I love eating Pringles potato chips. They are tasty and as with eating potato chips – “Once you pop. You just can’t stop.”

As I was merchandising tonight I studied the face of the Pringles package and wondered if it was time for a makeover to inject “pop” in the brand.

Pringles was originally owned and developed by Proctor & Gamble who began selling the chips in 1967 and was then sold nationwide in 1975.  The company was sold to the Kellogg Company in 2012 for a whopping $2.695 billion. It hit the overseas market in 1991.

The packaging was made by Fredric Baur in 1967 as a way to go against the bag.

Despite their popularity, Pringles still lags behind in market share. Pringles are sold in more than 140 countries, (see Chapman, Michelle (6 April 2011). “Pringles sold to growing empire”. The Sun News. Associated Press.) It 2012 it was the most popular snack brand after Lay’s, Doritos and Cheetos, with 2.2% market share globally, compared to Lay’s share of 6.7% (Kacey Culliney (17 June 2013). “Kellogg inks Pringles EMEA expansion plan”. Bakeryandsnacks.com,21 January 2016).

With a 2.2% market share there is a chance of opportunity for growth.

Let’s look at what Pringles has going for them.

  1. Their packaging comes in a cylindrical container that has their chips neatly stacked.
  2. The chips are easy to store as a snack taking a trip,  i.e.. flying. With the plastic container to open and close it makes it very easy to carry and take a long just about everywhere. Try taking a bag of Lays on a plane with its crinkly bag. Good luck.
  3. They come in many, many flavors like Sour Cream & Onion, Original, Barbecue, pizza, Salt & Vinegar, Cheddar Cheese, Mustard, Tortilla, and on and on. So the consumer has a lot to choose from.
  4. The chips also come in a Low Sodium and Reduced Fat alternatives.
  5. The company website looks easy to navigate and intriguing.
  6. Strong social media presence, i.e. on Twitter #pringles

All that said it is worth tying to understanding why they can’t gain anymore market share in the potato chip market.

The solution may be that the person on the packaging “Julius Pringles” may need another makeover.

The Pringles logo is of a cartoon character known as “Julius Pringles”. It was designed by Louis R. Dixon, that displays a large handlebar mustache and parted bangs. In  2001, the character had eyebrows and his bow tie framed the with the Pringles name; in 1998, the bangs and lips were removed from the logo, and his head was widened a little.

So there have been several changes of the container, — but I think it needs an overall to resonate with new customers to capture

I would suggest that the word “Pringles” get straightened against the container. I would also bold the letters to give a more pronounced look In addition, I would give Mr. Pringles a I would shrink his handlebar mustache giving it a trim  In addition, I would give his eyes more definition, or perhaps even a wink to the consumer. The last time the packaging was updated was in 2009 so it’s about time for a new makeover to heightening their awareness and give them some new credibility as well as attracting new customers.

In terms of marketing, I would emphasize what Pringles has on its competitors. From the greasy chips being non greasy, inexpensive, not in in crinkly bag the containers are easy to carry just about everywhere, in the library, airport, at school, work, etc.

The chips are good the brand needs to remind people that this is the case.

One thing I have also noticed is that the chips are rarely on sale compared to its competitors, Lay’s, Cape Cod, Wise. Pringles sells for $1.75 and you would think people would gravitate to them based on price.

But they may need a little more to get noticed.

Feel free to raise your Pringles container and celebrate guzzling a container of great tasting chips. Would Pringles sell in a bag?

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