As I was merchandising the pizza section in my store last week I noticed that Totino’s  Party Pizza shelf was bare.  Maybe there were distribution issues. Maybe they were going to recall like Stouffer’s Spinach Soufflé. Neither was the case. It was something totally different.

Totino’s pizza is a popular item. It is inexpensive and easy to pile up mini slices in your shopping cart. In my store, we sell a lot of Totino’s Triple Cheese and Classic Pepperoni. Easily 20 boxes a day for each. And for a lot of consumers, the price is right. It costs $1.65 a  box just under 11 ounces (10.7 ounces to be exact). A slice at any pizzeria will cost about $3.00, which makes it understandable why consumers load up their buggies. And when it goes on sale, wow, the boxes can literally fly off the shelves. For example, take 33 cents off and sell them for 3 for $4.00 then the rate of boxes accelerates. Plus, the frozen pizza is sold in the beer and wine aisle, so who doesn’t like a six-pack of beer with a bag of inexpensive pizza.

However, gradually the product came back, but the popular pizza was packaged in tightly sealed plastic. It is a sealed bag where the consumer can zip it back. That can help someone who does not want to gulp a whole pie. They can now eat and savor it. In addition, the pizza came in a circular shape with the boxes is now in a rectangular shape in the plastic packaging.

I liked the idea Totino’s. As it says on the bag “Same size with less packaging.”

This can help people manage their food and not have to gulp down the entire slice or place the leftover’s in a plastic bag. You provide that. Ziplock type packaging bags are popping up with a lot of products, especially when the serving slice is greater than one. Morningstar, Birdseye, and others are joining the crusade to have packaging to use plastic, which allows the consumer to open the bag, eat a serving and reseal it.

This is a great business move for Totino’s Party Pizze and here is why I think it will be successful helping their bottom line: Pizza is easier to merchandise when you place it down flat. Boxes look better, however they get stuck on the shelves and if not merchandised and rotated on a monthly basis runs the risk njoy your slice. Placing pizza flat down on the shelf makes it easier to stack and maintain. Boxes gets stuck, flip over, and the boxed packaging comes loose, rips or worse gets wasted because it does not get rotated and is on the shelf past the date sold by. I’ve pulled tens of boxes of pizza from other brands off the shelves because they were not rotated. Lost food  = lost revenue.

Luckily Totino’s Party Pizza sells very well. The slices have lots of saturated fat and sodium but the price is right for people and families on a budget as well as for people who don’t want to spend 12 bucks for a pizza, tip not included.

I’ll be keeping an eye on the Totino’s Party Pizza and ask my customers who buy it what they think of the plastic packaging.

I like the idea. It’s disruptive and maybe other companies may try something new with their packaging.

Enjoy your Totinos pizza. Heck throw a party.

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Totino’s Pizza new packaging is disruptive; can they now improve their pizza making it healthier?

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