below you will see that Ernest inst known for their tasty cookies no more unless you’re over the age of 70 with no real teeth or taste buds.
So in conclusions, we think its a mix of lost profits, unpopularity, pressure from health trends and a more focused consumer that saw the demise of these 90s heroes.
Consumers are way more engaged with what is in a product these days. With the economic climate in a bit of unrest, everyone is wanting the best for their bucks.
People are making things from scratch or buying do it yourself kits. With more time at home there is this illusion that they have more time to make things themselves.
Plastic free is king – If your product can go in a non plastic environment i strongly suggest you do so even if it pushes up your cost of goods! your profits will thank you later. And yes definitely make a song and dance about it on your packaging!