Totino’s Party Pizza, under the umbrella of the General Mills Company, has disrupted the frozen pizza market with its plastic packaging. This past March, I posted a blog post regarding their new packaging. You can click on the link below to read my original post:

Totino’s Pizza: Is the Party over for boxed pizza as company switches to smaller plastic bags.

While merchandising the frozen pizza last week, I chatted with one of my customers as she scooped up about ten Totino’s Party Pizza packages. She was a middle aged woman, possibly a mom who had kids trying to find an inexpensive meal that her kids would eat. Wearing a red bandanna over her hair, along with a couple of tattoos on her arms and legs and some hip sneakers she was surprised by the new look for the low cost pizza. I asked her if she liked the new plastic packaging. She replied,  after a brief pause: “Yes…I do like it” and proceeded to toss about five packages in her buggy.

She didn’t specify why but based on her response it was authentic.

Totino’s pizza began in February 1951, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, when Jim and Rose Totino baked their first pie in their restaurant. Today Totino’s sells an amazing 300 million pizzas a year!

So what are the advantages of the plastic packaging? Here’s my take:

  1. Less packaging saves money for the manufacturer and the customer. If the food manufacturer can reduce the packaging without reducing the food size then that is disruptive and a win-win-win for the manufacturer, supermarket and most importantly, — the customer.

  2. Totino’s benefits for being the first one to make the move and it’s paying off, because my customer’s are grabbing them and filling up their shopping carts. It will be only a matter of time before other frozen pizza or frozen food manufacturers follow suit.

  3. Their packaging does not rip and preserves the inventory. It is quite common for pizza boxes to open when you are taking them out of the case to stock them. In addition, when you place them in the shelf and a customer pulls them out quickly the chances are that one of the boxes opens spikes up quickly. Opened boxes leads to additional losses and reduced inventory and fewer sales. With Totino’s Party Pizza I have not yet had one package open

  4. More freezer space. Now you can shove more frozen pizza in the freezer. All 57 square inches.

  5. You can fit two pizza’s on one  baking sheet. Consume less energy and lower your energy bill is always a major plus.

  6. Two can fit in easily in your convection oven. It is a challenge to put two circular pizza’s in a convection oven, unless you cut them into rectangles.

  7. The food tastes the same out of a plastic bag.

I applaud Totino’s. Seth Godin, the marketing icon, might call their packaging a Purple Cow. That is, — they took a risk and added marketing value to the customer, — with their packaging. I bet this will be copied by other frozen pizza manufacturers and frozen food companies.

This is one good idea to copy.

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